Thursday, January 31, 2013

Me and Guns

Ron the Skunk Hunter - I'm not really a hunter - I just play one on TV


The first gun I had was a Daisy air rifle, also known as a "bee bee" gun.  The year was about 1952, and like some of the cooler kids on my block of Washington Avenue in Downingtown, PA, I wanted a bee bee gun.

I don't remember the circumstances of if someone bought me a bee bee gun or loaned me one.  But this is what I do remember.  As soon as I got my greasy 12 year old paws on that bee bee gun I went outside of the apartment building that we lived in the white trash poor section of Downingtown and took aim at a solitary robin who was perched on a telephone line outside our apartment building.

I put one of these out of its misery when I was only 12 years old

"BANG!"  Actually, it was more like a "SWOOSH!"  Bee bee guns don't "BANG!"  

I looked up and saw the robin fall from the telephone line, where he/she wasn't bothering anybody until "keeping up with my peers" self ventured out into the street to end that bird's life.  Guess what happened?  I didn't feel good about what I just did.  Where was the fun?  Where was the excitement?  Wasn't there folks.  Just didn't happen for me.  For sure I was gay even then.  

But wait!  My cousin and my much loved uncle, (who never married, come to your own conclusions) were devoted and avid hunters.  And both were very nice men.  What's up with that?  

My beloved Uncle George with his kill

My father was a hunter.  I think all of my father's ten brothers were hunters.  Ironically, neither I nor my two younger brothers were hunters.  We just never expressed any interest in killing animals for the "sport of it."  Not that there is anything wrong with that (actually there is but that's a subject for another whole blog posting).  

I think my brothers had their Come to Jesus Moment with guns when my one brother accidentally shot my other brother in the back with a 22 rifle.  Yes, they were teenagers messing around. The rifle went off, ricocheted off of one off of our father's shack and the 22 caliber bullet lodged into the small of my brother John's back.  Nice move Isaac.  They were 14 and 15 when this happened.  John had the bullet removed and, as far as I know, they never got into our father's gun cabinet again.

My brothers John and Isaac Tipton - still here

In fact, when my father died in 2000, our Mother said we could have the guns.  Split them up, there were about six of them.  No assault weapons, just your regular deer hunting rifles which could kill a teenage boy playing around with it as easily.  We told a neighbor he could have the guns.  They're gone.

My father and my uncle with their kill

In the years since both me and my brothers, who are fiercely, till they die, conservative, have not owned any guns nor do we intend to own any guns.  For you see, we're of that ilk who depends on the local police for protection.  You won't see us at the front door, with a 30 clip assault weapon, defending the family from intruders, and the latest made up threat, those black helicopters. 

My friend Bob and Me in Provincetown with our best Village People impersonation - 1974

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Why I Love Downton Abbey

Dame Maggie Smith as the Dowager Countess, Violet Crawley

Oh let me count the ways.  "Downton Abbey" is like a treasure chest, precious jewels and gold,  An overflowing abundance of riches.  Which gem to I choose first?

Well folks, this is easy;  I LOVE "Downtown Abbey" because of Dame Maggie Smith. 

Watching an actress like Dame Maggie you forget she's acting.  There are very few actresses who can accomplish this feat so effortlessly and who are such joy to watch.  Bette Davis and Meryl Streep are two who come to my mind.  

Shirley's face says it all - as does Dame Maggie's - NO MATCH

Most actresses cannot come even close to Dame Maggie's excellence.  Recently the renown American actress Shirley MacLain made a much touted appearance on "Downtown Abbey" as a foil to match Dame Maggie's character, the Dowager Countess of Grantham.  Sorry Shirley, I love you babe but your stint opposite Dame Maggie just didn't work.  Poor Shirley looked like a drag queen dolled up in her vintage Twenties vintage costume.

Not working Shirley

Oh I was so hoping for a real match up with these two legendary actresses.  Regrettably it was not to be.  

Next week I will watch the next episode of "Downtown Abbey". 

  • Will Thomas put the make on Jimmy?
  • Can Jimmy be seduced?
  • Will Bates ever get cleared and get out of prison (and end this BORING storyline?)  
  • Will Lady Grantham let Lord Grantham in her bedroom again?  
  • Will Ethel reclaim her virtue and become a good cook for Lady Crawley's household? 
  • Will Lady Edith ever marry? 
  • Will Mrs. Hughes find if she has cancer? 
  • Will Mr. Carter ever have enough footmen? 
  • Will Branson make up his mind if he's a member of the aristocracy or an Irish Rebel
  • Will Daisy find true love?
  • Will Mrs. Patmore get a microwave?

