Vacation


I find myself asking, “Why am I bothering to even make this entry?”  The whole blogging element seems like a lifetime ago.  And some of the friends that I met here in Blogland and in person seem to be fading away.  Phone calls and emails go unanswered.  The occasional post on my blog seems to draw minimal readers, most likely because people have pulled my blog from their blogrolls.  I guess it’s understandable.  But to me, good friends stay in touch continually, and they remain loyal, even to the extent that they retain one on their roll.  Guess to me, it’s just common courtesy…not an issue of popularity or ‘having to clean house” on the blogroll.

In any event, I see my last posting was back in June of this summer.  Hard to believe that Summer 2009 is over and that I’ve managed to walk through the first day of Fall.  Time rages by faster these days.  It was an interesting summer indeed…probably one that I would classify as a major ROLLER COASTER RIDE.

First there has been that on-going downward plunge with the economy which has simply kept business flat for me.  My business partner and I find ourselves having to supplement our business income with our own personal income, but we are trying to weather the storm and slip into 2010 with hopes that signs will show improvement in the first quarter.  But I do find myself having to do a reassessment of the business come late November, early December.  I am praying that we don’t have to fold.  At this juncture, I have no idea where I will go next with respect to work should we have to close our interior design business.

In any event, I believe I mentioned the rollercoaster ride took a jolt back in June when I sprained my left ankle severely.  I ended up with some swelling complications that had me limited in activity for nearly 10 weeks. At one point I was even tested for blood clotting.  I was experiencing sudden pain and tenderness in my left calf about 4 weeks after the sprain.  Of course, all the flying mixed with the swelling, sent bells and whistles off for the doctors.  Fortunately, my test results were negative for any clotting.

I also think I mentioned that I had a Hawaiian vacation scheduled at that time.  All fun of course.  I came back from Hawaii, the ankle improving at that time.  About four weeks later my ride was on a fun upswing.  I was off to Rehoboth Beach to meet up with the boyfriend (mind you it’s dating but a bit more beyond that).  I couldn’t have asked for better weather…not a lick of humidity, just good ‘ol hot weather.  The only sad thing was that all the ‘bears’ were up in Provincetown for Bear Week.  Ah the things we give up for love.  LMAO!!  Let’s just say my time was WELL SPENT with the BF.  😉  We still had plenty of eye-candy to behold, bears included.  Evenings always started with at least drinks downtown at the Aqua or other nearby bars, even if dinner was at home.  You know…we had to get those flirtatious moments in!  While the rollercoaster kept chugging along, it did hit a slight dip again.  My left ankle started to swell again and bruise slightly, mind you some six weeks after the initial accident.  Of course that led me to see the orthopod when I got home and to the subsequent clotting test that I referenced earlier.

Two weeks out, about the first week of August by this time, the rollercoaster ride is back on the upswing.  I headed off to Lake Tahoe for a week with family, our annual family get-together that I have written about here in my blog on occasion.  It started out being a blast.  I was taking in little nieces and nephews that I hadn’t seen in months!!!  Just the thought of all their smiles and the “Uncle Tony” ‘s that they laid on me.  They sent my spirits soaring.  And of course, we hit an all-time record with the number of family, cousins, second cousins, etc., that were present on the vacation and at joint dinners…seventy-five (75)!!!!!  You should have seen the beach.  We literally took up one third of the beach with seven cabana tents, beach chairs, floaties, bodies, etc.  People didn’t know what to make of us.  However, with summer starting to wrap up, there was another downhill run on the rollercoaster ride.  Yes, another injury.  About Thursday of my Tahoe-week trip, I was simply sitting in bed, went to stand, and instantly dropped to the floor with stabbing back pain.  I tried to stand.  No luck…dropped to the floor again.  Tried to sit, and had to collapse into a reclining position.  Even laying on my back was painful.  I ended up spending two days on the floor, literally.  Couldn’t get up into the bed and any attempt to lift me, sent me into excruciating pain.  I even had to crawl to the restroom. I won’t elaborate here anymore.  Don’t know how I did it but managed to pull myself together by Sunday to make the 9 hour drive home to Southern California (by the way, the Ibuprofen and the Vicodin that I managed to get – did nothing to alleviate the pain).  I did ok with the drive but paid for it the next morning in major stiffness and mild pain.  It kept me away from returning to work for two more days.

