Major Surgical Procedure

The problem with metal base rings is this … You see this base ring comes with a partial rubber bumper tubing covering the joint at the bottom of the ring. What I did not count on, was the metal ring, cutting into my skin around the top of the ring. Which was causing me grief.

I noticed it today when I went to shower.

I had to perform a surgical removal of said cage, by removing the solder, and unscrewing the locking mechanism first. It was not that terrible. The solder popped off with the assistance of a wrench, and I was able to remove the cage. I had rubber bumper tubing in my storage box, that I was using for the base rings for the Bon-4 cage, I had used prior.

I took the rubber bumper tubing and slid it onto the Rage Cage base ring, and it went all the way around the ring. I made several attempts to re-solder the end of the bolt set up, failing miserably, and causing myself even more grief. The wide metal solder I was using was not adhering to the bolt/nut end.

The soldering gun was generating heat into the ring itself, which raised the heat level almost to unbearable temperatures. Trying to solder a locking mechanism that conducts heat while you are wearing it, needs to be done “very carefully” so you don’t intentionally burn yourself, where it counts.

I had another metal solder spool in my tool box, a much smaller grade solder wire, that I was able to use successfully.

Should have thought about before:

  1. Metal Base Rings will chafe. And if they are cut in a specific way, they will tear skin at the contact point with the body, above the groin where the ring meets the body.
  2. A partial rubber bumper tube needs to be much longer and cover the entire ring, around from end to end.
  3. If you are using a metal base ring, it needs to be buffered, because long term usage will depend on a comfortable fit.
  4. Soldering between your legs has to be done very gingerly and carefully.
  5. Metal on Metal conducts heat around the entire set up. Have wet washcloth standing by.

Mission Accomplished.

Short Changed …

Do you ever feel shortchanged in life ? Like one is not getting the whole story, or ALL of the TRUTH available ? Do you ever feel like the people you surround yourself with, or had surrounded yourself with were not being completely forthright with you ? Like they had the market on full disclosure and that you were not worthy of that full disclosure ?

Being Gay in a very Straight sober world has its PERKS, but it also has its drawbacks. I’ve been pondering this same truth about myself recently.

I sat with my sponsor the other day, and I shared with him my observations of people in our rooms here. Everything I said to him, about what has been my experience over the last eighteen years, he agreed with me. Because he has seen the same things with his own eyes.

A couple months ago, I changed up my game, and began attending a stand alone, closed men’s meeting, with a handful of men, I know well, and they know me well, because we attend other meetings together, and have been for a very long time.

One of those men, my new sponsor, I really enjoy sitting with him, because every time we sit together he tells me stories about his life. Usually, I leave home on a Wednesday night, uber early, so that I arrive at the hall, early, because I know my sponsor is going to be there. Which is where we began talking a couple of months ago. Talking more that we had been talking because of the spare time we have alone together to chat about life.

I used to hang around a group of long sober men, who, in reality, were not very sober, themselves. I used to go to Vermont with these men for step retreats. Being the only queer man in the sessions, nobody really engaged me honestly, and none of them desired to break bread with me either.

If you cannot break bread with me, I have no use for you.

For all those years, and even before, all my straight sponsors, save, just one, David, never gave me the full truth about alcoholism and The WORK. My step work was always cut short, incomplete.

Last year, when I sat with Noah, I chose to work with him, because I liked what he had to say, every time I heard him speak in a meeting. He knew what he was talking about, every time, with a conviction that was attractive to me. So I asked him to read me through The Book and The WORK.

I knew his sponsor, and he IS a no nonsense human being, who tells it like it is, every time, without fail. I loved that about him. So I knew Noah, got the very same truth, he would tell everybody else.

It was the first time, in all of my years sober, that someone told me the truth, and worked me through a full set of The WORK. He made me think, he asked me hard questions, and pushed me to grow up.

You can learn from many people in the rooms, no matter how long they are sober, if you listen well to them share, and you know just who they, themselves are working with.

I heard a lady share tonight, that “Sobriety, is cumulative. It is not just one thing that you do that makes the difference, it is all its constituent parts that make up the whole experience.”

She is right.

I read, A Lot. I pray as well. I read spiritual literature. I read The Book, and I work with others. I go to meetings, I do service. I do everything that was taught to me since the day I walked into my first home group here in Montreal. And I’ve been able to carry forwards that ritual work for all my years in sobriety. I still do the same thing I did eighteen years ago.

I make COFFEE !

