Me, Sher, and Ad

Me, Sher, and Ad
Bro Adam and sis Sher, my rocks!

Saturday, June 30, 2018

An Awful Allergies Week

"After 10 plus years, FINALLY immune to Max"  

Allergies this week have been the bane to my existence! What a tough week. I had hoped the storms earlier in the week would've washed all the pollen away but I was mistaken. I woke up each morning with swollen eyes and suffered through the nights with sneezing attacks. Each morning, I hit the bottle of allergy medicine even before I hit the shower.

I have lived with allergies throughout my 40 something years but these last couple weeks have been particularly tough. Allergies are a part of my life though. Most of the time, they're just an annoyance. I have eye allergies, asthma, skin allergies, and of course the sinus/nasal allergies. The prescriptions taken for each one arranged neatly in my medicine cabinet. I take what I need depending on what I'm suffering from that day and then go on about my morning.

When I was younger, I went to an allergist in Cherry Hill, NJ. They gave me a skin prick test on my back to test what allergen antibodies I reacted to. Well, I reacted to EVERY ONE (except seafood, thank God). Every food allergy: dairy, wheat, strawberries, peanuts, corn. Not to mention every grass, tress, pollen, dogs, cats, birds. You name it.

My entire back swelled up in one big hive. I was dying to scratch but couldn't until the doctor saw the results. After 15 agonizing minutes, he came in, looked at my back and exclaimed, "What the hell!?" All I wanted to know was ... "WHEN CAN I SCRATCH!?" The doctor replied, "Go ahead" and while my Mom and Dad finished up the appointment, I feverishly contorted my body scratching EVERY inch of my back.

I began taking allergy meds immediately. They put me on allergy shots and I was allergic to the them immediately. They gave me nausea and an upset stomach. After every dosage and subsequent visit, they lowered the dosage because I became nauseous. It came down to the point where the dosage was pretty much nonexistent and wouldn't have helped the allergies anyway! They stopped the shots and put me on allergy pills. I got better. Imagine that!

Years later, I found I grew a resistance to certain allergy meds and then started others. After 6 months, we tried something new. It worked for me. On and on the cycle went. But... at 48 I have survived these allergies. It's no big deal unless it's a bad week and then I need a day to drug myself up and get over them. And please don't talk to me about the homeopathic remedies. Tried them, didn't help to much and I'll pass. Give me my allergy pill!

So another annoyance in life and yet here I am. I have outgrown pretty much all of my food allergies. Interestingly enough, discovered an allergy to white vinegar in my 20s. Starts to close the throat up. But doesn't happen with red wine or balsamic vinegar. I developed asthma in my later 20s so that's a pain in the ass. I also found I'm allergic to erythritol. See my previous blog on that one!

I am still allergic to cats and dogs. There are certain dogs which I am NOT allergic to. I think those are terriers and poodle breeds. And my cats too. I think I have developed a resistance to my own cats, Max and Moxie, after 10 plus years of being exposed to those pains in the ass. LOL. Life goes on and I deal with it.

I don't complain that much about it but decided to write a blog on the topic after suffering a particularly bad week due to seasonal allergies. How are other's faring? Do people take as much allergy meds as I do? LOL It's just a part of my life I deal with. Just don't bring a Shetland pony, a Saint Bernard dog, or a Himalayan cat around or we will have major problems. Unless there is Benedryl and then I'll be OK. But I'll fall asleep on ya. LOL

Monday, June 25, 2018

A Great Proverb about Strong Women

When I was out in San Diego, I discovered a couple awesome things about my Mom. After over 8 years since she passed, I think it's such a blessing when I learn something new. The first thing I learned (I mentioned it in my previous blog) was that my Grandpop Newman called my Mom "Goldilocks" as a child. My Mom's hair was golden blonde. My sister Sheryl recounted this memory for me as well as My Grandpop bestowing her, next, with the nickname "Goldilocks". I love that memory.
The other thing I found out was from  my niece Angelica. During my recent trip out there, one evening we had a great convo about the tattoos which we want done. I was about to get my Sailor Jerry style tattoo honoring my Mom and I excitedly asked her what she wanted for her first tattoo. She confidently showed me the quote below, which I immediately loved. I asked her where it came from and she said that Nana, my Mom, used to quote it to her often in a postcard or two and sometimes when she visited.
There are things you already know about your mother and then there are things that you learn later on which perhaps ... you already knew deep down inside. There were times that I sensed my mother's unhappiness. But she held herself together with true strength and dignity. She had the most positive outlook and always felt things would be OK and work out. She was just so so positive for her children, Sheryl, Adam, and I, if not for the person who needed that the most, herself.
I needed that reminder and I can't tell you how much I admire my Mom for that. One day soon I will tell my niece the specifics of how this quote applied to her Nana's life. Until then, my niece has chosen an awesome quote given to her by her Nana for a first tattoo. 


"She is clothed with Strength and Diginity and she laughs without Fear of the Future."  - Proverbs 31:25

Monday, June 18, 2018

Vegas Virgin


Can you believe this? For all my partying and fun in my 48 years, I have NEVER been to Vegas! I am still a Vegas Virgin!

