So, it is officially the start to my 4th month of bio-identical hormone therapy. Not the therapy you get with your health plan (TRT and nothing else to counter the damage long term use will do to you), No, this was a new therapy (read expensive as fuck) by a licensed US Physician, and man, my wallet definitely feels it … OUCH … skipping insurance and paying out of pocket can be brutal.
So, a few things first, and YES, it is a rant. My Provider really screwed the pooch and I guess for the most part I don’t blame them but it sucks anyway. They had a data breach. Yes nothing financial, just email addresses, but still, it resulted in a 7 day delay of my monthly supplies.
Now you might say “so what” but once you have your levels where you want them, and you find you are inadvertently dry humping your furniture because you have the testosterone level of a 25 year old, not having your stuff sucks. Yes, I could feel the difference.
The upside of course is that it was working – interesting experiment
Outside of the fact I still seem to be slightly allergic at the injection site (nothing big just local itching at the injection site due to the sesame seed oil the testosterone is suspended in), all was good in the world, the sleep issues were over, and the one thing I was truly worried about, aggression, never materialized. Seems I am a gigantic super warm man pillow – which is fine because the apple at county lockup sucks.
So it is October 1, and I starting my fourth month of treatment.The treatment is (let’s review) testosterone cypionate .05ml, anastrozole which promotes a healthy sperm count and keeps the body from aromatizing testosterone into estradiol (estrogen), hCG .05ml, which prevents damage from the effects of testosterone AND … makes your balls bigger 😉 yea baby.
The secondary treatment is 6mg daily of taladafil (daily use cialis) compounded with oxytocin, also known as the ‘cuddle hormone’ (it makes men faithful – yes I have a boner pill with a hormone in it that makes me faithful … WTF)
4 shots, 1 capsule, and 1 sublingual troche a week – I can handle this.
Now the upside … I *think* … you may recall I was making tons of testosterone with my giant man balls BUT my body was using an enzyme called aromatase to convert it to estrogen. What should have been great levels of T were never making it to where it had to go. Instead, my estrogen levels were through the roof.
Crying while watching ‘The View”, being unable to forgive my neighbor for wearing the same jeans as me, and not being able to forgive him – no thank you. The final straw was trying to match my drapes to my linen – the issue of course is that I have no drapes.
So I turned to a friend who just got his blood test done – He had been playing this game for 6 months. He went from a 250 total to a 1600 total, his free testosterone went through the roof, and his estrogen came down to normal levels (the range is 7.5 to 42.9 and I was a 41.9 when I started).
And … that’s the score, 2 more months of treatment. I’m dying to see where it ends up. Until then, I will be sleeping like an apple with a pencil stuck in it … rolling back and forth all night, but never able to roll over. Whatever.
In the meantime, I delayed posting this – I am actually in my FIFTH Month now … I’m going to wait until Month 6 to roll all these experiences together, get a new blood panel, and report back on what it all meant, what changes it induced, and most importantly WOULD I DO IT AGAIN … Time will tell.
This is an update on the bio-identical testosterone hormone therapy I started 7 days ago – Yes, under a licensed US physicians care, with US/FDA approved medications.
Part 1 ( http://www.pacifictracy.com/2019/06/25/crikey-ive-lost-my-mojo/ ) covered the issues I was finding, locating a provider, doing some in depth investigations on providers, and understanding what was being provided as a service. This shit isn’t something to screw with, so before I did anything else, I needed to know the pros and cons. I had other friends watching, as apparently *I* am not alone here (loss of lean muscle mass, fatigue, depression, loss of libido, boner issues, I mean the list goes on and on)
The difference here, is I was to find out I really DID have an issue, and a correctable one. Women deal with menopause, and I guess guys deal with MAN-O-PAUSE … FUCK that
Part 2 ( http://www.pacifictracy.com/2019/07/01/ive-lost-my-mojo-part-2/ ) covered the routines, the blood tests, the consults, understanding levels, financial considerations, and yes, receiving the materials. I won’t go over it twice, that can be found in Part 2, but it was extensive, and professionally packed. Part 2 is also where I finally had to stick myself … not once a week, but twice a week with two different needles.
So here we are a week later. What did I find?
Well, there were a few things in the instructions that probably shouldn’t be there – nothing big, just not the best fit for me. The first thing is the injections themselves. The instructions call for a needle angle of 45 or 90 degrees (45 if you are very lean, as they are subcutaneous injections). I chose my abdomen for the shots, and that was my second mistake.
I bruised … and I mean bruised. My stomach looked like the forearm of an elderly man – so many colors, purple, yellow, green … how the hell did I do that with 0.5 ml and a 27g syringe? It was clear I needed to work on it.
