Archive for the ‘LIFE ISSUES’ Tag

LIFE IS SHORT–EAT DESSERT FIRST!   Leave a comment

Some of the philosophies I have gathered for myself after 70 years.

Actually I learned most of these things in one year when I got involved with Transactional Analysis in the 1970s while living in Memphis. It is a good way to live a life and gives you a life to live.

1. Life is uncertain–Eat dessert first! (When I go to buffets that is where I head first!)

2. Never say never.

3. Eliminate try from a sentence and it becomes a positive statement. “Don’t ‘try to be nice–be nice!”

4. Say won’t instead of can’t which makes you honest.

5. Those who think they know it all are very annoying to those of us who do! (And we all know it all!)

6. “I do my thing and you do your thing. I am not in this world to live up to your expectations, and you are not in this world to live up to mine. You are you and I am I and if by chance we find each other; It’s beautiful.” Frederick S. Perls (One of my afvorite sayings,)

7. Promises are made to be broken. (Learned at my mother’s knee–a child should not be taught that–took me quite awhile to turn that around.)

8. When you feel guilty you are spending time in the past, when you are worrying you are spending time in the future and when you do either you are not dealing with the here and now. (I have been living by this since 1973!)

9. “There is good in everyone.” Anne Frank (Well Anne–almost.)

10. When love is gone I will not stoop to become your friend. (How true.)

11. What goes round comes round. (Not always in our lifetime.)

12. Most people don’t learn from past mistakes and keep repeating them. (I know I did for a number of years and still make the same mistakes once in awhile–trusting someone but I couldn’t live if I didn’t do that.)

13. I do not need another to validate or approve of me. (I AM a good, kind, caring man.)

14. It’s human to err, divine to forgive but harder to do the latter. (As most people know attack me or one of my friends and I will not forgive you–ever. Okay charlie now I have to eliminate that ‘ever’! LOL)

15. When a person lies it is usually to make them look better in your eyes.

16. Being alone doesn’t mean you are lonely.

17. People will do what they want to do even though they say they won’t/don’t. (So true which is why I don’t listen to excuses.)

18. Some people believe that negative attention is better than no attention at all. (They are professional ‘poor little me’ and ‘yes,but’ players.)

19. “If you really love me you will…” should not be said to someone you really love.

20. Eliminate negative people from your life. (First thing to do if you want to change anything in your life–and I made the mistake of letting them come back into my life this past week–no more.)

21. Live as if today is the last day of your life.

22. Do stop to smell the roses, look at nature.

23. Appreciate what you have—most of all friends.

24. Living well is the best revenge and, as most people know, I live well–maybe not ffinancially but just being alive and enjoying life.

25. Karma is for real and can be seen  and   felt by others.

26. Love thyself and others will love you.

27. You don’t owe anything to anyone–whether success or failure you did it.

28. Anyone who is bored deserves to be bored–there is a whole world right outside your door to explore.

29. Anyone can act smart but very few people are smart and, worse, look dumb when they try to act it.

30. Be nice to at least one person a day. (This will make up a whole blog soon as a project I started on recently.)

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As long as I wake up in the morning I’ve got it made!

Posted August 10, 2013 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

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7 DECADES SERIES THE LAST 8 YEARS PART 32 A   Leave a comment

Like most of my life the past 8 years have had its ups and downs but mostly ups and even the downs turned into something positive!

On July 20, 2008, I went into the hospital to have an aorta valve replacement operation and when I came out I unexpectedly had a 3-4 month spell of depression which I had never experienced before–the doctor, knowing it could happen to all heart operation patients, never warned me–won’t go into it because during that period I posted a few blogs so that in the future if anyone wanted to know about it I could refer them to my experience before, during and after. As I said even the downs turned into something positive–on July 21, an hour before I was rolled into the operating room I had my last cigarette and after about 60 years of smoking 2-3 packs a day I stopped and have not had a cigarette for 5 years and have not missed it once and have no problem being with smokers!