I make coffee because I can get there as early as I want. Usually a hour or two prior to the first human being arriving. Because I know that if I build in that time, I usually get to have a one on one conversation with the first person who arrives as we drink our first cups of freshly perked coffee.

I got to have one of those conversations tonight, and it was fruitful.

The men I know, in the men’s meeting, tell me the truth. They are honest with me, because I try to be honest myself. I learn how to be sober, by doing what good sober people do. Good sober men are few.

There is a difference.

I know what I know today. And I know what I want for my sobriety now. Having thought about it over the past week or so. I’m tired of being short changed by men who think they are sober, but won’t tell the truth or give me all the facts, or give me true sober work.

I know what’s in the book. I’ve read it several times over. I’ve changed up my game enough to give me access to new men and women. Most importantly, the men at that men’s meeting on Wednesday.

If you feel like your sobriety has been short changed, there is a solution.

You just gotta do the footwork and find a meeting where there are long sober men and women who will tell you the truth.

I’ve been GAY a very long time. And I know most uber straight men don’t want anything to do with me, and I know that, by what they do, and what they don’t do, in front of me. If you have to overcompensate, and constantly piss in front of me and tell me how big your dick is, I don’t have any use for you.

My sponsor agreed with me on this the other day.

Even my Gay brothers in the rooms want nothing to do with me. Is it my backstory or that I am not a gay like them? I will never grow up to be a fumpy old gay man. I don’t dress like them, I don’t act like them, and i sure as shit don’t want whatever it is they have.

I sat in a room with all of them for fourteen months reading the Big Book, during the hardest emotional bottom I’ve ever experienced in sobriety yet. And in all that time, not one gay or straight man or woman, ever walked up to me and said …

I KNOW HOW YOU FEEL, LET ME TELL YOU HOW I DEALT WITH THAT.

These are the the most important life saving words an alcoholic has, because we have back stories. Experiences. Life Experience. In all its forms.

I’ve NEVER heard these words come out of ANY sober mouth, anywhere in this city, in ALL of my sobriety.

That is a shame.

Because it took a lady from New York to come here, talk to us, and share those words with us.

I won’t be sort changed any longer.

Renovation Complete

Thursday this past week, saw delivery of Ikea furniture to complete the floor, painting, furniture project. We’ve now spent about $5,000 of the renovation. Much of that will pay out in a substantial rent increase to cover the flooring put down last week.

As of this afternoon (Friday) my library project is complete. I’ve always wanted book cases to showcase my personal book collection. I was impressed as I stacked books today, that I have read each and every book in my library, whether for class, or for personal gain. Even these two book cases did not complete the job, as we still have a box of books that did not find themselves shelved. Me thinks another book case is in the plans later on. But they do look beautiful.

Over on the right you can see the new cabinet we purchased for the electronics that connect to the flat screen television. We took the old stand and employed it for the computer tower and printer in my office space.

The old white desk that was taped together with duct tape is gone. I only kept the cabinet because it was still in tact, because I needed some extra storage space at my desk. The desk is brand new, and is handsome itself.

Next week, (Tuesday) Ikea will deliver the last two pieces of furniture that still need to be replaced. Huby calls them the horseshoe of depression. The dining table his parents gave him when he moved in here 19 years ago, and the pantry cart that holds stacks of food boxes, cookie containers, and the cutting board for holiday dinners. Both will be replaced with new furniture which has bee on a “want” list for as long as we’ve been together.

IKEA furniture brings with it the ever present challenge to “Divine” what those little picture books tell us to do, WITH NO WORDS, only PICTURES.

I have to say, we almost lost it over putting the desk together. We got through 95% of the build until I lost my cool, because I could not get the last two hinges in the desks door (on the right) … I almost lost it.

The book cases took us all of twenty minutes to build. The first one went together so fast, that hubby turned the shelves backwards, so the backs were facing outwards, and we only realized the error when we nailed the final nails in the back panel and stood it up for the first time.

“The refrain went something like this FUUUUUUUCK !!!”

We did not make the same mistake twice. In the end, all it took was a little original thinking to make it look complete and error free. We took some black shoe polish and “polished” the backward facing shelves so they look like the others.

Mischief Managed !!!

We now live in a totally renovated space. We have a photo album I gave hubby when we got married of the wedding pictures and a photo book containing all of hubby’s early photos I had found and put in book form. And in that book are photos of what this place looked like 18 years ago, when I moved in. Both of us were getting sober together. And this apartment was a little dirty shit hole.

