Snap

There are days where I see what humans are doing to this planet and I think to myself, “ya know, maybe Thanos had the right idea?” Then I realize we’d still be stuck with half the stupid people and I just shake my head.

If you told me 20 years ago we’d still be disparaging people over the color of their skin or calling vaccines sorcery I wouldn’t have believed you. Sadly, that is where we are today in 2019.

Our selfishness will be our undoing.

Not Gone

I don’t blame ya for thinking I ‘be done’ abandoned the blog. Cooper’s death hit me really hard. I was depressed afterwards. I spent most of my time eating and working with the occasional video game binge in there. I’m still completely heartbroken he is gone. I miss him so much.

I’ve reached a point where I get thru the days without crying…mostly. I still have days where I just can’t shake the loneliness. But, I am getting better. It’s coming up on 2 months since he passed. I will adopt/rescue another wonderful bully again. I want to grieve and heal first. When the time comes, I will know it. Anyway, I the desire to blog or even keep up with the blog totally left me when he passed. I even considered closing it down. I think that was mostly the depression speaking.

In less depressing and actually exciting news, Shawn and I just celebrated our 6th year together. Lawd only knows how he puts up with me? I still love him as much as I did in the beginning and am grateful he does indeed put up with me. Hehehe We had dinner at Firewood Cafe (which is closing soon) in the hood where we had our first meal together. Shawn is (and has been for a while now) my longest relationship. I guess there is something to be said for that.

So yeah, I’m still here.

Goodbye My Precious

We had to say goodbye to Cooper yesterday morning. His breathing had become impacted by the tumor pressing against his lungs. He was simply experiencing too much discomfort and I couldn’t stand to see him suffer. Any doubts I had about rushing it were swept away the night before.

Cooper

I kept saying out loud we’d have him for a few more months but inside I knew we didn’t have much time. The tumor was growing quickly. My only hope was that it might grow at an angle that let him enjoy a few more months. Sadly, it was not to be. I’m grateful he declined so quickly to avoid any unnecessary suffering on his part. However, I miss him so much already. I do not think I’ve ever been so attached to a companion. I never realized how much of my daily schedule included him. Everything reminds me of him and sends me into a new fit of tears.

His life started rough as he was abandoned. When he came into my life he rescued me just as much as I rescued him. I needed him without even realizing it. He gave me so much and asked so little in return. I am happy to know I gave him a good life. He was most definitely loved. I could go on and on about all the wonderful ways he enriched my life. He was not just a pet. He was my friend and companion.

As painful as it was, I was there in his final moments. I couldn’t imagine not being there. My only goal was to keep him from being scared. I wanted him to feel safe and loved. We got to play with him a bit before the end and it was a joy to see him come alive in those last moments together. He lived for butt scratches and we gave him so many along with happy words. It was an absolute joy to see him shrug off his discomfort long enough to enjoy the attention and love.

I held him as he drifted off. I spoke sweet words of love in his ear and kept my tears at bay until he had passed. He was a light in my life and my life is diminished without him in it. My Cooper Pooper, my “precious”, my love bug. . . you are missed and still loved.

My heart is broken now. And while it will heal, it will always have a mark from you.

Heart Problem

Now that I’ve had time to calm down, I’m sad to announce Cooper has been diagnosed with a heart tumor. If you follow me on social media, you’ll know he had a recent vet visit for his leg. Being almost 10, he is an old fella in bulldog terms. His arthritis aggravates his joints, which in turn leads to soreness, hence the vet visit.

While we were at the vet, we got his yearly update and did x-rays. From last year to now, a large tumor has grown around his heart. Ironically, he isn’t having any problems with his actual heart; no murmur, no irregular valves, etc. The tumor has grown to about the size of his heart so it’s begun putting pressure on his lungs. It will eventually impact his breathing severely enough we will have to euthanize him.

Surgery is possible but the chances of success are low and due to his age the vet wasn’t even sure he’d survive the surgery. I’d rather let him enjoy his remaining time vs putting him thru the trauma of such a major surgery. To say I have been upset would be an understatement.

Cooper came into my life at a time when I was severely depressed and having trouble finding my light. His boundless energy and enthusiasm gave me something other than my own problems to focus on and brought me out of my funk. Since then he has continued to be a beacon of slobber and unconditional love in my life. To say I love that dog would be an understatement. I have never in my life loved an animal so thoroughly. After many days of tears and uncontrollable bursts of sadness, I’ve made peace with it. I got over 8 wonderful year with him and I’m grateful for his love. I’m fond of saying, they give us so much and ask so little. Cooper would be the exemplification of those words.