Just a few questions inquiring minds want to know folks. That last question wasn't serious, just testing you to make sure you're a true follower of "Downton Abbey."

The Dowager Countess with her granddaughters Lady Mary, Lady Edity and Lady Sybil

I'll write more about "Downton Abbey" in future blog posts.  

Sure, I know this is just an overhyped costume drama but I'm telling you folks, I love a show with great acting, great casting, lavish sets, and - this is important - no graphic violence and sex.  Oh what a relief it is not to see some pretty boy (or pretty girl) holding a gun with both hands shooting at somebody which much of American made movies (and TV) pass off for entertainment these days.  

Memo to American producers, take a tip and watch Dame Maggie Smith.  This is true entertainment.  

Love you Dame Maggie

Monday, January 28, 2013

Prostate Biopsy Done!

Gestapo Headquarters

This morning I completed my long delayed prostate biopsy procedure.  Oh yeah, I feel like I've been rode long hard.

Folks, this is NOT a pleasant procedure.  Damn, My ass is still sore.  I feel like someone put a broom handle up my rectum and rotor-rooted my butt.  I'm sitting here now typing this whiny missive with a Kotex like swap between my butt cheeks.  Ah yes, too much information.  

So here's the blow by blow (so to speak) sequence of events this morning and my urologist's office.

Waiting Ron

My appointment was for 8:30 a.m.  I arrived at 7:30 a.m.  I was immediately informed by the receptionist that my doctor had an emergency and would be at least a half an hour late.  Oh joy. And I did want to get this THING over with.

Bill (yes, he was with me this time) and I settled down in the waiting room.  Bill had his book and I had my iPhone, to update my Facebook followers. After all, I AM obligated to tell one and all "how do you feel?" in my Facebook status box.

At 8:15 a.m. one of the young ladies in the office steps into the waiting room and asks "Ronald Tipton?"  Uh oh, the dreaded "Ronald".  Either I'm in trouble with my Mother or I have a medical appointment.  

I identify myself and obediently follow her to her office.  She takes my blood pressure.  130 over 70.  Okay so far.

"For me!?!"
Then she leads me to another room and tells me to have a seat.  It is now about 8:20 a.m.  I sit.  She leaves.  I notice on the table in front of me a long nosed instrument that look suspiciously a lot like a caulking gun.  THAT'S going up my anal nether regions?  Also on the tray are twelve McCormick spice medical containers with (wait for it) MY NAME  ON THEM!  Yes ladies and gents, they really are going to take twelve chunks of meat samples from my teeny tiny prostate gland.  Oh my.  

The Rack

So I sit, contemplating my fate.  I take a couple of pictures of my sad self and post them to my Facebook account informing my loyal followers (and some not so loyal, the ones I constantly annoy because I'm an unapologetic progressive) that I AM STILL WAITING.

Then another young lady (where are the MEN assistants?  WTF?)  asks me to REMOVE EVERYTHING BELOW MY WAIST.  Well, there's a request that I don't get every day.  

She indicates a sheet and says "Put that around your waist.  The doctor will see you shortly."  

My very own biopsy kit 

I did as I was instructed and removed my jeans and my underwear (don't get excited now).  I wrap the sheet around me and wait.  And wait.  And wait.  Feeling like a fool sitting in a chair fully clothed waist up and holding a sheet waist down.  

Another 15 or 20 minutes rolls by. Then the young lady (again, where are the young males?  Just asking) tells me to get up on the table and put my feet in the stirrups.  What?  I'm having a baby?  

She looks under the sheet and tells me to "scoot down a bit".  Uh huh, just what I always wanted to do on a snow mixed with rain and a little bit of sleet Monday morning, scoot my bare butt with my family jewels in full display before a strange young woman that I was never even properly introduced to.  Now if it was a man....well, I won't go there now.  I'll continue this narrative.  It gets better.

So I scoot down several more times until everything is properly displayed.  I'm wondering if I should rearrange my jewels to as to provide an unobstructed view but she says nothing so I say nothing.  Best left unsaid I say.  

Then she leaves the stirrups.......properly displayed.  Now I'm ready for the Gestapo interrogation doctor.

The doctor comes in.  Much too cheerily he says "Good morning Mr. Tipton!  How are you?" My first impulse it to say "F--k you, let get this over with" buy my professional persona kicked in (as it often does when my full genitalia, plus my anus, is on display for one and all) "I'm fine doctor".  My Mother trained me well, and yes my under was clean although he couldn't see it because I had it tucked into my trousers on yonder chair.

