Monday I hung out with Madd. Covid prevented us from hanging out for over a year, so it’s nice to get back to that sort of normalcy. It’s not like we did anything huge, though. We went to furniture stores sitting on chairs and looking at tables and such. I know. Big fun.
When we got hungry, Madd took me to the Redondo Beach Pier. It was a crowded mess that smelled of a combination of deep-fried shellfish and urine, and neither of us wanted to wait for a table. After walking the perimeter we got out of there. It’s been about 15 years since I’ve been, but I never felt so repulsed by the place. I kept thinking back to all of the times I used to go, and it was then that I realized that I actually hate the Redondo Beach Pier. I guess we’re supposed to have fond memories of the place having grown up in the South Bay, especially with the now-shuttered arcade. But no. Even as a child, I thought it was a shithole.
We went a little south to the Riviera to get food, at H.T. Grill. I had their espresso short ribs which was amazing, just the perfect serving size with a deep smoky sweet sauce. In the picture you see me eating their fried cheesecake which is wrapped in phyllo dough and caramel. Also you see an empty glass that once was filled with a Manhattan.
One thing we talked about is where high school kids hang out nowadays. As we were driving around, we drove past my old high school coffeehouse haunt Yesterdays which has been closed for about 20 years. I started to feel bad because kids don’t have the variety of coffeehouses that we did back in the day. Like if you got tired of Yesterdays, you could drive down to the Riviera and go to Coffee Cartel (which is thankfully still there.) If you wanted to hang out with Neo-Nazis on speed, you go to Insomniac which was up closer to PCH. So where do the kids go to now?
Madd was very unconcerned about this. She figured they had their own places to hang out and that our places to them are passé and a bore. She’s right. Lord knows what they do, but I do hope they do lots of bad things that would make their parents freak out. That’s all I care about, really. I get freaked out that kids nowadays are too fucking boring and want to get along with their parents. Gross!
(Is there now any questions as to why I don’t want children?)
But I do know one thing. The kids also think the Redondo Beach Pier is a shithole.
Saturday I watched Chelsea beat Man City in Porto 1-0 in the Champions League Final. CHELSEA ARE FUCKING CHAMPIONS OF EUROPE!!!! Sure Timo Werner still couldn’t find the back of the net, but that defense was near perfect for the whole match. When Kai Havertz scored for Chelsea in the 42nd minute, lord knows what everyone else in my building thought of my hooting and hollering. It was soon tempered knowing that 48 minutes remained. And it was tough, I’ll admit. Sure Chelsea looked like they couldn’t be broken, but with only a 1-0 lead anything could happen. And anything almost did in the 6th minute of stoppage time at the end of the match when Riyad Mahrez’s shot sailed just over the crossbar.
My stomach dropped, and when I saw the ball sail harmlessly into the crowd in Porto the tears came rushing. I jumped up and down, the Chelsea scarf held overhead. The final whistle blew. WE KNOW WHAT WE ARE! WE KNOW WHAT WE ARE! CHAMPIONS OF EUROPE! WE KNOW WHAT WE ARE! I’ll admit it was a much more exciting moment for me than when the Dodgers won the World Series in October. I’ve been more invested in Chelsea and football more than I had been in any other sport. Hell, the last live sporting event I went to was Chelsea taking on West Ham United back in November 2019 at Stamford Bridge.
That was a nice way to start my weekend, but that certainly fucked up my Saturday. The rest of the day I spent cleaning and just puttering about, but the excitement kept coursing through me so I couldn’t just focus on one job. I was a mess. But it didn’t matter. My team is the best team in the world.
There are quite a few people I follow online, whether it be on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or any other platforms whom I’ve never interacted with. Sure, I started following them because I found them hot, but there was some substance there that kept me interested.
I rarely interact with these folks though. I don’t know how to describe why. I guess it’s something like I don’t think I’m worthy enough to interact with them. Or it’s more like I don’t think I have anything significant to contribute, so rather than waste time being a gushing fanboy or something idiotic like that, just keep being a voyeur. I know, very LA of me, but you’ve got to keep your damn cool.
