Friday, January 02, 2015

OK, so it's 2015, NOW WHAT!

  It's January 2, and I'm wondering what will make 2015 different than 2014 for me.
Well, for one thing, I hope that I won't get sick, worse yet, go back in the hospital. I had enough of that the year before!

  I'd like to be more physically active (that means less crocheting and computer time!). I really need to attract some friends, mainly other gay guys, close to my age. Although, I'm not much of a 'social' person, I think it'll be more healthy to interact more. I've been cooped up in my apartment since I've moved here nearly 3 yrs. ago.

  I'm just tired. Tired of feeling this way. Tired of how bland my life has become. Tired of wondering is this it? Is this the way the rest of my life will be?

 Now, that's not to say that I always felt this way. there was a time (or two), that I had some friends, and I socialized , but all my friends are either dead, or, weren't really my friends in the long run.

  As a typical 'loner', I tried to come out my 'shell' from time to time, but it doesn't last for very long. I sometimes would get the feeling that I seem to make more of a effort than they would. I have this saying, "If I don't make the effort, the effort won't get made!!"

Hey, I don't know, maybe it's my lot in life to be a loner, and I should accept my fate, such as it is. I tend to worry too much when I'm around people. I'm always wondering, I'm I talking too much, too  loud, too long. I'm I too poor, too boring, too ugly, even too 'gay' (not that's anything wrong with that! ;-) )

  Ever get those people who say they'll call, and/or stop by, but never do?  And the ones that do, make you feel that, "You're only as good, as what you're good for!", otherwise, they wouldn't give you the time of day!.

You know the ones, the ones that smile in your face, while trying to feel what's in your pockets!

 Yeah, I might sound a bit cynical, but I guess that's my 'sensitive' side talking.

  I guess I'll just have to see. I'll try to do better. Maybe I have to take my own advice that I try and teach my crochet students, "Everything round/row you work on, set's up for the next round/row".

In other words, Kenny, 'get your ass up, and do something about it!'

Saturday, November 22, 2014



Well, I'm sad to say that Jane's Yarn Shoppe, at 12th & Morris Sts is no longer open. Due to financial reasons, she could no longer keep it going.

  Small local yarn shops have been trying to compete with the large craft stores (we have A C Moore and Michaels), and Jane's was the only 'crochet friendly' LYS in the city. And when the craft stores came to town, that drove a lot of business from her shop..

  She had been a staple in the South Philly area, along East Passyunk Ave. for several decades.

  I met her in the late 90's, and found a refuge to share my thoughts, ideas, and my crochet work with. I sometimes found myself staying the shop for hours at a time, just hanging out.

  At first, I felt a little strange going there, being the only guy I knew who crocheted (before then, I would just crochet by myself, and never had anyone to talk to about it, without getting those strange looks and attitudes. But she never made me feel that way, she's very down to earth, and welcoming. She helped me come out the crochet 'closet'.

  When I started teaching at several senior centers, I would copy some of my students patterns to share with her. Before long, she had hundreds of patterns. I used to make items and she would showcase them in the store and the store window. I would sometimes call her up for her advice, we would help each other with any crochet problems. I honored her professional opinions and ideas.

  She specialized in making baby clothes, with that 'thin' yarn (UGH....I cringe just thinking about it!!), and could whip up a baby sweater in no time. She's made so many baby items, she doesn't need a pattern! She could make just about anything, but baby clothes were her favorite.

  And she was the best place to get Red Heart's 'Luster Sheen' yarn

  Due to illness, I hadn't been able to go there in several years, but I would always recommend everybody to go to her shop. Just remember to bring something to eat & drink, because you'll be there for awhile

  I hate to see her go.


Sunday, October 19, 2014

Ever heard that expression: 'Getting all dressed up, and have nowhere to go?"

  I feel like that with crocheting lately. I like to make so many different things, but what do I do with them? In the past, I made so many things that they were piling up in my apartment. I would either find a pattern I wanted to try, or, create something new, make it, take a photo of it, then, fold it up, put it in a zippered bag, and put it in the closet.

  Here's the thing...I like to crochet for just the joy of crocheting. I don't have any one person in mind, when I'm making something, I just enjoy challenging my skills and ideas.

