Wow. I’m beginning to see a pattern. Another year that began with that old bugaboo depression. I knew that my sisters and I all have Short Season Affective Disorder (“Seasonal Affective Disorder”) but gee whiz! My psychiatrist had re-tried Zoloft (in addition to Wellbutrin, which is supposed to be helpful for SSAD) at my suggestion in the fall, but it had embarrassing ED problems. So now we tried Remeron. The ED problems diminished quickly. Woo hoo! I am hopeful for the rest.
What else is cool? In January Opa got her picture taken, I got to take a surfing lesson, and dancing lessons started back up.
I got to meet friends at Lefty’s, Eden, Burger Lounge, Meshuggah Shack; and took in lots of movies: Cabaret. Double Indemnity. Karate Kid. Inception. Shutter Island. Equilibrium. How to Train Your Dragon. Unknown. In the Line of Fire. The Social Network. Dr. Strangelove. The Hurt Locker. Rango. (Loved Rango!)
And a ritual particularly helpful for getting out of bed started: Working out at 6am a couple times a week with friend Rich. It’s amazing how much the body has changed in the last two+ years not working out, and eating ice cream the last year.
In February my nephew Jordan, who recently graduated from welding school, got hired with a good company. Daddy Barry and I had a trip planned to Texas and we were able to be there for Jordan & Rose’ bon voyage party. We also took in SouthPlains LeatherFest and the sisters threw an early birthday party. And Daddy Barry began a series of 3 monthly back injections for back pain from damaged discs.
In March Daddy Barry and I celebrated our 6 year anniversary. I also hiked up .75 miles of Cowles Mountain, the highest point in San Diego. I also quit trying Remeron as a primary antidepressant due to the profound fatigue it created. (Profound. Hours and hours and hours in bed.) Next up: nortriptyline.
Then came purchasing AutoTune pitch correcting software -- to help with music vocals – and the gift of Traktor, from Sister Alice, for digital DJing. (OMG Traktor took lots of debugging before it would work. Ultimately? Internet Explorer 9 had to be uninstalled, as its newer implementation of Adobe Flash conflicted with Traktor’s registration software, which was required for the software to work beyond demo mode.)
Outings continued with Robbie’s Road House, Heaven Sent Desserts and Bonnie Jean's Soul Food Café with bud Melissa; and Fig Tree Café & Lefty’s with jeanne.
May brought presenting “BDSM culture” for a Human Sexual Behaviors class at a local community college and an electrical presentation for a guys’ leather group. It also brought a delightful visit from former slave bobby. And the start of volunteering at a walk-in community computer center. Interestingly, it seems like the majority of folk who come in are semi-homeless.
May 24 my father had a mild stroke. It made his vision blurry and whacked his balance so that he needs a walker. Thank goodness that’s all it did. He keeps a positive attitude, and the stroke’s effects have already lessened.
I flew up to Astoria, Oregon – where Daddy & Charlotte and lots of extended family live -- in June; a previously-planned trip. It was great to see family at a cousin’s son’s high school graduation party and at a lunch my dad hosted.
Summer brought its unique and welcome treat: longer days = less SSAD.
It was also a time to prepare for Daddy Barry’s retirement to Palm Springs, with his ex Stan, at the end of July: We introduced Opa & Stan’s Persian cat, Taylor, to see how they would do. (After retiring Opa and I would be making monthly trips to Palm Springs and it was important they got along.) There was normal boundary-setting but otherwise sweetly uneventful. After retiring Daddy Barry would be making monthly trips to San Diego to see me and would stay with me. I got two comfortable bright red chairs and Craigslisted the two awkward chairs they replaced. Later, having exhausted my Netflix queue, I also upgraded to U-Verse from broadcast.
Friend Everett and his partner threw a particularly nice summer solstice party. I brought devilled eggs in the cute egg carrier that Sister Susan had given me as a gift. Doctor visits continued as always – immunologist, ophthalmologist, annual physical. And in preparation for Part 2, I saw Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1
July was full. I got to the gym when I was able. I broke bread with friends -- jeanne at the yummy www.empirehousesd.com, Roadkill at home, Melissa at the also-yummy Taste of Thai, Chief Lee at Hash House, Everett at Meshuggah Shack, and Daddy Barry at Luna Grill. Melissa and I took in Cars 2 and the surprisingly good Cowboys and Aliens, while Daddy Barry, Stan and I saw Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2. We booked flights for next May for a family reunion with my sisters, progeny and hubbies. Pride came toward the end of the month -- I presented Things That Pinch in the Leather Realm. But the two biggies were Daddy Barry came down with pneumonia, and retired the next week. I went to my first guys' “Beat & Greet.” Opa went to Tom’s for a play date.