On January 17, 2007, Robert
Iguizi  died. I have written about him in a previous chapter–we had worked together at the Crabhouse and he decided to move back to New Jersey and would come down a couple of times a year. Robert was a big gambler and we would go to the Hard Rock Casino and he would use my machine card  so I would get thousands of credits, consequently I would get complimentary tickets to many concerts that continued for almost two years after his death. I got to see: Joan Rivers, Al Jarreau, George Benson, Steely Dan and Michael McDonald, a Doo Wop concert, Rick Springfield, Eddie Money, Loverboy and Scandal, Commodores, O’Jays, Robert Klein and Pat Cooper just to name a few.

Chuck and Terry came down on August 12, 2006, December 18, 2010 and for my Leap Year birthday in February, 2008. They missed my 19th Leap Year birthday but they better start saving their pennies for my 20th in 2016.

I was getting royalty checks for my books plus I was getting ‘help’ from various sources such as winning  $400 from Play4 in June, 2006,  and then again in August not to forget 2 years later also in August the ‘stimulus check’ plus another Play4, this time for $200 but then I had a dry spell until November 14, 2011 when I won another $400 and some royalties started drifting in again. I finally made some money with the Fantasy5 on January 9, 2012 winning $555.

The main thing about money was that I finally, after 70 years (?) learned how to live within my income which still amazes me! I don’t use a credit card unless I know I can pay it in full at the end of the month which is a strange feeling. I cut back when I have to but my biggest saving is not having a car which I will get into during the next, and hopefully last, chapter. I do have to start rewriting, editing and adding the X rated material!! :O) And loving to eat out I always look for and clip 2-4-1 meal coupons plus Groupons. If you had told me 30 years ago I would be clipping coupons I would have laughed for hours!

Sadly as one gets older one loses old friends and that was/is happening to me. After the death of Flo in the early 1980s and then the deaths associated with the AIDS crisis I decided not to go to funerals again and I haven’t. I really prefer thinking of people being alive and being who they are/were. Anita died on March 23, 2010, Robert Schink, my longest friend in Fort Lauderdale died March 16, 2010, Bernie, who I had so much history with and was a major part of my life, died February 26, 2012, and was buried on my birthday February 29.  I could list a lot of people who I miss like Emily who made me special cakes and pies and always said she wish I had been her son–she was about 10 years older than me–and living at Gateway made up mostly of people in their 80s and 90s, death is always around. Some time when I was young I was told that people you love who die become your guardian angels, always hovering around to see how you aredoingandgiving you a slap on the head when you are about to do something stupid! I haven’t gotten too many slaps lately so I must be doing a lot of smart things or, at least, not getting into trouble or caught!

Posted July 22, 2013 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

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BEING ALONE DOESN’T MEAN BEING LONELY   Leave a comment

 

(For those who may find this  familiar it is a repeat of one of the first blogs I wrote when I started blogging in 2004/05. It seems every once in awhile people have to be reminded that living alone does not mean being lonely and that it can be a choice unlike other things. A young man expressed the fear of never finding his soul mate and living alone–I am posting this for him.)

It took me 50 years, 4 exes, innumerable mini-affairs to realize that I prefer, enjoy, need to live alone.

I make/am a great friend, adviser, listener but as a life partner a dud. It could be I am too selfish, unwilling to compromise when it comes to ME, unable to sustain a physical relationship with one person or a million other reasons. And it’s NOT that I haven’t found the right person–I did in 1981 but it couldn’t/didn’t last.

Why do I like living alone and don’t feel lonely? Let me tackle the latter first.

 If I want to go out to a movie or play, attend an event, spend time at the beach, share a joyful time, cry on someones shoulder or just talk friends are available. If I want to have a physical encounter I have a group of people to call upon.

Now as to not being/feeling lonely: I have many interests such as reading, writing, Mother Nature, theatre, movies, blogging, writing what I feel will be my last book, that take up a lot of my time and there are only 2 things I don’t/won’t do alone–have sex and eat out in a fine restaurant.

