Bad Apples

This was taken in 2013 – October – the chase had begun….

Hey now and good morning! You made it to the next episode of as the World Churns. Come on, humor, we all need it! The big cheese and his comedy team have left us, all Americans and now other countries, years and years of endless comedy skits. Heck, I heard that fly got a 6 figure deal? What the F is going on? Just being blunt, not just because I smoked one, pun intended, ha ha! Welcome to Friday October 9, 2020. All I know is October is normal in Los Angeles and California for that matter as the boys in blue clinched the NLCS last night for the umpteenth time in my life. I fondly remember being in elementary school when they clinched it in 81. The reason it is so stuck in my head is that the boys of summer, well of my summers, won the World Series that year against the Yankees. I think I learned most of my colorful language during that series and how to read lips as I recall baseball managers back then were very colorful and animated, thinking of Billy Martin. Maybe he was not the manager in ’81, but still. I remember I would plant myself next to my Dad’s recliner and watch Dodger games against the hated Yankees as I knew Billy Martin would surely kick up some dirt in some poor umps face. Obviously, he had some anger issues as he and the Yankee organization wandered into each others lives a few times. Baseball, another great influence in the great photo album of my life.

These were all shot with a cheap as android camera phone.

In 2013, my youngest had a little trouble with his attitude and adults in authority. Anyhow, the school that he attended decided that it was in his best interest that he be watched closely by an adult, meaning me. This meant that I needed to take him to many appointed meetings and such and would have to miss work quite regularly, which I didn’t. My boss at the time was a ball busting female with a degree from UCLA that she lorded over everyone. I was reminded that I was oh so lucky to have that job as I did not have a degree or had finished college. “We made an exception when we hired you!” This meant that I had to drop everything that I was working on when ever she would email or call me to her office for a project or get upset if I missed an item after I had presented 150 complete facts. I heard her scream “Due diligence!!!” at me more times than I can count. She also had hench men, or should I say women. To me it felt like if they treated me the way she treated me then they would move up the corporate ladder quicker. Often, I left that office crying but would show up the next morning with a smile on my face and a bag full of snacks and jokes for my fish bowl mates. No matter what she threw at me, I had to be there as I had three hungry boys and an a $1,100 rent payment as well as many other bills that I had to on my own. I never let that women get me. Anyhow, my boss didn’t have children or had been married during my tenure there. I asked for flex-time as the Director of Finance suggested I request it. I did and she refused and said, “I need someone here everyday and on time.” Well, I was there everyday and on time. I never missed work and usually worked 50 – 60 hours a week. Salaried employees = indentured servants. Anyhow, I planned that Dodger outing a month before I had to resign. All those people, around 25, were in my department.

My sons! and co-workers…

The day was so much fun! That is the one thing that I miss about working is having co-workers. Yeah, sometimes you get a few bad apples but then again, even bad apples taste sweet sometimes. That game we were all a little miffed as the star outfielder was not playing and we all now who that was…he is no longer on our team…..Mannnnnn oh Mannnnnnny.

Also, in that last few months before I left the company I started getting more involved in charity work. The first organized activity that I volunteered for was the JDR – Juvenile Diabetes Walk at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California, 2013. I had a blast! I had a bake sale and sold candy to raise money. I am reminded of this as Martha’s Village and Kitchen in Indio is having a 5k and it will be virtual this year. I took photos that last few years but this year I am thinking of doing the walk as I cannot run.

The walk to cure Juvenile Diabetes.
September 2013 Pasadena, CA
Walking together for a cure.

I just started swimming again. Yes, I know, I gave up again when the weather got too hot. I know that it seems like being in the water in 100 degree plus weather should keep you cool but really it doesn’t. The sun made me loopy and a few times, even though I was only out in the water swimming for 15 minutes the heat made me sick. I often blame it on all the medications that I have been subjected to in my life, especially the decadron, or solu-medrol or what people call dexamethasone. I know this drug personally as I was on it by drip for 6 weeks and then P.O. for 6 months after my stroke. Yes, it does cause mood swings and many horrible side effects, the racing heart is the worst. I feel sorry for big cheese as I would not wish that drug on my worst enemy. I have made it a point to have it in my medical notes that I wish to never use that drug if it can be helped. My physicians are all aware of this. Another fun fact about that drug, it causes swings in blood sugar, either up or down. For me, it swings low so walks like these make me apprehensive as I know I can have a sugar low at any time. Usually though, those events had monitors to keep people safe.

Back then, even at 300 pounds, I could still walk 3 or 5 or even 10 miles unaided. Yeah maybe winded and sweaty and in pain but I could do it. Now I have a distinct waddle and the pain is a little more that it was back then. However, I know I can do it but it will just take a little longer than a normal person. I am lighter, much but still I know I have a long way to go before I would be considered healthy but gotta keep trying!

Who dat?
Yes, that is Richard Simmons!

The AIDS Walk Los Angeles website proudly has displayed that the have met their goal this year without even having a walk! How about that?!?! Amazing! I as well as many out there have been affect by HIV/AIDs just as they have been affect by Covid-19. It is so good to see that these foundations are still getting support. Keep it up!

This was hard for me as I had wanted to hide these photos because I hated the way I looked. I hated me really. Anyhow, on the day of the AIDS WALK, my friends and fellow walkers made me feel welcome and even though I felt and looked like large and puffy as I was gaining weight fast and furiously.

Best day ever, can’t you see my smile!!!
I miss that team!

The walk was around 3 miles through West Los Angeles as it went through streets I usually never paid much attention to as I drove down them as I often did during the busy week. It was so nice being there and feeling like I was part of something bigger than myself. Love flowed out of every sign, every hug, laugh, smile and dance. This is what it looks like when love wins and people work together for the greater good.

AIDS WALK LA 2013

The love that day at that walk was definitely contagious. Really, I can’t wait till the world can get back to more of this being together for the sake of being together.

Not lion, I was pretty happy that day!.

So, to anyone out there in the Coachella Valley, Martha’s Village is having the annual Thanksgiving 5k virtually this year. I am going to participate but by walking and it should take me about and hour and a half if I were to do that walk today. See below.

Currently, I can only walk a few feet before I need to stop and rest. However, if I swallow my pride and use my walker, I can walk for longer periods. So, starting tomorrow, I will start using my walker to walk around our complex and use the pedometer on my phone to measure my progress. I figure I can be ready by Thanksgiving Day. Anyone out there in the CV wanna join me as I am going to film it like I do everything else. If interest and local to the Coachella Valley, please email me at artofthebeat@outlook.com so we can work out the logistics. Here is the link to the MVK Thanks giving Day 5k if you want to participate on your own. The more fun the merrier and the more help for the great people of the Coachella Valley.

2019 MVK Thanksgiving Day Run
The early morning light was the best!
I can never stick with one lens.
Poor guy, holidays are rough for him as he is a grocery worker and he was up at 6 am to volunteer with me that day.
Every one there was a winner that day, every one! Please if you can donate.

So, like I was saying to anyone, anyone at all, this 5k as well as many of the annual 5ks held all over the place are being held virtually this year so do check them out and participate if you can. Know that this year and probably next year, many of these organizations are being hit hard by the state of the world. You may even need to turn to one for help yourself and it will be okay. I know, really.

To you dear reader, it’s Friday and time for new adventures. Where ever you are going or where ever you are heading be safe and be kind.

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