love

in the hills of beverly

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i’ll begin this epistle with why i’m here. sadly, the browned eye girl is in the hospital again here in BH. her slightly less than a year and a half old new hip fell apart due to several factors, which i’m not going into here. so, this was like her 16th or 17th surgery on that hip. we’ve both lost count. her current surgeon is world class and we’ve been onboard with him for the last 4 surgeries, counting this one. he’s pretty confident that this time around things will be different. so are we but if things can go sideways, the brown eyed girl seems to always be in the crosshairs. prayerfully, things will go her way this time. she is a trooper. and just one of the reasons i love her so much.

all that being said, the surgery went well, though she is in considerable pain at the moment. big time pain meds work, kids. and they aren’t anything to mess with unless under the watchful eye and care of several doctors. she’ll have go to rehab for possibly a week or so but we’ve been down that road before. she’ll be home soon for another 5 or 6 weeks of recovery and then we can start planning our next vegas trip.

as for me, last night i had dinner downstairs in the hotel restaurant. a very nice place and the food is very good. i was in the mood for some comfort food so i ordered spaghetti bolognese. it was outstanding. really good. when i was finished and as i was leaving i asked to speak with the chef. he came out and we chatted. i told him the bolognese was amazing and the best restaurant bolognese i’d ever eaten. but it still wasn’t as good as mine. he got a kick out of that. though i wasn’t kidding. we shook hands again and i went back into the bar.

i’ve stayed at this hotel a number times while the brown eyed girl has been in the hospital, as the place is convenient. with my number of stays i’ve become friends with some of the staff. all the bartenders, of course, and the food and beverage managers. the senior food and beverage guy in particular. we hit it off the first time we met. i’ve come to call him my brother from another grandmother. anyway, i’m sitting at the bar sipping some texas vodka on the rocks and my friend comes by and just like every time we first meet it’s like old home week even if it was last night.

we chat for a while and he says, let’s go sit in the lounge, i want you to meet my boss. i’m like sure ok. we go into the lounge area and his boss comes over. we meet and chat somewhat. nice guy. then he gets right to the point. he’s wondering if i would like to do a bolognese throw down with the chef. i’m like what? sure thing but i need to wait until the brown eyed girl can join me. he’s ok with that. no details as yet but i’ve appointed the brown eyed girl as my agent for the throw down.

so, a beverly hills chef, my friend the food and beverage manager, and me will duke it out some way or another in one of their kitchens and somehow somebody is gonna pick a winner. sweet. i hope they don’t mind losing. i’ll also be doing some recon this evening. i’m having the spaghetti bolognese again.

i wrote the above several days ago. the browned eyed girl has been moved to the acute rehab unit in the hospital and, so far, is doing much better. even with the pain. hopefully, she’ll be home by next weekend.

the bolognese recon went well and i’ll probably do another one this week. the throw down has been tentatively set for sometime in late october.

jmh

anniversary waltz(?), Temecula, CA

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last week the brown eyed girl and i celebrated our first wedding anniversary. time flies when you’re having fun right? exactly. so, in celebration of that monumental event another couple joined us for a couple days of wine tasting and wonderful food in temecula, ca.

we had a great time and on the wine tasting day got pretty much hammered on our six hour tasting run of six wineries. driving on our own that day would have been stupid and criminal at best. we hired a limo for the day which covered the criminal part of that equation. stupid is another story. just kidding.

all and all a wonderful trip. we plan on doing it again in a couple of months.

yours truly and the limo.

Temecula, CA grape country.

some old hammered italian guy.

what happens when the old italian guy doesn’t care for the vino.

jmh

wedding planing for the elderly, the final chapter(?)