There were 300 beer bottle piled on the balcony, we had a rabbit that shit all over the place. The furniture was old twenty plus year old bamboo furniture that was falling apart and was being held together with duct tape.

It was a complete mess … It took us years to start renovating in small areas. We changed appliances, and electronics as we could afford them. We cleaned up the space, the rabbit eventually died, and went to SPCA heaven.

But as of today, everything we have always wanted to do is done. Save the table and pantry coming next week.

We’ve spent many years as “Have Nots.” Which has kept us humble and appreciative of all the good graces we’ve had from our friends over the years, because when we needed, the hand was always there. Thank the program for that grace. If it were not for my friends in recovery, we probably would not have made it to this point.

Today we “HAVE” modestly. We live within our means, and all the money we pay out in taxes and social services over the year prior come back to us. We can file all kinds of exemptions to the taxes for drug payments that we pay out of pocket every month, and other ancillary services that are ot covered by government programs.

Tonight we talked about God. And I figured something out that I had not thought about before. And that is this … A very long time ago, memere had a conversation with God about me, and it has taken me 52 years to figure out what He was trying to show me my entire life.

I can live, and trust God, and I have survived this far… By the Grace of God and the Fellowship.

Gratitude overflowing.

It was a great day, it is slowly getting warmer, but it still is gonna be a few cold days. Spring will come eventually. And won’t we all be glad for that.

More to come.


Monday: The Infinite Ocean

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It was a very wild weekend here. Knowing that Daylight Savings was going to begin on Sunday, did not dissuade me from living my life as I always had, before.

Going to bed early, just for the sake of going to bed early, seems to be, beyond my capabilities. I just have to crank out a couple more hours out of my twenty-four, THEN go to bed, WHERE I grab a book and I read for ANOTHER hour, before shutting off the light for the night.

Sometimes, we just need to GO TO BED ALREADY !!!

Saturday night, I was burning the AFTER-Midnight oil. Knowing that I HAD to be up at SEVEN in the AM, to be at the Hospital, at Vendome by EIGHT in the AM.

I stayed up to fart around as usual, so it wasn’t until around 2 that I finally went to bed. I set my phone for SEVEN, and sure as shit, SEVEN did come around, sooner than I would have liked. But who am I to listen to conventional wisdom ?

I got dressed, and headed through the tunnel to the Orange line, which is a straight shot to Vendome, three stations up the line. I took the tunnel, the new access for everyone, including the Handicapped patients who visit the new MUHC Hospital.

Let me tell you how much grief was wrought because they built that entire hospital project, but did not have the foresight to build an accessible tunnel FROM the Metro station to the Hospital, in one fell swing …

That would have been too esasy!!!

They did not plan accordingly. And after much wringing of hands and complaints lodged to the city, the city caved and spent extra millions of dollars to tunnel from the station to the hospital, AFTER the FACT.

I get to the hospital around 7:30 and get lost trying to find my way into the hospital, because getting in, is half the fun.

On a Sunday Morning no less.

The only people AT the hospital at 7:30 in the morning are those working INSIDE, and Security. The halls are all devoid of life. I want to get outside for smoke before hand, because you CANNOT smoke on Hospital property.

I quietly Exit the building, wherein I get locked out of said hospital, and after trying three separate entrances with locked doors, and only a security button and a speaker to talk to, I find my way back into said hospital, trudging through MUD and SNOW on the far side of the building, having to find my way BACK to where I really needed to be for my appointment.

I get to the department, and the lights are off. The desk is devoid of life, thankfully, I see a young man exiting the same location and ask him where I can find a sign of life, and he says to me… “OH, they will come and get you … just have a seat and wait…”

Ten Minutes later a nurse comes to fetch me and the CT Scan takes all of five minutes.

I just spent the better part of an hour navigating the damned building for the climax of a FIVE minute CT Scan of my back…

Thank you for making your appointment this morning, have a nice day.

I took the Metro back to Atwater to drop off some scripts that needed to be refilled, that I would pick up later. I walk back home and gather my granny cart, and walk BACK to the mall to do my grocery shopping for the next few days …

BECAUSE ??? You might ask ??? There is SNOW in the forecast for the next three days.

I don’t want to be stuck without ample supplies and have to go out in a snow storm to grocery shop trying to pull a wretched granny cart through the snow.

Been there, Done that already.

I get home from my shopping trip and crawl back into bed. I sleep for the entire day and into the night. I had turned my phone off and was comatose for hours. I got up for dinner and some tv. By 11 p.m. I had such a head ache that my head was spinning and I was nauseous.

