We continue our moving efforts.
We also get some delightful pictures taken.
The moving process continued with seemingly endless things to do. Interviewing the Owen Clinic, the local HIV clinic. Interviewing a primary care physician. Interviewing an ENT specialist. Finding a chiropractor. Interviewing a dermatologist. New pharmacies. Replacing the kitchen sink with one with enough holes to accommodate adding water filtration to protect us from parasite cysts. Replacing the tiny stackable washer/dryer with a larger set that makes laundry less exhausting. Finding new yoga classes, which help Officer Wes with his back and the neuropathy in his feet. Scouting out new gyms, key to maintaining the lean body mass essential as a reserve during illness. Smog inspections. Registrations. Drivers' licenses. Removing tiny cabinets in the washer/dryer closet and replacing them with deeper, more numerous shelves to make a pantry to increase food options and hopefully reduce trips to the grocery store. Multiple iterations to maximize the useable closet space. Testing out barbers. Shortening the length of the office countertops to fit in the California office. Having carpet folks out to see if they could get some ripples out. Removing a trash compactor to be able to access a big corner cabinet that formerly only had an unusable teensy access door. Scoping out a replacement cabinet for the kitchen. Testing out different grocery stores. Getting a different chair for the office. Hanging bicycles. Caulking. Changing address records. Opening California bank accounts. Closing Texas accounts. Keys. Fixing bills such as when Cox Cable automatically added "TV Guide". Filing for the property tax exemption. Shifting insurance coverage. Installing & populating a pegboard for leather gear. Thinning books. Numerous trips getting rid of stuff that doesn't fit through e-Bay/mailing and a donation center. Trying out different meetings. Slowly recycling the 160+ cardboard boxes from the move. Getting an AeroBed as our new guest bed.
The struggle for us is pacing ourselves to respect our health limits; striving to maintain balance, especially through emphasizing proper rest. Despite our best efforts at pacing and balancing, the process nonetheless took its toll. Officer Wes lost 7 pounds. He also got sick. Tom lost 18 pounds. And, late in March, we got biopsy results showing he has skin cancer.
We did manage to make some strategic social outings. We found a meeting for leatherfolk in recovery. We went to a leather dessert auction. Officer Wes sat in at a San Diego LeatherMaster/leatherslave conference. He also turned 40 during a trip to Dallas to finish some written Step 12 work and attend SouthPlains LeatherFest. Tom connected with the local red hankies group. We met many people and started nurturing a couple of friendships. We visited the tidal pools at Point Loma.
Our California adventure continues.
April-May was a time of rest and recovery, as Officer Wes lost another few pounds while working through a pernicious sinus infection. As we do during these times, we rented videos for low-key evenings: Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, One Hour Photo, Secretary, Queen of the Damned, Sordid Lives (delightful!), Harry Potter: The Chamber of Secrets, Jackass: The Movie and Catch Me If You Can.
We had more doctor appointments for the sinus infection & Tom's skin cancer, and lined up a chiropractor and a new primary care physician who accepts Medicare. We also got Officer Wes a TempurPedic pad to sit on, as the weight loss had made sitting painful. Related, in late May we decided to do a 3-month cycle of Oxandrin to help rebuild Officer's lean body mass, especially in the butt. We did this after a weight drop back in 2001, working with our physician, a nutritionist, a personal trainer and weight-resistance training with restorative results.
By pacing and rest, we were able to get a few outside things done.
In mid April Officer Wes shared on The Mana of Fetish: Spiritual Power Made Tangible at a People in Leather Among You (P.L.A.Y.) gathering. P.L.A.Y. is a social and support group for Southern California leatherfolk interested in the integration of radical sexuality and spirituality. It's all about heart and spirit and connecting. For more information about the group, drop a line to "MCCLAPLAY" at hotmail.com
We were also able to replace the dining table and dinnerware that we'd sold before the move, and update the dishwasher.
On the social front, we had two visits from slaveboy craig, and worked on furthering that budding relationship. Officer Wes also got to visit friends Master Skip, Sammi and sarah, and see our friends Bamm & t get married. We also had a brief walk in Balboa Park one inviting afternoon.
The new California place doesn't have recycling. So, it became even more important to us to reduce inbound junk mail. If you're interested, here's a list of known companies that mine credit data and resell it to direct marketers. To opt-out of receiving unsolicited mail, contact:
Customer Service-American Express
777 American Express Way
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33337
Direct Marketing Association
Mail Preference Service
Post Office Box 9008
Farmingdale, NY 11735-9008
Opt Out Program
26955 Northwestern Highway
Southfield, MI 48034
Experian List Maintenance
901 West Bond
Lincoln, NE 68521
Name Removal Option
Post Office Box 97328
Jackson, MS 39288-7328
TRW Target Marketing
Attn: Opt-Out Service Division
701 TRW Parkway
Allen, TX 75002
Credit Reporting Industry Pre-Screening Opt-Out Number
(To stop “pre-approved credit offers” generated by Innovis, Equifax, Experian & TransUnion)
Weight regaining work continued through June and July.
Officer Wes was blessed to make it to San Francisco to visit Deputy and Chris and take in the Phoenix Uniform Club's 12th Annual Uniform & Leather Ball & part of San Francisco Pride.
In July he celebrated friend John's 40th birthday with a skydive.
Late summer and early fall were full. As always, we strove to pace ourselves as our health is our primary focus.
We got a new Simmons mattress with a memory foam pillowtop as Tom’s hips hurt on the old mattress.
Friends Alpha & Piper came through town and we enjoyed a delicious dinner at Khyber Pass.
There was the annual ophthalmologist appointment, renewed twice-weekly allergy shots, and lots of dental visits.
· Write ten true things.
· Take a snapshot of how things are today.
· If one could wave a magic wand and arrange things however one wanted, how would one arrange them?
Eventually the introspection led to an unexpected conclusion: The very extroverted Officer Wes would like some private time. We scheduled that in.
We also had some excitement when reconciling our bank account and seeing a check that was not ours: A check forger had successfully used our account number. We were surprised, given the aggressive shredding that we have done ever since a friend had his credit identity stolen about five years ago. The bank was of course helpful. We closed the compromised account and opened a replacement. More excitement when Officer Wes’ computer had its first full XP burp after installing a “critical” Microsoft patch. Tedious.
There was a Leather 101 presentation for a local men’s leather group. We ordered replacement Stanton cartridges for the music mixing setup. And Officer took in a chat & chew + ride with friend Gary to nearby Coronado Island.
Entertainment helped us have quiet evenings. We took in Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life on the big screen, and Bringing Down the House, Bowling for Columbine, The Hunted (with Tommy Lee Jones), the way-gay and very fun But I'm a Cheerleader (with RuPaul), and Braveheart on video.
Tom spent October in Texas. The first week his mother was fading. The last three weeks he kept Dad company after his mom died. She was 81. Dad and Mom were married 62 years.
Officer Wes made some "LEATHERBOY WANTED" T-shirts and got an immediate response from boy jay.
After months of slow, methodical research and preparation, we got Tom a showroom-condition 2002 Honda 750 American Classic Edition motorcycle, christened Priapus after the Greek god of erections and fertility. The picture doesn’t do it justice.
Officer did his first dance music mix in nine years, the first to use the CD mixer we got right before the move. Wonderful rhythm matching capability; delightful results.
We closed out our year by making it to our annual rest-and-renewal retreat.
We love and are surrounded by love.
We are thankful.