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yes, the knot has been tied and the vows all said.  i’m a married man again.  fine by me as the brown eyed girl is one very special woman.  i mean what else can you say about a woman that would actually marry me?  not much i’m sure.

as you may or may not know we were married in liberace’s old mansion or villa or late 1950’s re-modeled tract house in vegas not far from the famed ‘strip’.  an old friend of the brown eyed girl, and now a friend of mine, is a business partner with the person who owns the place now.  they usually charge a nice sum of coin to have a wedding ceremony there.  we, on the other hand, slid in for free.  pretty sweet.

our home base for the vegas deal was a suite in the venetian hotel.  a place neither of us was very happy with for a number of reasons.  let’s just say that, if and when we go back to vegas, we won’t be staying at the venetian hotel.  we’ll be going a few doors down to the wynn hotel.  count on it.

well, at any rate, the drive out to the heart of mojave desert and it’s environs was uneventful.  um, sorta, but that’s not for here at least not now.  our first stop in sin city was the county clerks office.  it took a few times around the block to find it, as the address was covered by a tree.

it was late sunday morning and we expected the place to be jumping with a bunch of drunken fools there to get paperwork so they could marry some of the local cocktail waitresses they met the night before.  that, sadly wasn’t the case.  i mean that action might have been fun to watch.  right?  but on the other hand, an almost empty office made things very easy and quick for us to get our papers in order and get out of there.  the wedding was scheduled for the next day at 10am at liberace’s place.

we arrived a bit early for the ceremony so i was able to wander around a bit and take some photos of the place.  liberace’s ‘mansion’ is showing it’s age but then again aren’t we all?  the place was probably built in the late 50’s or early 60’s in what is nothing more than your standard tract house neighborhood.  an upscale tract house neighborhood that’s getting a bit seedy but still nice. 

here’s a few photos i took of liberace’s place.  but before that a few of the view from our hotel window.

front view of liberace’s home

liberace’s living room.

the grand hallway.  we were married at the end of it.

the spot where we were married.

a portion of liberace’s bathroom.

liberace’s bedroom.

the piano johnny carson gave to liberace.

 
the ceremony was very nice and rather quick, which was fine by us.  we found a minister on the web who came out to the villa and married us.  reverend phil, a nice gent from southern texas, performed the wedding.  visit rev phil at: http://www.lvrev.com  the brown eyed girl and i found a few things we wanted him to incorporate in the ceremony and he did.  one of the pieces was from the american writer and poet, james dillet freeman.

Blessing for a Marriage


May your marriage bring you all the exquisite excitements a marriage should bring, and may life grant you also patience, tolerance, and understanding. 
May you always need one another – not so much to fill your emptiness as to help you to know your fullness. A mountain needs a valley to be complete; the valley does not make the mountain less, but more; and the valley is more a valley because it has a mountain towering over it. So let it be with you and you. 

May you need one another, but not out of weakness.
May you want one another, but not out of lack.
May you entice one another, but not compel one another.
May you embrace one another, but not out encircle one another.
May you succeed in all important ways with one another, and not fail in the little graces.
May you look for things to praise, often say, “I love you!” and take no notice of small faults. 

If you have quarrels that push you apart, may both of you hope to have good sense enough to take the first step back. 

May you enter into the mystery which is the awareness of one another’s presence – no more physical than spiritual, warm and near when you are side by side, and warm and near when you are in separate rooms or even distant cities. 
May you have happiness, and may you find it making one another happy. 
May you have love, and may you find it loving one another.

the other piece was the navajo wedding blessing:

From A Navajo Wedding Ceremony:
Now you have lit a fire and that fire should not go out.
The two of you now have a fire that represents love,
understanding and a philosophy of life.
It will give you heat, food, warmth and happiness.
The new fire represents a new beginning – a new life and a new family.
The fire should keep burning; you should stay together.
You have lit the fire for life, until old age separates you.

if you recall one of the brown eyed girl’s great grandmothers was a full blooded navajo.

after the ceremony, the owner of the place popped a bottle of champagne for us and we all had a drink.  very nice indeed.  i must say, all in all, the wedding site was actually very nice in a weird sorta way.  as a matter of fact, the brown eyed girl laughed through a good portion of the ceremony due to the weirdness of it all.  the surroundings.  not me.  well, maybe not.  lol.  visit: http://lasvegasvilla.com for more info and some more photos.  anyways, thanks to robert and dez for their kindness and hospitality.

that evening, some very old friends of the brown eyed girl treated us to a lovely wedding night dinner at, b and b ristorante, inside the venetian.  b and b is owned by chef mario batali and winemaker joseph bastianich.  it was a truly memorable experience in fine italian dinning.  however, the next night topped it.