My last injections, I did three things that made it SO much better, less painful, and yes NO bruising;
1. Ice the injection site for 30-60 seconds 2. LIGHTLY pinch up a little skin 3. Inject at 45 degrees, and with no hesitation – release the skin 4. Testosterone is thick due to sesame seed oil, push the plunger SLOWLY – even better warm it up in a cup of hot water – it makes it flow easier. 5. Wait 5 seconds before withdrawing the needle, and do NOT rub the site
I chose the tops of my thighs this time, and not my abdomen – worked like a charm. I still cringe doing it, but it is what it is.
So after a week of testosterone, anastrozole, hCG, b-12, tadalafil, and oxytocin what have I noticed? Let’s go with the CONS first –
1. I’m tossing and turning a bit – they said it could worsen sleep apnea, but since dumping that weight (52 pounds), I barely deal with it anyway (I wear a mouthpiece that tilts my lower jaw – no snoring) Maybe I’m just stressed out, still, it’s something to watch.
2. Aggression – I like to drink like pretty much everyone I know, and I’m a bit of a handful when I get angry. So let’s pump this 6′ 6″ guy with huge amounts of testosterone??
3. Bruising at the injection site – Well, that has been addressed (hopefully)
4. Sensitive Teeth – call me crazy but 4-6 hours after treatments, my back teeth are super sensitive, almost to a toothache. My fronts are fine however.
The PROS? Well the usual shit you may expect –
I dropped a few extra pounds last week over my usual loss, despite eating garbage and totally blowing my intake – it was July 4th Weekend. More energy for sure, a better view of things. More lean muscle mass? too soon to tell. Walking around wanting to jump half the women I know? Yea…. I walked into a chair at the office AND HAD 400 BABIES! and they are good at sports.
Looking back, I think I would have had my PCP do the original blood test – that is the only thing I would change at this point.
I dropped $297 to join the program and the next step was a blood test. What if it came back normal? I would be out that money, whereas through Insurance it would have been a simple copay. I didn’t think that one through, and knowing how many things are blamed on Low T, it’s utter bullshit to assume everyone actually has an issue. I did however, so it worked out.
In the end, the PROS are definite and I can feel them, and the CONS are mostly perceived with the tooth sensitivity being the one watched most. Still haven’t grown breasts, or had an arm grow out of my forehead, so I don’t have much to complain about.
I’m going to give it a full month and check back then.
When we last left Ernie, he had done everything – blood work, consultations, financial shit, the works.
They had shown his hormones, like most men his age, tend to vary. His testosterone was normal (695.7), however the bio-available amount was low (8.5 in a range of 7.5-24.5), and estrogen (estradiol) through the roof (41.9 in a range of 7.6-42.6). The decision to go on bio-identical hormone therapy to correct that, was made. I was tired of matching my drapes to my linens, and hating my neighbor for owning the same pants I did.
So what happened next?
A week after pulling the trigger, an email came through stating that the shipment was on the way – very exciting. Custom compounded medications per my Doctors order, made specifically for me
So what do you get for 249 dollars? It came in a white box marked ‘Perishable – Keep Refrigerated’. Inside was a styrofoam cube with ice packs, and everything well labeled.
What was inside? Inside, was a vial of testosterone, a vial of hCG (premix), a bottle of anastrozole, insulin syringes, #16 and #27 needles, alcohol swabs, and instructions on giving injections – enough for 30 days.
What was NOT inside? Dosing information, and the instructions were not up to date on hCG preparation (it comes from the lab already in solution). Super clear instructions for everything, including a list of things SHOULD have been in that box, but weren’t – not good BodMD. Luckily, some fairly outdated instructions were available on their website, but again, it needs to be cleaned up a bit.
While I have given injections, most people have not, and this stuff should be clear as day for those who may not be the sharpest tools in the shed.
SO, the fun stuff – the injections …
The injections are given subcutaneously, and luckily I’m not a skinny guy – You draw up 0.5/ml in one syringe (testosterone) and 0.5/ml in another (hCG). The needles are 27g, but still … I have to give MYSELF a few shots? Luckily, the anastrozole is in capsule form.
I sat there Saturday morning on my balcony looking down at the world, poking my belly with the syringe – cringe – do it again – cringe … what a pussy. I’ve never given myself a shot, who has? And then it popped into my head “The needle isn’t going to inject itself!” and BONK, in it went. NO PAIN! nothing.
Yea, you pinch a little skin after swabbing it with an alcohol pad, push the needle in, release the skin, slowly depress the plunger, count to 5, remove the needle and wipe the injection site with the alcohol pad to work the medication in. Simple, and easy – I was impressed with myself.
Would this return me to my levels in my late 20’s? Would I again become a sexual Tyrannosaurus Rex? and at the same time would I be lowering my risk of heart disease, stroke, and a variety of other bullshit I don’t have … That was my primary goal
The next dosage was in 3 short days, I wasn’t expecting much at this point, they say upwards of 3 weeks for the sexual effects to kick in, and 3-4 months for the rest of the blood work to come around. HOWEVER …
I was sitting around three hours later with a boner that could hammer tent stakes into the ground. Obviously it was probably more psychological than anything, it couldn’t have worked that quickly, but I’m no Doctor.
