Archive for February 2017

Second Eye Blind, Episode Four: Communication Breakdown/Date Set

So, after waiting for, like for-ev-er to hear from Kaiser, I get this:

Kaiser Permanente


Dear Elson R Trinidad

[We have] been trying to reach you but [have] been unsuccessful. Please contact the Pre-op office regarding your eye surgery. No response within two weeks will result in cancellation of surgical case request.


So I call them back ASAP and talk to the contact person listed. She tells me they called me several times but to no avail. I had never gotten any calls on my cellphone from Kaiser, and I have even checked me home land line messages repeatedly. I asked which number they called, and they told me it was my home number, and I asked them what was the number they called. They said, “The number was area code 213-[home number]”

AAAAAAAAAAAAARGH!!!!! My area code is 323.

Anyway, date set for the operation. It will be on Wednesday,  March 22. I have a Pre-Op appointment on Thursday, March 16. We are a go.


Second Eye Blind, Episode 3.6: Valentine’s Day Edition

Instagram Post

My Instagram post today. Just to show that I have a sense of humor about this.

Second Eye Blind, Episode 3.5: Highball Eyeball

San Gabriel Mountains, Pomona Fairplex

A view of the San Gabriel Mountains in Pomona from my eyes.


No appointments today, just an update on my vision and how it’s sort of affected my daily life. Today was the World’s Greatest Hobby On Tour show, a major model railroad traveling show featuring model train manufacturers, layouts on display, and swap meet/retail items for sale. Of course, the show was all the way out in the L.A. County Fairground Fairplex in Pomona, some 40 miles east of me. This show only happens every 5 or so years in a certain city, so I can’t miss this. But no freaking way I’d be driving all the way there, and public transit options are difficult to get to the fairgrounds when the fair isn’t going on. Fortunately my fellow model railroader friend Ryan offered to carpool, plus he wanted to take his new Chevrolet Bolt electric car for a spin. So all was good. Along the way he even shared his experience of getting eye surgery himself a few years ago.

World's Greatest Hobby On Tour Show, Fairplex Pomona

This show ain’t as fun with one good eye.


The event is laid out across one of Fairplex’s hangar-like exhibition halls, with multiple rows of exhibitors, vendors and train layout displays. Though I loved looking at some of the new model trains being released this year, as well as shopping for some items, it’s a bit daunting navigating with just one good eye. And now the cataract had progressed where all I can see is a pure foggy white in my right eye.

I model N scale model trains, which is one of the smaller sizes (1:160th the size of the real thing), so having good vision is a must. I refrained from doing any kit-building work or anything that required any degree of accuracy, and just ran trains around my 4×8′ layout.

I should hear from Kaiser any day now…

Second Eye Blind, Episode Three: By Any Measure

Kaiser Lens Measurement

This way to restoring my vision.


Today’s appointment: Kaiser Ophthalmology, 1:30 p.m. with Maria Elena Vallez.

The whole purpose of the appointment was to take measurements of my eyes for the artificial lens that will be placed in my eventual surgery. I guess it was a precursor to the actual surgery as my eyelid was propped open, eyeball was given numbing drops, water squirted in my eye, and a caliper-like device was placed on my eyeball. It didn’t hurt, but it felt a little uncomfortable, but that’s part of the deal I guess.

Although at my last appointment, I was told that today was when my operation date would be set, instead, they would call me “in a week” with the date.

The waiting begins…


Splendor In The Tall Grass: Madison Park Story Gathering

LA Commons Madison Park Story Sharing

Great turnout today for our community event.


One of my New Year’s Resolutions for 2017 was to “retire” from voluntary community involvement activities (with the exception of Friends of Cahuenga Library and any community projects currently in-progress, of course). So, this was the latter. I assisted LA Commons with doing community outreach for a “story gathering” event today at the proposed park/community garden at 1175 Madison Avenue in East Hollywood.

The organization was tasked with creating a mural for a structure that would be built on the park, including the process of hiring an artist and facilitating the recruitment of local high school students to help paint the mural, which was similar to the process of the utility box murals that were painted along Hollywood and Santa Monica boulevards and Vermont Avenue here in my ‘hood.

But the event today was focused on gathering stories and opinions from people in the neighborhood, which would influence the eventual design of the mural. The extent of my outreach was getting event flyers to students/parents of the nearby Lockwood Avenue Elementary School and Lexington Avenue Primary Center, who are in close proximity to the park and would no doubt benefit from it once it’s built. The effort turned out pretty well, as over 60 people came to the event, which also featured some Zankou Chicken. Fellow local (and Friends of Cahuenga Library boardmember) Jimmy Recinos recited some local-centric poetry, and I got to sing and play (on my new Breedlove acoustic guitar) “My Part of Town” and a cover of Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Goin’ On” (as an allusion to um, the current leadership of this country).

I also met Dalila Mendez, the muralist of our project (whom I helped lobby to be selected due to her community ties and relatability to the students) and chatted with a writer from the Eastsider L.A. blog who was covering the event.

It was a great time, on a sunny winter day, though at the same time a bit surreal due to my partial blindness, which I talked about with some friends there. At least I didn’t have to drive to the event.