I came, I saw, I napped

Upon arrival at the Condo, we discovered Jim had decorated for my birthday week:

Super decorations!

We unloaded the car, then headed to lunch at the Crown & Anchor on the patio. After lunch, we went grocery shopping, unpacked, and then took a nap.

After waking up and freshening up, we (The Hubby, the BFJ, and The BFJ’s hubby) met friends (a fabulous couple, one of whom works with the BFJ) for dinner at Ross’s Grill. The six of us had a great time, and conversation and laughter never stopped.

After dinner, we stopped back at the C&A Porch to hear Jon Richardson tickle the ivory at a piano sing along:

Our favorite piano man!

Roger behaved up until the end, but we had to cut our evening short when he decided he needed a new frock. (Hey, at least he was good for most of the day, which I’m grateful for.)

The BFJ and Hubby kicking my buttocks!

Today started out rainy, so the BFJ’s hubby made breakfast at their place (downstairs from our condo,) then we stayed in playing games, watching movies, and napping. Also, we ordered a delicious GF lunch from Mac’s Fish House down the street, which Jeffrey graciously picked up.

The weather has cleared up, so we’re enjoying drinks on the deck before meeting the BFJs hubby after T-Dance for dinner at Jimmy’s Hideaway.

Cheers, Queers!
Selfie Stick Shenanigans!

Roger has been good so far today, so hopefully he’ll stay on his best behavior until after dinner.

Fingers crossed!

On our way

We were up at 5:00 am and on the road by 6:30 am. Saying good-bye to the pups was even more difficult than I expected.

Roger has been perfectly behaved so far.

We are about 1.5 hours away from Provincetown and just saw the first landmark that makes our hearts beat a little faster:


Let the good times roll!

As of 3:00pm today, I’m on vacation!

Bags are packed and Mogo (my car) is loaded. The house is cleaned for my mom and cousin to stay with Harvey and Rita Mae for the week. Tonight, we will have an early sushi dinner (via delivery) and then get to bed early so we can get up at the crack of dawn tomorrow and head out to the Cape and hopefully be in Provincetown Massachusetts by late morning.

The anxiety I’ve had about the trip all week is slowly being replaced by excitement. Honestly I don’t know what I’m more excited about, being in Provincetown for the week, or just being away from work for the week.

I imagine I’ll still post something every day, probably pictures or quick recaps of our daily itineraries, but if I don’t, it hopefully means I’m off having fun.

Stay safe, everyone!

For your consideration (A Rant!)

How much better would the world be if everyone was more considerate, or considerate at all. If people acknowledged they lived in a community of diverse people with diverse wants and needs, and gave some thought, any thought, to how their words, actions, and behaviors might negatively impact others, especially in public or shared spaces.

This idea gets mocked as being “woke” or “politically correct” but it’s really just common decency.

It seems more and more people are developing the attitude that the world revolves around them, that they deserve “respect” without giving any, that they “deserve” things in life that they’ve never earned, or that asking them to show the slightest consideration towards another human being is an infringement on their civil rights, freedom of speech, or just way too huge an imposition on their personal freedom. And if the Universe decides to remind them that they are not, in fact, special in any way, and are subject to the whims and happenstance of life, they want everyone’s sympathy and empathy, even if they’ve never shown an ounce of it towards anyone else.

I understand where bitter, cantankerous, anti-social people come from. I am becoming one of them. I am growing very tired of the constant selfishness, rudeness, self-centeredness, sense of entitlement, and utter unwillingness to show any consideration to anyone for any reason.

COVID aside, I dread the thought of ever stepping on a plane or public transport again, paying money to go into a theater or show, or even patronize local businesses and entertainment venues, for fear their will inevitable at least one “Karen” or Coo-coo who decides they own the space and experience and everyone is obligated to cater to them and tolerate them as they selfishly disrupt everyone else with their callous and obnoxious behavior. I’m over it, and now the slightest act of insensitivity can almost push me over the edge.