I didn’t care as long as SOMETHING was happening. The side effect was I was in a great mood, libido high, and things were good in the world. You know how your car runs better after an oil change, but you also know it’s total bullshit? yea, like that.
But was it really just in my head? it was after all just a single injection. The weekend continued on, and I was looking at every woman around me, friend or not, like a lion scoping out a gazelle on the Serengeti. It was funny to me, I was definitely in a good mood.
I had noticed jumping out of bed Sunday, something I do NOT do – lots of energy, and just a really big smile on my face. My brain was calm, and so was I, as I sat there thinking how awesome the sunrise was, big cup of black coffee in hand. My neighbor walking to the pool in a bikini she probably should NOT wear? Maybe not so much.
Not to be blunt, but after a year, the old me was back. Again, it had to be psychological.
It’s now Monday, and I am looking at my next dosage and again, a bit of anxiety about sticking myself again.
This is the second article on BodMD and bio-identical hormone replacement, and I hope it helps my friends wondering about treatment, and their quality of life. My next article will be in a month, after I see how this goes. So far so good.
At this point, I’ve become a regular smorgasbord of basically useless information regarding endocrinology – I suppose I better understand it if I’m going to be fucking around with hormones. To some it makes no sense to look at a 6′ 6″ biker dude and think “HEY! I have an idea, let’s knock him up with huge amounts of Testosterone, hCG and Anastrozole” but I did it.
Meanwhile, the biker guy is thinking “hold my beer ….”
This week, I started reading up on Oxytocin – a fascinating little nugget that does many things in both men and women. What I found was amazing.
Some quick facts –
1) Oxytocin is a hormone and a neurotransmitter that is involved in childbirth and breast-feeding. It is also associated with empathy, trust, sexual activity, and relationship-building.
2) It is referred to as the “love hormone,” because levels of Oxytocin increase during hugging and orgasm. It’s also used as a investigatory treatment for a number of conditions, including depression, anxiety, and intestinal problems. It’s use in autism is being investigated.
3) Oxytocin is produced in the hypothalamus, a part of the brain. Females usually have higher levels than males.
Well, ok then – not only does it enhance erections in men, it apparently makes men more FAITHFUL – yes, you read that right.
“Come for the romance, stay for the Qxytocin” That’s the bottom line on monogamy, according to new studies.
Guys using an Oxytocin spray, showed a renewed attraction for the faces of their romantic partners, but not for equally attractive strangers. And the men weren’t just saying so. Their brains were hyped up in areas associated with reward and motivation, according to the study. Men on a placebo were at the bowling alley bar, buying shots for the ladies.
So, what drives males to stay in a monogamous relationship?” The answer seems to lie in a steady diet of Oxytocin – it triggers Dopamine, a neurotransmitter associated with reward, motivation and addiction.
In humans, hugs, massages, and sexual intercourse all release Oxytocin, and it in turn, has been shown to induce better social behavior –- we tend to trust each other and feel more attached to others in response to it. Simply hugging another person for at least 20 seconds releases it, and builds trust.
In studies with Oxytocin, men in relationships actively moved AWAY from attractive women in favor of their mate, and even when she wasn’t around, that behavior continued, often without the subject realizing they were doing so.
As humans, Oxytocin has been shown to inhibit men already in relationships from approaching other attractive women; enhance activation of the brain’s reward systems when they see their partner’s face compared to other attractive women, and help couples deal positively with conflict.
Its effects on social interaction have made it an appealing therapeutic tool in patients who struggle with social situations and communication, including in autism, schizophrenia and mood or anxiety disorders. I am thinking PTSD falls squarely into this list of treatable things.
The best part is that it’s obtainable and easy to use. The studies have used nasal sprays to boost Oxytocin levels. These sprays are readily available, and appear safe to use, at least in the short term – no one yet knows whether there is any long-term harm, but by the time I’m growing a third limb out of my forehead, it will be too late and I won’t care.
That being said DO men become “addicted to love” for their mate via Oxytocin? The metaphor may not be far off the mark. It’s been suggested that the mere proximity of a partner could touch off the same reward and motivation circuitry behind addictive behavior.
So, a steady diet of sexual activity, hugs and other forms
of physical contact may be enough to override the desire to spread genes,
keeping a man at home.
In other words: Keep the home fires burning and do me! DO ME! Yes please.
In the meantime, one of the scientists doing the study said, “We believe we found a mechanism that could explain why it is beneficial for males to stay in a romantic relationship.” Oxytocin, in short, may have edited the “r” from “stray.” – how clever I thought.