Advantages of living alone:
1) I can come home and not have to worry about how the person I live with is feeling, what kind of mood they are in.
2) If I don’t want the TV on it stays off.
3) I can watch what programs I want nor do I have to buy another TV to solve ‘arguments’.
4) I have the whole bed to myself.
5) I do what I want when I want
6) I can eat, read or do anything else I want in bed without having to worry about annoying/disturbing someone.
7) I can eat what I want when I want.
8) I can get up or go to sleep when I want.
9) I can smoke, fart, pick my nose, scratch my butt (Oh, I know YOU don’t do any of these things) use my fingers to eat (Oops! Maybe I should have listed this separately after the other things mentioned :o)) without any comments or put downs or silly laughs
10) I don’t have to hide anything, including what I watch or put on the Internet.
11) Not having a person talk when I am watching and/or doing something when I prefer quiet.
12) I like to vacation, take trips alone, and stop/see where/what I want for as long as I want.
13) I can be sloppy or neat, clean after myself or not without ‘nagging’.
14) I can be responsible for myself only and not for someone else.
15) I can have the a/c on or off–depending how I feel.
16) I can say and/or think “I” as much as I want.
17) I won’t/don’t do anything I don’t want to do.
18) I can eat the whole cake, box of chocolates or cookies, bag of potato chips, etc. myself. (I told you I was selfish!)
19) If I run out of something it’s my fault.                                                                  
                                     20) I don’t have to lie–not even a ‘white’ lie                                     21) I can shave—or not!

And the list can goes on.

The only advantage I can see to having a live in partner is that when you get old and/or sick someone can take care of you.
Besides all I have seen or read about partners are the problems they had or are having.
Plus I don’t have to go through the heartache of a breakup :o)

The longer a person lives alone the more they will protect their space from being invaded!

Posted July 6, 2013 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

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ONE OF THOSE EVERYTHING, ANYTHING AND NOTHING POSTS LOL   Leave a comment

Though we are always asked, “Don’t you miss the 4 seasons?” it is obvious that the person asking that question doesn’t live here. It being June it is the season of fruit trees producing all over–mangoes are falling out of the trees, avocados are starting to appear but the surest signs that Spring is bursting out all over are the vivid red and purple Jacaranda trees plus the Queen crepe myrtle trees.Oh I forgot to mention the afternoon rains, the humidity climbing and temps in the 90s–summer is right around the corner !

Allen is leaving for the northeast, to see his daughter and his twin grandchildren, at 5 in the morning and though I hate to see him leave I must admit it will be great having his car for a week–I WILL BE FREE!

Being old and seeing an ad “Only $35 per person” for a restaurant can be pretty shocking! In fact burgers costing $12-15, lunch averaging $15-20 person and $25+ per person for dinner can cause sticker shock! Doesn’t mean I will stop eating out but I do look for those 2-4-1 deals!!!

Did I ever mention that my aunt Flo and Uncle Ritchie owned a bakery in Sunrise, Florida (a suburb of Fort Lauderdale)  in the 1970s and 1980s? She took care of the front of the store and he did the baking–I use to love going there at 4-5 in the morning when he was baking and I became the ‘official taster’. He was a master baker!

I find the older I get the less patience I have with people, especially those who think they know it all, and I don’t mind telling them so. :O)

Did you know that The Dollar Tree will ship you things without shipping and handling charges when you order from their web page? Of course I prefer going there because I have so much fun buying things!

Just to clarify, because it seems to be asked so often in general terms, I blog for myself–it has replaced my diaries and gives me more room on my closet shelves. I appreciate when people read my posts and make comments but then I post at sites where no one responds.

Did I mention that I got another royalty check for my book “The Free Prisoner”? And this is 8-9 years later. I, also, just discovered a disk that I had buried away of the complete book.

I was ‘threatened’ by someone–a Republican, of course–on facebook that they were going to block me–I said ‘please do as I see it as a badge of honor’. Why are republicans, conservatives and/or christians so eager to ‘block’ people on the Internet??

I am starting to delete blogs on the various sites that I do posting though some don’t have that option. Mostly they will be the few C & Ps or posts about the weather or subjects that don’t mean anything anymore. It is a job and a half.