the following night we went over to the wynn hotel for dinner at, bartolatta di mare, owned by chef paul bartolatta.  i have to say, that on numerous levels, it was one of the most amazing dinners i’ve ever eaten.  an array of italian and mediterranean family style dishes that was belly busting fine dinning at it’s best.  it would be hard to find another eatery with better italian fare.  it was simply amazing.

we didn’t go to any shows.  we spent our time wandering around eating and drinking.  with a bit of gambling thrown in as well.  i don’t gamble much anymore and don’t really care for it either but the brown eyed girl more than made up for my lack of desire to gamble and won a few hundred bucks playing the slots and blackjack.  very nice.

so, like what else can i say?  other than i’m happy we went to vegas to get married at liberace’s place.  a few members of the family were there as well as a couple of the brown eyed girls oldest friends.  what could be better?  not much.  i want to thank you all for your good wishes and more importantly i want to thank the brown eyed girl for being there for me.  she’s is truly the love of my life.

jmh

wedding planning for the elderly pt2

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the up and coming wedding with myself and the brown eyed girl is pretty much set.  yes, indeed it’s only a matter of a few weeks away.  now, let’s catch you up a bit.

the matter of the custom ring made by a local jeweler didn’t pan out.  the guy is a flake and not a very nice one as well.  he was very rude in his dealings with the brown eyed girl and myself.  i wanted nothing more to do with him and his store.  if you’re a local and want to know who to avoid at all cost, mail me.

fortunately, the brown eyed girl found a stunning ring at another place.  those that know her say, it’s her.  the ring was purchased and we are now dealing with another local jeweler to make the wedding band.  things are going well in that regard and we are both very happy about the results and service so far. 

as for my wedding band, the brown eyed girl wanted a nice one for me.  after much discussion, she agreed to just buy me a simple silver band.  i don’t care much for rings, as i tend to play with them and then lose them.  yeah, well, i’ve lost a few over the years.  so, a very nice traditional navajo silver and turquoise wedding band was purchased for myself.  i wanted to honor the brown eyed girl’s spanish, mexican and navajo relatives.  plus, save some money in case i lose it down the road.   

we are definitely going to vegas for the wedding.  we have a nice southern minister reserved for the ceremony.  he will meet us at the site on the wedding day.  the ceremony site?  well, when it was offered, by a mutual friend, we couldn’t pass it up.  the ceremony will take place in liberace’s old mansion.  yeah, i know.  however, it’s a freebie.  and we both think it’s pretty cool.  where were you married?  liberace’s house in vegas.  hahahaha. 

our honeymoon will be a few days in vegas, on the strip, at a very nice hotel, in one of their suites.  we’ve already made a few dinner reservations at a couple of the best joints in vegas owned by world class chefs.  one of them a consistent james beard award winner.       

we have the reception place reserved for a couple of weeks after the wedding.  a very nice local italian place.  my brilliant brown eyed girl friend finally figured out how to set up and print the invites.  she also has the envelop printing figured out as well.  at least she did.  it’s been a few days since she’s worked on the stuff but it all worked out and the invites are in the mail to a few relatives and a few friends.

she’s also purchased 5 different tops for the wedding.  she can’t decide what to wear.  me?  new shorts, vaguely new flip flops and a very cool new charlie harper type shirt from hilo hattie’s.  any photos taken will be from the waist up only.  yeah, well.

things are going well and both of us are looking forward to tying the knot.  stay tuned.

jmh

wedding planning for the elderly

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the browned eyed girl has been running around trying to deal with stuff for our upcoming nuptials.  i’ve sorta been collateral damage on a few of the shopping trips.  which is fine.  don’t get me wrong.  it’s her first and hopefully only wedding.  it will be my second and hopefully last.  i’ve been telling her she can do what she wants, after all she’s the bride to be.  thankfully, it’s going to be low key.  at any rate, shopping for just about anything makes me cranky.  though i have tried my best under the circumstances and she’s been vaguely impressed. 

low key is a good thing.  older folks probably shouldn’t get to crazed over getting married.  i mean crazed is ok but a wedding party for several hundred folks ain’t our idea of fun.  we have better things to spend our money on.  don’t get me wrong, there will be a wedding party after the ‘i dos’ but it will be a week or so later and for well under several hundred folks.  we have a couple of local places in mind for the party, both of which are nice italian joints serving up outstanding italian grub. 

