I’ve taken a half day off from work today and am now at home, I’ve finishing packing and am now going to have dinner, I’m going to take the plane down to my folks house this evening, something I very rarely do, but I want to maximize the little amount of time I’ll have there, I’ll be coming back Monday Morning for the Easter Festivities. And this time it’s very important, Dad is being baptized Sunday afternoon into the Catholic Church, Mother is so happy she called me last night crying with joy, he had been doing his studies and they had been making preparations for this.
So this is more than just an Easter Dinner, it’s a “Re-Birth” of everything.
Some of my “invisible” followers asked what did I do on my Spa weekend and I did promise to post it so I want to warn you this is a very, Very long blog post, so have fun reading it.
First I was a good as my word.
I booked myself into the Claremont Resort and Spa for the weekend, and did not check out until Monday morning to go to work, refreshed and ready to go.
That Friday I worked all day came home and drove to the resort which is less than 20 minutes away, I had managed to get a ticket for the Berkeley Wine Festival which had its Grand Opening that Friday, had the most wonderful delicious dinner, excellent conversation with some acquaintances, afterwards I continued relaxing in the Jacuzzi bath. Oh that was wonderful!
Don’t worry Sweet Things I did watch my wine intake, just sips to see what I would like, but I always have to be careful drinking too much.
I woke up Saturday without a hangover and feeling very good, I could not miss the Gun show at the Cow Palace, so after having a scrumptious breakfast, I drove to San Francisco, through glorious sunshine; while having my eyes most of the time on the road I could occasionally see the skyline of the city washed away for a short time by the rain of all the grime that it can get. For some reason it looked new and fresh and exciting, instead of being a place to get to for work.
Perhaps it was because this time I was going for pleasure instead of earning the big bucks, the morning looked like the promise of spring to come.
They know my face there, once in I waved to familiar faces and they waved back, our Daly City police monitoring all people coming in, everyone being very careful in regards to the gun laws, lots and lots of families, it was amazing the number of parents with children, many looking over security devices for their homes, antiques and collectibles, guns and beautiful jewelry.
One husband/boyfriend was saying to his lady, “Honey you let me go ahead with the purchase, now you get what you want, as much as you want, I love you!” followed with a huge kiss and she laughing and hugging him, saying “Well I want that necklace and earrings and ring but I want you to buy me the pink one.” And he agreed, I didn’t realize until later that the ‘pink one’ was a snub nose revolver andonolized in pink!
I mean Sweet Things, pink guns or red or blue derringers, and I saw a serious looking rifle with pink ribbons attached to it, but then the girl was dressed gothic Lolita, but in pink!! All I could think of was Mr. Wolf better watch out!! Ms. Bo Peep’s Sheep are well protected and she’ll come gunning for you.
As a matter of fact I was just a little surprised about the number of Goth dressed people there; it wasn’t until later that I found out about an interesting development among some groups of Goth Folks.
My friends with the Sunnyvale Regulators were there and we had a very nice chat. But what still got me were the families, Sons and Daughters 9, 10 and 11 years old, asking questions from Dad and Mom about the merits of certain handguns, and the historical factor!!
One Dad was pointing out to his son a 1890’s colt with ivory grips, there was a historical tag to it and the Dad was explaining to his son about the history about it, the boy asked if he could hold it and I over heard the Dad say “Sorry Son even I’m afraid to hold it, it’s historical, and you have to remember the rule because you’re not 21 you can’t hold a gun yet, but don’t worry when you’re a little older I’ll teach you the safe way, but you got to learn your history on this.” And the boy nodded, the seller did allow the boy a very close look as he showed to him the action of the colt, but it was no touching.
The ammo dealers had all the required barriers up as now required by law, and there was a run on the military style ammo boxes, and books on history, and gun care, antiques and collectibles.
I broke down and bought something so strange, but for some reason I wanted it. The price was a steal at only $20, it was a double ash tray with the box in the center to hold cigarettes, with Indian designs all around it, but never used, on the lid of the box was a Indian with full feathered headdress, It was right out of the 1920’s if you found it in a guest lodge in the woods. I don’t smoke, but I thought it would be perfect to hold stamps and paper clips on my desk at home.