My music was prolific. I put out the songs Magic and Tech Disco, and began courses with www.SonicAcademy.com. In August I learned how to use a vocoder, bought the Sylenth1 synthesizer (used in many SonicAcademy tutorials), and put out Nu Disco. August also brought my first swimming of the season at La Jolla’s cove. And Opa and I trundled 130 miles to Palm Springs to visit Daddy Barry, Stan and Taylor. They worked at making me feel welcome with the foods I like to eat and spaces to put things for my monthly trips.
August 5th I met pup Karl at the leather A.A. meeting. Two weeks later I gave a friendly pounding on pup’s chest. Dating ramped up quickly. Coffee the next Wednesday. Dinner the next Friday for pup to meet Daddy Barry. Coffee again the following Wednesday, followed by having pup over and meeting Opa. Dinner at Bangkok Spice Thai that Friday, followed by the leather meeting and pup’s first giggly sleepover. The next day was a shift – the first real day together: pup talked on relapse prevention at www.feelinggood.org attended by me, followed by time together at Ocean Beach, dinner and another sleepover. Dinners and sleepovers quickly became regular opportunities to spend time together. Plus there were two Important dinners: September 22nd we had former slave bobby (in town for one of his delightful infrequent visits), John, and John’s Kent over. Karl made a big, delightful dinner of salad, roast, sourdough bread, and amazing chocolate volcanos. The delicate outside chocolate cake enclosed deliciously gooey chocolate when heated. Scrumptious and decadent! October 22nd we had pup’s Mom over. We really hit it off. I enjoyed her company and she enjoyed a good man loving on her son.
Daddy Barry had tasked me with finding a leatherslave before he moved so that there would be someone in town looking after me. It didn’t happen before he moved in late July, but serendipitously it was close.
September brought a trip to see Jordan and Rose in their new home city of Norfolk, Virginia. It was good to spend time with them both! Jordan and I worked on his rap music using Apple’s Garage Band with an add-in Jam Pack, Remix Tools.
October brought a sinus infection with a gnarly chest cough. I was able to remix Love Is In The Air for an architecture award ceremony where friend John would be accepting an “orchid”. And after many years happily on traditional Medicare, I changed to a Medicare Advantage PPO plan to reduce medical financial exposure. Dining out continued at San Filipo’s with Dion & pup; Shakespeare's with Daddy Barry; Bryans’, Rudford’s, Salsa Fiesta, Pick Up Stix & El Zarape with pup; and Ichiban with jeanne.
But the high point of the month was a delightful adult Halloween with Daddy Barry & pup. We started by eating café style at Café 21 downtown, where over a hundred zombies zombied by on their way to a street costume party. Next we ourselves took in the Haunted Hotel, followed by Ghirardelli ice cream. Yum.
November was also full. I got to see Pirates of the Carribean: Stranger Tides and a retrospective showing of Cruising, presented by FilmOut at the North Park Theatre, with pup. We also took in the 2nd Annual Meatball Turkey Day Dinner. Daddy Barry and I attended Palm Springs Leather Pride.
Thanksgiving pup and I hosted Mom, Melissa, jeanne, and jeanne’s friend Allison. We used Marie Callender’s reasonable provide-it-all/pick-it-up service. It fed six of us with minimal cleanup. Wow was it worth it.
Two other things were cool in November. First I was able to refinance the condo from 5.25 -> 3.625 and cut the term from 30 to 15 years. And I bought a “soft synth” of the ‘80s Korg M1 synthesizer to use in my digital audio workstation, making music. Delicious sounds.
The year closed out with two particularly sweet times. One was a yummy dinner so that I could meet Karl’s brother, Mark (left, below) and his girlfriend Pam. What a delightful time we had! This is my first photo with Karl.
The other gathering was Tom made a welcoming Christmas Day dinner of turkey, dressing, cranberries, and coconut cake for him, Karl & me.
I hope this finds you happy & well.