He explains to me that I will "feel a little pressure and a pinch" but to just relax.  Oh yes, I've heard that "just relax" before but under difference circumstances but we won't go there either at this time.  

He turns around and takes the caulking gun instrument of the tray.  He explains to me that he is going to put a CAMERA in first to identify the TWELVE areas were he wants to take a sample, a "sample" being a chunk of my prostate gland.  

Okay, here we go.  I've been waiting a year for this.  Finally, I'm getting it over with.  Everbody and everything is in position and he slowly slides the gun instrument up my orifice where the sun don't shine.  Folks, I'm here to tell you this was very uncomfortable.  Oh it slipped in all right but that didn't change the fact that I had a foreign object up my ass.  Not a good feeling, in fact it was downright uncomfortable.  Oh God.  So he's maneuvering this instrument around my canal and looking at the monitor while I'm trying to suppress groans which were not of the pleasure type.  

The Grand Inquisitor doctor continued this for a few moments, occasionally muttering "Umm, uh huh" and "ah!"  

Torquemada - The Grand Inquisitor

Then he tells me I'm going to feel twelve pinches and just to relax.  There he goes with that relax request again.  Sort of hard to relax when I have a staple gun up my ass.  

And then it happens.  "Boom!"  OUCH! I couldn't help but to let out a little pitiful grunt.  Ron you big sissy!  Be a man!  Then he did it again!  Two down and ten to go.  Chrissake, that damn thing hurts!  

Torguemada continues. He gets to six "Booms!" and says "We're half way there!"  but I'm thinking of telling him anything he wants to know including all the secrets that I was debriefed on during my Army stint the National Security Agency fifty years ago.  "Stop!  I'll tell you everything!"

Ron, you can do this. I grimace and groan, and grunt while Dick Cheney  the good doctor continues his torture procedure.  

Finally it's done.  Thank you Jesus (and I'm not even religious).  

The young lady of whom I now have no secrets asked me "Are you feeling lightheaded?"  Is the Pope German?  YES!  I feel like I'm f--cking going to faint! My God.  

Feeling like Ned Beatty in "Deliverence" after the good old boys had their way with him, "Are you feeling lightheaded."  Hey, I was just rode long and hard....YES, I'm feeling light headed!
She gives me a wet,cool towel to put on my woozy brow. That helps a little bit.  Mind you, I'm still on full display when I feel something warm running down my buttocks.  "Am I bleeding?"  I ask.  "Yes but not too bad."  Well okay, maybe I'm not bleeding BUCKETS OF BLOOD but I am BLEEDING.  Damn.  

She leaves there, in my having a baby position, dripping blood in a pan.  Hey folks, it just doesn't get any better than this does it?  WHAT did I do to DESERVE this?  I'll tell you what, I got old.  All those times I used to make fun of my Mother and all her doctor's appointments and procedures.  Karma really is a bitch.

After a few minutes the Young Lady From Whom I Have No Secrets returns and tells me I can clean up in the side bathroom.  She hands me a Kotex-like gauze pad and says "you can stick this between your butt cheeks after you clean up." Oh if my friends could see me now.  I'm come a long way from Ron Tipton, Trust Operations Manger, Mellon Bank, Philadelphia, PA.  Yes indeedy.

Gathering my pants and underwear, I waddle over to said side bathroom to clean myself up. That means using multiple paper towels to dab the blood coming out of my ass until there is no more.  Oh yes, I am still sore as hell.  Rode long and hard, that's the only explanation that I can think of to describe my condition now.

Cleaned up, I go back out into the office and sit gingerly on the chair and await further instructions.

The doctor comes in and tells me the camera doesn't show any sign of cancer but then he said "it never does."   Well.....okay.  He said he will send the specimens out for a biopsy and to stop at the front desk to make an appointment to see him for the results. Oh yeah, he also told me I would be peeing blood, excreting blood and even have blood in my semen for the next two weeks.  It just doesn't get any better than this does it folks?

He then makes a funny by telling me that no one ever thanks him in his line of business.  Ha ha.  

I try to walk normally, without much success, to the front office to make my appointment.  Made the appointment for February 15th. That's when I'll know the results of this morning's interrogation procedure.  

Bubba awaits his new "roomie"

Bill drove me home.  I was still feeling like I spent my wedding first night in jail with my roommate Bubba (not that I would know what THAT feels like but I can imagine). 

So here I sit now, still sore but not quite as sore as earlier this morning.  I just had my first pee and thank God, NO BLOOD.  

I survived folks, I survived.  Next!

By the way folks, if you were expecting to see pictures of me in the stirrups, dream on.  I'm revealing but not THAT revealing.  