we’ve also been dealing with a local jeweler who doing a nice custom ring with some old stuff of ours.  plus he’ll add a new stone as well.  we go see him today to get a look at the mold and what hopefully will be the final time before he pours the gold into the mold and makes the ring.

as for the wedding itself it will be a civil ceremony either here at the county recorders office or on a trip to las vegas.  with the info we got today it looks like it’s going to be las vegas.  a mutual friend of ours made us an offer this morning, which we couldn’t refuse, of a very famous place in vegas in which to have the ceremony.  i’m talking top of the line famous and for free.  i don’t want to let it out yet as it may not happen.  as in, shit happens.  but he’s having dinner this friday with his partner, the guy who can make it happen.  so we should know by the weekend if the deal is going to go down.

yes, it’s been a pretty fast trip for us but i’ve said it before, the brown eyed girl is the love of my life and if we had met long ago we would have had a bushel basket of kids.  well, that didn’t happen.  now, we just have to make the best of it and make the rest of our lives as happy as possible.  stay tuned.

jmh

some more random weirdness

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the brown eyed girl said that yesterday’s blog was weird.  i agreed.  it was weird.  it was meant to be plus i’m a little rusty because most of my writing has been football related for some time now.  that deal is about over for the year.  almost. 

before i leave the sports venue i need to wade in on the tiger woods caddy comment.  if you haven’t heard his caddy made a catty comment about phil mickelson over the weekend to some reporter or something.  it seems he called phil a naughty word. 

let’s be honest here.  phil, better known as lefty, but i prefer hefty, is not liked on the tour.  his fellow players think he is a phony or worse.  i hear stuff and i continue to hear stuff along those lines.  however, you don’t want your caddy making untoward statements about any other player on the tour even if they are true.

tigers comment about the whole deal was that ‘the matter had been dealt with’ time to move on.  back when i worked i got into a number of scrapes with the public.  once i explained what happened it was usually, ‘don’t do it again.’  i imagine in tiger’s case it was a round of high fives and a good hearty laugh.  and of course, don’t do it again.

my friend, jwfh, did another rain blog over night.  stellar as usual.  he wanted to sleep out in the car to really get into the rain.  i should have thought of that.  sleeping in the car under the tin carport roof would be heaven in a way.  harkening back to my days in nam and the monsoons hammering the tin roofs there.  or perhaps high school or college days at the drive-in theatre and it’s raining.  cold, freezing, half naked teenage lust on a car seat.  um, yeah. 

we have more rain in the forecast for today.  cold temps as well.  the brown eyed girl read me a weather rumor last night that said snow levels down to 1,000 ft for this evening.  that means here.  if it’s true or happens.  she’s coming over for dinner and spending the night here.  perhaps we’ll bundle up, sit on the veranda, and wait for the snow to fall with a nice glass of gold medal sherry or port to ward off the cold.

for now the sun is out, the sky is bright, the foothills and mountains are alive with snow.  i’ve seen more but it’s a start.

it’s christmas.  i’m happy.  yeah, jwfh, amazing ain’t it?  here’s something from the vault.  it isn’t christmas related but it has a keith richards vibe to it.  enjoy.

 
i hear the click clack of your feet on the stairs 

what a great line, pure gold from the glimmer twins.  who else?  i hear the click clack of some lady’s feet on the concrete drive every morning.  heels.  hopefully open toed.  at least i’m hoping it’s a lady.  i haven’t looked to see who it is.  i guess the fantasy thing is ok for now.  i mean it could be some decked out dude or some well, overly well fed mamacita.  or it could be heaven in heels for that matter.  i don’t want to know.  not yet.  just that sound is enough to make a man’s mind wander or at least this man’s mind.  what’s left of it anyways.  wander to all sorts of different spots.  then you toss in some thing on cable about vegas and the m i t gang that busted vegas up for a time.  and the mind drifts back.

back to vegas and the beginning of the first gulf war.  that was the last time i was in vegas, alone.  i was supposed to be there with girlfriend at the time or actually my ex, cause i’d wandered off.  it just wasn’t working.  for both of us.  a lovely vietnamese lady.  years later we stumbled upon each other again and tried, again, with the same results.  i wandered off.  again.  veering.

