Pages

March 15, 2015

Countdown to 60, Part 1




Yes, I'm back, alive and kicking...

Who'd of thought that I would ever be counting down the months, weeks and days to the 60th anniversary of my birth?

For those (few) of you that have followed me since 2006 and are not "friends" of mine on facebook, the tail end of 2014 was "interesting" to say the least... Christmas Eve, after working the night before, I was feeling a familiar tightness in my chest that wouldn't go away. Long story short, after my initial "cardiac event" almost 10 years earlier, and a follow-up visit from the widowmaker in 2013, I was once again having a minor heart attack.

After an angioplasty on Christmas Day my cardiologist informed me that the 5 previously installed stents were not doing the job they were intended to do and that I had additional blockage that needed tending to... Enter the need for a double bypass, Merry (frigging) Christmas to me!

Surgery could not be scheduled until the 29th and due to the potential risk, the hospital would not let me go home until after it was done.

Double bypass became a triple and after 5 additional recovery days I was released on the 2nd day of 2015 with a new scar from my neck to the base of my ribcage...

After a month at home recovering (and not driving) I finally got to return to work and the real world around the 10th anniversary of my first MI and the 9th "blogoversary" of "My New Life"...

Since then, 2015 is turning out to be pretty darn good... My limitations at work have been lifted, I don't have to fear the power of a car's airbag anymore, sneezing and coughing no longer feel like they will blow my chest out, and I have even gone out on a few "dates"...

Thank you to all my family and friends that have supported me through it all... I even got a visit in the hospital from Kelly (the first fellow blogger to comment on mine) over at "Rambling along in Life with a Stern point of view"...

Now that I am semi caught up, the countdown to 60 will continue periodically, so check back for new adventures and mis-adventures as "My New Life" continues in it's 10th year!

Over and "Out", from Richmond, VA


March 8, 2015

I am alive and well...

Looking forward to a great 2015! That is all for now...

September 5, 2014

Putting the SCOTUS Feet to the Fire...



Looks like a majority of the United States want this expedited:

Thirty-two states that either allow gay marriage or have banned it asked the U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday to settle the issue once and for all.

Fifteen states that allow gay marriage, led by Massachusetts, filed a brief asking the justices to take up three cases from Virginia, Utah and Oklahoma and overturn bans. And 17 other states, led by Colorado, that have banned the practice asked the court to hear cases from Utah and Oklahoma to clear up a "morass" of lawsuits, but didn't urge the court to rule one way or another.

The filing came as a three-judge panel of the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago ruled that same-sex marriage bans in Wisconsin and Indiana are unconstitutional. The unanimous decision Thursday criticized the justifications both states gave, several times singling out the argument that marriage between a man and a woman is tradition. There are, the court noted, good and bad traditions.

The experience of Massachusetts - the first state to legalize gay marriage - shows that allowing same-sex couples to wed has only benefited families and strengthened the institution of marriage, said Attorney General Martha Coakley.

"Laws that bar same-sex couples from marrying are discriminatory and unconstitutional," she said. "The time has come for this critical issue to be resolved."

Massachusetts was joined by California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Vermont, and Washington.

Colorado's brief argued that the definition of marriage faces legal challenges only the Supreme Court can resolve, and that without a Supreme Court decision, states defending bans could be liable for huge legal bills from future lawsuits if they are overturned. It was written by Daniel D. Domenico, the state's solicitor general, and Michael Lee Francisco, assistant solicitor general.

Colorado was joined by Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Georgia, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

These are the cases addressed in the briefs:

In Virginia, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in July that the state's voter-approved ban is unconstitutional. The state has appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, which hasn't said whether it will accept the case. But the high court granted a request on Aug. 20 from a county clerk to delay implementation of the ruling, which would have allowed same-sex couples to marry beginning the next day.

In Oklahoma, an appeals court tossed the state's ban in July but put its ruling on hold pending an appeal, meaning same-sex couples can't marry in Oklahoma for now. Attorneys representing the Tulsa County court clerk - who refused to issue a marriage license for a lesbian couple there - asked the Supreme Court this month to hear the case.

In Utah, the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver ruled this summer that Utah must allow gay couples to marry, though it put the ruling on hold pending an appeal. The state has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold the state's ban.
What do you think? Time to hear this?


Over and "Out" from Richmond, VA

September 2, 2014

The Next Day... Part Three... (The move back)



The cycle ends...

It took me about a week or two of drinking good old fashioned sweet tea all day long. I found I relied on fluids to fill that empty hole, but later reverted to something more traditional called "Eating"...

The job market in North Central Florida was not a whole lot better than it was in the Tidewater area of Virginia, but I did manage to land an eight week assignment through a local temp agency working with the Store Planning team on a Walmart remodel. After getting used to working and having a paycheck again I soon realized that the reasons I had chosen to move down to Florida really didn't play out as I had hoped they would. My son and my grandchildren's mother have a different style of raising kids than I was used to. Without getting into any of the details, I found that 1) I didn't possess the patience I once had around "toddlers", and 2) I refused to engage in any of the peripheral drama that kept popping up while I was a "guest" in their home...

When the 8 week project was done, the temp service couldn't find me another assignment and after six months back in Florida, I came to the realization that I really didn't like it don there and remembered why I was happy to leave the Sunshine State back in 1999. I started sending applications and resumes out to employers in the Richmond area and within a week had set up interviews (after the initial phone interview) with two different companies. It was time to thank my High Springs family, pack up the "Cruiser", and head back up to Virginia...

