Discrimination.

The how, why, when, where, what..

Is that really important?  I’m here now, so what does it matter?   Pick me up, teach me some local slang, dress me accordingly, and sqeeeeeeze me into that round whole.   Pray I don’t break the character of mediocrity unless in very select environments.  Then pray you aren’t there.  That way I still fit.  Women have been doing it forever, but this wash rinse spin has lost it’s vigor.  Women have marched so far above and beyond that the ONLY limitation is oneself!

I’ll say it again,  the only limitation you have is yourself!  Different people terrify the masses!  The incessant need to label limits everyone.  I still don’t want to use the restroom with men everyday, call me anything you want!  It’s shocking how few don’t wash their hands, and I’m not afraid to segregate on a cleanliness counterpunch.  I beg of you to discount me. Why are the men’s restroom lines so fast? The sinks are there for a reason!  Please wash your ball sweat, urine covered paws!  I don’t want the beer you handed to me at the ballpark with your disgusting digits around my rim.  Just sayin’.

Now back to the original topic,  I’ve been around the block, the country, and a bit of the world.  Who cares?  The substance, the juicy details, do they matter?  We can sit down at the pub and have a great time telling jokes or watching the game.  You don’t NEED my backstory and I don’t need yours.  I’ll go along my way, you yours.  (Probably NOT ’cause I’m going to say something that will make me unforgettable or obnoxious.) 

Whether it is my travels, motorcycle trip, living in different places, working on fishing boats, L.A.S.D., writing, fishing, Idaho, most recently cancer but it will be something I chose to give it up that will memorialize me in your mind. I’ll give you a piece of those details and you will never see me the same again.

Devil is in the details! My experiences make me an original. Why be dull?

Think about it…2020

All of you jumping on the 2020 bandwagon to have your special day, remember, you’re not alone. I’m up to 5 MAJOR events that I must attend, only one of which doesn’t require airfare. I get why, makes it easy to remember, unique, but all of us attendees can’t make every engagement and ultimately your gifts are gonna be weak.

After travel, transportation, hotels, 27 dresses, nails, hair, and gifts you can’t expect YOUR day is going to be the one to stand OUT? A budget must be drawn, itemized, prioritized, and cut. Yours just might be the one to end up on that floor no matter how much we love and care. Can’t possibly afford everything or get that may days off work, and it’s frustrating!

Delicate choices must be made, but ultimately many things may end up whistling the tune of mediocrity. Your venue has been booked, and you must settle for less. Wedding coordinators are stretched so thin they are clamoring for help as are the other service departments short on staff, careful of the poor quality. Then there’s the question of years down the road. If I live 10 more years I’m going to have to budget your anniversary gifts. Not one of my 5 biggies have children to worry about, but I’m still going to have to budget your gifts.

Spread it out people, and you could get more gold! I want everyone to have amazing birthdays, weddings and anniversaries! I wish I could be there for everyone, everytime, but maybe 2021 makes YOUR special event even more unique!

Oh yeah…GO NINERS!!!

Ringy Dingy…

And a new decade begins, the new year starts, people throw out the old thems, promises fly unbounded of the new I’s. Typically I am working which at the moment means watching a dog, because I am great at calming them during fireworks and thunderstorms. Due to the emergency surgery and extended hospital stay, I ended up free for the night. Not having to work, I was thrilled to attend my girlfriend, Linda’s roaring 20’s party.

I got a call from Linda 2 months ago when I was headed home from physical therapy. She said she just left the doctor’s office and had been diagnosed with breast cancer. The only reason I was the first person she called was because I had beat cancer the year before. She trusted my reaction, I presume. There wasn’t a second I had ANY doubt she would make a full recovery. Linda had caught it early through a self examination. 6 months before they had given her a mammogram and she passed so this couldn’t be too advanced. From what she told me the location was the safest possible. I told her all these things with confidence and she felt ready to tell her family. I offered to join her, but my assurance was enough.