My back improved by the following weekend…just in time for moving my major pieces to my new living quarters.  I somehow managed to pack everything that needed it, and then on that Sunday, went to move.  Guess what happened…I reinjured my back.  And it was really hurting.  I had to be out of the apartment on Thursday, 8/20. I was completing my move on Wednesday…let’s say I don’t know how I pulled it off.  PAIN, PAIN, PAIN, PAIN!!!

So as I finish my summer I am no longer in south Orange County  but rather in north Orange County out in the eastern quadrant, and oh, about 10-15 minutes from that magical place called Disneyland!  LOL  I am now renting a room from a gay couple.  The room is bigger than my “cell” at the apartment and I have 3800 square feet of house to roam rather than 700 square feet of a 900 square foot apartment.  I have access to a private pool rather than an apartment complex’s pool.  SCORE!!  And lastly, with the owners being gay, I have a bit more freedom to have guests over without feeling awkward like I was in my former ‘straight’ apartment environment.  For those that didn’t know, my former room mates were a straight married couple.  I have to say though, I miss them terribly.  They were easy to get along with, even thought they had no clue I was gay (or at least they never asked…LOL).

Phewwwww!  Now you are all caught up.  I sure hope Fall is better.  And I hope those of you who read this, friends included, are all doing well. Hugs!

Well I suppose that this post will probably appeal most to those with foot fetishes, at least from the perspective of the photos.  <CHUCKLE> The last three weeks have been rather adventurous – some of it good and some of it bad.

Let’s start with the ‘big’ bad news.  About three weekends ago I was up in the SF Bay Area helping my little sister and brother-in-law with arranging some existing furniture and accessories in there recently-finished new house.  It was Sunday and nearly time for them to take me out for dinner and then off to the airport.  I was outside with my niece and nephew waiting for the sis and hubby to come out with ‘junior,’ the littlest of the three kids.  While waiting, I said to my nephew, “I’ll race you down the drive way on the RAZOR (one of those sleek steel scooters with the racing skate wheels).”  Naturally this particular RAZOR was smaller in length than others I had ridden so I had to do a one-foot balance on it. I went zipping down the slope of the driveway side-by-side with my nephew.  As I hit the dip in the driveway, where the gutter meets the street, you might say that the RAZOR did an unexpected ‘wheelie.’  I felt myself initially falling back and all I could think of was cracking my skull open against the pavement.  So I lurched my body forward.   The RAZOR came out from underneath my footing, and as I came down to try to catch my footing, I landed on the outside edge of my left foot, causing it to buckle under with all my body weight.

YIKES!!!!  IMG_0113Did it heart like hell.  I went hobbling up to the Chevy Surburban and opened the door so I could gain a ledge to sit down on.  Guess what my ankle looked like?  I literally had a bump the size of a lemon on the outside ankle bone!!  And the foot was almost instantly swelling up like a balloon.  Over the course of the week, the foot remained swollen but seemed under control.  Amazingly, for the first five days I felt almost no pain and could weight-bare without any problem.

Move-up to Friday….  I am dealing with all this knowing that in another day I was heading off to KAUAI for eight glorious days – the good news in this article.  LOL!  I had been waiting for this for months and there was nothing that was going to prevent me from taking the trip.  However, for the first time in five days, my foot and ankle were increasingly starting to throb and hurt.  I had myself all packed and had gone over to my sister’s house to spend the night – she was driving me and my nephew to the L.A. airport the next morning to catch our flight.  Well this particular sis and her mother-in-law, who happened to be over at her house, saw my foot and said, “Have you been to see the doctor yet?”  “No,” was my response.  My foot at this time was hideous.  Every inch of my left foot, and ankle up to about 1/3 of my calf was BLACK.  I looked like some diseased creature.  LOL!  With their coercing, I went off to the doctors – spent two hours in urgent care but the doctor informed me that I had no broken bones, just a moderate-to-moderate severe sprain. Of course he made his recommendations, knowing full well where I was off to the next day.