Another hard task is the one I am doing getting all my user names and passwords together–I started by using the same password for everything years ago but now some want numbers inserted or have other conditions while some were so obvious it was silly so I am changing those.

Did you ever notice that, like in real life, some people have to have THE last word when it comes to commenting on posts? I think it is funny.

Boy did I goof last month–I put my mail in the ‘rent check’ box and the rent check into the ‘to go mail’–had to wait until Mark the mailman came to get the check out of the mailbox! But one of the advantages , of the many, of being old is you can blame ALL mistakes on age!

Most of the sites I blog on have ‘tags’ but I find them almost a waste as I can’t ever find anything by typing in a tag!!!

That’s about it for now–if I miss a day or two you know I am out, going around town, in the car! 8 hours to go as Allen has to be at the airport at 5 AM!

Posted June 12, 2013 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

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7 DECADES SERIES 2003 LAST 6 MONTHS PART 27 B   Leave a comment

It wasn’t until August 2003 that I learned Bob Barry had died of a heart attack in Dallas on July1. I’ve talked about Bob before but only now it hits me Bob Kingsbery , Bob Barry, Bob Igizi and  Bob Shinck all died within a 10 year period and they were all special guys who gave a lot. I will always miss and think of them.

There are hills and valleys in every ones life and having gone through a few the past couple of years I had finally arrived at a smooth patch. Things were going good, life was good for/to me. I was, as always going to movies and the theatre but the most fun has always been eating out with friends. I couldn’t afford to do it as often as I wanted but every once in awhile I did. There was the evening Anita, Robert, James, Gino and I went to hear the “Gay Men’s Chorus” and afterwards we went to The Cheesecake Factory and Kilwin’s for ice cream. There was a lot of laughing and talking while the last day of June we went to the Caldwell Playhouse to see–SURPRISE!!!!–a play called “The Last Day Of June” with dinner at the Roadhouse (closed) and, luckily I got my SS check and was able to go for dinner at The Ark (closed) with the same group. We always had fun when we got together! Oh yes, I won $200 with a boxed Play4 ticket. How could I complainaboutlife?

On September 1 I took Gino to the  Cafe Del Rio (closed) for his birthday. On Sunday Bob and Betsy were in town and we went to The Cheesecake Factory and Bob picked up the check. I see a bunch of movies I went to like “Madame Sata”, “Matchstick Man”, “The Cuckoo”, “Lost In Translation”, “Secondhand Lions”, “Mystic River”,  “Under The Tuscan Sun” just to mention a few and remember very little, if anything about them!

I picked up a new habit–going out on the ‘Trip to Nowhere’ on the Sea Escape, which was a gambling cruise that went out beyond the 23 mile limit of the ocean and the ship opened for gambling. While getting to that mark you had dinner, usually buffet style, not very good, but Anita enjoyed going so almost every Tuesday we were out there. When Bob Igizi came down he joined us  and that week we would eat out almost every night. We went to Tequila Sunrise (open), a restaurant owned by the son of Flo’s who lives here at Gateway. He sold it a couple of years ago and is doing okay while Flo just celebrated her 85th birthday.

Anita and I went to see Lorna Luft at the Parker PLayhouse and, in my opinion, is a much better singer than her half sister Liza but the latter looking more like her mother and having the same men and drug problems while the former lead a fairly quiet life she wasn’t as well known. Ah yes, we also went to see “The Lord Of The Rings” because she loved the story but I found the movie boring! People are funny–all of Gateway was talking about Anita and I being a ‘couple’ because we were going to the movies, shows, on the Sea Escape and out for dinner whenever we could afford it and though everyone knew I was gay they were ‘happy’ for us. We decided to orchestrate a big breakup the following  year AFTER my birthday party!

The big excitement in September was the 7 eggs that Jill’s  budgies (one was her mother’s) laid and hatched in September and October and I was getting 2 of them!!! With 2 new birds, a new large cage, my 17th Leap Year birthday, a move to a larger apartment life was no longer level but going , effortlessly, up the mountain, but how long would that last?

