Saturday, September 12, 2015


It has taken me sometime to get around to doing this.  Not because I didn't want to do it before, but I was cautioned about sharing too much with the public.

The reason I am doing this is NOT to seek sympathy, but to actually remind my family and friends that we are mortal, and to be mindful of the signals out bodies send us.

My heart attack did not follow the false Hollywood scenario - clutching the chest, pain in the left arm, etc.  Instead, it followed a different path that luckily someone else who had a heart attack shared with me and probably saved my life.  To him, I am eternally grateful.

My heart attack began as a sharp pain in the middle of my chest.  It felt like someone was using a bony finger and poking me hard in my sternum.  The pain did not let up no matter how much I rubbed the area.  I thought I was having gas pains (as I had not eaten dinner yet) and felt it would go away.  Then I began having cold sweats...and the words of my friend rang in my ears.  There was no feeling as if an elephant was sitting on my chest.  There was no numbness in my left arm.  There was no clutching my left side shouting "Elizabeth, I'm coming Elizabeth!'

The cold sweats convinced me that something felt very wrong and I called 9-1-1.  Even after the paramedics arrived I still was in denial - telling them I think it's just gas pains.  They took me in the ambulance, strapped me up to an EKG machines, and then rushed my denying ass to the emergency room where a stent was place in my blocked artery.  Later I found out I have what they called the 'Widow Maker' heart attack and if I hadn't acted when I did....would have died during the night.

I'm sharing this only to share with my friends as together we approach the half-century mark.

We're not immortal.  We're vulnerable.  Please be vigilant.  If something feels wrong please get it checked out ASAP.

Below is text from the American Heart Association website on the Warning Signs of a Heart Attack:

Some heart attacks are sudden and intense — the "movie heart attack," where no one doubts what's happening. But most heart attacks start slowly, with mild pain or discomfort. Often people affected aren't sure what's wrong and wait too long before getting help. Here are signs that can mean a heart attack is happening:

  • Chest discomfort. Most heart attacks involve discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes, or that goes away and comes back. It can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain.
  • Discomfort in other areas of the upper body. Symptoms can include pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.
  • Shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort.
  • Other signs may include breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness.

As with men, women's most common heart attack symptom is chest pain or discomfort. But women are somewhat more likely than men to experience some of the other common symptoms, particularly shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting, and back or jaw pain. Learn about the warning signs of heart attack in women.

Watch this animation of a heart attack (opens in new window)Learn the signs, but remember this: Even if you're not sure it's a heart attack, have it checked out. Minutes matter! Fast action can save lives — maybe your own. Don't wait - call 9-1-1 or your emergency response number. Watch this animation of a heart attack.

Calling 9-1-1 is almost always the fastest way to get lifesaving treatment. Emergency medical services (EMS) staff can begin treatment when they arrive — up to an hour sooner than if someone gets to the hospital by car. EMS staff are also trained to revive someone whose heart has stopped. Patients with chest pain who arrive by ambulance usually receive faster treatment at the hospital, too. It is best to call EMS for rapid transport to the emergency room. 


With the historic decision by the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) in June to equalize marriage for all consenting adults, another battle by activists to bring equality to all citizens of the United State was won.  

However, the war for marriage equality is still to be fought.  

Being gay in a straight world is fraught with challenges, self-depreciation, angst and tears.  Today's society, despite social advances, is still programmed to look on marriage as a goal for a man and woman, and not between two consenting adults.  

Little girls play with dolls in castles while dreaming of the day they can put on their own gowns and be a princess for a day as they marry Prince Charming.  

Boys are raised to be strong and provide for their wives, and produce heirs to continue the family line.  They must snare their princess as quickly as possible and breed, breed, breed!  

Throw an uncertain boy or girl into the mix and things get confusing.  Deep down inside they know they are different, and by age 13 know what they are but will not risk the scorn of society to be themselves.  They can't play the part of the princess even though they want their prince because men must want women.  The role of playing prince to another young man seems silly - after all, two swords cannot play castle.  

Growing up in Jamaica I never dreamed of marrying another man.  The most I could hope for is to shack up quietly with someone and live the underground life.  Migrating to the U.S. made it easier for me to be myself at work and play, but I still didn't put any thought to actually meeting the man of my dreams who would one day be at the other end of the aisle with that look of love, longing and life-long dedication in his eyes.  

That concept still eludes me - after all, I was brought up to believe that only a man and a woman could have a "proper wedding" - white gowns, tuxedos, best man and all.  Even today, there are no traditions for gay men to follow:  who is to wear the old, the new, the borrowed and the blue?  Which partner is forbidden to see the other the night before?  Is there still a bouquet to be tossed?  And when caught, what does that mean for the 'catcher'?  
Sure, I fought for marriage equality for all but still the idea of marrying a man is alien to me.  It would feel like a charade - "marriage lite" to be honest.  That's only because of the programming I received as a child, and not due to some deep seated loathing.  