Well my friends, I plan on going to Vegas with my brother Adam and his family sometime in March or April 2019 to celebrate my brother's 50th birthday and his daughter, my niece Angelica's 21st birthday! WOW. What a double event! I think the family will need a chaperone for those two AND Uncle MARC! (At least always for Uncle Marc.)

Here are two GREAT commercials that I love from One is from a man's perspective and the other is from the woman's and then they meet up in each commercial. It is really a brilliant marketing campaign. The commercials are fun, colorful and playful. My Vegas experience will most likely end up with my in bed by 10 PM but a guy can dream, right? Please, I will do my utmost to have an exciting long weekend in Sin City! (Remember, whatever happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas!)

I'd like to see the old part of Las Vegas, Fremont Street, gamble a little, maybe take in a show, and hit the Mob Museum! And of course, the wining and dining. What's Vegas without at least one swanky restaurant or humongous buffet!? I don't do the club thing anymore since my 20s but I am sure there are plenty of bars to hit! Any recommendations my friends? What's your favorite casino to go to?


Wednesday, June 13, 2018

48th Birthday Wisdom


I went into this 48th birthday wondering what wisdom could I offer up to others that I have learned over the last year? Have I learned ANYTHING since I turned 47?  I believe I have and I hope you indulge my random, typically meandering thoughts. If you can believe it ... I am more mellow than last year. ๐Ÿ˜œ  LOL I even chuckled at that statement myself, but I AM!

In random order as usual: 

I find myself just sitting back and observing more before I make a statement or reacting. Instead of flying off the cuff and saying something which I would regret, I take a breath and a moment to collect my thoughts. I make a conscious choice to stand back and formulate a well thought-out opinion before responding. This is probably my favorite nugget of wisdom from turning 48.

Sometimes you think someone doesn't care for you but you are wrong. I don't mind being wrong in that circumstance. For years I thought that this certain person avoided me. But then they approached me and I had the warmest encounter with them. I was kinda shocked, but pleasantly so. We had a really good convo and then reconnected later online. Was really cool and made my vacation. 

It IS possible to become friends with someone after a major falling out. You just take baby steps in reconnecting. You can forgive but just don't forget. You may become more cautious in your interactions but that's OK too. 

I have also found this year that those you were once close with can turn so quickly against you showing the most hateful vitriolic side you wouldn't believe could exist in someone. It hurts but you move on. And you also drop them as quickly as possible. No one needs that. 

I WILL STATE THIS:  If my relationship with you is causing me stress, look for me to avoid contact with you or I will simply cut you out with no apologies. Life is too short for me to be getting stressed out over drama from people that I am not even close with.

I've witnessed a relationship that dissolved badly into divorce. Then the ex took his own life and my friend still remembered him for the man he was, the father of the children he helped bore, the children he helped raise, and she threw a memorial for him. It made me think that we need to come around and even after our relationships dissolve and recognize what that person has given us. I was so impressed with what she did. Maybe it was for her children but it showed the most incredible strength and maturity that I have seen in many years. She is an incredibly strong woman. 

If I see drama happening near me in a social setting, I will move away and avoid it. I've had enough since my youth to last me many many life times.

As one gets older, one becomes more attracted to someone's personality before their looks.

My hope for this world lies in the younger generation of my niece and nephew, not mine or the older generations. I do not have hope that the men and women currently in power will save this world. I just pray that they will not destroy it before the younger generation comes of age.

I have so enjoyed watching my nephew Johnny and niece Angelica grow up. Seeing my nephew graduate was just as exciting and wonderful and emotional as watching my niece graduate two years ago. Love those kiddos more each year.

I am still just as social, if not more, as I get older. However, I love and cherish my alone time.

I am seeing more beauty in simple things. The beautiful sounds of a desert bird. The smells of desert sage. The hot desert sun warming me during a hike.

48 aint so bad! New tatt! 
I marvel at getting older with the changes one undergoes physically: the need for progressive lenses LOL, gray hair everywhere, my crepey thin skin reminding me of my grandparents, annoying morning aches, and that damn bone spur digging in my heel. I complain and I survive.

I tend to savor flavors more. I am drawn to more spicy foods. I also seek out new culinary experiences. This recent trip out to Southern California, I sampled grilled rattlesnake, tasked like chicken ... really! ๐Ÿ˜Š I tried Mexican tamarind candy. Very interesting, tasted sweet and sour. I also had dinner at the Hawaiian Homestyle restaurant in Lakeside, CA enjoying ahi poke' as an appetizer as well as deep friend Spam musubi! Both were so good. (  In West Hollywood at the restaurant Ago, I also enjoyed a creamy-dreamy Italian Burrata appetizer and a rich savory wild boar ragu over pappardelle pasta. ( I think I fell in love with that meal. Thank you Cousin Bob! 

I try to  live in the moment and realize the important of putting social media and electronics aside.

Sometimes things end badly and it takes a strong person to not fall apart and accept the negative ending. Sometimes you need to do it with a stiff upper lip and move on. It's OK if you get emotional too though. Just get through those emotions the best you can. 