 

Posted June 11, 2013 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

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7 DECADES SERIES 2003 FIRST 6 MONTHS–PART 27A   Leave a comment

I had connected with Jill through an Internet bird group and we finally met on Monday, January 6, 2003 at The Red Canary (closed) which was a bird shop and then went to Adele’s (closed) which was another bird shop and after had coffee at Jack’s which was the start of a good friendship and she certainly helped me with birds not to forget buying me my first cockatiel but more about that later. And I won’t forget about the baby birds she hatched and gave me.

Steven Carter came back into my life briefly and took me out for dinner at The Cheesecake Factory (open) but I don’t remember why or what happened after that! Gino and I went to see “The Mystery of Edward Drood” on stage and after went to a Mexican restaurant in the Riverfront which has since closed becoming three other restaurants before closing permanently. The next night Bob, Jim, other Bob and I went to see “Park Your Car in Harvard Yard” at the Caldwell Playhouse (closed) which was good and then we had dinner at the Red Lobster– Bob’s choice! The following week Gino and I went to see the film version of “Chicago” which I really enjoyed and thought Catherine Zeta-Jones did a great job. (Everything old is new again–the road tour of “Chicago” is coming here next season!)

Life was going along smoothly and I finally got my finances in hand even though those credit card companies were sending me cards constantly. Anita, who lived here at Gateway, and who was still in the closet which I couldn’t understand but let it be as it was her choice. She would go out with Doyle and me to movies and plays. She moved a couple of years later and after a couple of more years I got a call from her sister telling me that she had died. I miss her just as I miss Robert Igizi.

I’ve mentioned Robert before–we had worked together at the Crabhouse (closed) and he had moved back to New Jersey (still open!) coming back to Fort Lauderdale 2-3 times a year staying at the Howard Johnson hotel on the beach which is now closed and has been in limbo for a few years. Robert was a big gambler and would spend a lot of his time at the Hard Rock Casino getting a lot of ‘freebies’ which I, and later Allen, would enjoy by going to the concerts without paying anything. He came down in February 2003 and we ate one night at The Cheesecake Factory with a ‘little’ ice cream afterwards at Kilwin’s (open) and had lunch one afternoon at the Cheeseburger Cheeseburger (closed). He was always a delight to see and spend time with.

In March I went for an MRI and couldn’t handle it. I don’t know why and it even became worse after I had the aorta valve replacement not even being able to take a standing MRI with a tranquilizer! On my way home my car conked out coming completely to a stop. I had it towed to the shop and rented a car. The temptation was to charge it on the credit card I had but I didn’t–that was certainly a step in the right direction.

Anita, Bob, Jim, Gino, Doyle and I went to the Pride Fest at the War Memorial and then for dinner at the Lone Star restaurant (closed) and the following Sunday Nancy was in town and she, Doyle and I went to The Cheesecake Factory followed the following Sunday by Anita, Doyle and I going to see a local production of Edward Albee’s “Sea Escape” while the next Saturday Betsy, Nancy, Gino and I went to the Olive Garden (open) and then off to the movies to see “Bend It Like Beckham” and ended the month by going to Sweet Tomatoes (open) so basically life was going along smoothly with a little bump (the car) here and there. I had to get a new battery and 2 tires for the automobile and though I charged it I was able to pay the bill in full by the time I got it as I knew the bill and my Social Security would arrive at the same time. What I didn’t plan on was my rent going up $49 as of June 1 as SS increased and my medical bills decreased.

Nancy and Doug were in town so, along with Gino, we went to the Cheesecake Factory while a week later Bob, Jim, Gino and I went to the Broward Performing Arts Center to see “Forbidden Broadway”, which I loved and then the Cheesecak Factory, which by now Iam sure you have already figured out, I love. At the end of June Bob, Jim, Gino and I went to the Caldwell Playhouse to see “Last Day In June” and then to the Roadhouse (closed) for dinner.

For some reason I decided to stop shaving and cutting my hair! I think as men get older, and their hair starts disappearing from the front of their head, they start with the long hair, pigtails, beards and mustaches. Of course I kept on hearing that it made me look older than I was but for right now I wasn’t listening!