Saturday came and I was off to Kauai!  IMG_0114Let’s say that four the next four days I was in utter misery, even as I laid by the poolside taking in the Hawaiian sun.  My foot was HUGE!!  The flight over had sent the swelling to the moon and the humidity did not help either, even with icing and foot elevation.  But alas Wednesday came and for the first time the majority of the pain was gone and man did I take in the sun and the pool.  I actually found that swimming (no kicking) was the best anecdote for relief of pain.  Got myself out the following day to snorkel over on the north side of Kauai, past Hanalei Bay.  I had to walk the beach to get to our destination – and I did it!!  My point here was that I ultimately had a blast on the island, spending time with my two brothers, my 18-year old nephew, and my sister, her husband, and their three children.  I so did not want to leave last Saturday evening (6/20/09)!

And so what did I come back to this past week?  A bunch of chaos and some bad news.  Some of the news pertained to finances in the business – essentially having to fork out additional money for repairs on the earlier design house space I had done (see at the end of the show, the room has to be put back to near original state).  And some of the other marvelous news <sarcasm> had to deal with personal life issues.  Let me say, the gay community really consists of a lot of prima donnas and guys that just are not ‘adult’ men.  Sorry if that offends anyone, but it flat out is the truth!

So there you have it, my past three weeks.  Are all you guys with foot fetishes just drooling over those feet of mine.  LMAO!!  And you aren’t even seeing the left foot in its worst state!

S0 here are a few of my Kauai vacation photos. Oddly enough, most will be from around the hotel and neighboring areas. The timeshare was so self-contained, you really didn’t need to leave, especially if you were opting to cook yourself most nights. Somehow cooked meals always seem better on vacation (why is that?). I spent my vacation time with my little sister T, brother-in-law, niece and nephew. We did manage to squeeze in a combined kayak trip/hike/swim at hidden waterfall. Otherwise, it was beach or pool activity every day. THE LIFE!!!! Might sound boring but I saw most of Kauai the first time I was there two years ago. About the only thing I wish we could have done was the ziplining activity where you zoom through forest treetops via suspended lines, pulleys, and harnesses. Next time!

So without further ado, here are the pics. There are three pictures which were taken from a, shall I dare say, prone position. Can you guess which three?

My timeshare room –

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Sunsets –

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Poipu beach –

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Gratuitous picture of Moi!

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Scene from dining out…Brick Oven Pizza –

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Brenecke Beach area –

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Kayak trip and scenery –

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Oh!…another gratuitous pic of Moi at the waterfall (Damn, if only I could have been au naturale…think of how exhilarating that would have been) –

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Timeshare grounds and beach –

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>>>THE END<<<

Well I’m back from Kauai as of yesterday at 8:45pm. I can’t believe it’s over. I had 10 days of utter relaxation, staring at the ocean, basking in the sun, and the occasional Margarita! Hey, does anybody out there have a Time Machine that can send me back 10 days. I’d be eternally grateful. LOL. Well, I’ll be gathering up the best of the pictures and posting them sometime in the near future, hopefully before I head off to Toronto. In the meantime, here’s something I wrote one of those days while staring out at the ocean and chillin’ to my iPod tunes. Not one of my better productions but hey! Enjoy.

POIPU DREAMS

 

Sunset harkens
Horizon aglow
Tranquility envelops
Spirit releases.

 

Ocean blue
Limits endless
Waves caressing
Shores embracing

 

Breezes intoxicate
Scents permeate
Birds drift
Palms submit.

 

Flora captivates
Colors abound
Creatures play
Inhibitions alleviated.

 

Sunrise returns
Serenity found
Today renews
Life progresses.

                                                                                        Author: Tony

                                                                                        August 21, 2007

 

I think today’s news is perfect for a “…Miscellaneous Tidbits” post. I’ve been a bit tied up over the last two to three weeks, resulting in infrequent posts, and it looks like more of the same for the next couple of weeks as well. I any event, here are the ‘comings and goings.’

The MOM Front: The worst for mom seems to be over, thank God. She had her procedure last Thursday. The gastro-intestinal surgeon did find stones in her bile duct, remnants from mom’s wonderful gallbladder removed only two weeks earlier. Mom said she felt like a new woman after the procedure. She does have some minimal left-sided pain but it appears that is tied in with the pneumonia and the last of that needs to run its course. Mom happens to be up and about, on her own as of this past Tuesday. As she said though, it probably will be at least another 4-6 weeks until she feels as if she is running on all four cylinders again. I’m just glad she made it through all this fiasco of oh-so-marvelous medical treatment.