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Ming the Merciless

Ming the Merciless, Emperor of the planet Mongo

You say you don't know who "Ming the Merciless" is?  Then you are showing your age.  You're showing how young you are.  

"Ming the Merciless" was the ruler of the planet Mongo.  You say you never heard of Mongo?  Where have you been?

Seriously folks, Ming the Merciless is a fictional character who first appeared in the Flash Gordon comic strip (ah ha!) in 1934.  Played by the actor Charles B. Middleton, he then appeared in the Flash Gordon serials of the late 1930's era.  No folks, I'm not THAT old but I do remember seeing those 30's era serials on my 12 inch (don't go there) black and white Philco TV in the Fifties when I was just a young whipper snapper with my adolescent hormones beginning to kick in. Lock and load as they say.

Flash restrained - check out those nifty shorts and Ming's look - works for me.

Oh my, was I ever transfixed by Flash Gordon, played by Buster Crabbe.  Funny thing, I look at the serial now on You Tube and see how fake it is.  In fact, it is so bad it is good.  Real good!  This morning talking to my friend Lar on FaceTime we were both watching the first serial and getting a real hoot out of it.  But oh how different it was when I was just an 11 year old back in the Fifties, wondering why my body was having this strange reaction to seeing Flash Gordon in THOSE shorts.  And what really puzzled me was (for lack of a better word) bondage cum S & M undercurrent between Ming the Merciless and the (sometimes) tied up Flash Gordon.  Every time one of those scenes came about I noticed a strange reaction in my nether regions that I had never experienced before.  A good strange reaction.

Me and my cat "Bobby" and the old black and white Philco TV where I used to get turned on to Flash Gordon - I think "Bobby" knew but no one else knew my "secret."

My straight friend Lar said he used to have the same reaction when he saw pictures of  pirate ladies. I too had that reaction to pirates but I got that reaction when one of the deck hands was tied up and given a few lashes for disobedience.  Oh my, what WAS that feeling Ron?

My friend Lar can have his pirate ladies anytime.  For me, I'll take Flash and his gun.  Lock and load.  

Friday, January 25, 2013

Friends - A Bad Week

Me waiting at Dover Subaru yesterday for my Forester oil change

Hi folks.  I had several ideas for unique and interesting postings but I'm just not up to it after events of the past week and the one BIG upcoming event of Monday, undergoing a prostate biopsy procedure.  I've written about this before and won't go into it again here but it is one my mind and affecting my mood and enthusiasm.  I was supposed to get this procedure last year but changed my mind but have decided to do it this year just to rule out any possibility that I have prostate cancer.

So here are some of my random thoughts are things bothering me right now.  

My cousin Jana - I doubt if I'm violating her privacy by posting this picture of her with her cat

Notice that the picture of the cat I had at the top of this blog is now gone.  That's because it was a picture I took of a former friend's cat.  He sent me an e-mail stating that I post "everything online."  Well actually, I don't post "everything online" but he did say I was violating his privacy by posting a picture of his cat. He has a every right to do that so I took the photo down and replaced it with my dog Horace the day we got him as a puppy in 1982.  Bill is holding him in his lap.  I can post this photo because Bill doesn't think I'm "violating his privacy."  Notice that I mention "former friend." I know where his attitude is coming from.  It's coming from another former friend who was ended our friendship because he took offense to something I said on one of my previous blog posts.  I think it was something about me not giving advice in the future when asked for it because my advice is rarely if ever taken.  He took offense and sent me an e-mail saying "Sorry I wasted your time....bye."  Sort of a flimsy excuse to end a friendship don't you think?  I did too.

Me with my friend Bob's cat - I don't I'm violating his privacy by posting this picture of his cat 

I sent an e-mail back to my former friend and told him I removed the picture that so violating his privacy.  I also told him to stop reading my blogs if he is so offended.  I also suggested to him to tell my other former friend (who is a friend of his) to stop reading my blog if it so offends him.  What is it with these people?  

My friend Larry with his cat - have I violated your privacy Larry?

So you see folks.  It's been a bad week. Someone I liked a lot stood me up for a lunch date that he requested, thus giving me the reality check that apparently my friendship wasn't as important to him as his was to mine.  A couple of other guys I thought were friends are offended by what I post to my blog.  I'm not in a good place this week.  

My brother Isaac and "Bobby", my one and only cat - 1954 - I didn't ask Isaac's permission to post this photo but the cat was mine so I guess it's okay to post this picture

I have a couple of relatives on my Facebook page who are Righties and testing my patience with their gun-toting, Hate Obama postings into unfriending them.  Then to top everything off some douche bag hijacked my Twitter account and sent spam to all my Twitter followers.  