Not knowing I would be heading for another roller coaster ride of life I just went on enjoying this even time and my birds!

Posted June 10, 2013 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

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7 DECADES SERIES 2002 RETIREMENT 26 C   Leave a comment

All I could ask myself after May 1, 2002, was “Why didn’t I retire when I was born?” WE need a new system–you collect Social Security from either graduating high school or college until you are 62 and then you go to work until you die!!! With the way life spans are going that could be 30-50 years! Most of my life I really didn’t work hard. Writing certainly wasn’t hard. I loved being a server and really didn’t see it as work–except when it came to side-work!  As far as the 10 years I spent with Weight Watchers and Our Weigh that was a lot of fun and also wouldn’t fit the category of work so retiring just offered me more time of doing things I like.

Nothing gets me crazier than when I hear, “Why should I retire? What would I do?” or that they are bored being retired. I am still trying to figure out how I got things done when I was working as my schedule is so full now I meet myself coming and going. I need/want 28 hours in a day and at least 8 days in a week!  Between going to see the stage version of “The Lion King” at the Broward Performing Arts Center or the world premiere of “When Women Steal” on the Florida Stage not to forget going to the movies and liking James Franco in “Spiderman” (When did he stop making good movies?) or seeing Matt Damon come into his own in “The Bourne Identity” plus pigging out at Sweet Tomatoes (open) and  The Chinese Buffet (closed) there was also going down to the pool for 1-2 hours a day and once a week going to the beach in addition to writing 2-3 hours a night on books that I was hoping to get published somewhere around 2006. Time! I neededmoretime!

In October Ed came to town and we went to The Cheesecake Factory (open)  and I sent Layde my first 3 essays. I was getting together a book of essays that I planned to publish under the title “Letting It All Hang Out! Commentaries, Musings and Essays From An Old(er), Poor Gay Man”.  I didn’t realize that I was writing blogs before I became familiar with blogs! The following week Robert Igizi came in from New Jersey and after Fuddruckers (closed) we went to the Seminole  Casino. Robert was a heavy gambler and he used my card so I would get a lot of free passes to shows during the year. By the end of October I had put on about 5 pounds and was going crazy with the credit card companies calling but really didn’t have any complaints about my life. I decided since I was retired I wasn’t going to shave anymore and, for some reason, as the beard grew so did the belly!

Pierre, from West Palm Beach, and I were getting friendly and he would come down 2-3 times a week and we would go to dinner and a show or movie, sometimes with Gino, sometimes not.  One evening the 3 of us went to see a stage production of “All” and then dinner at Celito Lindo (open) and the next, since he had never been there, we went to Sweet Tomatoes (open) then “Far From Heaven” and in the category of ‘Everything old is new again’ there is a musical version of that movie opening on Broadway this week!

All in all 2002 was a good year except for the credit card mess I had made in the first few months but once I retired life really got good for me.  I was learning to follow a budget and not spending more than I had or before I got it. Also, more important, for the first time I started to save for something–my 17th Leap Year birthday! I thought of it as my last blast and I was already in the planning stages.

Posted June 4, 2013 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

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7 DECADES SERIES 2000 PART 26 B   Leave a comment

(ARGH! I did it–wrote this whole post and lost it!!! Here I go again if I remember!)

Most of April was like any other month until I got the letter affirming what Legal Aid had told me but before that it was movie, theatre going and eating ou as usual. Movie wise I saw Mae West (Yes! Mae West!) in “The Heat’s On”, ‘Scotland, Pa.”, “Second Skin” (it was THE movie I fell in lust with Javiar Bardem), an excellent documentary “Trembling Before G-D”, “Panic Room”, “Y Tu Mama Tambien”,”The Rookie”, “Frailty” and “Changing Lanes”. I went to the Broward Performing Arts Center with Gino to see “Mamma Mia” plus later on the stage version of “Saturday Night Fever” and the Parker Playhouse to see “Dirty Blonde” then West Palm Beach to the Florida Stage where “Bee-Luther-Hatchee” had its premiere. Bob, Jim, ‘new’ Bob and I went to a local production of “Sweet Charity” which wasn’t too bad.

Along with movies and shows there was the eating out at Bennigan’s (closed), Tico Taco (closed), Tarpon Bend (open), Royal Buffet (closed). Federal Chinese Buffet (closed) and the Super King Chinese Buffet (closed). Betsy and Bob were in from Michigan, Bob Igizi came down from New Jersey and Pierre joined us in West Palm.  Things were moving along.

I’ve already talked about getting the birds and, in addition, I bought a second hand recliner from Povarello’s Thrift Store that takes care of AIDS patients. On April 12, 2002, I told Sheila and Sergio that I was retiring as of the 26th and I was flattered that they asked me to stay on and that I would be welcome back anytime I wanted to come back.

The week before I met with Jimmy, a lawyer friend, and talked about bankruptcy again. Whether it was that old guilt trip or not I really didn’t want to admit failure a second time. Jimmy spent 5 hours with me (no charge!!) showing me that what I owed the credit card company was only extra interest, that I had paid all the principle back plus some interest so they weren’t losing any money on me. He also showed me that it had been the same before.  Whether I was just rationalizing the guilt wasn’t as great as it was before I spoke to him.

On the 17th I met with a paralegal from Legal Aid and on the 25th I received a letter affirming what we spoke about. He had said that if a company sued me they could garnish me bank account unless I only had social security or other federal pensions deposited in it but they could harass me by filing legal papers to garnish it. They, called judgment creditors, couldn’t take my home–that wasn’t a problem–and my car if they wanted to pursue it but since the judge had valued it at $1,000 (to me it was worth a million dollars!) when I had filed bankruptcy there wasn’t a chance they would. He said most credit card companies just file for judgment which they usually win and if I win the lotto they could collect but until then I was ‘judgment proof’. I was being sued for over $6,000 by my former landlord for unpaid rent though I found out he had rented it out within 2 months.

The paralegal said most creditors will threaten lawsuits but very few follow through as it doesn’t pay unless it involves huge money. It wasn’t until June 1 that I stopped paying my credit card bills and it took 6-8 months for them to stop calling and writing me but in 3-4 months I was already getting credit cards from other companies!!! For a change I was smart and cut them up. It would be a few years before I got new credit cards but by then I knew how to handle them. Only took 66 years to learn that lesson. I was to find out that not only did the previous bankruptcy and now not paying the bills affect my credit rating but it would affect my car insurance and cause me to lose my car but that was in the future.

I was retired and didn’t know how much my life would change if it would at all.

Posted June 3, 2013 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

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7 DECADES SERIES 2001 PART 25 D   Leave a comment

In spite of, maybe because of, CHF ,COPD,  PAD,  HB and a few other initial diagnosis, I was doing pretty good. My weight was the lowest it had been since I left Memphis in 1979, I was working making good money, I still had my beloved 1973 Chevy Caprice red convertible and movies, theatre and eating out were all part of my daily living. The fact that I was once again charging too much, mostly regarding the car,  sort of got to me once in awhile but, obviously, not enough to stop it. I rationalized that in May I was in the hole for $215 but was ahead for the year.

In May I was once again in the hospital with the vascular surgeon putting a stent in my left leg with the warning that the veins were tightening up to the point he may not be able to do that in the future, that I had to stop smoking, that though he thought I did a great job with the weight I was hitting the cholesterol too much. He told me to keep the count below the 300 milligram mark.

Out of the blue I got a call from Steven, who I had ‘dumped’ for Bill many years ago, and we went out for a pleasant dinner but that ‘spark’ or whatever it is wasn’t there anymore. He was still tied up with his kids which I wasn’t interested in and–I don’t say it proudly or ashamedly–we had ‘been there, done that’ and it was old hat to me.  Monogamy has never been, will never be a part of me and I was open and honest about it from the very beginning with anyone I met. Did it hurt me? Did I miss out? I don’t know and I don’t think so. Though many gays, along with many nongays, look down on me because of that attitude I don’t care as I felt I was not straight and didn’t have to imitate them. Gay men had a  reputation for being promiscuous and (once again I will get in trouble for saying this) but I, me, myself, IMO, have never known two men to be faithful to each other. That is a whole other book I think John Rechy explained very well in one of his.