After being diagnosed with stage 1, she opted for a double mastectomy. After the surgery they found precancerous cells in the other breast so she was happy with her decision. Later this month she meets with the reconstruction surgeon and puts her body back together.

I just spent a week in the hospital myself after an intestinal blockage sent me into surgery the week before. No matter how shitty I felt with a big zipper of staples up my stomach, I was NOT going to miss her celebration New Years Party! So tonight we rang in the 20’s with hope for the future, and each other’s good health!

I was enjoying the many people coming and going!

I’m not making a resolution or a promise I have no intention of keeping like everyone I’ve ever met. I have done all that I wanted, checked every box on my bucket list, and all of my dreams. I’ve lived a dozen lifetimes, been through heaven and hell, and it’s a miracle I’m still here. I love my friends and family, the place I live, and all that I have! I only need to help others fight their battles, make treatment easier to get, and give them the strength they need to fight. I’m going to be the first to donate to my cause, Relay for Life, and start the year off right!

For all of you reading this, I hope you and yours have a great year, and I wish you all the best this decade!

That’s life…

Lesson I learned the hard way when I was 7, everything can change in a second. Last Tuesday I was at a celebration of Downtown Dave Brown, and a week later I’m anxiously awaiting my disertion, I mean discharge, orders. I was just getting ready to head to the store on Wednesday, after saying farewell to Mattie, and my increasing stomach ache sent me to my knees. I quickly realized this went beyond an Urgent Care pain, and called in reinforcements to help me to the hospital.

The pain increased each moment until I was barely getting in a shallow, ragged, painful breath to stay alive. I was immediately given 2 pain shots when the first hardly made a dent, and sent for a CT Scan to look at the problem. Raising your arms above your head when you have severe abdominal pain is not for the weak! With a trickle of tears, (It was all I could do to stop them! Blowing my nose would’ve been a fresh hell i had no interest in trying.) the scan was completed. A Dr. U came in to explain about a blockage in my intestines. He was sure if it was the stomach tube or hysterectomy scar, but my intestine made a wrap around it and shut me down.

The first course of treatment was AWFUL! Drink this foul fluid and basically try to “blow” it out. Every few hours a machine came into the room to xray me. (How AWESOME was that new machine?) My guts were ripped apart and more hellacious pain ensued. 24 hours later, they gave up and went to more drastic measures, surgery. FIRST, however, you have to get the tube up your nose and down into your stomach. This is an extremely uncomfortable procedure for ANYONE, but having a still super sensitive throat from the radiation earlier this year, it was a feat I thought insurmountable after the fourth try, gallons of vomit and blood. However, after the 4th tube, the 3rd nurse who was called from a special department, more agony, a tube was FINALLY placed.

Now, in the midst of the first 48 hours, Dr. U passed my case to Dr. Petty. We did NOT make fast friends. While I was agonizing in pain I asked the nurse for more pain meds, and was told the Doc said no. Something about addiction, are you fucking kidding me? At the rate of my vomit and blood pressure there was little chance for THAT! Plus, I explained the previous mouth cancer and the reason my pain was so substantial, so when we came face to face, I was already FUMING! I told him I was ready to walk out, and he said no, we’ll be I surgery in 2 hours. You’re headed there now. I agreed to stay.

The surgery was a complete success, and he didn’t have to do 70% of the horrific things he described like cutting out my bowels. He said I should get better in a few days and could go home. While our relationship never developed into a “nice one,” mutual respect won out in the end and civility reigned. CLEARLY, he wasn’t used to a surgical patient ready to walk unless we came to a mutual agreement on the care I required. (Excuse the grammar)

Got the staples to prove it!

After 4 agonizing days of walking miles around the hospital, magnesium fluid, warm and cold packs, and every indication I would be in the hospital at Christmas, my body woke up at 12:20 am Christmas Eve morning. I knew that the Doctor would give me leniency and allow me to go home. I was right! If I could eat breakfast and something solid for lunch, keep both down, I could be home tonight! Breakfast is down, bags are packed and ready, lunch should be here in a half an hour, and a journey that began 144 hours ago SHOULD be over.