Some day, when I disappear into a cabin in the woods and I’m never heard from again, it won’t be because of some giant cataclysmic fuck-you society experience from some world class ass-hat, it will either be one too many carts left askew in a parking lot, or one too many people playing candy crush in the doctor’s waiting room with the volume on and all the way up.

People suck.

The Story of Roger

Hi everyone! I’m Roger, Sean’s stoma. Some of you have asked if all stomas act like me or if I’m just a stubborn brat.

I’m cute but caustic!”

Well, let me tell you the story of how I came to be.

Most people have a healthy digestive system, including a small intestine, large intestine, and colon. This system helps them intake, digest, and break down food, absorb water and nutrients, and remove all the stuff we don’t want or need from our bodies.

*Not an actual photograph of an intestinal tract.*

Unfortunately, some people have faulty systems, which can cause mild to severe symptoms, including:

  • Belly pain
  • Bloating
  • “The Overachiever” (aka too much activity)
  • “Clogged Pipes” (aka not enough activity)
  • Urgency (aka when you gotta go, you gotta go)

Long term symptoms can result in:

  • Dehydration
  • Poor nutrition
  • Anemia
  • Bone loss
  • Infection
  • Blood clots
  • Ulcers
  • Blocked bowels
  • A hole in your colon
  • A rapid widening of your colon
  • A higher risk of colon cancer

Many of these symptoms are often treatable with medicine, but sometimes can result in hospitalization and even death. Faulty systems may be the result of one of the following:

Irritable Bowl Syndrome (“IBS”) which is a functional problem. Tests won’t show any physical reason for your symptoms.
Irritable Bowl Disease (“IBD”) which is a structural problem. That means physical damage causes your symptoms.

If you have IBD, it can be one the following:

Ulcerative Colitis – which attacks the colon specifically.
Crohn’s Disease – which can attack anywhere along the entire digestive tract.

Here’s where things get personal!

In 1999, Sean was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis, and his large intestine and colon were so sick, the doctors couldn’t find a med that would help him, so they had to be remove both of them completely.

Fortunately, his small intestine worked fine, so it took over for the large intestine and Sean did pretty well for a decade or so.

“No worries” said SI to LI “We’ll miss you, but I got this!”

But then, Sean’s small intestine started getting sick, and the doctor’s discovered that Sean had developed Crohn’s disease as well. (Or perhaps it always was Crohn’s disease. Who knows?)

No good deed goes unpunished!” sobbed SI.

For a few years, Sean got infusions that helped keep most of his symptoms at bay, but in 2021, things got soooo bad, the doctors had to do more surgery, and that’s when I was born:

“Happy Birthday to me!”

The doctors removed the piece of sickly small intestine, then made me, Roger, to help Sean get rid of the yucky stuff while his small intestine healed from the operation. At the time of surgery, the doctors weren’t sure if I would be permanent or not.

Most stomas behave: they stay put, right where they were created, and after their body buddy adjusts, everyone goes on to live a relatively normal life. So, after Sean learned all the tricks of the trade, he thought he’d just have to give me a new frock every few days and all would be well.

“Does this pouch make me look fat?”

But not me. Nope, stomas like me aren’t content to stay where we’re put. We want to stretch our wings and see how far we can get in life, so I started to grow, and grow, and get farther out of Sean’s body and into the great big wide world.

Look at me. I’m living large and loving it!

Unfortunately, my yearning to be free causes problems for Sean. Consequently, he tries to coax me back inside and keep me in place with special belts and straps, so he can move about more freely and leave the house without worry.

Oh, no! Those belts are so last year!

When he puts the belts on, I can’t see anything….

I am not into kinky blindfold play, pops!

…and all that stuff I try to help him get rid of gets in my face and and on his skin!

Ever get stoma effluent on your skin? It burrrrrnnnnns!