I am still learning things about my mother since her death that I did not know about and that makes me smile. I never knew that my Grandpop called her "Goldilocks" and he called his granddaughter, my sister Sheryl, the same. In addition, my niece showed me a quote from my mother that she would attach to correspondence to her. Just knowing something such as a quote that my mother loved fills my heart. I will post it at a later time. 

I am convinced more than ever that my mother watches over me in heaven and is my guardian angel.

Sometimes it is better to not plan events and let them happen as they man. You will be less disappointed.  Being spontaneous can lead you to the best interactions and experiences with people. I was in Hollywood wanting a nightcap at the hotel bar. I went back and forth on whether I should go down for a drink, driving my sister crazy in the hotel room. I was all dressed up from dinner and wired on two espressos. I followed my gut instinct and went down for a drink enjoying a great couple hours meeting and talking with people at the bar. It was such a fun evening and I'm so glad I did it! 

It's OK to let your guard down. 

I never thought I would love my sister Sheryl and brother Adam more and yet every year I do! Family has become everything. 

I am 48 and proud of my age. Thankfully I am blessed with good genetics (thanks Mom and Dad) and I find that a youthful attitude is key to keep me acting and feeling young. I am also always looking to have fun and definitely don't take myself too seriously. There is nothing special about me and anyone can benefit from this type of attitude. 

Take control of your life and have some fun! I have no major regrets. Well... maybe that Asian tattoo that doesn't mean what it's supposed to... (I'll repost that blog at another time!) 

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Flying First Class ... NOPE

"Enjoying a beer flying the friendly skies!"

Airlines promote separation of the classes!

When I fly, I know that the one thing I insist upon is an aisle seat. I used to want the window seat. No longer. You can have it. The pics you will take will come out crummy anyway. TRUST ME. I like the option of getting up for the bathroom without having to climb over people. And as I get older, my poo cycles are VERY important to this 48 year old man.

I don't mind any seat really. Emergency seat, over the wing, front, back, its all good. Well may there is one exception I am experiencing right now. I am in the last row of the plane, with the bathrooms right behind me! i am hearing every high powered vacuumed swoosh of the toilet flushing. Luckily no smells yet 3 hrs into this 6 hour flight.

I am also hearing the gossiping and chatter of the flight attendants. I love it. Nothing really that bad. The one gal says to the male flight attendant, can you please go to 15E, I just can't go again. And he's all like, OK sister, but you owe me for this one! And she said DEAL! LOL

The flight attendants finally started taking beverage orders. I was gonna have a bloody mary with my sis Sheryl but she passed out next to me. (I stayed over her house last night and I think we each got only 4 hours of sleep!) I DID NOTICE that the flight attendants took first class's beverage order before we got off the ground! And THEN, they left their lights on while they darkened the rest of the plane's lights for take off! What are we not light worthy back in the peasant section??? Isn't light a basic human right??? OK, well maybe that's a stretch...

UGH, side bar, got the first bathroom poo whiff! Hurl!

After some stale mini pretzels and a good IPA beer, I am enjoying myself on this flight, happily blogging away. Oh, did I mention the "famous" rap artist "TI" is on the flight? I saw him when I was coming in and I was half wanting to crop dust the entire first class. He was quiet, just chilling, wearing his ice as rappers do. An older guy in front of me knew who he was and said hi discretely. TI politely said hi back.

35 Rows Back!!!!

SO here am I all the way back in the last row and 35 rows up I think I see TI waiting in line for the bathroom! Well I guess he's gotta go just like all of us, or it's just a build up of gas due to airplane pressure. That happens to EVERYONE! Hahaha. I was thinking of inviting him back to join us peasants in rows 31-35 back in front of the bathrooms! I'll give up my sisters seat to TI! LOL But honestly, no offense to TI, this could be another celebrity or first class person whom I'd give grief to. My simmering peasant anger knows no bounds! 

Second side bar, someone just breathed their airplane halitosis breath on me! UGH!

I actually fly in first class on a flight once!. I was in my 20s and was traveling with (surprise surprise) my sister Sheryl. The flight attendant asked me if I wanted to be bumped up to first class on them. I looked at Sheryl and she graciously told me to take it for she'd already experienced first class and wanted me too. She said she'd be alright in coach and for me to enjoy it. She barely got the final part out and I was already grabbing my inflight magazine and Walkman and made a bee-line for the first class cabin.

I settled into what seemed like the most comfortable pleather lazy boy EVER and ordered a beer. Everything was so nice and smelled so good. There were even fresh flowers in the bathroom! I came out of the bathroom and announced it to everyone "They've got FRESH-CUT flowers in the can!" as if I'd never seen them before. I got complimentary headphones, a pillow and a blanket. The snacks even seemed better.

But, alas, for all of the finery and trappings, I did not truly enjoy the experience. I tried to but I spent pretty much the entire trip worrying about my sister stuck back in coach! AND I wanted to experience it with her too, not some stuffy business man next to me.

Hell, maybe next time I'll march up to first class and drag that rapper TI back with me and give his first class seat to my sister! :)