I think part of why I don't feel well now is that I had to take stop taking aspirin a couple of weeks ago prior to this biopsy.  I am on a baby aspirin regimen because I almost constantly have a dull, throbbing headache.  This week has been especially bad.

My Mom with her "bedwarmer" (Molly) - Mom never minded me posting photos of her cats and I never knew anybody more private than my Mom - go figure

Some people have asked me "What is the secret to your long relationship with Bill?"  You know what it is folks?  The answer is very easy.  Bill respects me.  Bill likes me, warts and all.  Bill likes me as I am.  He's not a hateful, spiteful, controlling, jealous, and selfish person.  He thinks I'm important.  And I feel the same way about him.  Everyday I count my blessings that I found someone like Bill because I would hate to think of what my life would have been like with some of the so-called "friends" I've had in my life.  I have acquaintances, not friends.  I had better realize that then I won't get my feelings hurt the next time my friendship is taken for granted.  I admit it, I'm too sensitive.  I go overboard.  I will try to correct that weakness in the future.  

I do have a few good friends (not counting my blogger friends who are in a different category).  Ironically they are friends from my high school days and from my former life at Girard Bank.  They know who they are (all four of them - yes, I can count them on one hand). They know me.  They accept me just the way I am.  They do not try to control me.  They like me.  I know them and like them.  They also are not perfect like I am but I accept them as they are.  I have tried to accept my newer "friends" they way they are but without much success.

Ironically the friend who stood me up to lunch asked for the date because he wanted to know how our (me and Bill) "open" relationship worked.  It's simple, when Bill asked me to move in with him back in 1964 I turned him down.  I told him "I'm still going to go out and I don't want anyone controlling me."  He said he understood and would never try to limit or control a "22 year old".  He said that was the fastest way to end a relationship. He was right, that is the fastest way to end a relationship with me, start dictating to me how to live my life.  Doesn't work with me folks.  Maybe it works with someone else and maybe they even prefer to live that way but I would never accept a relationship where someone controlled my life.  Nor do I control Bill's life.  We come and go as we please.  This is what works for us.  And it's not all about sex either.  When some hear the word "open relationship" they think we're out there swinging from the chandeliers.  I wish.  No friends, what "open relationship" means to us is that one doesn't control the other.  Yes, I can have friends outside our relationship.  I can even have romantic friends.  So what?  None of them ever lasted nor did I expect them too.  The initial physical attraction always wears off then it's the character of the person and in all my years I have yet to find anyone to match Bill's love for me.  And I have never loved anyone like Bill.  No matter what we will always be together because he understands me and I understand him.  

So this time next week I hope I'm in a better frame of mind.  Had to purge today though.  Bad week.  

Me at the dentist earlier this week.  That went well - no cavities!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

"Liar, Liar Pants On Fire!" Answer

Hey folks, remember the "Liar, liar pants on fire" meme that I posted a few days ago?  Here are the four statements, one of which is a BIG FAT LIE.  

I asked one and all to identify the statement that wasn't true.

  1. I have sex once a week.
  2. I was a stutterer until my first grade teacher slapped me upside my head.
  3. I was 27 years old the first time I "pleasured" myself. 
  4. I am addicted to Doritos Blazing Buffalo and Ranch Chips.
  5. I lost over $200,000 in the great stock market meltdown of 2000

And the answer is (drum roll please!)


That's right folks, number 1 is an absolute lie because I am celibate.  Yes folks, hard as it is to believe I am celibate and have been since February 2005.  

Do I miss "it"?  Not as much as I probably would have if I was 21 years old.  Truth be told I've never really been a sexual person, although I do get turned on by men.  I'm more of a romantic.  Oh sure, I've been known to "indulge" but more of a passive nature when I was younger. 

WARNING!  Do not go any further is you get all icky by TMI from a 71 year old gay male.  

Okay?  Here goes:

First sexual experience 21 years old.  Spastic but enjoyable.

Passive sexual experiences up until I was 27 years old, somewhat enjoyable but I always had the feeling "is that all there is?"  

For the next ten years I had what would probably be considered the "standard" sexual experiences of any 27 to 37 year old gay male.  Now I know that you're thinking "That could include a LOT of stuff!"  Well, yes it could and I would be lying to you if I told you that I didn't dabble my big toe in that "stuff."  Again, I always had the feeling "Is that all there is?"  