Then I saw it --- a small cal colt automatic with genuine pearl handle, about 1928, just perfect for a woman. The action was great and the price $950 so I bought it. Of course have to go thought the steps and I’m taking it to a gun smith to have it thoroughly checked out, but the provenance on it was impeccable since I know the dealer, it was owned by a Madam who operated a bordello in the outer reaches of San Francisco. The seller had all the history, which wasn’t too hard for me to prove, I talked to another seller whom I was familiar with and he verified the provenance, he went to the same estate sale and cursed himself for missing out on buying the gun.
I thought to myself, only the “Fabulous Diva” would think of owning a gun that was formerly owned by a Madam. It was too delicious!!
Taking a break for coffee I phoned Joe on my cell, I had looked at the time and feared he’d be on duty, he has a policy if on duty it will go to voice mail and he’d check it later when he could. And it did go to voice mail, so I left a message in regards to the gun, which I’m sure he’d get a chuckle out of. I thought I’d call Frank later, on that.
While I was taking my coffee break, the group of young Goths came in, the place was packed so I offered my table and they sat down and had water and chips, we talked about the Goth movement (way too much for me to assimilate) but they were into the “death side” of Goth or Morbid side, being interested in funeral rites, cemeteries and such, and they had come in to get artistic ideas for their works, and the Gun Show was perfect, they even bought some badly broken parts for their art works, and one had fun showing me some paper weights with scorpions and such in them.
They go to Gun shows, funeral conventions, visit cemeteries, graveyards, taking photos getting ideas. It was a novel concept and I enjoyed their unusual ideas.
Later while looking over some books on history at one counter, the din in the show was loud but it had become sort of back ground noise, when all of a sudden there was a loud BANG!! Everyone became quiet, and all looked in the same direction, I saw several mother pull their babies out of the carriages, and fathers taking hold of their children’s hands, but no one moved, just looked in the same direction all waiting to see what it was to determine action, the police and security were on top of it immediately, nothing more happened, but everyone remained quiet.
I found this interesting, for I know that if this was at my office the reaction would be screams, then people would start chattering and beginning to panic and running quickly to exits but here at the show, it was different, it was ‘wait for it, wait for it, assess it’ and silence, no panic just everyone accessing the situation. Even I was looking the situation over checking which way was the quickest exit.
In an area where everyone has access to guns and ammo there was no sudden moves, no false steps, just caution. Then an announcement came over the loud speaker, “Sorry folks, but a heavy duty truck tire exploded just outside, no injuries, our police and security are helping the truck owner.” A light buzz of talk and then people started clapping all over the show, in appreciation of the situation.
But it was that reaction that impressed me; it showed me that responsible gun owners react differently than the general population, but even more so in view of terrorists, people will react in a way that is to protect our personal safety from those that would destroy it.
Later when I was leaving the show just outside the main entrance to one side I saw the truck with the flat tire and Triple A helping the owner change it. It was a BIG tire.
In my car, I was going through my wallet and I checked again the date when my gun safety card would expire and it’s this year***sigh***so at the next show I’ll have it renewed before the September date, plenty of time to do a review of the safety manual.
I drove back to the Claremont again enjoying the sunshine, but I noticed a plume of black smoke coming from over the Oakland hills, I was concerned because everyone had told me about the horrible Oakland Hills fire from nearly 20 years ago and there are still stands of Eucalyptus trees in the hills highly flammable, but it appeared that the fire was coming from the other side of the hill, I thought that once I returned to the Resort I’d check the news to see what it was.
At the desk I was informed that it was a structure fire in a lumberyard some miles away on the other side of the hills but the smoke was highly visible.
I had a late nosh, to keep my energy up, and then enjoyed my next round of spa treatments ---I wanted to be pampered and pampered I was.
I held off having dinner until later, just enjoying the feeling of relaxing and taking a nap, it felt good to get the chill out of the bones and just feeling re-juvinated and feeling worth while.