BUT, as all things go, there is a dark side which is equally interesting
Oxytocin is a powerful thing it seems – this stuff has many functions I found including sex, reproduction, social behavior, and emotions. It can increase trust among people and make them more cooperative. It can increase the social skills of autistic people. It’s released during orgasm. It affects lactating breasts, contracting wombs and the behavior of mothers towards their newly born children.
The list goes on: drug addiction, generosity, depression, empathy, learning, memory, boners, more boners …
However, Oxytocin can also do some pretty weird shit like subtly shift your memories of your mother. In some people, it paints their mother in a fairer light, making them remember her as closer and a more caring person.
In others, the chemical has a darker influence, casting your mother as a LESS caring and a more distant parent. That’s fucked up right there. And that response isn’t just towards mothers, it’s toward EVERYONE depending on the user’s perception of them before taking it.
If you like someone, you develop trust and bonding, if you don’t know someone, it’s easier to build trust in them, and if you didn’t care for them before, it has in some cases amplified that distaste
Oxytocin in some can influence moral judgements and increase risk-taking and aggression., though the increase in aggression is limited to those who have an existing disposition to it. I thought ‘no shit’ if your pre-disposed to rob a bank, you are more likely to rob a bank? Who knew?
Anyway, the questions it brings up may create further bad press for the love hormone in the near future. It may be that the darkening clouds that threaten to tarnish its reputation are only just beginning to gather. At the very least, it should give us cause for careful evaluation before anyone starts tossing it back like Apple Cider Vinegar for everything under the Sun.
This one is a bit tough for a ‘manly mans man’ to write – you see, I lost my Mojo. I *thought* I left it in the car, but no. Perhaps, I left it by the pool? Apparently not – I had become the tubby kid over the past year … nobody wants to be the fat kid at the pool, but I think the fact I was nearly harpooned after walking too close to the water a few months back was the final straw.
F That – I’m too young for this shit
So here we go, starting with a review of BODMD, and the process of bio-identical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) – replenishing the exact hormones I had in my 20’s using customized bio-identical hormones.
At a party Sunday, my buddy the Doctor said, “Yea if you go through the right people, they can return your hormones back to when you were 25”, and a girl I’ve been known to roam with stated ‘Dear God NO!”, as she ran for the door – I suggested 35 was a better choice, and I think everyone was on the same page.
Men talk as Men do, and several weeks back a friend asked me what was going on. We spoke of variety of things, and yes … “something” hadn’t been cooperating. It’s like a man trapped in the desert who comes across a gallon of water but can’t drink it – he knows he should but … he has no mouth
I decided to do something about it, when someone I had been chasing the past few years, was there, spread out on the bed like a picnic lunch – I thought that my world had finally reached a pinnacle, the clouds would part, a golden ray of sunshine would come down, cats and dogs would finally start living together, and volcanoes would start erupting cold beer as Hookers passed out Pizza … life was good, and about to get bet …. OH you son of a bitch LMAO. So much for that idea.
Look, we all go through this and nobody talks about it – whether you are the person with the issue, or the one dealing with the person with the issue, it’s the same. Menopause for the ladies, and MAN-O-PAUSE for the guys.
Taping a Popsicle stick to my better half just isn’t going to cut it. It doesn’t happen often, but when it does … well, we are guys, and we don’t like it. A woman going through menopause can hide it – for men as they get older, the fix is a little more complex.
I began to search for answers, speaking to my friends – many were already on testosterone therapy in one form or another, some as young as 35 – total insanity.
My buddy suggested someone who could help, which is who he was working with. So here we go … the process of taking my wreck of a body and fixing it, also known as ‘polishing a turd’
The first step of course is contacting the company and asked for a consultation at http://www.bodmd.com . Easy going and fun, the conversation was frank, and to the point.
“What do you expect from this?”
“How did you hear about us?”
“Do you make a shit ton of money to pay for this?”
It’s worth asking because it’s not cheap – to the tune of $240/month which I was told included EVERYTHING soup to nuts, including syringes, 24/7 Support, custom compounded hormone injections, US Licensed Physicians and FDA Approved Labs for the medication – so far so good.
The company then called ahead for blood work – it was LabCorp, a well-known national testing Laboratory. You just walk in – no appointment, and no charge. It took about a week to find out what was going on – I would not be disappointed.
There it was on the report “Ernie is FUCKED UP” … expected.
Following that, a Doctor will contact you to discuss whether everything looks normal on the tests, or you are more likely to coordinate your drapes with the table linen. Yea, it took 30 minutes, but he went over EVERYTHING on that report. I found some interesting things:
1. I am anemic but I have been fasting at interval for months, my diet I admit has been sorely lacking, and I should have known to address this shit early when I started bruising here and there. I’ve since switched to a more ketogenic intake, B-12, and incorporated Flaxseed into my morning bowl of Oatmeal. I’m going to have to monitor this.