The guilt is well entrenched.  

Until society has figured out the value of these important nuances, and until all children are raised to partner with someone else - gender be damned! - the true victory of marriage equality has yet to be realized. 

And that is the war we must continued to fight, despite a victorious battle being won.   

Wednesday, June 12, 2013


 I know I haven't written in a while but I wanted you to know.....Phelix died Monday May 20th.

He was 16 and a half years old (born Nov 1996).

He had not been doing so well since the previous Tuesday (it seems he had a blockage and was straining to poop) but was more-or-less okay up until Saturday.  Then he ate the rice and ground beef I specially made for him ( he hadn't been eating), but threw that up Saturday night/Sunday morning and went downhill fast from there.

I left the fan on him when I went to work Monday morning and he was weak but would get up and walk around looking for me and trying to drink but couldn't.  Then later when I got home from work he was convulsing and just as I touched him and said "I'm so sorry" he died.

I had done everything I could for was just his time.  Thought I would have been prepared for it but you never are.

Didn't sleep very well that night.  Got up the next morning, got ready for work and was able to close all the windows for the first time in a long while.  Then as I was leaving I reached out to turn on the radio to keep him company...and stopped.  No need to do that anymore.

Those are the things that are going to hurt.  It's been a few weeks since he left me but I will always have him in my heart.  

R.I.P Phelix (Nov 1996 to May 20, 2013):

To my hairy companion who has been by my side ever since I stepped foot in the USA; I will always love you:

"He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last for ever: I was wrong.

The stars are not wanted now: put out every one;
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun;
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood.
For nothing now can ever come to any good."

Sunday, July 15, 2012


One of the best.....maybe THE ever made.....

Sunday, June 24, 2012


Lead banner.

Jackie and Callie.

Back banner.

Dykes on bikes.

"Four more years!"

The Obama Pride contingent.


Cutie-patootie Officer McInerney who said it was his first Pride Parade.
His facial expressions on some of the floats were hysterical!

Damn!  Those heels!

Roscoe's float.

Sidetrack's flaot.

(l-r) Jackie,Callie and myself.

Sunday, June 10, 2012


Yesterday, I went to the barber to get a much needed trim.  Being a bit sleep deprived from doing laundry in the wee hours of that morning, I stumbled in to the barber shop and asked for my usual guy.  After being told there were two persons ahead of me, I sat down in the couch and began to read the library book I carried for just that occasion.

Through a reader's haze I heard another customer in the store get up and sit in one of the barber's chair and having a loud conversation with the person sitting in the chair beside him.  I couldn't help but overhear snippets of the banter between the two.  The younger guy described himself as a personal trainer, and how much he made per hour doing that, etc. This went on for quite a few minutes  I zoned in and out of the conversation.

Soon it was my turn.  I sat in the chair vacated by one of the conversationalist, told my guy what I wanted in a trim, and then began to really pay attention to my surroundings.  After all, personal trainer sometimes meant hunky man-meat.

Low and behold, there he was.  Young guy, deep voice, olive skin, hairy muscular legs, chatting with the staff about an upcoming fight he was participating in.  "A boxer?" I thought to myself, "Wonder if he had a broken nose....?!"  Trying not to stare, I glanced at the bruise under his left eye, and the healing cut above his left brow.  He had my attention- I had never seen a professional boxer up close before.  And up close the view was yummy.  Luckily I had the barber's bib on to help catch the drool oozing from the corner of my mouth.

Unfortunately, his trim was over long before mine, and as he got up he reminded the guys in the shop to watch his fight with Chris Arreola in two weeks.  As he stood, I saw him in full profile:  lean, fighter's stance, broad shoulders, quick on his feet.

I was hooked.

Once my trim was over I left the store and on reaching home Googled Chris Arreola to see if I could put a name to the face I just saw.  And minutes later I found him:  Mike Mollo, Oak Lawn native, born in 1980.  He had a good reputation and was respected by boxing critics for his skills.  The fight he referred to was set for June 23rd at the Staples Center in Los Angles.

I'm still trying to figure out what he was doing in my neighborhood getting a trim.  Did he live around here?  Did he know one of the guys in the shop?  What fate caused our paths to cross that Saturday?

All irrelevant.  Right now,being a good Chicagoan I am wishing my hunky boxer good luck in his fight.  You go boy and REPRESENT!!!!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012


TO MY FELLOW DEMOCRATS IN THE REMAINING 49 STATES who are lax in supporting the president's re-election campaign: Citizens United was just enforced in Wisconsin. Scott Walkers re-election proves that votes CAN be bought by corporate interests. TO THE VARIOUS TRADE UNIONS: stop serving your own self interests and ignoring the interests of your members; reflect, re-examine, revamp. This song only seems appropriate...


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