I was getting dressed for dinner when Joe called, apologizing for not getting back to me sooner, but I understood, his job is not easy and the hours are not exactly regular. He asked me about the semi-auto I purchased, and laughed at the reason why I wanted it.
And he accused me of being a “vintage gun collector”, not so I said, only those that have a certain feel I told him, but he was happy for me and asked me where I was at; when I told him he asked why and I told him that I felt stressed and why. But I said that given his work, I could understand his feelings of being stressed. He told me that he’s put in 10 years with the department and is thinking of going to another city or county, not right away just somewhere. But he wants to talk to me more about it in depth when we both have the time. So a rain check, kisses, plans to meet up maybe take in a movie or something and a soft goodbye.
I hated ending our call but one must do what one must, checked my voice mails, Lillian is feeling much better. But we will miss having St. Paddy’s day together. Yoshi left a message for me about going to a free talk at the local library on
I called my friend Linda, she works very hard, with a husband who is often out of town due to his work, 3 teen age boys who I noticed do not give her any respect, granted calling her at the last minute to see if she could come over Sunday, was not exactly nice, but I offered her brunch and a full spa day with me at the Claremont, and she leaped at it, said her Mother in-law was over for the weekend and would be glad to keep an eye on the boys as best she can, given their attitude, Linda said that she and her Mother in law had been having a serious talk but she needed to clear her head to make some decisions, so a bit of time away from the boys would be good.
Dinner was enjoyable and leisurely, I decided to wear my tinted glasses, having removed my contacts to let my eyes rest, the advantage with these glasses is I can look at people and observe them and they are not aware of it and in the soft light of the restaurant there is an advantage. It’s like watching various soap operas going on at the same time. But I think of my own scenarios, which can be fun.
I called Yoshi she told me her Mother is getting better and her brother would be by later in the week to check on their mother, so Yoshi can have the middle of the week off and go back to work. They are considering having a caregiver come and live with her, but Yoshi’s Mom is against having someone she is not familiar with, Yoshi and her brother’s will be getting together to come up with a solution that will help everyone.
Yoshi asked if I want to go to a free talk at our Local Library on of all things, Horror Fiction----on St. Paddy’s day of all things, I thought ‘why not, it’s free, and it might be interesting’
Sunday was total spa day after having a delightful brunch at their premier restaurant, then it was having the hair done, facial, back facial, spa treatment, massage, lunch, I had to pay extra because this was tailored for me, but I didn’t care and to be able to treat Linda, who has been supportive of me when I was in need, it was my way of saying thank you.
I don’t have these full spa treatments very often at the most 3 times a year, and it is worth it. But then I’m fortunate I have the funds for this. Most of the time I will indulge in a pedicure because it feels good to have my feet pampered, and a massage and frankly I think I deserve it, I work hard for my money and my income is good. So it pays to have a bit of a treat.
My friend Linda joined me starting with brunch . She told me that she was grateful that I had called her the day before, she said that the boys were acting out, her husband was out of town so she had to take some time off from work, she desperately needed some sort of break, Grandma came to the rescue to at least feed the boys and do her best to watch them, where could Linda go, ta daaa my phone call. Yeaaa a break and on my dime.
It was wonderful, first a full body massage and then mani-pedi’s with foot massage, relaxing in the spa bath, Linda and I sharing ‘war stories’, we both agreed, that in a way, the best all around woman is one who works and raises children because they can see both sides of the world.
But Linda did confess, there were times when she regretted having 3 children, it was too much, and working to set aside money for all three to go to college, Linda finally said they better get really good grades because they were going to have to go for scholarships.
3 boys are really very exhausting, and what was making Linda unhappy is that the house had to be geared towards 4 males and their over abundance of being athletic, she didn’t have a room of her own that she could call her own. She wished that one of the boys had been a daughter, but her husband had been overjoyed at having a boy each time, and when she brought up the idea that maybe it might be a girl, he became --- Linda didn’t have a word to describe how he reacted if she didn’t produce a boy.
I heard a sense of wistfulness in her voice, I asked her if she really talked to her husband about what she was feeling, she said she tried, I strongly suggested to her that she should because if it keeps going on she was going to feel very resentful about things and it could lead to a divorce.