MCV 98 – High – RANGE= 79 – 97 MCH 33.6 – High – RANGE= 26.6 – 33.4
2. So, anemia, I guess I’m safe from Vampires anyway. Scrolling on down, it states my total testosterone is a whopping 697! That’s not bad, when at 20-25 it’s usually around 900-1000. I was smiling for a second, when the Doctor states “Yea but you see, Free T is the number you want, what is bio-available for use, either because it’s unlocked, or bound to Albumin, otherwise your body can’t use it. The normal range is 7.5 to 24.5 … you are at 8.5
Well crap … but then it just got stranger …
3. Estradiol … yea that is estrogen. I’m a Dude – it’s no wonder I cried when the Iron Giant blew up! (who didn’t you insensitive bastards)
The upper limit for men is 42.6 … I’m at 41.9
Instantly I had a desire to make Brownies and watch The View. I suddenly hated the fact my neighbor had the same blue jeans as I, and I could never forgive him … was it too late for me? was I morphing into a girl without the fun parts as part of the deal? I’d never leave the shower, just saying.
Estradiol is stored in fat, and I’ve been dumping weight like crazy, so as it passes back into my system, it could account for at least part of that. Your body takes testosterone and aromatizes it into estradiol.
So my system is upside down, with high estradiol and funky free testosterone. No, this isn’t going to cut it – leaving it unbalanced like that is going to create problems down the road, and right now, I am as healthy as an ox, and I want to keep it that way.
I vowed to continue to lose the weight, illuminate street lights with my sheer presence, and again become the shit show I used to be *insert dramatic music here* Yes, I would again be able to hammer a six inch spike through a 2×4 with my Penis
Everything being said, things were going well, I finally had some answers, and things were looking pretty good – great communication, fast services, and the shots compounded locally at Wilson Labs (a mile from my house here in Texas)
THE TREATMENT: I obviously wrote this for Men as they grow older, have concerns, and have no idea who to talk to, or what to expect. I ON THE OTHER HAND, could give a shit less.
Once I started talking to my buddies, it became quite clear I was not alone. As a matter of fact, a good 35% admitted to either seeking help, or trying it at some point – for some it was a god send, for others not, but it became clear to me we are not all the sexual Tyrannosaurus Rex’s society would have us believe.
The agreed treatment is made up of bio-identical testosterone, hCG, and anastrozole. They also make a combination of daily use taladafil and oxytocin (the love hormone) < I may have to skip that. Here is a short breakdown of the other two ingredients:
anastrozole is a hormone that inhibits the aromatase of serum bioavailable testosterone and returns testosterone levels to normal early adulthood range. Serum estradiol levels decrease modestly but remain within the normal male range (i.e. less estrogen and more testosterone available before the body has a chance to aromatizes it)
hCG is a luteinizing hormone — This helps to regulate the testes’ production of sperm and converts androstenedione to testosterone. So, (Ladies block your eyes) it tells your balls to make more sperm, creates more testosterone and yes as everything marketed towards guys will tell you, it supposedly has an effect on the size of your penis – I already bought a third sneaker for it, rug burns suck (google it, the papers written on it are hilarious).
You self-inject twice a week, it comes to your door once a month, test for levels every six months, and stay in touch with your Doctor for any changes in physicality and mood. I expect this should really help with the rest of my diet, as it targets belly fat (or more to the point the underlying cause), in addition to the number of other benefits like energy and brain function it provides.
My first injection is tomorrow – for any guy out there following me on this review, I will update this 3-5 days later after it takes effect. Will it be as effective as Apple Cider Vinegar is at curing every disease known to man?
It’s not an overnight cure, but my friends (and there are a few of them I found out) seem convinced – so convinced that one of my buddy’s girlfriends said if he doesn’t keep following her into the bathroom, they are done. I’ll take those odds.
The next article is covering weight loss the past 17 weeks, and my experiment with Ketogenesis – not quite as much fun, but que sera sera.
This is part of my ‘horry sheet” I got laid off series outlining my motorcycle travels after leaving the phone company back in 2016.
Tucson – what can I say.
While Vatnajökull Iceland is where I want my ashes spread someday, Tucson is where I would live given the choice (or possibly Raleigh NC, but this is about Tucson so stay on target)
Sure, Texas is great – no state income tax, I have a million friends, every day is a nice day for the motorcycle, the girls are unbelievably pretty, and the beer is cold. Living in Texas makes it great to be a man for many, many reasons, I won’t argue that.
Still, Tucson has a way about her … and I was heading to court my old girlfriend who lived there.
It was about ten days of battling snow, rain, dust storms, and yes, a disabled motorcycle pulling a camper with one gear in Roswell NM before I finally hit Tucson.
I was scorched and dehydrated after nearly 17 hours on the road when I spotted ‘Brooklyn Burger and Beer’ off of I-10. Hey, it says Brooklyn Burgers so the burgers must be great right?