Fortunately, (for Sean, anyway) the doctors ran some tests and determined Sean’s small intestine was healthier than they thought so, next month, I am going bye-bye and all Sean will have left to remember me by is a little scar on his oversized belly.

I am sad to be going, but I know I helped Sean get better, and this world (and pouch) is just too small to contain a big personality like me, so I will return to doing inside work, where I can make a bigger impact from behind the scenes.

Did you know:

Having your whole colon removed is called a Colectomy. (That’s what Sean had.)

Stomas made from their large intestine are called Colostomies.

Stomas made from the small intestine are called Ileostomies. (That’s what Sean has.)

Ileostomies are more active then Colostomies. (But they don’t lose weight because of it, dammit!)

People with ostomies of either kind are called Ostomates.

You may know an Ostomate and not even know you know an Ostomate.

Ostomates who love spaghetti are called Pastomates. (Just kidding!)

Ostomates who love the Academy Awards are called Oscarmates (There I go again!)

Ostmates who kiss members of the same sex are called Ostagay-tes. (OK. Last one. I’ll stop!)

It’s important to note that Ostomates can and do still still eat cookies, but some of them can only eat them if they’re gluten free. So if you thought you couldn’t send Sean gluten free cookies because of me, guess again, partner!

Hope that answers all of your questions. If not, feel free to ask me more in the comments.

Roger out!

Thanks for letting me tell my story!

Death of a Comics Legend

George Perez was a legendary artist and comic book illustrator and one of my top 2 favorite comic book artists. His work both inspired me to pick up a pencil and start drawing, and discouraged me from pursuing a career because I couldn’t settle for producing work less stellar than his. (Mostly kidding about that second part, but there’s a kernel of truth in it.)

I first saw George’s work on a comic book cover on a spinner rack through a window of a closed drug store. I was 9 and on an interstate trek from Arizona to New York with my family. It was this cover that grabbed my attention:

This was my favorite character, drawn in a way I had never seen him. I had to have it, but the store wouldn’t open before we left, and I sobbed as we drove away, my Mom trying to console me. It would be almost two decades before I would own and read this issue. I was disappointed to discover George was solely the cover artist, and that different artists did the inside work, but I was still thrilled to own the issue.

Nothing thrilled me more than to pick up and read a new volume of George’s work, especially when he worked on favorite characters and books. I’d even read comic books I didn’t care for, if he was the artist. His line work and figures were breathtaking, and he was a master of group shots.

Here is a small sampling of some of my favorite work of his:

The first time George Perez made me cry was when I read the heart wrenching death of (the original) Supergirl, Kara Zor-el, in the pages of Crisis on Infinite Earths. While it was clearly Marv Wolfman’s words that moved me, it was George’s artwork that really brought the experience to life – his depiction of her courage, death, and Superman’s pain at the loss of his beloved cousin, made me sob like that 9 year old who couldn’t buy that GL comic back in the 70s. I had never been a Supergirl fan prior to this issue, but this moment made me fall in love with her character and made me a Supergirl fan for life.

Today, for the second time in my life, George Perez made me cry.

George Pérez, the beloved and influential comic book artist and writer known for his vital work on titles like Wonder Woman and The New Teen Titans, has died at the age of 67.

The prolific penciler’s death Friday was confirmed in a statement on his Facebook page, noting that complications stemming from his lengthy battle with pancreatic cancer was the cause of death.

George’s family graciously shared the news of his struggle with his fans, giving them the opportunity to share with him what an impact he had had on so many people, fans and professionals alike. I hope, in some small way, the outpouring of love and support from his adoring fans and peers helped ease the struggle for George and the Perez family in his final days.

I did not know George, personally. I never had the luxury of meeting him. But his death has hit me hard none-the-less. One of my childhood heroes has died. And my world is a bit smaller for it.

You will be missed, GP!

F#*%€£! Roger!

Roger has been an absolute prick these last couple of days. I’ve had to do multiple frock changes and my nerves are frazzled. BUT, I’ve got great emotional support partners and they’re helping me through it all.