My only goal now is to keep him as comfortable as possible until he reaches a time when his breathing is too labored to carry on. The vet gives him anywhere from another month to 6 months. I’m thinking 2 to 3 months at most but I’m hoping for longer. I would never let him suffer for my own benefit so once his breathing becomes too hard, we will make the decision to say goodbye.

His leg/knee injury is slowly healing and I am hopeful he will be off his meds within another week or two. As you can imagine many of the rules have gone out the window! hehehe He gets treats much more often and I’m less stringent on his structured daily life. I take comfort in knowing I gave him a wonderful life. That said, I know when that day comes a little piece of me will die with him. To my beloved Cooper, you were and are loved.

Ghosts of the Past

I haven’t talked about my “issues” here in a long time. Truth is, I haven’t felt bothered by them so there wasn’t a need.

Today, I’ve been overwhelmed with memories of my past. I can’t say anything triggered it. Maybe it’s just ‘my time of the month.’ I’m not depressed by the memories, even though most of them aren’t great. I just can’t seem to shake the progression. One memory will trigger another and down a rabbit hole of deep thought I go…

Anyhoo, it’s been mostly about my step-mother, her family, and my angst at them for never intervening when they saw my step-mother abuse me. I know they recognized it because I would sometimes overhear the adults (her siblings) asking my step-mother, “why are so mean to that boy?” My cousins would just ask me directly. Or they would discuss it amongst themselves in front of me. For many years growing up I worshipped and hated them at the same time. When my family from her side visited, I got a reprieve from the mental torment. It meant things would be more bearable, even if it was just a long weekend. Of course, when they left, I suffered even more for my apparent ‘slights’ while they had been visiting. It was in those moments I hated them most.

When I left home none of them made much effort to stay in touch. To be fair, neither did I. They represented a connection to “her” that was to be avoided. It wasn’t like I was overly stable anyway and there was no cell phones, texting, or even internet. But I didn’t understand that then. It’s only been in the last few years I’ve slowly opened a window to them on Facebook. Being an adult now, my view of them has been complicated. At first, I was resentful more of them didn’t reach out to me. But, I realized that wasn’t fair either. Their lives diverged from mine and I was a distant memory. They had as much reason to reach out to me as I did to them. And it wasn’t like I made a lot of effort either. I kept them at arms length. A small handful made an effort to at least reconnect and “know” me a bit. I’m grateful for that. Our lives are so distant and different so that is pretty much where it ends. We keep a cursory connection at best.

And as expected, many of them tend to be Trump supporters. This isn’t much of a surprise. I only mention it because I routinely chime in when I see them sharing absolute made up stories that reinforce their biases. Reconciling my childhood view of them with my adult exposure has been easier than expected. I’m not sure if that is a good thing or not. lol

Anyway, I don’t have any wisdom to share. I’m just putting thoughts to pad to help me drag the triggers and emotions out into my conscience id so I can examine them properly. I’ll post more if I figure anything of value out.

What Do You Say?

I was having a discussion with a coworker the other day and we got to talking politics. We were specifically discussing some of the underlying dynamics that often lead people to believe into crazy conspiracy theories. Mostly, we talked about how people often reason based on emotion not logic.

I used an example of my little brother. Not because my brother is a crazy extremist, just the opposite. The story perfectly illustrates how even well-meaning people end up on the wrong side of things at times. So the real question is how, in an age of sensationalized media, truly fake news, and bias, do we encourage every day folks to move beyond their base feelings and examine a solution with logic? How do we get people to realize what they “know” is often based on very limited exposure to the world at large?1

Let me get to my example. My little brother grew up not really “seeing” racism. To him, it is something he knows exists but in more pronounced examples. For lack of a better description, he sees it as a very black and white issue. I tried to explain white privilege to him and found it a frustrating struggle. As a white man he has never had to experience the frustrations a person of color endures daily. Because he grew up poor and busted his tail working hard to get to a point where he feels stable, he doesn’t understand how a black person doing the same thing faces many more obstacles. I explained many of the very real world examples to him and while he sort of ‘got it’, because he lives in a rural environment where these ideas are usually avoided, it doesn’t become ‘truth’ to him.

It is hard for people who spend everyday just worried about trying to put food on their table to rise above the squabble and focus on bigger issues like politics. And when they live in an environment where biases are constantly reinforced, it’s easy to see why so many fall prey to the machinations of political hacks who want them to stay poor and ignorant. People who are poorly educated as a whole are easily manipulated by their emotions. Quite simply, their emotions are used against them.

And this is one variable of many leading society towards a calamity. So how do we overcome that? What do you say to someone to get them to truly open their mind and listen? If we could figure that out I think the world would be a better place.

  1. How many “experts” do you encounter on Facebook or twitter these days  LOL []

D2

I’m still playing Destiny 2. I keep threatening to give it up as they really botched this game disc by getting greedy. It seems common sense (or the expanding community backlash) has prevailed to a degree and they are bringing back some of the core functions in the upcoming DLC (DownLoadable Content)) they left out from disc 1. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t blame Bungie for trying to squeeze dollars out of the game but they went way overboard and people in general were pissed. Daily users dropped dramatically and haven’t really picked back up anywhere near the levels they were in D1.

This week, they released a sort of free mini to everyone that has me scratching my head as well. If you’ve never played, the game is setup so they can randomly add special challenges based on holidays, special occasions or the like. They usually run several months. This one only runs from this week until roughly the end of August. (The new DLC drops September 4th.) This by itself wouldn’t be a problem except the challenges require a lot of grinding (like a lot). So much so, I probably won’t even bother. If I’m lucky, I can squeeze in about 6-8 hours a week, including weekends. It seems counter productive to release a new series of challenges to complete for gear to raise your light level that you’ll never see because you won’t have time to finish even half of them. That or they’ll be obsolete when the new DLC hits as your maximum light levels will go up again. (Light level is basically how strong your player is. The higher the light level, the stronger the player)

I had planned to skip the new DLC a few months ago. This would have pretty much meant the end of the game for me. My interest in the game has drifted off and I barely complete the weekly goals as it is. However, the new DLC got rave reviews, even from some of the harshest critics, and after reading up on it, I buckled and pre-ordered it. We’ll see how it goes. I’m cautiously optimistic. There are so many little things I miss about the mechanics from D1, I’m hoping it revives my love for the game. If not, I’ve got a shit ton of games in my queue to get to. I’m also currently working on Far Cry 5, Fallout 4, and replaying Destroy all Humans.1  A bitch has things to do so Bungie better get their act together. heehee

 

  1. Corny old school PS3 game ported to PS4 recently. []

GHHD #1 2018

Well, GHHD #11 is upon us once again. It is Pride weekend.  The gym has begun filling up daily with out-of-town’rs. *giggle*  I’m sure by Friday it will be overflowing. (pun intended)

However, you celebrate it, I hope you have a fun and safe one. For myself, I volunteered to work overtime again this year onsite at the event. I’ll be working with AMR ambulance services who are the medical component for the Pride permit.2  I’ve worked with them for many years at different events and they are always a pleasure to work with. Ironically, after the Pulse shootings, the Pride committee put in metal detectors and this has cut way down on all the illegal booze being brought in by kids.

As always, there are those among us who complain about all that is wrong with Pride. We know gurl, you hate it. Next! This year, it’s over the idea of adding a few extra colors to the rainbow flag. For a community that is supposed to be all about accepting others, we sure do have some rigid ideas when it comes to symbolism. If you don’t like it, use the one you like. Stop bemoaning attempts to make other marginalized communities feel included under our umbrella. I personally am not defined by the rainbow flag or any other symbol. I enjoy the symbols and support them but there isn’t any reason a symbol can’t change or evolve over time to better represent it’s purpose.

I still support Pride as an event. While we have gained a measure of equality since the legalization of gay-marriage, anti-LGBT crimes have sky-rocketed since the current POTUS took office. There is clearly still a need to show our solidarity, especially for our Trans brethren. Frankly, I feel we have an obligation to help pull those behind us still facing daily discrimination in their lives to the front of the line.

So while I am working my booty off to help keep everyone same, I am with you in mind and spirit. Let your freak (or not) flag fly! Whether you wanna look like a Warner-bros cartoon character or an average Joe, get out and celebrate. Maybe you can volunteer at a shelter, food back, or AIDS org as a way of celebrating. It doesn’t have to be prancing down the street or standing on the sidelines. Do you and support those doing them.

 

  1. Gay High Holy Day []
  2. Large permitted events require a medical plan to help off-set the need for emergency services. This assures a modicum of care and prevents overwhelming the normal emergency system. []

Daddy Issues

I know, I haven’t posted in forever. I’ve gotten several strongly worded emails reminding me of this fact. Never fear, I is here.

So, I discussed my age and aging in general a while back. (It’s been like forever, I know)  I thought I’d share a different perspective since a few folks thought I was getting all negative comments about my age.  That wasn’t my intent at all. It is just the opposite actually. I’ve apparently reached full daddy status. Or at least, a lot of the comments I get online indicate as much. hehehe  I don’t live for labels, but I don’t mind it at all.