My most enjoyable and happy experiences had less to do with the gymnastics of physical sex (which quite frankly I never got the hang of) and more of just "being" with somebody.  The closeness of somebody that I loved and respected and who, in turn respected me.  THAT is what really turns me on, not the "gymnastics" of "running up the numbers" (no pun intended).  Of course I've encountered difficulties with this attitude, even so far as to be accused of "not being gay."  Hey folks, I'm 100% homo, of that there is no question.

Now I'm not bragging or complaining, just stating facts.  I'm not passing judgement on my friends, gay and straight, who are "horn dogs."  Hey, if you like having sex and your sexual partner is up for it one, two three times a day or week; go for it.  That's just not the way I roll.

Of course I've encountered problems with my pedantic attitude towards sex with other men that I have befriended with over the years.  Either they thought I was coming on to them (which I wasn't) or they were coming on to me and expecting more (which I wasn't going to give them); either way the friendships became strained and eventually ended.  As one former friend (and now acquaintance) said in exasperation to me when he planted an uninvited kiss on me a few years ago after we returned from a dinner, "I can't figure you out."  Precisely, "can't we JUST be friends?"  

Yes folks, I'm celibate and that is just fine with me. 
That's me in the back to the right with the tilted mophead just as my hormones were beginning to kick in 5th grade 1953

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Stood Up

My view from my Table For One - I was too embarrassed to ask the waitress to take a picture of me alone at the table. I've never gotten used to dining alone.

Yesterday I was stood up for a luncheon date.  No big deal in the whole scheme of things but to me it was a reminder of how much I hate to dine alone.

Ironically, it wasn't me who called for the luncheon date.  It was my friend.  "Let's do lunch!"  I said "What's a good time for you?" (as I usually do, I am the accommodating one).  He said Tuesday.  I knew that was his day off although it wasn't my day of but what the hey, I can accommodate as I usually do.  

Yesterday morning I sent a text message to him "See you at 11:30."  I didn't receive an answer because I know that he sleeps late.  No big thing.

Eleven o'clock rolls around and I bundle up to go out to lunch.  A cold wave has rolled in.....finally.  Actually, I really didn't want to go out to lunch in the cold and also because I had to go to work yesterday afternoon near the same location where we were having lunch, the Rose and Crown Restaurant in Lewes.  Two trips into the cold.  I can do that.  What they hey.

So I get there and cross the threshold of the Rose and Crown at 11:24 pm.  The bartender gives me one of THOSE looks that says "Oh uh, a single diner hogging up one of our tables that could fit more."  I know THAT look because in my past I have often dined alone.  And the reason for that is because Bill doesn't like to eat out and most of my friends either can't afford to eat out or have something more important to do than dine out with me.  Sounds harsh but it is true, trust me, I know from experience.  I'm one of those saps people that other people make lunch or dinner dates with and if something else comes up better, they either cancel or postpone their date with me.  I don't know how I got into that position (maybe because I'm just too damn accommodating) or maybe just because I'm a bore.  I don't know which but it's a fact folks, I know from experience.

Anyway, I tell the waiter "I'm meeting somebody."   I want to go to a booth but he tells me "Oh no, they seat six."  Uh, okay. I've sat at that booth before and been comfortable but God forbid, I wouldn't want him to lose any business.  So I seat myself at one of those rickety tables for two out in the open (see above photo).  

The waitress comes over.  I tell her "I'm waiting for somebody."  I order an iced tea.  Fifteen minutes later she sashays by giving me THAT look. I tell her "Oh, I'll go ahead and order while I'm waiting."  As I said before, I had to go to work yesterday afternoon (at 2:30) and I do like to take an hour nap before I go to work, so I better order now. I sent my friend another text message "I'm here!"  

I order their overpriced $11.00 bacon cheeseburger, well done with fries.  Fifteen minutes later I get a plain hamburger, medium rare with luke warm fries.  Last time I was there I got luke warm fries.  I've seen reviews of this restaurant about their lukewarm fries.  Must be a speciality of theirs.  The fries are good but would be better if they were hot.  Oh well.  

I begin to eat feeling like Steve Martin in the movie "The Lonely Guy."  Remember that scene when he was eating alone in the restaurant?  When the disdainful waiter sat him down in the middle of a crowded dining room, every one stopped talking and a spot light clicked on to highlight Steve Martin's character EATING ALONE.  That's the way I felt folks, like a lonely, old fool (which I am actually but that's a subject for another blog posting).  

Ever eat alone?  I'm sure most of you have at one time or another and probably only did it once after discovering how unpleasant it is.  So there I was, chewing my medium rare $11.00 hamburger, trying not to make eye contact with the other diners who were obviously pitying this poor soul who has no friends and has to eat alone.  I tried to see the humor in my situation at that time but failed to do so.  I'm sort of feeling it now though, that's why I'm writing about it.  

