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Archive for the ‘Reasons to be Thankful’ Category

Actually, FUCK YOU, that’s not just uncomfortable… that HURTS.

The morning after my birthday. I was laying in bed, feeling a little randy, and so I started to take advantage of myself. Actually, I didn’t get far with it because suddenly I realized that I wasn’t alone in the bed. While grabbing my breast in a way that should have been naughty, I instead realized I was achy and something was amiss. I called it a lump, but it wasn’t round. It wasn’t a mass either. I wasn’t sure WHAT it was, but it wasn’t there before. It had never been there before. Suddenly it WAS there and all I knew was that I didn’t have insurance.

I had applied for insurance a month earlier and so the day after my house guest moved in, I called for an update on my application.

“Backed up”, they told me.

“A couple more weeks”, they said

So, I waited, and I said nothing. To almost anyone. I didn’t want to worry people needlessly. I didn’t want people fussing if there wasn’t a reason. I didn’t want to TALK about it. I was trying with all my might to just get by until I could get insurance and get tested. Then, last Monday, I called again, assuming that calling three weeks from when I was told that 2 weeks would be a fair estimate for processing…well, that would get me good news, right?

“4 more weeks, ” she said, ” we are short-staffed and backed up over here with processing.”

I couldn’t handle the stress and the silence anymore. I wasn’t sleeping well those previous weeks and now I was crying myself to sleep some nights. I was beyond frustrated. I wanted to tell Type Geek, but I didn’t want to worry him. He just lost his brother last Spring. Cancer. Without some sort of diagnosis, I didn’t even know what to say. Why make people worry and feel helpless? So, I kept quiet and I researched.  By midweek I had located the Women’s Health Network and the lovely woman there put me in contact with Lisa at Cambridge Health Alliance. Lisa hooked me up with Julianna & Coreen who were able to act as my advocates and fast track my insurance application. There was still chaos in that process though, as the insurance company lost the letter they faxed over last week, forcing us to re-fax it this week. Then the insurance agency decided that they would no longer deal with my advocates and I had to go back to calling them. Back and forth, back and forth. They leave me a message Monday late afternoon, only to tell me that, “Oops, you can’t call me back because the offices are now closed.” Making me wait until the morning. By mid Tuesday I finally have insurance. By end of day Tuesday I have an appointment at the Breast Care Center and a new primary care. Exhale.

Wednesday is a lot of waiting. I woke up late. Not concentrating. Appointment regarding my benefits in Downtown Boston, stroll through TJ Maxx for spices (a hidden gem for spices, btw), through Whole Foods for meat, and get home in time to do a bit of research before meeting a friend and her business partner for dinner about a potential business arrangement. Home and exhausted.

I woke this morning with an hour before I needed to be at the hospital. I showered the night before. No deodorant or powder. They can cause false positives on the films is my understanding or at least make reading the films difficult. No jewelry on the neck. Wear separates, so the top can be easily removed. Check Check Check. Got it.

Walking to the train… red line is down. Of course.

Cab stand. Nothing there. Guy hails one as I am trying to. I’m sure he has to go to the hospital to get his balls fondled, fine.

FINALLY I hail a cab…and he turns out to be agro overly caffeinated impatient driver from some townie North Shore part of Boston. Yay! Dude, that’s cool, yell at people for stopping at yellow lights. That’s cool. I might have cancer, but sure, it’s fine to let traffic lights totally ruin your day. He drops me off, finally. Free at last from his clutches!

As I am doing my check in… “But ma’am, your appointment is TOMORROW, the 30th.”

Ha Ha Ha Ha, “Umm, no, it’s THURSDAY, Today. Today is THURSDAY and my appointment is on THURSDAY.”

“But ma’am, it say’s here….”