The downside, unfortunately, is I’m not really into younger guys. And by ‘younger, I’m referring to being old enough to be your actual father. If you’re under 30 I usually feel like a dirty old man trying to paw at you. The irony in that is I used to live for guys in their 40’s when I was barely out of my teens. I’d get the vapors just thinking about it.1  I had zero hangups about the age difference when I was in my early 20’s. And I don’t really have any hangups about it now, I just don’t find myself attracted to guys with overly boyish looks.

Of course, now that “I’m” the older guy, I almost feel obligated to return the favor. lol  I’m sure plenty of guys would kill for the attention but it doesn’t really do much for me. I do keep a positive perspective on it as someday there won’t be much attention at all. We hate to admit it, but age (specifically how we look) does matter to our attractions. So I take it in stride and am appreciative.

From my own perspective, I don’t mind the label, even though we often put way too much emphasis on labels in our community. Ask 10 guys what the term “daddy” means and you’ll get 10 different answers. As for my own attractions, my range hasn’t changed much. Shawn is 10 years my junior, but being in his late 30’s, he is clearly well within my range. And to be fair, there are the random exceptions. Overall, I still find myself into guys in their 30’s, 40’s, and 50’s.

One thing I am noticing is there are fewer guys my age that work-out. I definitely notice the age difference in the gym, even here in SF where the median gay age is in the late 30’s. They aren’t non-existent, just a smaller part of the crowd now. And as I approach my 50’s, I still don’t mind my age. I like the wisdom that has come with my life experience. My only worry for the future is my libido. I’m 47 and I still have the same libido I did when I was 27. I don’t wanna be one of those old dudes leering at guys in the showers (or where ever). lolol  But hey, for someone who never thought he’d see 50, that is not a bad worry to have.

Hope springs eternal. . .

  1. I think in hindsight it had a lot more to do with a lacking father figure in my life and a burgeoning sexuality….I know, someone call Dr Phil! []

Swamped

I know, I know…It’s been like forever since I updated. I am a very busy person.1  Lawd baby jeebus, the last few weeks have been hella busy. Work was off the charts for a couple weeks there. Then I was out for a few days as well.

I came into work today, polished off the mornings workload and then sat around a bit gobsmacked that I wasn’t behind. The next batch promptly showed up and erased all that but still… Yes, I’m still fighting my morning schedule. Ugh!

Who's your Daddy?
Werk, bitch!

In other news, I’ve been hitting the gym pretty hard lately. I’m a whopping 218! With the exception of a chunky phase a few years back, this is the heaviest I’ve ever been. Most of it is the good kind of weight, albeit muscle! Yay! lolol  I was determined not to break my motivation streak so even when work was just messy I still made it a priority to keep to my gym schedule. I’m happy to say my arms and chest are looking ‘tight’! heehee  My poor legs are still looking boney as hell though. I’ve neglected them for so long and talked about working them out for so long as well. I’ve finally been putting my money where my mouth is but they are still behind the rest of me. I actually see it now so I’ m all about bringing them back into balance.

I’m finishing up this week on a bulking routine. I switch over to trying to lean up a bit next week. This means I have to actually start eating better. I don’t eat a lot of fast food but I tend to eat a lot of rich foods. This isn’t helping my waist line. heehee  I’ve already been weening myself off the rich foods. I don’t honestly think I will struggle too much. My biggest challenge is keeping the food I need to be eating in the apt. Between Amazon Fresh and Instacart, hopefully I will maintain. Wish me luck!

Cooper & Shawn
My two favorite fellas!

Cooper was feeling good this past weekend so we got out for a lovely walk. Just around the hood but still. He’ll be 8 this next month and while he is still energetic, he just doesn’t endure the walks like he used to. I remember Spike at this point would barely walk 2 blocks to the park and back. hehehe He was such a rascal. Cooper is much more energetic than that so I’m still liking where he is health wise.

My sister from another Mister is coming to visit in late May. I miss that old heifer so it will be great to catch up. The only thing I truly miss from back home are my two besties dirty snatches. I need to contrive a way to get them both up to Cali.

Right after that, we are off to Disney World. We are treating ourselves to flying first class. Trust me when I tell ya we can’t afford first class all the time. This is a rare treat and I’m actually looking forward to it. The few times I’ve flown first class were free upgrades from friends in the business. Of course, we are going for Gay Day’s. I’m saving up my liver for the round-the-world drinking binge at Epcot on Sunday. hehehe

Ugh, duty calls. A new batch of work just arrived to keep me busy for the rest of the day.

 

  1. Said in a very affected nasally voice. lol []