I was half tempted to ask for a take out box to pack up my $11.00 medium rare hamburger (that I ordered well done) and end my embarrassment.  But I didn't want to admit defeat quite just yet.  For what seemed like an interminably extra long time, I chewed and chewed on that hamburger (which surprisingly had that nice charcoal taste that I like in spite of the pink middle which I despise) until I was finally finished.  I asked for a take out box to take my now totally cold fries home (I can reheat them in my oven at home at taste them the way they were supposed to be  

The time was now 12:30 pm. Out in the cold again, into my car and the four mile ride home.  When I got in the house Bill asked "How was lunch?"  I told him "I got stood up but the hamburger was good."  I told him that I was going to take my nap which I usually take before I go into work.

Nap taken, got dressed in work drag and off to Lewes again.  I arrive at work at 10 minutes to 3 pm, the start of my shift.  At 2:56 pm my iPhone beeps. I see I have a text message from my friend who was to join me at lunch.  Text message:

"Shoot!  I forgot.  I'm really really sorry."  

Yesterday wasn't a total loss, I got a blog posting out of it.  And I'm sort of seeing the humor in it....I think.  

Monday, January 21, 2013

Thank You Mr. President

No one was more surprised than me when president Obama mentioned "Stonewall" in his inaugural speech.  I have a DVR and I had to rewind and make sure he actually said "Stonewall." 

"We, the people, declare today that the most evident of truths -- that all of us are created equal -- is the star that guides us still; just as it guided our forebears through Seneca Falls, and Selma, and Stonewall..." he said.

"Seneca Falls" - women's rights

"Selma" - black civil rights

"Stonewall" - gay civil rights

Equality March Washington D. C. October 2009

For the first time in the history of presidential inaugural speeches the president of the United States acknowledged and affirmed the existence of my gay brothers and sisters and their role in the American Experience.

Proud LGBT folks at the Equality March in Washington D.C. 2009

Most of the people I know hate president Obama.  To this day I'm not sure why other than they hate the fact that a black man and his family inhabits the White House.  I hate to attribute such crudity and ignorance to those friends and relatives of mine that I care about but I know of no other explanation.  Oh sure, they talk about the "Socialist President" and the "President From Kenya."  I still don't understand the depth of their hatred.  I just can't hate that much.

In my lifetime I can remember when most of the people of this country hated gay people this much and more, even to the extent that once a gay person came out he or she was in danger of losing their life.  I think a lot of this hatred came from ignorance.  Of a fear that "their" way of life would end if they or their family was exposed to gays they would be contaminated.  I don't want to get into too much of the psyche of why people act the way they do but I am so thankful that, in my lifetime, we have a man who is the president of this country who doesn't despise us or just ignore us.  Us being gay people like me. 

"It is now our generation’s task to carry on what those pioneers began. For our journey is not complete until our wives, our mothers, and daughters can earn a living equal to their efforts. Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law -- for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well."

The Rehoboth contingent at the Equality March Washington D.C. 2009

Thank you president Obama for recognizing me and my gay brothers and sisters as a full and equal Americans.

Me at the Equality March in Washington D. C. 2009 - 30 years after I attended the first Equality March in 1979

One Week To Launch

Okay folks, today is one week to launch.  

"Launch" is when I submit my posterior to a sharp medical instrument  which will take twelve chunks of flesh out of my prostate gland.  You women have the probes to the vag, we men have to undergo the Prostate Thing.  Yes folks, I am getting the biopsy procedure.  

Regular followers of this blog know that I was scheduled last year (December 28th to be exact) for a biopsy of my prostate because my PSA scores are consistently above 4.0 which is the so-called danger zone for prostate cancer.  

My prostate score spiked at 8.4 the summer of 2012 and settled down to just over 4.0 (4.4, 4.8) during the fall months when I had blood tests done again.

I was going to get the biopsy procedure last year until I started to hear that maybe this procedure really wasn't necessary.  Since then I've heard arguments on both sides which I won't go into here but suffice it to say, none of the alternatives are pleasant.  

Two months ago I began having frequent episodes of having to pee.  I went back to my urologist.  He said before he did anything else he highly suggested that I get this procedure.  Although he couldn't feel anything on my prostate (always a fun thing having another man's digit up my anus), he was some other "concerns."  So I thought "What the hell?  Let's get this over with once and for all."  

All of last year I've had this hanging over my head.  I've heard stories about guys who didn't get the procedure and now have prostate cancer that has spread to their bones.  Remember, I did tell you there are no easy alternatives.  Then I heard a story of a friend of Bill's who had the procedure, underwent fifteen weeks of radiation, and his PSA levels are still up.  Well, that's NOT encouraging.  