“I DON’T CARE what THAT says. I made the appointment for THURSDAY”. Did I mention that I cut sugar and coffee weeks ago. Damn, if there was ever a time I could use a triple tall nonfat vanilla latte… it’s fucking right at that moment. BREATHE

They shuffle me off to the Breast Care Center to see if they can do anything. Thank you Lisa at BCC registration for fitting me in with Denise, the NP. Now for the fun part:

An hour undressed with a ridiculously designed gown (thankfully it was cotton, not paper) with arm holes larger than my skull, and lots of where is the lump, which breast, describe how it feels, describe the pain, on a scale from 1-10, where is the pain… ok, arm up.  Thank you Denise for making the clinical exam not too torturous, and having a charming breast side manner. Having not found anything, she offered two options.

  1. I could go home and “watch it”. That means that I would still have the nagging questions in my mind. What if, Could it, Might it?
  2. She could justify to the insurance, while I have it, the reason for further tests, and schedule me a mammogram and ultrasound.

I opted for peace of mind. She agreed that it peace of mind was a good way to proceed and had me wait (there’s a definite trend here with the waiting) while she checked with Lisa. Ten minutes later I am told to go take a walk for an hour and come back for a 12:30 mammogram and 1 pm ultrasound. That’s a super long hour; if you are wondering. How do you think of anything other than what the tests MIGHT find. Even though Denise didn’t find anything, hell, the films could. So, I wandered around and checked out 2 vintage stores, a bookstore, picked up a white tea and wandered back. Lisa directed me to the mammogram suite, where I checked in, stripped again, and waited. YAWN. Of all days to be off coffee.

A quirky woman named Carol came and rescued me from boredom, only to torture me with an iron apron an inch smaller than my waist and the Tit Terrorizer, aka the mammogram machine. If they threatened criminals with mammograms, you’d get confessions sooner. Maybe it hurt so much because I’m petite and between the contorting and the shoving and the pressing, small breasts just hurt so much more when compressed to the size of a small luncheon sandwich. Once the 6 images were taken, and yes, the small paddle does hurt the worst, it was off to sit…and wait.

Sweet Maggie May, with the spasmy back… she rescued me from my waiting room purgatory. Leading me to the ultrasound room, she was quite funny and down to earth. We complained of getting older, my shoulder pain, her spasmy back. I suggested back stretches and arm stretches, and anti-inflammatory diet, and lots of ibuprofen. She poured warm gelatinous gook on my right breast and scanned it. I joked that I deserved a voucher for a really nice dinner after getting my breasts fondled for so many hours. After the scan, Maggie stepped out, I waited (yup) and once the doctor reviewed it, I was cleared to go.

Results? Nothing. Well, not nothing, but nothing cancerous. Turns out my breasts have decided to develop their own version of internal cellulite. Pockets of fat. Yay! I love old age. Apparently totally normal for women to have, some even develop like that initially.I guess I can find relief in that my bodies sick idea of symmetry. Cellulite on the thighs, cellulite in the breasts. Top to bottom. Grrar.

I headed back down to give Denise the heads up on results, book a follow-up with her in 3 months regarding the “pain’, and then wander over to make an appointment for a physical with my new primary care so that I can also get a referral for a dermatologist. All of this cancer scare has me wanting to get everything checked out while I have the insurance. So, all those moles and skin spots… be sure as hell I am getting those looked at. I’m also going to get to the bottom of my headaches, once and for all.

As I walked out of the hospital I exhaled and felt a definite sense of relief, but I also was oddly bummed out that it meant I couldn’t get La Perla customized breasts after all. That was my one silver lining. If I was going to have cancer, I would come out with implants and perfect La Perla sized breasts. Oh well, guess I will have to be happy with cancer free breasts instead of manufactured cleavage. In all of this, the best lesson I can find is this… if you have insurance, USE it. Get things checked out people. Been how long since a comprehensive exam? Get one. I know they are [fill in blanks], but they are necessary and they could save your life, or at least, your small and perky, yet imperfectly shaped for La Perla (sigh) breasts.

Thanks everyone.