And in walks my partner in crime, but neither of us knew it just yet. I had spent the past hour buying everyone drinks, and yakking with anyone willing to put up with the fact my accent makes me unintelligible at times, when this beautiful stranger comes bouncing into the bar.
Ponytail, smile, knows EVERYONE … you know the personality – everyone knows a girl like this.
The people I would meet, would quickly lead to me making a network of friends. I hadn’t forgotten that I crossed a continent on a motorcycle to court my ex, no ma’am, but that would come with time.
After using Tucson as a base for my trips in the months that followed, funny stories would come out.
Things like, no one believed I was living in a tent in the desert far south of the city, or that I really was unemployed and homeless, eating bacon at 3am with the coyotes and pooping in a trench. They only believed it when they saw the pictures on Facebook.
That I spent so much time at the JW Marriot, stealing their Wi-Fi and bathing in the Mens Room, that the staff at the lobby coffee shop, and Hotel Bar eventually believed that I LIVED at the Hotel.
I used to carry firewood on the bike with huge bungees, and damn, it gets cold in the desert when the sun goes down. My neighbors were a pair of mangey looking coyotes who would come into camp and sit by the fire at night. Nothing but the stars, the wind, my book, a good fire, and a couple of hungry carnivores warming up – perfect.
Adrianne (the young girl who worked at Brooklyn) became my best friend quite accidentally. Her first remembrance was that of a stranger, sitting at her bar, who knew all the regulars by name and laughing all afternoon.
We remain in touch now that we live 1000 miles apart – we still drive 8 hours each to simply meet for a steak, travel between cities, and at times, get intentionally lost in abandoned West Texas ghost towns. #Kent
She would lead me to the Territorial, and yet another cast of characters who became family.
And then there was beautiful Susan and that ponytail – and Ron, who drives a race car and wanted to kill me in a parking lot one night. I probably deserved it – sorry Guys! 😀
Tucson gets in your blood I guess – from Mt Lemmon (southernmost ski area in the US), to Davis-Monthan AFB, to being charged by a Javelina on the golf course at 2am, shitfaced, while looking for tarantulas with my ex.
Yes, my ex and I finally spent some good times together, if only for a short few months before deciding ‘meh, we have grown apart’ Que Sera Sera
So, following my spring motorcycle updates (legend suspension pieces, tires, wheel and neck bearings, and custom paint) I will be back for my yearly ‘monsoon run’ in early August.
I pick em well … the monsoon season is exactly what it sounds like … either its 115 degrees on the ground and your skin is being scorched off, or all hell breaks loose with torrential rain, 60mph winds, tornadoes and haboobs
Still, like every year, when I see Rita Rd, I will know I am almost home, and roll off onto Alvernon looking for my Margarita at Brooklyns, before heading to see Jeff and Scott.
It makes my face leak when I think about taking that off ramp (yes, my face leaks sometimes, especially when watching the Iron Giant when he blows up at the end of the movie – gets me every time)
Happy Birthday Jeff (60), and Happy Anniversary (34 years) to you and your beautiful wife – I can’t wait to share your moment in Tucson with Everyone.
I grew up in Woburn Massachusetts – I was ten when I lived there. How any of us survived baffles me to this day.
There was nothing resembling today’s world – We had no bicycle helmets, and made jumps for our Big Wheels with bricks and boards – we did everything we could to shorten our life span.
My daughter thought it funny we didn’t have a computer – Well, we also didn’t have cable, cell phones, microwave ovens, remote controls, car starters – the list goes on and on – not that we were poor, that stuff just didn’t exist yet.
Our first microwave was the size of a Subaru, and my parents found great joy in how it heated water as the lights dimmed in the house, and christian broadcasting could be heard on our fillings. It was the perfect device for turning a nice pork chop, into a gray one.
Fact is, technology consisted off ‘turn that to Channel 5’ because we had EIGHT channels – yea EIGHT. They went off the air at midnight, with a giant Indian Head test pattern, only to re-introduce the channel each morning at six to start their broadcast day
A typical day in the life of ten year old Mike, Tommy Skeffington, and Johnny Lundine was a pile of bikes in the front yard – Johnny’s Mom had the best frosted pop tarts so I always targeted her kitchen. We didn’t have video games, hell, the TV was black and white in the homes making enough cash to own one, and weighing several hundred pounds (console television)
During the week, we walked to School with bread bags over our feet to keep them dry in the Winter, and handmade mittens – you know, the ones that made snow stick to them so your friends could nail you with snowballs stuck to the yarn?
Our parents used to make a lot of our things – was it an issue of money or old values? Who knew, not this Kid – and it didn’t matter.
We would catch Crawfish in the creek, only to find the Woburn Water was part of the Tannery cover portrayed in “A Civil Action”.