The look she gave me was astonishing, she said that was what she was waiting for, she no longer loved her husband, he thought more about the boys, under minded everything she worked at, and although he earned more salary-wise, she was bringing in a very good income as well, but he constantly belittled her to the point where she was loving her job more than him.
The boys are in their teens now, and totally ignoring her, if she tried to ground them, her husband would undo the grounding saying “boys will be boys” and other things.
Now the boys were able to drive, and each wanted a car, she was terrified, she said they could lose everything, and then she was silent for a minute and said to me “I really don’t have anything except my income, my job.”
She went on to say that her husband chose the location and the house, things that she wanted in the house would get moved and he’d allow the boys to damage or break things that she liked. She hired a housekeeper to come in several days a week to clean, and a gardening service but any help from the boys or her husband was out of the question.
Whenever he took the boys skiing or boating she’d stay home and enjoy the peace, “Help me” Linda asked.
I thought and thought and then remembered the name of a very good lawyer, it was a question of protecting their assets from a law suit. And if she couldn’t get her husband to protect what they owned jointly to at least protect her income and any assets she would get. I also knew of an excellent divorce lawyer, and offered that name to her.
Linda told me she didn’t want the house, just 1/3 of the investment portfolio, give her the car she drove most often, her clothes and jewelry. And her husband could have full custody of the boys. She didn’t even want to contribute support to the boys, “They can get that from the portfolio, Hell, he can have the entire portfolio to support the boys, it earns twice as much as I do in a year and we just let the money sit there. I don’t want his retirement, but he better leave mine alone.” She took the names of both lawyers.
I made some suggestions to her to protect her income which she made notes of, she told me that if her husband balks at seeing an estate lawyer then that was it, finish, done, finito.
I also suggested that it might be a good move to suggest to her husband that they seek counseling before she took the drastic step of divorce; she told me that she had more than once and he refused saying there was nothing wrong. She said she was glad that there were no pets in the house, after the fiasco of the pet rats, a no pets rule was laid down that even her husband surprisingly supported.
She said that even her Mother-in-Law supported the idea of her divorcing her son, her mother in law!! I asked Linda what brought that round of support and she said that her Mother in law had been in the same situation, had three boys, husband ignored her, so she had an affair, got pregnant again and this time had a girl. Said that having the girl made a world of difference; until her father in law died he thought the girl was his, never knew, I asked does her husband know and Linda said no, and she is going to keep it that way.
The massage and spa treatments did both of us a world of good, she had made some decisions that she would have been unable to do if it were not for me giving her a chance to get away and talking this out. I just hope that I wasn’t the final cause of it; I need to talk to Lillian.
We both had wine to drink afterwards with dinner then relaxed a little longer in the lounge; fortunately she had the foresight to come by taxi and took another taxi home. I went up to my room and settled down with a good fun book to read “Abraham Lincoln; Vampire Hunter” definitely something off the wall.
Although the book entertained me, my thoughts kept drifting back to Linda, and again I found myself hoping that I had not precipitated the break up of a marriage, but from what she told me it was already happening, I just gave her the chance to think and make a decision.
I put the thought away from my mind, and resolved to keep in close contact with her, she was going to need a friend if she went though this or not.
I moved my chair next to the window that had a wonderful view of the Bay Area, I let my mind drift, occasionally it would snatch at a bubble of thought, I’d mentally play with it and then let it go.
I had already made plans to go down and stay with the folks for Easter, I wasn’t going to be able to stay long so I’d be flying down Wednesday evening and coming back the following Monday, taking my laptop with me although I know Dad will give me access to keep in touch with work.
So I’d be using the upcoming week to put the finishing touches on my “power point” presentation and have it ready by the following Monday, then I could mentally relax, for the following weekend. ***sigh*** and part of it was I was going to have to get a new cell phone with appys’; all these new gadgets, but it’s for work, so “tax write off”.
Monday was back to work, what I did was plan to have breakfast at the resort, drive my car home and take the public transportation into work. I had planned to come in late anyway since I was planning to work late, that evening at work I got a call from Joe who wearing his blue tooth, was telling me he was circling the block around my office and was picking me up to take me out to dinner.