At the beginning of the month someone I follow on Instagram posted a sunset photo of New York City. The text was not written by the person but by his mother — he had died suddenly over the past weekend. There was an instant sadness, but I had to push that aside for a work Zoom meeting. Sure it wasn’t full blown grief, but it did get me wondering why it affected me at all. I mean the only thing I knew about this guy were the photos and words he posted to Instagram.
But thoughts kept flashing through my head: am I missing by not reaching out? Would I be more fulfilled if I did lose my cool every now and then? What the hell am I doing with my life?
Oh well. Fuck it. I’ll take a nap.
Actually, who knows what normal is anymore? What did make it seem normal was going out last Thursday and Friday nights for dinner with friends. But now that I think about it, is that really normal for me? Before the pandemic, I was living in San Pedro in what was isolation not unlike how I lived through the pandemic. I guess when I was living in Los Feliz I was a lot more social, but I was also in my late 20s and early 30s.
Thursday I went to DAMA in the Fashion District with Yuko where we had Mexican-style tapas and hung out for three hours. It was nice catching up with her, gabbing about what we did during the pandemic, what we’re planning on doing, our neuroses, chemical imbalances and intakes. And the food was quite remarkable between the empanadas, the pork shank and the deep fried fluffernutter.
Then Friday it was off to El Cholo in Pasadena to see Angie who was visiting from North Carolina, Ben and Catherine. It was another few hours of gabbing and catching up, drinking margaritas and putting each other down.
Missing out on being able to do this certainly made this particular heart grow fonder — now that we are able to go out to dinner and hang out, I certainly want to do these things. I guess during the pandemic a lot of us learned that we can’t take each day for granted. I know: deeeeeeeeep.
Well since this is Memorial Day weekend, let’s see what shenanigans I get up to. Follow this space.
On Wednesday I received my second Moderna vaccine dose where upon I felt oh so slightly fatigued and out of it, but nowhere near as nauseatingly awful as I did after the first dose. I know in reality I still have two more weeks before I can say I’m fully vaccinated, but symbolically at least I can say I am done. Well, except for the booster shots I’ll need in a year or so or whatever and every year thereafter. And the masks I will still need to wear until we reach some kind of herd immunity (which looks more and more unlikely because of stupid conspiracy-minded cunts not wanting to be vaccinated.) But at least for me the fear of catching full blown COVID is done.
I will say that if what I experienced after the first dose was any indication of what COVID on a much smaller scale is like, then I’m glad I never got it. Now on to the orgies!
Actually, first thing on the list of to-dos was something that I’ve been thinking and talking about for a long time: getting my first tattoo. I figured at this stage of life is the best time to get permanently scarred, so I went and did got it done at Sang Bleu Los Angeles by Collin Gribbons. He did a wonderful job and was very meticulous about it. Here is the slightly blood-seeping aftermath of the tattoo:
Those who know, know.
Being holed up for over a year taught me that I shouldn’t make excuses for not doing things. Since we aren’t guaranteed a tomorrow, fuck it. As long as it’s not harming the world, do it before it’s too late.
Okay, I’m ending my sanctimonious nonsense. Now to eat something since I have yet to do that today.
Although I insist 41 and 42 shouldn’t count because of the quarantine, alas, here it is. Of course 42 is the answer to all of life’s questions according to Douglas Adams, so does that mean I finally know everything?
I’m starting 42 feeling happy, hopeful and thankful. It sounds so fucking sappy but there it is.
I am feeling happy because I’m living in the closest thing I can ever think of as a dream apartment. It’s pretty big, bright and in a historical building in Downtown Los Angeles. Also perhaps it’s thanks to some chemical aid thanks to escitalopram (20 mg every day,) but life isn’t a complete crushing unbearable act.
I’m hopeful because I’m halfway vaccinated, halfway to being able to start getting life to be a little more normal, to start seeing the people I’ve missed in my life over the last year and to start having penises go inside me. Yes, the penises. Mmmm. Penis.
And I’m thankful because I have a decent job that pays me well so that I don’t have to worry about being poor, that I’m healthy enough and that people tend to leave me the hell alone.
It’s just so weird to say that for the first time in my life things are pretty nice. How weird.