My Parents would move us to Billerica in the coming years, only to find out the Rail Yard we played in (Iron Horse Park), and the town dump were highly toxic – both would later to be declared an EPA Superfund Sites in my late teens.
During weekends, we caught frogs and snakes, made go-karts out of scraps of old wood with nails as axles, and threw things off of Blueberry Hill Mountain. That was a Quarry with walls about 400’ high, and barely a fence to keep you off the edge. I collected Blueberries there, and Mom would make Blueberry Buckle (an amazing sugary coffee cake loaded with blueberries)
The cliff was awesome at ten years old – not as much fun as the busy railroad tracks in Winchester, but what can you do. We would make little planes and throw them from the ledge. They always crashed, but at the bottom was a Breyers Plant (or something along those lines) and they, on schedule, used to dump the ice cream bars that didn’t pass muster into the Dumpster. You can imagine who was waiting patiently with his friends 😀 (and how I ended up looking this way)
Things for us were NOT safe. No seat-belts in the cars, smoking in public places (meaning on planes, and everywhere else), fighting for the back seat of the beach wagon – my Dad used to collect Cattails (or “Cat OR Nine Tails” as we called them) from the swamp nearby, soak them in paint thinner, light them and hand them out. We would run around the neighborhood unsupervised with burning Tiki torches until the top burned off, and then grab another.
When Woburn sprayed for mosquitoes, it was a pickup truck with a huge buzzing sprayer off the back – THICK clouds of insecticide would make the streets impassable for 5-10 minutes at a time. I mean it literally looked like thick fog (it was DDT that was later banned). Every kid in the neighborhood would go play in the ‘fog’ until it looped back and ran over Johnny Boggs.
Johnny was a dick from Spring Court who stole my sisters jump rope, and set it on fire at the Green Street Pool – but that’s history now – I kicked his ass for that one, weeks earlier. NOBODY screwed with my Sisters.
With no electronics, games, or the like, we played cops and robbers, baseball, climbed trees, and ate dirt. Nana Penny lived down the hill, she would give us snacks and we would sit with her a while. Sometimes we ventured to Horn Pond – Dad’s friend Joe Nicosia would take us for long walks with a tennis ball to throw. We played ‘King of the Mountain’ at the Green Street Pool, made a mess with Super Elastic Bubble Plastic, and turned every cardboard box we could find into a Spaceship.
My Dad introduce me (and sometimes my friends) to model trains, rocketry, the wonders of carbon paper, bee keeping, wine making, and the Post Office (he would take me to work sometimes).
My Mother was a Nurse with three young kids and a limited budget – she would make us Porcupine Meatballs, American Chop Suey, and a once a month treat – that’s right, Chinese Food because we were convinced the Chinese ate that way. I’m pretty sure my blue collar parents didn’t have a lot of money, but damn, we ate well,and had a good place to live.
Street lights coming on meant Dinner time, and you better be running – shoes off at the mud porch, and the entire family talking about their day together without TV, phones, games or other distractions. Sometimes that was a good thing – other times *shrug* meh not so good. We had a habit of wandering MILES from home, and sometimes, we were spotted. It happens.
Still, with all that, times have changed – yes, we survived,
and we all moved out of the neighborhood eventually. My parents would buy their
dream home in Billerica, and I would never see my friends again.
Decades later, seeing the neighborhood, I’m just as happy they did leave Woburn – nothing is ever as good as you remember, and this was no different. I still sometimes wonder what ever happened to Ellen Foley, and JoAnn Piezo. I was in love with them, but I was ten, I didn’t know why.
Que Sera Sera … every day is a chance at new memories. Good times – fingers and toes intact, no helmet, pass the bowl of carcinogens please …
This is messed up, three years? where did the time go??
I’m sorry if I see this as somehow amazing, or any different than the things others go through, but right now, exactly three years ago to the date and time, I rolled into Austin Texas for the first time (I only knew where Houston was … OK I only knew where Bimbos in Tomball was – whatever)
I had left Lowell Massachusetts on January 03, 2016 – light snow here and there, 15 degrees out with NO plan except to get to Arizona someday, to court my old girlfriend.
In the 18 months preceding this, I had gotten divorced, sold my first house, and took a package to leave my employer of 23 years. I remember a friend stopping traffic in front of the Club so the bike could get out, as I waved over my shoulder saying ‘I will be right back’ – I never did go home, but I never saw that coming either. Home became the Road.
A few months later, scorched by the sun and hung over, I was standing in a parking lot in Sedona, gearing up for Death Valley when the phone beeped. It was Facebook, with a friend making me an offer I couldn’t refuse – except I could. It would be another two months before I signed on to IBM, but the offer wasn’t about the money – it was about finally realizing something started years earlier at Verizon. I was told it was in Austin Texas, and everyone in Tucson told me how lucky I was – time would tell.