 

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That’s my new life hashtag. I’ve spent COUNTLESS (okay, roughly 22 so far) hours on the phone with a representative or on hold or being transferred between departments while trying to secure health insurance. I have now brought in public health advocates and at first they seemed helpful, until the insurance representatives decided they no longer would release information to them as my advocates. Then I needed to call them back and sit on the phone and re-explain everything, because I LOVE doing that and it is SUCH a productive use of my time. Now, I get a call at 4:45 from one of the insurance reps, while I am in the “powder room”, only to come out to a message that asks me to call them back but… a) doesn’t leave a direct line to return the call (meaning I need to WAIT ON HOLD for another 45 minutes to get through to a person) and b) the kind gentleman (I can hear him smiling as he says this) states that,” but, sorry, the office is now closed, so, you’ll have to call back tomorrow.

JESUS FUCKING CHRIST.  Any hot Dutch, German, or even Canadian gay men out there that want a hot “beard” for a green card? Quid pro quo baby… I want your healthcare. Please.

On a side note, remember how I tried to diet last year and it went no where? Well, one good thing that has come out of my unspoken sexual misadventures as of late… inspiration, motivation and a sense of competitiveness. A certain gentleman lost 12 pounds by working out and changing his diet, so that made me harrumphf and state loudly to the universe, if HE can lose 12 pounds in 2 months, I can lose ten in less! Damn it. {foot stomp} Well, week 2 finds me down almost 3 pounds! I starting running several times a week. Cut out all sugar (except fruit), reduced coffee intake to 2 a week (!!), reduced dairy intake (cheese addict here, ahem), and stepped away from the charcuterie. So far, so good. The weather is going to kick my ass this week though, as the temps dropped and I just can’t run in weather below 50. I get too cold. I know, I’m a pussy. I do have a 5k in sight though. Fingers crossed.

Hope everyone is well.

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I’ve been writing this blog for almost 2 years. It started as a funny commentary on the ridiculousness of dating, with a side story being that I was a long term lesbian who woke up one day liking cock, and having no interest in women any longer. So, the serious would sometimes wiggle its way into the snark, into the one liners, and bring a bit of reality into the escapism that my site was for many people. Only, eventually I fell in love. That was unexpected.

The timing, the individual, the situation, my falling in love was fraught with everything messy and complicated. It was all innately human and filled with roadblocks, human drama, insecurity, egos, errors in judgement, scars, death, sex and tears. In the middle of summer we ended it. But I still talked to him. I still told him I loved him, because I did and because we didn’t stop dating because he didn’t care, but because he’s too afraid that he’ll destroy someone if they get to close. Shatter their illusion of him with the reality. Only thing is, I know the reality, and even with the nasty ugly details, he is still the most beautiful man I know. He is still my choice. So, I stand tall and still and I don’t falter, I don’t run.

Two nights ago, nearly two months since we “stopped dating”, we found ourselves in each others arms again. The drink, that becomes two, that becomes dinner and two more drinks, that becomes two hours of intense conversation at his kitchen table and then, becomes us wrapped around each other in his bed. I’m okay with that. I’m okay with him being terrified. I’m at peace with him and his fear.

In six weeks, roughly, a new chapter begins in all of this. In this story of my crazy casual dating with many turned love affair with one, an emotionally fragile man whom I nicknamed Type Geek. Recently, he was offered a HUGE promotion, in the Bay Area. He is taking it, as he should. He told me Wednesday night. He might never get a chance like this again. I never questioned whether he should, but I admitted that I feared he would evaporate, as if he never existed. An irrational fear, I know. He exists here, he will continue to exist. Will I? I haven’t let him let me go yet, have I? I can be creative. He may date others when he moves, but he won’t find  me and what I offer in any of them, and I won’t let him forget that I am here, in Boston.

Boston. So, what is my long term goal here? I’m going to continue to love him and tell him that and send him love notes in the mail, meanwhile, I am going to save every dollar, work insane schedules, pick up freelance jobs if possible, and I am going to network, on the hope that he will let me come to him in Spring. Why spring? It is after his office is set up, after he is a bit more settled, after I show that I don’t forget about him, just because he is thousands of miles away. It’s long enough for him to miss me. To remember me. To want me.

Sure, there is a HUGE what if here, what if he doesn’t? He’s the pessimist here, I am not. I am the oddly optimistic one who believes that love isn’t a film with Meg Ryan, that there is a bit of Fellini and Woody Allen in there. A little heavy metal, a little Miles Davis and maybe even a little Electric Six. I’m not a typical romantic. I am a realist, but in this unclear situation, I choose the brighter future. I choose the future that has he and I, in our 80’s, drinking rum drinks and laughing about “kids these days” while I still admire his perfect little tush, still bite-able after 40 years.

Because the purpose of this blog isn’t to document my daily quest to save for a move out west, I’m going to change direction a bit. I’ll show up in it here and there, but I will be moving into a wider area of focus from now on. This will, in theory, bring back some levity and hilarity. I’m open to topics, things to explore, reviews on products, etc. However, the day to day drear needs to be swept out to sea if I am keeping my eye on the bridge, so to speak and while occasional updates into Type Geek are fine and good, this was never a blog about one man.

Meanwhile, for almost two years, I have kept this blog from being monetized, cause I hate ad heavy sites. They no longer smell genuine, you never know what is done for ad sense dollars and what is done for the reader. The time has come though, with my future looking pricey, that I try to find some funding for this site. Because of this, and my quest, I have created a “chipin” that everyone can donate to. A dollar, ten dollars, heck..more (please), will all help. These dollars will go directly into a separate wish/travel fund for San Fransisco. Spread the word on the chipin and the blog. Thank you for reading all this time.

 

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I have two first dates this week, on my only nights off. I don’t really know much about either, perhaps that is what I have resorted to now. I know that I found them “interesting” enough to contact them, but it’s a mental block I can’t get past. I’m not retaining details about them. My heart doesn’t want to.

Last week, I went on one first date. This gentleman, the Legal Design Guy, doesn’t know my ex like I thought he might (thankfully), he was getting into the music school as Type Geek was leaving. Also, it turns out he knows a circle of people who I know, which also don’t know Type Geek, so that explains it. So, we had oysters, we had drinks, we had pâté and confit and more drinks. Conversation was fine, but it felt more friend than anything. There is something slightly smarmy that I can’t get past, that I don’t find sexy. I can’t pin point it exactly, but it’s there.

Remember my Jewish Sex God from the very beginning? The one who ushered me into the folds? Well, we were having a conversation the other night, our friendship never really being the same since my trip to visit him that weekend. In the course of the dialogue he mentions that we had no sexual connection and proceeded to tell me why. Now, it’s fine that he didn’t feel a connection to me, but it isn’t fine that he decided to tell me that my being nervous at the reality of having sex with a well endowed man after 12 years of non penetrative lesbian sex translated into being a horrible lay who he felt ashamed to touch. WHAT? Yeah, so, he said that I was largely unresponsive, behaving as a victim of sexual abuse does, because I didn’t make much noise, because I didn’t show him how much I was enjoying sex with him. That I was too inside myself and didn’t give much to my partner, that he felt awful continuing to touch me because he felt that I must have been abused because I seemed to be in another place. Ok, once again, WHAT? Again, 12 years…non penetrative lesbian… flies to Seattle to have weekend sex romp with well endowed male friend… maybe, just MAYBE, I was nervous and shy and insecure about the entire thing?! What a dick, and I am NOT talking about his dick. I felt shitty afterwards, so I ended up emailing Type Geek for his take on my sexual style and he confirmed that Seattle is a DICK, and that I should NEVER give another thought to it, because I was obviously nervous and that he had zero concerns with my style. Thank you Type Geek. Grrr, Seattle. Seattle had no idea why I was angry, which at first I wasn’t. After I thought about it though, that is when I started to get angry, and offended.

So, yeah, Type Geek, we have texted. I apologized to him for not being able to pretend I don’t care and just cut ties. I’m not done with him. I can’t shake that a huge part of me believes that our story hasn’t ended yet. It’s just not our time. But, I want it to be. I know I can’t rush it, but I want to. I want the life with him that I know we can have, but he doesn’t have enough balls yet to have faith, to let go, to grasp something unknown, rather than his own fear. He needs time, he needs some self work, and I just need to live my life, which includes dating other people, while he does his work. Someday I will try again.