My right arm received the first dose of the Moderna vaccine on Wednesday. First I felt like it was a small miracle that I got it since it seemed getting an appointment was just about as easy as trying to purchase a PS5. Elise told me to try doing it through Kaiser, and I was able to get an appointment for the next day in Hollywood. SCORE!
There was a considerable line to get the first dose, but it moved pretty quickly. About a 40-minute wait, I checked in, got the vaccine card and in went the chilly magical RNA elixir. After the mandatory 15-minute observation, I went back home and continued to work.
Sure my arm was sore around the injection, but damn I was tired. Maybe I had a bad sleep? I found myself at my desk sitting up completely asleep with unread Slack notifications blinking on the screen. Shit.
After I finally logged off of work, I sat on my couch completely unwilling to make dinner. Again, I startled awake sitting up on my couch a couple of hours later. Was this the vaccine or was this just me? It’s not a new thing for me to fall asleep sitting up on that couch.
I ate a reluctant dinner, a small salad really, and then just went to bed. At midnight I woke up as my mouth was salivating like crazy and my digestive tract felt like a mosh pit. Fuck. Vomit #1. An hour later, Vomit #2. I was able to sleep after that.
I was out of it most of Thursday though not feeling as bad as I did the day before. I confirmed with my pharmacist cousin Gina that nausea was indeed a side effect of the vaccine and that some folks, particularly Asians, did get it bad after the first dose. Great. But I powered through the day and by the end of it felt totally fine.
I don’t know what I’ll feel next month after the second dose, but if feeling that discomfort for a day is the price to pay to avoid coming down with the COVID, then so be it.
Another thing. If these side effects are like mini-COVID, then there is no way I want the full blown COVID.
Exactly one year ago today we started to work from home. I had expected this to last only 3 months, six months tops. Yet here we are exactly one year later still working from home, but at least there is a little hope with the vaccines out. Here is everything that’s gone down in the last year:
- I moved twice: the first 364 days ago from San Pedro to DTLA, and the second a month ago down the hall to a larger and brighter apartment.
- My mom went missing again. Turned out she was stuck in Cuzco, Peru because of the pandemic.
- Spent a month essentially in bed unable to do anything. Got on Lexapro and now feel a lot better.
- Went on vacation to the middle of nowhere Montana twice because I needed a vacation but was afraid of the Covid — felt that was a good compromise.
- Because I was mostly at home, there was no exposure to anyone else’s colds or flus or other ikky diseases, so no illnesses. The last time I was sick was when I caught the flu in Amsterdam/Brussels back in November 2019.
- Spent way too much money on furniture and appliances. Really with all the cardboard boxes I amassed in the last year, I honestly could’ve had my own condo on the streets of LA.
- No sex. My fucking virginity has grown back.
It sounds like I should be getting the vaccine pretty soon. I can’t wait to have people over in my apartment. I can’t wait to meet people in the bars, restaurants and events. I can’t wait to have tons of penises and other assorted goodies inserted into my anus and lots of seminal fluids all over my body whilst being a sweaty heaving mess.
Good riddance! What a dreadful four years in our country. We endured the following:
- Muslim travel ban
- Attempted revocation of the Affordable Care Act without an alternative healthcare plan
- The rise of white supremacist groups with Charlottesville and the Insurrection at the Capitol as their lowlights
- Collusion with Russia and attempted collusion with Ukraine for his own personal campaigns
- Child separation policy
- The attack on truth
- Lying about COVID and absolving all Federal responsibility allowing over 400,000 people to die unnecessarily
- Tax cuts for the rich
- An economic crash not seen since 1929.
- And a lot more.
I guess on paper I probably should have voted for Trump because personally I am doing better than I did four years ago. And I guess I should like tax breaks because it means I can spend more money on me me me (even though as well off as I am, I’m still not rich enough to be in tax bracket that gets all the breaks.) But seriously, if other people can’t survive what’s the point? What good is it for me to do well when the rest of society is in the tank?
So for the first time since the 1993 Clinton inauguration when I was first becoming politically aware, I watched today’s ceremonies. It felt like a much needed moment of therapy. And can we talk about native Angeleno Amanda Gorman who stole the show?
Don’t get me wrong, I’m no fan of Biden. He’s far too right wing for me, but anything is better than what we had. It will be refreshing to hear the truth every now and again.