  I started writing patterns about 9 yrs. ago, only because people who were online started to ask for a pattern for the things I created myself. I never thought of myself as a 'designer', I'm  just sitting here alone, putting my ideas into some form. I just like crocheting, but I don't like to do the same thing over, and over again.

  I bought so much yarn, had so many books and magazines, as well as hundreds of copied paper patterns, I felt like I had my own personal yarn shop! There were days when I didn't feel like going out to get yarn, or even seeing anyone, so I'd be hold up in my apartment for days just crocheting, while listening to music (stocked up on frozen dinners so I'd didn't have to cook....bad idea!)

  Well, since I moved to a smaller apartment, and my family threw out most of my patterns out of my old apartment (I had stuff that went back to the 60's...but they thought it was just junk). And, after taking what they wanted, (including some a lot of my own property!!), they sold off all my crochet work, including the yarn at a flea market!!

 Now I just don't have the drive like I used to. I will pick up something now and then, but just for a hour or so.

The one good thing is that I still go to a crochet class at a senior center that's near me. I used to teach there. I had 3 other centers that I taught at, but this one was my favorite.... most of the students were actually 'learning', trying new things, and actually 'finishing' their projects!

  So, I'm just content with things now, and decided to not 'get dressed up, because I'm not going anywhere!! :-)

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Hospitalized Again!!

 Last December, I was hit with a severe case of pneumonia (due to a adenovirus) that cause my weak kidneys to fail, and I had to go on dialysis (permanently) . I knew that I would eventually go on it, but the pneumonia just pushed it forward faster. Some fluid  from the adenovirus had build up in my right knee, and I had to get that removed.

 So, I was in the hospital for about a month (don't remember much about the first 2 weeks, but I hear I was delirious.  All I remember that I was in so much pain, I wanted and pleaded to die...

 Well, I got thru it, but it left me extremely weak, bed ridden, and couldn't walk or go to the bathroom. Couldn't stand the smell and taste of food (lost 30 lbs.!!), and always feeling nauseated, especially in my bowels. (probably due to all the different antibiotics they were giving me!)

 The pneumonia cleared up, and I was sent to a rehabilitation center to have some physical and occupational therapy. I'm also going to a dialysis center, 3 times a week, 4hrs. each time. Oh well it's something I know I have to get used to.

Can't wait until I can get back home.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

  OK, here's the thing.....

  Last Thursday, after being a hour late to my crochet class (where I used to be the formal 'teacher' there), I was on my way back home by bus (which only takes less than 10 minutes if I'm lucky not having to wait too long for it). I get home, and like most Thursdays, I either watch or record my favorite soaps and get on the computer.

  Well that didn't work out as planned.

   So, I'm on the computer for several hours, an, for reasons unknown to me, I have to get a digital cable box to see my over-the-air channels (can't afford cable), which since living here for over a year so far, I was able to view them for free. I thought the wall cable mount was already in the wall, and I just connected it to my TV, and since I never received a bill (even from the former tenant), the apt bldg. has a built-in digital antenna.

  Well, I was wrong!!

  The previous Wednesday, I go to turn on my TV, and there's no channels!! So I re-scan it, and just 2 channels show up, and they're both  Comcast/Xfinity commercial promo ads, saying that they suddenly, (without any notice......well, I guess I wouldn't get one, since I thought I was getting a clearer version of the regular over-the-air channels), decide to 'encrypt' access to the basic channels, so you'll need a 'digital adapter to view them (but you now have to sign up for a 'basic' service plan with them in order to get the digital adapter.

  So, while working on my computer Thursday after crochet class, I decided to call them about getting service and pick up the adapter. Fill out the form over the phone, then afterwards, the customer service rep says that I can pick up the adapter today at the nearest Comcast Service Center (luckily, it not that far from where I live), and just bring a photo ID. So I gather myself to get ready to walk out the door, then suddenly I realized that I can't find my wallet (with my photo ID inside!!

 Trying not to panic, I search my whole apartment, went outside, retraced my step from the bus top where I got off, ask one of the apt bldg. maintenance guys to be on the lookout for it. OK, I had about $65 in it,(knew that would be the first thing gone,),  and I could live with that, I was more concerned about my ID, and other cards that had my personal info in it. Not to mention not being sable to get that adapter before the weekend if the Center might be closed.