If you all think I am foolish, honestly, fuck you. I’m not on this journey for any of you, for how you would do it. It isn’t a choose your own adventure, and you don’t have the right to be angry at the roads I choose to take, because they are different from the paths and methods you would. This is MY story, and when I am laying in my final hours, I owe explanations to only my heart and the hearts of those I have chosen to embrace into my own.  I thank you all for reading, for getting involved and attached and relating, but in the end, this story is uniquely my own and I have no regrets about how I am living it and loving through it, even if that means I am just filling the spaces between Type Geek. Even if that means I am frustrating the hell out of my readers.

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Illustration by Michael Hacker

Life doesn’t stop occurring because one person has died. You can’t expect for a giant hand to pick up a giant remote control and hit pause. Things don’t go back to normal because normal changes, it becomes something different, a new variation on normal. When an integral part of you is taken away, life becomes like traveling in a foreign land in which you don’t speak the language or recognize the shapes of the signs.

On Saturday evening, Type Geek’s brother was pulled from the machines, and he passed away Sunday evening, surrounded by family. They are now gathered at the family compound, silent and processing and mourning. I wish I could do more, do something, relieve the pain somehow, but this is my job, to wait and be available when he comes home. To not say anything and just listen. To hold him. Or, to give him space and allow him time to mourn the loss of his only big brother.

On Monday, life continued on, without any dramatic pause. All of the messy complications of living, the wrong drink at Starbucks, the long line of traffic, the irritation of not being able to hear your friend at lunch because the parties on either side don’t understand the concept of inside voices, and of course, hysterical mishaps that result in comedic injuries. The comedy of life doesn’t stop because death has happened. After an early lunch on Monday I stepped on wet concrete with a pair of Tom’s Shoes and one leg hydroplaned while one remained on a dry patch and resulted in my successful execution of an almost full split, without the flexibility required to do such a thing. My friend Poppy was with me as my right knee slammed to the ground in a quiet thud and my left leg extended out in an angle better left for Mary Lou Retten or Jenna Jameson. Left with a severe hobble I spent the rest of the day with an elevated leg wrapped in gauze and a stomach full of ibuprofen.

The comedy of errors doesn’t stop there. After Poppy left, I decided to finish this post and send it over to my syndicators, only my computer wouldn’t hold a charge and the thing wasn’t reading the ac power supply hook up. So, I frantically tried to finish it before the system shut down, only I didn’t make it. I tried writing my post via my not so smart phone but that didn’t work, and so I sighed and threw in the towel. I found an available Zipcar at 1 pm today and drove over to MicroCenter and bought a new power cord. The staff there is less than gentlemanly, seeing me hobble and obviously in discomfort, the fat older sales guy made me hobble down the aisles so he could sit his lazy ass down while we plugged in the adapter to see if it worked. Of course there was a plug exactly where we were, but having me walk the entire distance of the store, one hop at a time, seemed to be his particular style of customer service.

Now I am back home, and this post is late, but it is finished. At the end of my day, it’s just a post, a power cord, a comedic slip and fall resulting in a humbling bruise and dedication to becoming a bit more flexible so I am not so prone to overextension in the future (and yes, avoiding wet spots on concrete floors) because this is all just the filler for the space between the moments. Life isn’t about what we achieve, what we possess, what we are… it is about who we are and who we love and how we do that. Life is about the connections we make. Today, Type Geek is with his family and they are saying goodbye to his big brother and planning his services. Today, I am remembering that nothing else but that simple act of love and respect is what truly matters.

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Sometimes we all need perspective. We complain about our bad day, the traffic, the wait at the Starbucks… we curse our life. Our luck. Tonight they pulled Type Geek’s brother off of the machines. The constant transfusions that were keeping him alive, stopped. An IV drip kept him sedated and pain-free.