I pulled into a little ghost town way the hell out in the desert to look at the offer on my phone – sitting there in what must be a terminal sand storm, I sheltered up against the wall of the blown out gas station and slowly started signing. Day one would be May 09, 2016.
I had a few weeks to kill, so I went to the Gulf Coast and partied with the Radisson Staff in New Iberia. Hijacking the hotel courtesy shuttle with staff members for a booze cruise on my last night would remain a hell of a highlight (the hotel was under renovation so it was just me, a few contractors and the staff … and a terrified 16 year old local driving the drunk bus)
It was this time, on Saturday May 07, 2016 that I rolled down Burnet Rd for the first time – I accidentally hooked a left into a shopping center here called the Domain, and experienced my first skinny pant wearing man bun boy sauntering through the lot with his Abercrombie shopping bag, and a sour look like someone just messed up his double decaf half cafe triple mochaccino.
My first night would be when I met the first girl here, and several people who would become conduits to my current group. I asked SIRI ‘Hey SIRI find me a dive bar near me’ and VIOLA! I found C Hunts Icehouse, a home of great women, cold beer, and a leaky roof.
I also found Gina, in her little shorts and Kentucky accent – this was a place anyone would feel INSTANTLY at home. You had UPS Paul, Mechanic Mike, Bagger Scott … the list goes on and on.
So, I get to my first day at the IBM Campus … and it’s raining sideways – I mean cats and dogs living together, wrath of god stuff. I meet Kat looking like a drowned rat (oh, YOUR Mombo … and I’m thinking “yea super”).
Happy Monday morning.
It would rain like that for the next three weeks, you couldn’t build an Ark big enough for this bullshit, until I bought a huge golf umbrella and …. YES!, Sun from that point on.
In three years, I’ve actually used that golf umbrella maybe 6 times.
I said to Kat “I’m not made of sugar, I won’t melt” and with a wry smile she looks back and says “you know with the right amount of water, even shit melts” – we became instant friends, which is good because she controlled the coffee.
Three years later, I’m STILL here. This was supposed to be a year stint to get the lab going (yes, Thunderdome), but it was fun, so I renewed my lease and settled in for a bit. I was careful not to get too close to anyone, or let anyone get close to me, because I was leaving – that is what I told myself, but the people here are amazing (like everywhere I guess), so why not do two years.
Year two absolutely flew, with a blown motorcycle motor,
trips to Dirty T and people traveling here. I learned to butcher steak, put
salt on watermelon, sharpen knives, ride a horse (NOT a good look for me OR the
Horse), and shoot feral hogs on my friends Ranch south of here. The weather
seems to always be perfect, except when it’s not, and you can ride year-round
in a t-shirt unless you are from here, and then it’s parka time at 65 degrees.
Will there be a year FOUR? I honestly couldn’t tell you at this point – I thought
I was going somewhere, and maybe I will, but it’s been a hell of a run since
riding out from the club years ago, a half bottle of Wild Turkey in me, and the
clothes on my back.
My next stop would be Upstate Maryland after blasting through a snowy NYC on a Saturday Night. Never look back – Tucson, see you on the Monsoon Run in August. Have an amazing week my Friends and thank you for the good times.
This is great – nice job to the original author credited below – So why have a physicist speak at your funeral?
You want the physicist to talk to your grieving family about the conservation of energy so they will understand that your energy has not died. You want the physicist to remind your sobbing mother about the first law of thermodynamics; that no energy gets created in the universe, and none is destroyed. You want your mother to know that all your energy, every vibration, every Btu of heat, every wave of every particle that was her beloved child remains with her in this world. You want the physicist to tell your weeping father that amid energies of the cosmos, you gave as good as you got.
And at one point you’d hope that the physicist would step down from the
pulpit and walk to your brokenhearted spouse there in the pew and tell him that
all the photons that ever bounced off your face, all the particles whose paths
were interrupted by your smile, by the touch of your hair, hundreds of
trillions of particles, have raced off like children, their ways forever
changed by you. And as your widow rocks in the arms of a loving family, may the
physicist let her know that all the photons that bounced from you were gathered
in the particle detectors that are her eyes, that those photons created within
her constellations of electromagnetically charged neurons whose energy will go
And the physicist will remind the congregation of how much of all our energy
is given off as heat. There may be a few fanning themselves with their programs
as he says it. And he will tell them that the warmth that flowed through you in
life is still here, still part of all that we are, even as we who mourn
continue the heat of our own lives.
And you’ll want the physicist to explain to those who loved you that they
need not have faith; indeed, they should not have faith. Let them know that
they can measure, that scientists have measured precisely the conservation of
energy and found it accurate, verifiable and consistent across space and time.
You can hope your family will examine the evidence and satisfy themselves that
the science is sound and that they’ll be comforted to know your energy’s still
around. According to the law of the conservation of energy, not a bit of you is
gone; you’re just less orderly. Amen.”