Chemo SUCKS!: Spider and Bigg are pushing along with their respective chemo treatments. It just sucks though. Chemo takes so much out of you…it physically drains you between tiredness, nausea, etc. Keep your support flowing to these guys. The encouragement helps. The company helps. As always you two, you’re in my thoughts and prayers.

San Diego Rocks: I headed on down to San Diego this past Friday through Sunday. This was only my third time there…the second in the past three years. It really is a quaint metropolitan city. There is some old architecture which the city has fought diligently to preserve mixed in with some really interesting new structures. The Gas Lamp District was something to behold in the evenings. It is like a huge block party on Friday and Saturday nights. It is dominated by bars, clubs, and restaurants, most all of them packed to the hilts. Of course Coronado Island is always phenomenal. Oh, and did I mention we slipped in La Jolla too. Thought I’d share a few pictures here. Enjoy!

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Ain’t No Hurricane Stoppin’ This Gang From Gettin’ To Kauai: Hawaii is just one day off. Tomorrow, bright and early…like 4:30am, we’ll be getting our asses in high gear to get out to Los Angeles International Airport for our flight over to Kauai. And it appears that the hurricane that was running off the Big Island of Hawaii has flown right by. Should be good weather for the most part. I can’t wait. I see margaritas, ocean, pool, and kayaking on the horizon. WOOHOO! I am gone from 8/17 to 8/27 but I am hoping to have Internet access at the timeshare I will be staying at with my brother-in-law C, sister T, niece L and nephew N.

Cruisin’ Potentially Into Yet One Last Summer Trip After Hawaii: Well just when you were thinking, “Damn, is Tony about done traveling. Where else could he possibly go?”, it possibly isn’t over. I am contemplating a trip out to Toronto over the Labor Day weekend to meet up with my bud Pete, his new hunk, James, along with Sean and his hubby, Jeff, and a few others. And to really make the trip worthwhile, should I go, I will be seeing another blogger I read regularly, Al of Synaptic Blue. With some luck, he’ll pull a dear soul, Steve, out of hibernation, who he was once partnered up with over at former great read. Have to make my decision by this evening’s end Then the majority of summer will be over and it will be time for me to hunker down on some design career decisions. Will I stay in commercial corporate or make a move over to residential corporate? Will I hang tight for another three months to let my two friends finish school and then roll into a joint business (odds and ends work to fill the time)? Do I make a move to a city known for more contemporary work, like New York City or Chicago?

My head is already spinning putting this all to words. I think I simply want to enjoy the last of my summer outings for now.

So I am back from Lake Tahoe after four of seven days of planned vacation in one of my favorites spots. How did it go? It was pretty much a mixed bag of ‘goods’…some goods and some not-so-goods! You all recall me posting over a week ago that my mom had been placed in the hospital for emergency gallbladder surgery which rolled into a pneumonia episode. Well the whole clan headed up to Tahoe last Sunday knowing that, while mom was in the hospital, she was having a better day with a possibility of release on Monday, but more likely Tuesday. As a result, the clan, including myself, were able to relax a bit.

That all changed Tuesday morning when we were advised by the one sister who remained behind to monitor mom that she had a relapse episode of severe pain in the abdomen. The release would be postponed. From that day forward, the vacation became almost burdensome. One minute mom was to be released, the next not, on again, off again. And the picture got worse toward the end of the week when mom was finally released only to be readmitted 24 hours later because the respiratory doctor had, how should I say this, lied about my mom’s oxygen saturation levels. How convenient to open up a bed for an already crowded facility. The one redeeming thing…the surgeon responsible for my mom laid into the respiratory doctor when he saw my mom just prior to her readmittance to the hospital. Don’t you just love HMOs. Does the movie SICKO and its whole thesis ring a bell?

I cut my vacation short to come down and help the latest sister, K, monitor mom. She deserved a breather, considering she had driven down from Tahoe and been with mom since late Tuesday evening. It appears I will be in the SF Bay Area two days longer than planned so as to get my mom to her appointments and hopefully set up for the second surgery later this week. Yes, that is a second surgery. See that ongoing abdominal pain in my mom’s abdomen region (all after the gallbladder surgery) turned out to be solid matter – stones – stuck in her bile duct. And yes, while she is out of the hospital she is still experiencing pain…all which she must endure until most likely Thursday or Friday of this coming week. In any event, thanks to all of you who have passed along your well wishes for my mom since my last post.

