26 August 2013
Once again I will be participating in the Los Angeles Area Kidney Walk. Last year I blogged as to why I participate: I have kidney disease. Thankfully, with an excellent nephrologist, diet, and medication it is somewhat under control. I am somewhat prepared for what very well could be the inevitable choice: dialysis or kidney transplant.
Like many diseases and conditions, many people are unaware that they have a kidney condition. I encourage everyone to read this article. It could just save your life.
I'm not good at asking people for help. It's the stubborn Taurus in me. But this last year has shown me that I do indeed have a serious condition. I know so many of my followers are also struggling with health issues. Once again I'm reaching out to this blogger community. If you feel so inclined and can help, all donations are greatly appreciated. No donation is too small. Or too large!
Here's the link to my page:
Mark's Kidney Walk Donation Page
25 August 2013
On this past Friday night I had a nice phone call from my friend who - with his partner - moved to Illinois last year. They're in the Los Angeles area house sitting and they've decided to "tie the knot." They've been together for about 20 years and FINALLY their union will be legal. He was calling to invite me to their as yet to be planned post-nuptials dinner party.
A female coworker informed me last week that she and her partner of 17 years also made a trip to the County Clerk's office and officially got hitched.
A coworker in my department announced a couple of weeks ago that he and his partner (not sure of how many years, double digits though I believe) also have officially gotten married.
Love - and equality - is in the air!
As for me, I continue to be single although seeing a bit of O still. Not sure if we're friends with benefits, fuck buddies, or boyfriends. I'm not questioning it. He's grown a lot since we first met: now employed, paying rent to his father, and being a responsible adult. He's also grown in size! He's gained weight, which looks good on him, and he fits my idea of "cub" or "bear" although such labels are unimportant. Last Saturday we spent a major portion of the day together and had a really good time. I enjoy his company and he finds me attractive so there's not much to question.
One more week! Then we have our long Labor Day weekend. I'll be taking the other four days off that week. I've only had five days of vacation so far this year. That leaves me 17 days to take by year end. So I decided that would be a good time to knock off four days.
I'm looking forward to Gay Days this year; my friends Roger and Dave will be coming down from Washington again. I hope to be able to hang out with them. They're really woofy and friendly and just really great guys.
Does anyone have a pet-safe remedy for ant invasions? I've dealt with ants this entire past week. Every night when I've gotten home I've had to battle them. Poor Winston's food takes the brunt of it. I've tried the Blue Dawn, the Bounce dryer sheets, boric acid...nothing seems to keep them from coming into the house. And most times I cannot tell where they're coming from! It's frustrating. I'm thinking of calling an exterminator that a friend with pets uses.
That's about all of an update I have. Boring!
16 August 2013
For my first Flashback Friday, I wanted to share the above watercolor painting of a San Francisco street scene. It was given to me by the artist, Bob Serrano, in 1987 (the year after I graduated from college).
Back in the day...and I mean BACK in the day...the only ways to find "like minded men" was to either go to a gay bar, a gay bath house, a bookstore, or by placing an ad in the Pink Pages of the Advocate magazine. As a 21 year old, I opted for the latter because it seemed to be the thing to do. Not surprisingly, an ad stating I was 21, a virgin, and exploring my sexuality yielded many replies. Oh and let me clarify: this was through snail mail. I had rented a PO Box for my correspondence and all mail I didn't want sent to the house (I lived at home and commuted to college).
One of the (many) respondents was a gentleman named Bob. We corresponded erratically until we finally talked on the phone. This was probably in the 1984-85 year. We finally met for dinner one evening. I don't recall where we met but he picked me up and we went to dinner at Charlie Brown's and then we went down to Laguna Beach to a country club to talk and share some wine. That country club had a lovely pool room. *wink* I probably should have been freaked that this man fucking me was a little older than my mother - but I didn't let it bother me.
Bob, who was 28 years older than me, became my personal and academic mentor. We discussed gay life and Bob introduced me to the finer side of being gay: the smart clubs, the smart cocktails, the scuttlebutt on closeted celebrities, all those tidbits that make a newly out boy awestruck. I'll be honest: Bob introduced me to some very interesting sexual techniques as well. I was eager to learn. But it wasn't all personal; he advised me academically although he worked at a different college. I interviewed him for one of my writing projects (on which I got an A).
Bob was an artist and often his work appeared in gay porn magazines as "accompanying art." Often his picture was hotter than the story. We talked about many great things and I admitted to having a desire to see San Francisco again, having been there on family vacations and on high school band tours.
I graduated from college in 1986 and got involved in the local theater, got a full time job and unfortunately my time with Bob became a thing of the past. We reconnected once more - I won't bore you with the story of how he played a trick on me with a very hot motorcycle cop - where after satisfying each other sexually, he presented me with the water color as a remembrance. I tried to keep in touch via letters; he retired and moved to San Luis Obispo to care for his ailing mother.
In 1989 I took a road trip to SLO and looked him up. As I walked up the driveway he stepped out and asked what I wanted. He didn't remember me and that kind of hurt but knowing he "advised" many frat boys for Sigma Phi Epsilon throughout his career it was understandable that any young man walking up his driveway was not unusual. We talked and made plans for dinner that night. After dinner, we went to my motel and had one last round.
I'm not certain when Bob passed away; in the 1990s I tried looking him up in SLO but the phonebook had his brother's name. I called, inquired about Bob, and found out he had passed. The brother wasn't very friendly or forthcoming with information so I assumed that Bob passed from complications of HIV.
I came across the watercolor recently. I put it in a frame and now have it hanging in my bedroom. I learned so much from Bob and he was a good friend. I hope he enjoyed life to the fullest until the end.