I took some Naproxen and crawled back into bed. I felt so sick. Not sure where that came from but, that was a thing.

I slept through until my haircut appointment this afternoon.

I have a HIGH and TIGHT haircut, that we tweaked just a bit. My friends, this evening seemed to like it. Because several people commented, which was unusual.

We read from the Big Book, and the topic of Resentments.

You’d never know how many of us drunks, YOUNG and OLD, have serious DADDY ISSUES. Everybody shared on the topic. And as usual, our trusty time-keeper kept us all to a three-minute time limit on sharing.

Which at the end of tonight’s meeting, spoke to him about.

Another of our kids went back out. She was hanging on the periphery of the room when I spoke to her before the meeting. I gave her some sage advice, and asked her to sit among everyone, and not on the back wall, as some do, to stay out of the fray, for all intents and purposes.

She did not make it through the entire meeting. I think the topic was a bit rough for her, so she bolted before the meeting even ended.

A friend of mine, lost his mother recently. We are kin to the same problem. Parents with memories and resentment lists like ELEPHANTS.

They NEVER Forget …

As sober people, what is done is done. Carrying around resentments is like carrying rocks around our necks, in sacks only we can fill, OR empty, whenever we choose.

My friend realized, long ago, what game she had been playing. And he chose to take the high road, and access the infinite ocean of power we have within our reach, when we get sober. Taking that high road, was not always the easy road. But he walked it.

He made peace with his parents and escorted his mother to her death, valiantly. Because he embraced love and compassion, and the infinite ocean of love around him, and he carried that love back to his family, doing good, small things, OFTEN.

I don’t have that luxury of doing Good, Small Things, Often.

One, because my brother hates me as hard as my parents hate me. And Two, I cannot even get him to acknowledge my humanity as a human being, let alone, answer any of my texts to him, beyond his …

I GOT YOUR TEXTS AND I DID NOT READ THEM. STOP TEXTING ME ALREADY BECAUSE I AM NOT INTERESTED IN KNOWING YOU.

So fuck me for trying.

My friend talked to me for a bit after the meeting and when I got home, I caved to pressure of compassion and emotion, and I texted my brother AGAIN.

I give him three days before he tells me to fuck off again…

I have not spoken to my mother, not that she wants to even talk to me, but I wished to express my condolences to her, but if I cannot raise my brother, as he is her gatekeeper now, and he isn’t speaking to me, I will never get to my mother.

So she will go to her grave even more angry and bitter than my father was.

Sometimes sobriety and the truth sucks, because there is not a snowball’s chance in hell, that I will get anyone to recognize that I am ALSO a human being, with feelings of my own.

I might have made the bed I am sleeping in right now, by choices that I made twenty odd years ago, but they were direct results of my family telling me to fuck off and DIE ALREADY when I was very sick and closer to death than I am today.

It isn’t ALL my fault for the state of family affairs today.

I would love to believe I have access to my friends INFINITE OCEAN of possibilities, but that just AIN’T the case with my family. For my family, you can NEVER go HOME.

Tomorrow I have a Two O’clock appointment with the smile specialists. I HATE, with all my soul, the dentist. But I need serious help, and it’s gonna cost serious money, that we know we don’t have, to complete the job successfully.

I am praying for small mercies and maybe a little miracle of financial ability of the part of an institution to be able to finance what I need IN HOUSE, and not using an outside firm where I am going to pay interest for years, before I can even think of paying off a job that is probably going to cost THOUSANDS of DOLLARS, start to finish.

UGH !!!

It’s time to go to bed already.

More to come. Stay tuned …

Thanksgiving …

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I love this photo, October is the only month I can use it properly.

The official MARCH through the Holidays, begins today.

I was up early this morning and put my first holiday turkey in the oven to bake. A few hours later we sat down to a good meal. I had to do some last minute shopping for dinner earlier and as I stepped into the Tabamag shop, (smokes and magazines) I heard the words:

JOY TO THE WORLD THE LORD HAS COME …

I stepped up to the counter and said to the girl behind the counter …

REALLY, CHRISTMAS MUSIC, ARE YOU KIDDING ME ???

She was like “Yeah, a Christmas movie …”

UGH !

Thanksgiving had barely begun and holiday tunes were on tap.

I decided this year that I was not doing anyone any more favors. When I needed people to be kind and offer me a hand, nobody stepped up. So this Holiday Season, is all about me and hubby, and that’s it.

Dinner was a success. Next stop Halloween.

More to come.