Aside from this ‘wee’ little distraction, my vacation was actually quite nice. Great weather and good company to include immediate family and extended family (cousins, aunts, uncle, etc.). Our shared dinner nights were averaging about 64 people though we maxed out at 67 total mid week. You should have seen our dinner night – spaghetti, garden salad, garlic bread, wine, strawberry daiquiris, cheese, Italian cold cuts, and for dessert, ice cream with chocolate-white chocolate chip cookies. And we pulled it off without the four-star general (mom). The side story on that comment, if you didn’t already know…invariably a family argument arises over the course of prepping this dinner because mom can’t seem to understand she has two or three adults, not kids, helping her. Orders, orders, orders.  LOL.

Now there you have it, my mixed bag of ‘goods.’ Hope you all are having a great summer weekend. Hope the week ahead is smooth sailing for you all.

az259145_1001.jpgWell this just seems to be the week for resurrecting past weekly/biweekly blog segments. Since I really had no specific topic in mind to write about but a bunch of extraneous thoughts, I thought it was time to slip back into my Miscellaneous Tidbits commentaries. So let’s get started.

NEWSFLASH – ‘Rambling’ Meets Another Passage Of Time: I wanted to start my blog post off today by wishing my blogger bud, Kel, over at Rambling Along In Life…, a HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Seems like Father Time has graced him with another year. Please stop by and wish him much cheer on his special day. Or perhaps that should be week rather than day…seems like ‘Rambling’ has to turn this gig into a week long event. LOL. Don’t have too much fun Kelly!
The Spider Front: Spider heads into the doctors office today for his two-week, post-surgery follow-up visit. The Doc may be removing the last of his sutures. Overall, Spidie is in good spirits. He’s worked his way back into eating very small amounts of solid foods and the abdomen pain that he was experiencing after surgery seems to be dissipating now. His parents have been out since a week ago this past Monday and will be heading home this Thursday. And that puts Spider back in his little cottage as well Thursday to begin his normal daily routine, with the exception of on more round of chemo to endure. Remember him in your thoughts.

Bigg’s Journey Begins: I just wanted to take one more moment to also remind my readers to keep Bigg, of My Confessions, in your thoughts and prayers today as well. At 6:30AM Eastern time today he begins his chemo intravenous treatments. Esophageal cancer is a tough ‘battle’ and generally has a higher recurrence rate…I know, my dad, battled this cancer four years ago. Hugs my friend…you have this dear soul pulling for you!!

Slipping into Chicago Again: This Friday at the crack of dawn this body is slipping on a plane and heading back to Chicago for another six days. I’ll be seeing my friend, “J”,again and finishing out visiting some of the sights I did not get to see a month ago. Plus, I just have to get in some more multi-cultural fine dining. Truth be told, I have also been giving some thought about moving to either Chicago or New York City for a year or two in hopes of gaining some design experience in a city accustomed to more contemporary design style.

Vacation Mode: Well the Chicago stint will start off my vacation stint again over the next month and a half. When I arrive back from Chicago on Wednesday, July 26, I work one day, Thursday, and then head up to the SF Bay Area to my mom’s, help her pack, and then head up to Lake Tahoe for our annual family vacation. I’ll be there for a week. I just hope that we don’t have another rendition of WAR AND PEACE like we had last summer amongst the sisters. LOL. I then come back for two weeks, get a bit of work in, and then head out to beautiful Kaui for a week. I’ll be spending that with my little sister, her husband, the niece and nephew, and my mom. All I want to do is sit on the beach in the evening with a tropical drink in hand (or margarita), watch the sun set, and listen to the ocean crashing against the shoreline. SERENITY!!!

The Bathroom Projects: I am still working on getting some pictures of the two bathrooms I redid for my sister. Looks like the task of getting a professional out to my sister’s home may not occur until I am back from Tahoe. Hang in there…you’ll see the completed work in some manner!!

That about does it for news over the past week or so. Have a great Hump Day!

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