Things have finally settled down, so tonight we’re celebrating by having cocktails on the back porch around our new fire pit.

The universe has a way of balancing things out.

The Purging Process

I had been meaning to organize my closet for some time. My large weight changes over the last 3-4 years (both losing and gaining) resulted in wardrobes at multiple sizes and it’s just not feasible to keep every size in case I grow (or shrink) into them. I don’t have the room, and finding the current size that fits by searching through a crammed closet was causing me angst. My taste in clothing has hanged drastically over time, as well, and I wanted to simplify my wardrobe to a more basic selection…mainly solid dress shirts (shirt and long sleeve), My superhero logo t-shirts, and handful of jeans. Plenty of clothes to give me multiple, interchangeable outfits, all appropriate for my current lifestyle and job, without overwhelming me or my closet space. In addition, I know the unworn clothes can be used by people who need them, so I felt guilty having good clothes (and by good I mean in good condition, not expensive by any means) hanging there, unworn, taking up space.

For some reason, cleaning out our closest can be daunting for many of us. Maybe because we don’t want to admit we’ve gained or lost more weight than we’re comfortable with, and it depresses us to acknowledge our clothes don’t fit any more. Maybe because we’re optimistic we’ll change sizes and be able to wear them again. Maybe there are emotional attachments to some of the clothes. Maybe we feel we spent so much money on the clothes and shoes it seems waste to get rid of them. Or maybe it’s such a big job, we just don’t want to do it. I know I procrastinated for some time, but it was time, so I dove in. Here is my process:

  1. I work with one type of clothing at a time (sweaters, pants, t-shirts, dress shirts, dress pants, jeans, shoes, etc.) and make your sort piles: the keep pile and the donate pile. I don’t allow for a maybe pile. Generally, if it’s a maybe, it’s a no. I have to definitely want something to keep it.
  2. I only keep clothes that actually fit right now. If I am almost in a different size, it’s OK to keep one size up or down, but not 3 or 4 sizes.
  3. I remove duplicate clothing and palates from the keep pile. I don’t need 4 solid blue dress shirts of almost identical shades, and I certainly don’t need multiple pieces of identical clothing. For me, I like to have one or two shirts of every color of the rainbow (ROYGBV) plus a black, brown, white and grey shirt. I also like one pair of pants in every color available: black, grey, blue, brown, khaki/beige, and khaki green.
  4. T-Shirts are always the hardest for me, as I love almost every t-shirt I have since they’re all giraffe and superhero themed. So I have to apply tough love and decide on specific shirts. I pick my favorite version of a character and discard the other. (Guess how many Green Lantern tees I had.) I generally prefer logo shirts to actual pictures of the heroes, so that’s what I kept.
  5. Safely hang my spo-shirts back up (3 of them). Those will go with me to my grave (and, yes, they all still fit!)
  6. Once I have my keeper piles, I bag up the other clothes and immediately place them in the back of Mogo (my Forester) so they are ready to be dropped off at a local donation center the next time I head out.
  7. Make sure all my clothes are hanging on white plastic hangers. (We have multiple colors, but I prefer all one color hanger and we have more white hangers than any other color.)
  8. Refold all my shelf clothes.
  9. Organize my clothes by color palette: Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Purple, White, Grey, Black, Brown. Multiple colored shirts get hung by their dominant color.
  10. Gather up and sort the extra hangers, which will be placed on Freecycle or offered up to friends and family members.
Just a few leftover hangers….

And that’s it. The whole process takes about 3 days from start to finish, but it always feels good to have it done and to have a much more manageable wardrobe of clothes that all fit me well.

The finished product.

Next, I have to start laundering and ironing all the dress shirts I haven’t worn in 2 years before I return to the office on August 15th. Sigh.

To leave you with something far less mind-numbingly boring, here are some pictures of Harvey, lounging in the puppy chair in the sunshine on the back porch today: