The Last Two

After ten days of taking the antibiotic Amoxicillin for my gum infections, I am finally down to the last two.

They did their job well, but they will not be missed.

Christina Is Six Years Cancer Free

My friend Christina, along with her mom, Maureen, drove down from Monrovia for her annual oncology check-up. After surviving breast cancer six years ago she is still free of the disease. One more year of no cancer and she would then graduate to no more yearly check-ups.

In celebration of her good news my mom and I met them in Old Town for a quick lunch before they drove back home to L.A. Since my mom and I got there a bit early we walked around, enjoying some of the smells, sights and sounds of Old Town, including a one-man band playing central and south American music. I even videoed him on my cell phone performing “El Condor Pasa” which I posted on my YouTube channel. My mom and I also talked to a woman who worked in the Casa de Aguirre souvenir store. She was originally from Brazil and has been here already a few years. Also in the same store was a group of touring Hungarians whom my mom ended up talking to for a while. They were trying to pay for items with pennies and nickels. We met and chatted with two others from the same group later at the the restaurant.

We finally met up with Christina and her mom at The Alamo Mexican Restaurant right on the main street the runs through Old Town. The food was a little dry but still pretty good and they are the cheapest and possibly the friendliest eatery in the area. My shrimp burrito was so big I had to take half of it home.

We had a really good time helping Christina celebrate this important milestone of her now being a six year cancer survivor.

House No More

Watched the House retrospective as well as the series finale with some sadness because of how much I really enjoyed this show. I will absolutely miss this series.

With the retrospective, it’s always cool to see the natural interaction between the actors when they’re not performing on camera. I’m glad they interviewed as many cast members as they did and showed so many of the behind-the scenes people. Seems like the entire cast and crew truly appreciated each other.

As far as the finale itself, knowing the character of House for all these years, the ending did not surprise me in the least. I’m actually glad they wrote the show out this way. I was really happy to see them bring back so many previous cast members, although I was disappointed at how brief Amber Tamblyn’s role was. My favorite episodes have always revolved around House’s subconscious, and because of the exceptionally honest writing, this finale did not disappoint.

This is one show I am really sorry to see go, but it’s been a great eight years.

Solar Eclipse

Drove down to Chula Vista to watch today’s almost total solar eclipse from the Tapias’ house. Last week they had picked up a couple of eclipse viewing glasses from the San Diego Astronomy Society in Balboa Park. We used those to watch the eclipse and take pictures through. Had to wait a couple of hours for it to start but it gave me time to get my camera settings ready before it began. It started at 5:25 and lasted just under two hours before the Sun started disappearing behind the thickening evening marine layer.

Second Meeting For Comic Fest

After leaving the Safari Park I drove straight to Twiggs on Adams Avenue for my second meeting of organizers/volunteers of the upcoming first ever Comic Fest in October here in San Diego.

This time my drink of choice was a fine 16 oz. bottle of Wisconsin’s own Sprecher‘s fire-brewed gourmet Cream Soda made with Wisconsin honey and pure vanilla.

Oh, and the meeting was productive, considering we’re still in the infant stage. I even put forth a suggestion this time.

1940 Packard

While driving on the freeway down to the Tapias’ house to watch the solar eclipse, I drove passed this beautiful, customized 1940 Packard Coupe heading south on I-805.

Just don’t ask how I got this shot.

Gone For Seven Years

Today is the seventh anniversary of my father’s passing in 2005.

His ashes are ashes, from dusk to dusk.

Starbucks Time

After spending more time in Burlington than I wanted, I walked across Clairemont Square with my mom to sit outside of Starbucks while enjoying some of their delicious coffee. We also picked up some still-warm, used ground coffee for her garden.

Nice way to spend a relaxing, people-watching half hour.

My Favorite Store I Don’t Like

Spent some time over at a Burlington Coat Factory this morning looking for a present for Randy and Michaelle’s one year-old son birthday on Saturday. I almost always find something there that’s priced pretty well, but I usually have to do some searching since it’s a bit unorganized. The 12-24 month boys section had both boys as well as girls clothes in sizes from 3 months to size 4.