Last year at a Christmas dinner, when I was going to get the procedure, the boyfriend of a friend of mine told me he had prostate cancer and had his prostate removed.  I asked him "How's that going?"  He told me "Well, I have to wear Depends (I could see them bulging through his pants) but I don't have cancer."  Uh huh. 

Christmas Dinner  - it was her boyfriend who is not pictured in this picture

Then there was the other guy a friend of mine told me about.  He had his prostate removed and is now impotent. He can't get an erection so he inserts a "device" in his penis prior to having sexual intercourse with his wife.  Talking about interuptus coitus.  

Then there was the friend I talked to who also had his prostate removed but he wasn't bothered that he couldn't get a hard on anymore.  He said "My kids are grown now, I'm not having any more kids."  Well........OKAY.  In my case it's not "the kids" but I do have a few favorite videos I've downloaded from Clothed Men/Nude Men that I like to watch occasionally.  I can't see the point in watching them if I'm a eunuch.  

But then I would like to live a little longer.  I would prefer not to die in excruciating pain like the man who hired me at Girard Bank lo these many years ago (1965).  Last year his brother called me to tell me his brother died in a nursing home.  His prostate cancer had spread.  I just could not imagine that vibrant man in a nursing home being eaten up by cancer.  

With my late friend back in healthier days - 1986
Well, anyway, not to get too far off the subject and dwell on sad memories, this biopsy thing has been hanging over my head for over a year now.  I'm getting it done.  

Part of the problem is that I can't take aspirin for two weeks before the procedure.  It's been one week since I stopped taking my daily regimen of baby aspirin (89 mg).  Everyday I have a mild headache.  I don't know if this is all in my mind or real but I'm not comfortable.

Also, I have a problem with the procedure itself.  Put aside it is very demeaning and embarrassing (I'm sort of used to that by now), it is a very invasive procedure.  To get to my prostate gland the doctor has to go through my colon.  That's why I have to take an antibiotic (Ciprol) the night before and the day after.  I had to stop taking aspirin so my blood would thicken and I wouldn't bleed too much.

My neighbor had this procedure last month and was peeing clots of blood for a day. 

Ever since I almost lost my life to an unnecessary hernia operation and contacted a staph infection when I was 17 years old, I've been afraid of hospitals, the great infection centers.  It took the doctors three operations and six months of me in and out of hospitals to clear up that infection.  It wasn't until seven years later when my doctor told my Mother he didn't expect me to survive.  It's a wonder I did because when they first took me into the hospital when my incision open all infected, they put me in the contagion ward with all the other infectious diseases like cholera and meningitis.  In fact, the first night I was there, a 13 year old boy died who was on the other side of the panel in the ward (no separate rooms for us infected patients) died.  

Chester County Hospital, West Chester, PA
The hospital where I was born in 1941 and where I almost checked out in 1959
One more week to go.  One more week of this low grade headache.  One more week of trying to think about something else other than that appointment I have 8:30 am Monday morning, January 28th, 2013.  

I hope to God this isn't the beginning of getting on that Medical Treadmill.

A happy post tomorrow, I promise.  I had to get this one off my chest.

The last picture I have of my friend (on the right).  Somehow very prophetic.  

My Way

This is beautiful folks.  Not only was this Frank Sinatra's theme song (he had so many didn't he?) but it could be mine as well as yours.  I love this rendition by Andre Rieu.  By the way, hard to believe that this song was written by Paul Anka, a teen idol of the Fifties who also wrote "Lay Your Head On My Shoulder."  BTW, Paul and I are of the same age.  Has no significance to anything but I thought it was interesting. You know me, I always like to add those extra "tidbits." 

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Liar! Liar! Pants On Fire!

Time for a meme folks.  I've not the recipes, the political rants, the "all about myself what I'm doing today" posts, now time for a meme.  I stole this one from the infamous "Anne Marie of Philly" who stole it from someone else who I forget now.

Here are Five Things About Me.  Which one is the big fat lie?

  1. I have sex once a week.
  2. I was a stutterer until my first grade teacher slapped me upside my head.
  3. I was 27 years old the first time I "pleasured" myself. 
  4. I am addicted to Doritos Blazing Buffalo and Ranch Chips.
  5. I lost over $200,000 in the great stock market meltdown of 2000.
Place your bets folks!

Caregiver Update

  Bill with his hospice nurse last week Regular followers of this blog have no doubt noticed that I haven't been posting on a regular ba...