Category Archives: Alexandra

Ganglion Cysts

From standing on the NYC subway and holding the strap-hang with my left hand for two decades while reading the newspapers (this was mostly before it was practical to read the news on a mobile device), I developed a ganglion cyst (actually two) which was starting to affect my mobility, not to mention being unsightly.  At least the subway is my theory on how these developed.  So even though I haven’t lived in NYC for ten years now, I had a surgery earlier this month to have them removed because they were getting bigger.  “Bible bumps” do not effectively go away if they are hit with a big book or even drained at the doctor’s office.  I wanted something that was sure to work, so the surgery required I be put under general anesthesia so they could be removed from a plastic surgeon by the root, which was all the way down to the tendon or bone.  I had to wear a splint for two weeks, but fortunately it was not on my dominant hand, or I would have probably never had this done.  My daughter visited me right after the surgery and brought me these beautiful flowers.

Joe’s first Phone VR Experience

This was at my daughter’s home on Lake Merritt.  I’ve did VR many years ago at South Street Seaport in Manhattan during a lunch break when I worked on Wall Street, but that was like an entire room.  This has potential, I can see, but the glasses will need to be a lot more comfortable and I guess I should be standing up instead of twisting on a big couch next time.  

Post-fire Family Gathering

This is probably the last video footage with mom’s voice, although sadly she is not pictured.  When Shando and I were at Yosemite and Alex and Brian were flying to visit from NYC, my mom’s house was totalled in a fire.  This is the gathering we had with my sister’s family who came down from the Sacramento area.  My nephew gets his clown antics from my brother.

Barcelona with Shando and Alexandra

Shando asked me what country we were when we woke up in Barcelona, as we had changed location quite a few times in two and a half weeks.  We had heard so many languages during this trip.  Spain is a gem of a place (and yes, I do mean Catalonia, which has a very special place in my heart).  We made some impressionable memories during our visit with a particularly spacious and inexpensive Airbnb, where we got to have two cats remain with us, which made us miss our dogs even more.

This was Alex’s fourth time to Barcelona with me, and of course I grew up in Toerella de Montgri, part of Catalonia closer to the French border, when my dad was stationed in Estartit the 1970’s.

Alex had gone into Sagrada Familia the last time she was in Barcelona and said she could see the progress made since then and was thrilled to get a chance with her last minute plans to join us to get in within a reasonable amount of time.  There are only eleven more years left until this structure will be completed, which isn’t a lot when you consider it got started in the 19th Century.

This was the first time for me to actually go inside the basilica, so I’m really glad we had made reservations for a walking tour with a guide during our relatively short stay in the city of Barcelona this year. Unfortunately the battery in my headset ran out during the tour, so I had to stand uncomfortably close to the woman who was giving the tour, but I explained why in Spanish, which I think she appreciated. Pictures of course cannot demonstrate the way the light is used to tell stories in this place.  The acoustics of the choir must be amazing, but unfortunately all we heard was a lot of construction taking place on a regular weekday.

Pictured with me in one picture is my friend Hugo and his Valenciano partner, Agustin.  They were instrumental in making sure we went into the cathedral and some other parts of the oldest part of Barcelona that I had also never seen before.