i’d had the hotel reservations for some time and i guess i just needed to go and forget or something.  plus the new war was about to kick off and it indeed did while i was there.  and well, lots of shit slopping around in my addled brain.

vegas isn’t one of my favorite places.  never has been.  i prefer lake tahoe.  it’s more laid back.  for gambling, drinking and relaxing.  though i’d stay away over labor day weekend.  these days i stay away from everything over any 3 day weekend.  at any rate those were the days when i did actually gamble.  i don’t any more.  just the california lottery these days.  the super lotto.  however, those that know say the horse race deal is the one to bet when it gets big.  hard for me to get a grip on shit today.  tangents.  i will also occasionally bet college football now and again.  but that doesn’t count.  yes, of course.

ok. so i’m in vegas.  the hotel california.  may as well have been.  i’m in one of the bars in the casino having a drink and playing video poker.  taking a break from real poker.  ah, yeah,  here comes another tangent.  7 card stud.  not the texas stuff of today.  too much luck involved there.  sure luck in all the gambling deals but that game leaves me cold.  so i’m at the bar playing video poker, drinking.  a very nice looking lady sits down a couple of seats away.  she’s alone.  nicely dressed and yeah, sorta hot.  she gets a drink and starts dropping quarters in the machine.

well, we start chatting.  she’s very nice and bright.  we have a few drinks.  all is sweetness and light.  what could be better?  she’s a reader and an ex professional athlete.  and italian.  how cool is that?  a damn trifecta.  she says she’s got to take care of something but would like to see me later that night for more chatting and drinking. well, you don’t have to ask me twice.  the date was made.

later that evening we meet in the hotel bar.  she looks even lovelier than she did earlier in the day.  sweet.  we have a drink and she suggests we go upstairs to my room and have another drink.  fine by me.  she’s such a vivacious and intelligent lady i was falling in love.  honey, i’ll follow you anywhere.  so we get upstairs and of course she turns out to be a working lady.  what else could the deal be?  naturally.  but like i said i was falling in love and working ladies don’t bother me.  bills gotta be paid.  

it was a really great time.  for me and for her.  she liked it just as much as i did.  the grand finale was right from the cd i’m listening to, ‘parachute woman’, her favorite activity.  she did it well.  i came in her hair.  sorta.  i didn’t notice till she was leaving.  of course she was in a hurry to leave.  another appointment.  so i didn’t say anything.  yes, yes, yes of course.  my bad.  a sorta very early ‘something about mary’.

one evening a month or so later i was home asleep, more like passed out, on the couch.  tv on.  the phone woke me up.  it was her.  i was groggy and didn’t really pick up on just who the fuck it was.  i’m like going, who?  who? just like some sad demented owl.  i didn’t realize it was her till after she hung up on me.  then i woke up.  i didn’t sleep much the rest of the night.  pretty much non-stop brain streaming shit.  no, she never called back.

music provided by, the rolling stones, ‘beggars banquet’.

jmh

a poem eventually

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back in the saddle again.  yeah, that’s an old gene autry tune.  or at least he’s the one i remember back in the day actually singing the song.  any ways, kids, the brown eyed girl and i are back as an item.  joined once again at the hip.  it was just to damn painful not be together again.  it was my fault we split up and there’s some on her side of the course, as well, but mostly mine.  which is fine.  so like what else is new?  none the less, the reasons will remain ours as to what the dust up was about.  as it should be.

let’s just say we both spent a miserable week or so wandering around in a hazy daze looking for each other or more likely hoping we’d spot the other one in someplace or time.  yeah, getting old doesn’t stop one from being a goofy kid in love.  an interesting fact to remember and perhaps hold on to for future use.

last night we returned to the scene of our first real date of several months ago.  to, ‘viva madrid’, a spanish tapas place, in the claremont village for some great food, vino, and a toast to new beginnings.

geezer love

our fate has been sealed once again.
queen size bed acrobatics
of a 25 year old. 
lovers lost in the blue haze of
yet another dodger loss
seething from the bedroom tv.
the devil winds blowing
from the east. 
fire storms blowing
in the west.
just another socal
october night or
a fait accompli?
we both want
this to last
and be the last
for two old geezers
meant to be.

jmh