Meanwhile, I waited on impatient people. A Saturday night of delays, refires, wait times, and people who cursed their luck to get the table below the speaker or the beer 8 tickets deep behind 16 multi ingredient cocktails. They should thank the universe that they had the chance to wait for a table, to drink a beer or have their food refired. Someone somewhere isn’t so lucky. Someone is having their hand held as they slowly pass. Some painfully, some quietly, some alone, with no one to hold their hand and say good-bye, thank them for their friendship, their love, their existence.

We are all guilty of the complaints. Maybe for a few days, a week or even a month, we can consider that we have so much more than someone else and that getting the wrong drink from Starbucks is a small miniscule thing.

Hug the people you love. Tell them that they matter. Live your days because someone else can’t.

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I’m taking this chance to sneak a few minutes to write as I watch the children of a dear friend who is stuck at the airport in Japan waiting for his rebooked flight to depart, while his wife is hospitalized with pneumonia. Slightly disruptive to my work schedule, some things needed rearranging, but worth it to help a friend. Besides, I love these kids and the sunshine in their backyard and the fact that their playground is on a beach. Warm temps, cool sand in the toes, and the laughter of children makes up for any hassle or disruption to my schedule. 

Now, on to the topic at hand, OkCupid and the ridiculousness of it all. I barely go on now, mostly to read the trends or see what the most recent insanity that was sent to my inbox says. Which brings me to this. Why does a published photographer/photojournalist who is a swiss trained chef and currently renovating a property in Istanbul feel compelled to OkCupid message me not once…but twice in one evening? He told me I was his far more attractive doppelgänger, that we would have an interesting time chatting and that, oh yes, he forgot to mention that he is an ordained zen buddhist monk. Really? At some point a woman must say WTF. If you are a reasonably attractive 52-year-old man who is financially well off enough to travel the world and take up residence in other countries while working on international photo exhibitions and accompanying books, as you renovate your Turkish apartment to Dwell worthy standards… I find it HIGHLY unlikely that you are perusing OkCupid and deciding to chat with a 36-year-old hot financial mess of a woman in New England. Surely you can find a firm bodied 26-year-old lady friend to lavish with your tales of travel while feeding her vapid dollar hungry eyes your homemade Turkish Delight. Part of me is just having a wee issue buying the authenticity of such a profile.

Meanwhile, I’m enjoying seeing Type Geek roughly once a week or so. Sometimes sex, sometimes just curling up and sleeping together. His scent and the warmth of his body next to me has always felt like home. Not the home of my childhood, but the home of my future.

Also, I have been hanging out a bit with one of you readers, and I adore her. She has quickly become one of my favorite people and I am so glad I chose to cross that line from reader/writer to friends. The irony though, and reason I am bringing it up is hat she is now dating Doggie Daddy. He was only mentioned once, and I never actually met him, we just spoke several times via text and OkCupid chat regarding possibly meeting. This was during the time Type Geek and I were not together and I was trying to get him back, but believing he wouldn’t budge. I was looking for distraction, not actual connection. I had two “dates” during that time and they were both awful. Weak men who showed all their cards early and confessed feeling of insecurity about their ability to date me. That I was out of their league somehow. I find that incredibly unattractive. I’m attractive and I have done interesting things and I have tried and will try again to do interesting things, but this just makes me different, not better. Just different.

Anyway, Doggie Daddy… so, this woman, who will be nicknamed Poppy because of her love of Orange and her personality which is as hugely vibrant as an orange poppy flower and just as intoxicating as the seeds they contain, is dating him. We gathered for coffee recently and she invited DD to join us there as he was in the area. Meanwhile, both Poppy and I KNOW of the connection, and have laughed heartily over it, but neither of us had confessed to DD that I am the same girl he was chatting with on OkCupid or that we know. Us gals knew he would figure it out once he met me in person and he did, but only said something after Poppy had shown our hand while I was away from the table. It’s quite amusing I think. Upon meeting him I knew what I had already known, he was not my type and it would not have lasted more than one drink. They are so perfectly matched and adorable together. My type is a Type apparently. I am not sure that I will ever truly know what or why or how. I’m just glad that this Type is here and not in Istanbul or Constantinople.

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