In June 2001 I saw “Moulin Rouge” who 12 years later, almost to the month, the same director Baz Luhrmann and if nothing else I am consistant as he seems to be. My review for that film is basically the review I gave for Gatsby which was “different, crazy, innoventive and boring. I am glad I saw it but won’t see it again!”

A very strange thing happened at the end of June. When my mother died my brother had sent me some Savings Bonds that had been in her and my name for years and I cashed them in. Going through some papers I found 3 bonds among them. Each was for $200 taken out a long time ago and when I went to cash them in I got $3,036!!!! My next notes are, “Got new mattress and frame and spent–paid cash–$1800. I did have to change the king size bed for a queen size one as with the former I wouldn’t be able to move around my bedroom!”

The rest of the year was uneventful though I was spending too much money but there was nothing new about that. In October I started taking cash advances from my credit cards and I made a note about seeing bankruptcy ahead.

2002 would bring more changes in my life including birds and retirement!

Posted May 27, 2013 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

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7 DECADES SERIES 2000-2001 CHF PART 25 C   Leave a comment

 

In December I woke up on a Monday in the middle of the night  feeling very queasy and didn’t feel good all that day. A million things went through my mind  and I finally got to see the doctor Wednesday when he told me I had arterial fibrillation which really didn’t mean anything to me though the Doc did say I should stop smoking, stay away from fried foods, etc., and, of course, I kept on shaking my head yes knowing that even though I had been threatened with a stroke I wouldn’t change—yet! I also was ‘introduced’ to Coumindan which I am still taking 13 years later. On the following Thursday I had an echocardigram and the following day was given a holster heart  monitor. I do remember going to sleep that night with the thought “Will I die tonight?”

“Where’s my flip flop? I need my flip flop! Who stole my flip flop?” That is the first thing I remember waking up in the hospital—ranting and raving about my flip-flop–only one was missing! The nurse in the hospital ER was laughing and said, “Martin, you almost died and we just spent time saving you! Forget the flip-flop, that didn’t need to be resuscitated, you did.” And she put it on my foot!

I don’t remember much about that night except calling 911 about 4 in the morning and throwing a carton of cigarettes and a book in a bag . I spent December 29, 2000 to January 2, 2001 in the hospital. Happy New Year! I do recall it being cold and my putting on a robe (Did I put that in my bag?) and telling the nurse at the desk that I was going out to check if it was snowing, as I held a pack of cigarettes in my hand. Yes I was still smoking and even though they didn’t allow smoking in the hospital at that time they had smoking areas outside. The desk nurse said something to the effect that I was old enough, but not smart enough, to know what I was doing. Being a wise arse I said “What? Checking for snow?” I didn’t know nurses were allowed to use that language to an old man who just had a congestive heart attack!

On January 3 I went to see “The Dame Edna Royal Tour” at the Parker Playhouse and found it and ‘Dame Edna’ boring! I did a lot of movie going: “Castaway”, “The Family Man”, “State and Main”, “Miss Congenitally”, “You Can Count On Me”, “The Gift”, plus a musical “Fosse”, so obviously I wasn’t rushing back to work. I did lose 16 pounds while in the hospital those few days and 7 pounds when I came home. I was under MY goal! I wouldn’t give up smoking for another 8 years–some people never learn.

I went back to work on February 2 and had sex the next day! Hey, I was worried that I never would again though my doctor said that was just a myth. The following week I saw heart and lung doctors plus a vascular surgeon (who I didn’t know had put a stent in my leg!) and from December 20 until the first week in February I had discovered I had arterial fibrillation, congestive heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), peripheral artery disease (PAD) not to forget  cholesterol and high blood pressure problems.

I was going to be 16 and 1/4 years old—okay, okay, 65–and all of a sudden I was no longer an old(er) man as I referred to myself but I was now an old man taking 14 pills a day!!!! I started to think about retiring.

Posted May 21, 2013 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

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