I arrived in Richmond on a Wednesday. By Friday I had been hired by one of the employers and by the following Wednesday had the 2nd interview. Start date for the first was not set and since the 2nd was a much better (and higher paying) position, I waited until the very last minute to start with The Home Depot in hopes that the 2nd offer might happen. I'm in week #3 now with the overnight Merchandise Execution Team (MET) at the "Homo Depot"...

While I have not given up on drinking, I find I go weeks without wanting one. I also find that when I have had a "party" night, my tolerance has greatly diminished as has the quantity of consumption. 

Now that I have brought you up to date, I will begin my next post with something "gayer"...

Over and "Out", on a very HOT day, from Richmond, VA 

August 31, 2014

The Next Day... Part Two... (Alcohol)



"Tommy, you're not an alcoholic/addicted so long as you can: 1) Not drink for one full day out of a week... 2) Not drink for one full week out of a month... and 3) Not drink for one full month out of a year..." - My Mother

I was well beyond the above when, in May of 2013 (just over 8 years since the first), I had my second heart attack and three additional stents added to my collection. 

Weeks off and on, to and home from work over the next few months took a toll on my attendance record. My anxiety attacks returned leading to periodic depression. Truth is, during that time I truly believed I (and my family) would have been better off if I had not survived.

One day in October Mike stopped drinking... Three weeks later he moved out. While we had pretty much just a house-mate type of relationship, we were friends and I was happy that he was moving on with and sobering up his life... I haven't talked to him since...

After several weeks of living alone, I rented out the guest room to a very nice (very straight) guy to help with the finances. It was nice to have someone there that appreciated the space for him and his sweet golden lab Max. Our schedules were pretty much opposite of each other until Thanksgiving when I lost my job due to the above mentioned attendance issues. Life in the place I called home in Portsmouth, for almost 5 years, was about to end. Yet the drinking continued...

I sold off everything I could to continue paying the rent and utilities while trying to find another job but ultimately, by mid January 2014, realized I couldn't keep my landlord at bay any longer. I talked to my #2 son about moving in with him, his 3 kids and their mother down near Gainesville, FL... They welcomed the idea with open arms. And the drinking continued...

By the first week of February I had packed what belongings I could, into my car (leaving the rest), and drove down to High Springs, FL to start all over again. The first thing I bought (with the limited funds I had) when I got there was an 18 pack of beer (in cans no less)...

Jobs in north central Florida were not that plentiful and neither was the length of my Virginia unemployment benefits. The day came that I couldn't afford to buy a beer...

So I didn't... and the cycle ended...

There's more to come my friends... Stay tuned for more of "The Next Day"...

Over and "Out" on a beautiful Sunday here in Richmond, VA

August 30, 2014

The Next Day... Part One... (Alcohol)



In an attempt to make sense of the past year I need to backtrack a bit and fill in some blanks. I think the best place to start is with alcohol and the affects it had on and around me...

When Mike and I first met back in January of 2009 I knew that he liked his Malibu and Cranberry... I also knew (from my past) that under the right circumstances I used an overindulgence of Miller Lite (yes, I know, most beer enthusiasts do not consider Lite to be a real beer...  In my defense however, as a proud gay man, I did only buy it in bottles) to cope with stressful situations. 

During the first couple of years of our relationship there was little to no stress other than we both worked retail and rarely had the same days off. The invisible "elephant in the room" was that during those days off we both began drinking in excess. It grew worse over the years to come. It started to affect me and my work. I began making irrational decisions about my career and as a result of those poor choices, lost my job.

Job searching became a career in itself for me. My life had evolved into filling out online applications, watching hours of TV, not getting out of my flannels, not showering or taking care of our home or myself, collecting unemployment, and of course drinking even more heavily... 

While I knew the drinking was impairing my judgement at times, I blamed most of my excess and problems on Mike, as his days off were spent drinking right along side of me. I let that ugly "blame" creature take away any respect I had for Mike and the relationship eventually nose dived as a result. It was HIS fault, not mine (or so I convinced myself as I still drowned my self-pity in daily 18 packs of liquid courage)... 

In January of 2013, over a year and a half after I lost my job, I got hired as a technical support rep for our local cable service. I was ecstatic that I landed the job and looked forward to proving myself with them and working my way up the ladder. My schedule wasn't bad (I worked 5pm to 2am) and I had two days off in a row (Tuesday and Wednesday). Life was going to be great for Mike, Mr Lite, Mr Malibu, and me. The relationship had pretty much ended by then but we remained friends and house-mates... 

Stay tuned for the next episode folks... It only gets __________ (fill in the blank)!

Over and "Out" on an overcast day, from Richmond, VA


August 29, 2014

I am ALIVE!




Yes, you heard me right... I am going to take some time and try to make sense of the past year through putting words to paper (so to speak) on the happenings and why I stopped writing in general.

For those of you that may still have a link to "My New Life", I thank you! I still actually get little deposits from the ads in here every now and then and every nickel counts these days.

So here it is, the end of August 2014 and I have returned to the originating city of this page, Richmond, (Virginia) over eight years since it's inception. I made a few zigs and zags (and misguided choices) to get here but couldn't be happier to return.

Over the next few weeks I will chronicle my travels...

Over and "Out" once again from Richmond, VA (the RVA)!