Still, it’s conveniently close and most things are inexpensive, so I was able to pick up two shirts, a pair of shorts and some space monkey pajamas.

Annual Aortic Aneurism Activity

Took my mom for her yearly CT scan of the aortic aneurism that was discovered a few years ago and which the doctors have been keeping a very close eye on for any changes. While we won’t get these test results for a couple of days yet, so far it has stayed stable which, other than it getting smaller, is the best news we can hope for.

Mami’s Birthday: Evening Edition

My older brother, Ozzie, and my sister, Beata, along with her husband, Bill, came over for dinner this evening to celebrate my mom’s 81st birthday. Beata had come over a bit earlier to help with the decorating and the making of the crepes (palacsinta, to be more precise).

Dinner was one of my all-time favorite meals, which we affectionately call “barf” because of its appearance. It’s a kind of soup/stew that my mom makes every once in a while with a wide variety of chopped and cooked vegetables, with chunks of beef. I always add mustard (usually over-add) for extra flavor and authentic barf coloring.

Dessert was a decadent carrot cake with a square-rooted nine candles, compliments of Beata and Bill, which unfortunately everyone was too full to get to enjoy.

Even though the whole family couldn’t be here, it was a pleasant way for my mom to cap off her day of birthday celebrations.

Mami’s Birthday: Midday Edition

Took my mom walking at SeaWorld to continue her birthday celebration. I first went to Guest Services to get her a birthday button but they were out of them. Instead they gave her a voucher for a complimentary feeding tray at the seals and sea lions, which I thought was pretty cool. Inside the entrance we walked straight over to the large, colorful flowerbed near where we got our picture with the Shamu character.

We started our usual walking route and almost immediately ran into some friends whom we knew from back the Terrific Tuesdays days and who also walk SeaWorld regularly. We sat and chatted with them for a bit before heading off again. We stopped to check out a keeper who was showing a nine year-old New Caledonian Crested Gecko named Flapjack who seemed very comfortable with being handled. We continued our walk and then stopped at the sea lions where my mom said she didn’t want to feed them. I picked up the tray, fed three of the sea lions and gave the last piece of squid to a little boy standing next to me so he could feed them as well. He didn’t believe it at first and was smiling the whole time he was holding the squid and  still after he tossed it to one sea lion.

We walked around the back of the Park, stopped to check out the construction progress of Manta, the new roller coaster opening later this month, and then came across a new beach/surfer-themed food service area called “All Fried Up” that will be serving Mexican food, including Baja fish tacos, shredded beef tacos and shrimp cocktails. I’m really looking forward to trying all three of those.

We continued walking but stopped a few more times to check out the new Manta additions before finishing our route and heading out of the Park.

Mami’s Birthday: Morning Edition

My niece, Kimi, came over this morning to have breakfast with my mom for her 81st birthday. She brought some flowers and a few blueberry Eggos (which my mom always likes) and I had some cream of wheat (which I really like) because of my residual dental issues from a few day ago.

It was a nice way for my mom to begin her 82nd year.

Amoxicillin Alert

Today I begin my two pills, twice a day regimen of the antibiotic, Amoxicillin. It was prescribed for the painful dual tooth infections I’m dealing with at the moment.

Soft foods, antibiotics, Motrin and ice packs. Could be worse. I could have diarrh…I’ll be right back.

Surprise Visit

Had a really nice surprise visit this Mother’s Day from my best friends Sylvia and Rodrigo, who brought Lilo and Stitch with them to sniff and run around the backyard a bit. They were thoughtful enough to bring us milkshakes from Jack-In-The-Box since I couldn’t chew anything solid because of my tooth problems. They also took some time to look around my mom’s garden, which always makes her feel good.

While we sat and chatted a gopher kept popping its head out from a hole in the grass.

We so rarely get visitors other than family that this visit really meant a lot to us.

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