  So I gather the necessary papers and money to go in town to get a new photo ID ( I don't drive, so that's all I need there), plan to get other replacement cards (medical, Social Security, etc..) the next day.

  So, after getting (and paying for) my new ID card quickly, I then go to the Service Center to get the adapter, and they tell me that I have now go across town at another place to get it. I was so tired and pissed, I just cancelled my order.

  Here it is Sunday afternoon, and I'm on the computer, and decide to make myself a cup a tea (got a little thirsty for it after watching a British TV drama on Youtube (A Touch of Frost!).

  So I'm walking back to the computer, and in the corner of my eye, near one of my French doors by the back of my computer, I can't believe my's my wallet!!!

  Somebody must be looking out for me, huh?

Monday, August 26, 2013

Meeting Up With a Good Crochet Friend!!

  For the most part, I don't see a lot of people, I only go out to the supermarket, a doctor's appointment, and to a Thursday morning crochet class for seniors where I used to teach (if you could call it that).

  So it was nice to be strong enough (after having coronary bypass surgery 2 months ago) to be able to go meet and walk around the train station with a good crochet friend  I met online. I don't get to see her in person that much, but we keep in touch online (she hasn't figured out to connect with Skype yet, but she will).

   Funny thing happened while we sat down for lunch (we split a long wasn't with our famous 'Amoroso's 'bread, but it wasn't that bad), I was admiring her brass bracelet (especially the unisex design), so she took it off and ask me to try it on, then said to 'keep' it.

  This is the second best gift I've gotten this year (the first was when my oldest niece took me to Olive Garden for my 60th birthday!!). My crochet friend also offered the matching necklace, but I declined (I'm not a 'necklace' kind of guy) ;-)

Monday, August 05, 2013

It's Been Almost A Year...

  Well, it's been almost a year since I've moved here at my new apartment.

  So far, so good.  I kinda like it here in this area of Philly, a small pocket of quiet, where the chaos is not too far behind.

  I live across from a commuter train station, so it's a blessing and a curse. If I want to go to the heart of the city, or, connect to Amtrak, or the Airport Line, it's great. But hearing the trains going by at night (especially in the Summer, with the windows open), can be distracting. But it's something you get used to.

  One problem I used to have was that, other than the commuter train, was that there's only only bus line, whose nearest bus stop was ACROSS the overhead bridge of the train station. So, I had to walk a block downhill to the train station, climb a long flight of stars (which puts a lot strain on my legs), cross the bridge, climb up a smaller flight of stairs, then walk a half a block to the bus stop. Coming home, I had to do the reverse, WHEW!!! There were a lot of times I just didn't have the energy to go out, unless I either had a doctor's appointment, or, going to the grocery store Carrying several bags was very difficult, as well as, unknowingly, putting undo extra stress on my heart (which I found out later, having to have coronary bypass surgery). I mean, I was already not in great health, having stage 4 diabetes (stage 5 is needing a kidney transplant), as well as having high blood pressure and being HIV-positive for over 20 years (yeah, I'm still here!!) ;-)

  But, as luck would have it, just recently, I found out that the city needed to repair a nearby street bridge that my bus line has to cross, so my bus line is diverted to MY side of the train station.YEAH!

  So now, I only have to walk a half a block STRAIGHT across from my apartment to catch the bus, and the bus now runs on my block, if I'm lucky, I can get some bus drivers to let me off close to my apartment entrance, where I can walk DOWNHILL, instead of UPHILL, a half a block. That helps a lot whenever I'm carrying anything heavy, which I try not to do as much. I still don't go out that much, but at least I feel better whenever I do.

  I finally getting some of the things I wanted for my apartment, like a kitchen table and decent chairs. OK, it's just a card table set, but hey!, I live in a small studio apartment, and the only visitors I've had are my physical therapist and nurse the hospital sends me after my surgery.

  You see, the only 2 friends I know live in Baltimore (ex-boyfriend) and Des Moines (from college), who I'm truly thankful for. Most others have either died from AIDS, or, they weren't that much of a friend as I thought they were. I'm friendly with some of my crochet students from the nearby senior center I go to (really nice ladies), but that's about it.  And, one, that I don't drive (never have), and two, that I just can't get around as well as I used to. Oh, and I can't forget my online friends, who've been a lifeline for me.

  Anyway, I feel much better, health wise, and, feeling much better about choosing and living in my new apartment.