We drove back over the bridge enjoying the twilight, but not the traffic, oh well can’t have everything. Over dinner at the China Gourmet we gave each other updates on what was happening. Joe told me that Frank was in a bad way, had to go to the hospital as he developed a serious chest congestion, so we’ve made plans to visit him Tuesday evening and see if he needed anything.
Joe told me that Frank had been working too hard and hardly taking any time to rest, so maybe this will teach him to slow down.
I hoped it was nothing worse. And I was right, Joe and I saw Frank Tuesday evening, he said that he’ll be out by Thursday, he’ll be putting in for some desk work for a while, taking meds until he’s doctor’s say he can go back on patrol, Frank thinks that maybe a little desk work won’t be a bad thing for a while, he understands the stresses of being out there, and having been on the beat, he’s not like some of those “desk jockeys’” he can empathize with them.
I was glad that he’s improving, so much has been happening, that I couldn’t afford to lose another friend.
Wednesday evening was a bit of a surprise, the talk on Horror Fiction started at 6:30 p.m. so we didn’t have time for dinner and planned on eating later, it turned out that it was one of the Library Staffers whose specialty is horror fiction, and in her talk she admitted that to talk about it in depth would be impossible in just one hour’s time, and given the huge scope of the subject I could understand, but she did bring up some interesting points on this genre.
She was asked a lot of insightful questions, which she answered very well and even admitted to areas where she was weakest on. But I was impressed with her knowledge on the subject and her talk was very entertaining, using pictures to illustrate her talk, some just down right funny. But her talk was peppy and upbeat, not dry as dust; she even had an ‘animatronics Jason’ figure that went into full motion at the end of her talk. What a way to end it, people had a hard time leaving and even Yoshi asked if she was going to repeat her talk at a later date, well depending upon scheduling she answered.
We followed her out to the parking lot helping her and her husband carry some of her props and still asking questions, and she answering them as best as she could even giving reference works to read.
Both Yoshi and I felt that we had to get to know her better, and asked for her business card, which she cheerfully gave saying that she’d love to talk to us over coffee about this subject.
All too soon it had to end, Yoshi and I walked over to La Piñata Restaurant for a late dinner, (arrgh, lots of gym work for me). Yoshi told me that her brothers and her have an idea to keep their mother happy and for them to not worry about her. It entails one of her Brother’s daughters, the eldest one, she has a jewelry business that is more of a hobby that pays for itself, her husband deserted her and since they lived in an apartment, she couldn’t afford it, so she is going to move in with Grandma while the divorce is moving forward, but Yoshi’s mom is happy that her grand daughter will be staying with her and we know she’ll take good care of her. And it appears that the Grandmother is very interested in helping in her grand daughters jewelry business, so something to give her an interest in.
I have to admit that I’ve been keeping my weight down very nicely, but it still is a lot of work and well worth it.
It’s funny but I feel better about a lot of things, now, ever since I had my cathartic emotional release, I feel better and brighter, and wanting to have fun. Joe appears to be closer in my life, it feels loving but I’m not asking him for anything except for his companionship, because I know it’s too easy to go into things without taking the time to properly access it. It’s not that I’m afraid of being hurt, I’m more afraid of damaging a friendship and I’d much rather we remain friends---maybe friends with benefits and being honest with each other as oppose to being exclusive lovers.
Joe and I had coffee before he left Sunday night after the anniversary memorial services, he has an early call on Monday, Frank just out of the hospital and still on sick leave to recover slept on the couch, and still has a week off from work before he goes to do his desk work, Tom and Phil crashed out on the cots, Bill was in a sleeping bag on the floor, all snoring, I had plenty of fixings for their breakfast Monday morning, even though I had to leave early, I knew they wouldn’t starve, would make their own breakfasts and everything was cleared away and cleaned up, when I got home, they are very good about that.
Now here I am at my computer, digesting the last few weeks of events, writing this down, listening to the radio---ABBA has just come on singing “Dancing Queen” I feel like that right now “See that girl she is the Dancing Queen.”
Kisses Sweet Things