Just have to come back to take out the staples.

Perspective

I remember watching a true story, feature film with Reese Witherspoon in it. She plays a hiker who has just ventured out on her journey up the PCT, and suffers a major set back right out of the gate. I think it was her stove that didn’t cook the dinner or maybe her shoes that were giving her blisters, but the beginning of her journey was definitely perilous and filled it with pain and anguish.

In late February 2019 I began my journey with a new expedition with Amazon. I researched popular career choices for blind people all and my eyesight is still questionable so I wanted to have a job that would fit with my challenge. Fulfillment by Amazon companies came up more than once, and how this fantastic company was making strides with a new platform for blind sellers blah, blah, blah.

People who have been selling for years couldn’t believe what was happening to me.

I worked tirelessly and studied everything I could possibly find on the subject. If you’ve read any of my past blogs this may have come up from time to time. But I struck out on a journey to start my own FBA company. There wasn’t a thing that didn’t go wrong. Every single time I turned around I was getting screwed by Amazon. Since I started 9 months ago, Amazon has cost me over $10,000 in units that I purchased and they have lost. I wasn’t dishonest. I built the product, bought the product, sent it to them, and EVERYTHING fell apart from there!

At this rate Amazon now owes me WELL over $10000 in lost inventory, but I have decided to let it go and focus on the bigger picture. When I am making a $100 000 a year what will $10 000 actually mean to me. Right now all it does is cause me massive stress and undo scrutiny into my Amazon account. They suppressed 4 of my Products in the middle of Christmas season for absolutely no logical reason except I called asking where my products are.

I always thought the Chinese suppliers were going to be the problem, particularly in this political climate hahaha, boy was I wrong!!! Amazon would be my worst enemy. I must, sit down, shut up, and not focus on the little things that are going to or have gone wrong, but charge ahead on path I have set out on. AND learn Shopify!

Precious moments..

They often go unnoticed. I’m sure they get lost on me from time to time. This weekend a few didn’t. I lost AJ 3 years ago this week. I had a client cancel, and an emergency new client book me. After having my port taken out I was leery of which dog I would sit. Haley was a seven year old cow dog/bull mix with the sweetest heart and gentlest spirit, and she hung out with me for a few days.

Then today, a message from my regular client. Sitka, another grand cow dog, had passed.

His owner wept when I sent this to him..his beloved Sitka.

Sometimes when the world is throwing giant snowballs at our heads we choose to ignore it’s signs. I keep trying to ignore the blasts of cold. AJ was the best thing that ever happened to me. I bought her a house, moved to Idaho, changed everything I was, and never fought harder for anything in my life. I could’ve moved back to California or Nevada, but that would’ve meant giving up her or at the very least her huge yard and lovely home. If it had been just me, I would have left a few months after moving here. Because of her, I stayed for the first time in my life. I dealt with a million little things I would have never bothered with. I made and lost friends, still was unsettled unprofessionally, but tried many good professions, even found one I liked. I became a good freshwater fisherman and a hunter. I started this company, Andy’s Animals, in honor of her as a way of copeing with her loss and celebrating her life.

Though sometimes coincidences just happen, I try to pay attention. Seek out potential, read the signs, and be present! Not exactly sure why I was back in Belize at the precise time. Maybe I missed a great opportunity? My animals never stop reminding me of life’s fragility, perhaps I should go back to the shelter there? Just to check, you know.

The final curtain….

The last thing to do after you beat cancer is to take out the port. A port is a plastic mechanism with tubes that run directly into your veins. When you recieve regular treatment, like chemotherapy, it’s much easier to stick a needle in and prevents the patient from looking like a heroin addict. I loved mine, but now that I am cancer free the device is no longer needed. So CIAO!

See the bump on my chest..that’s the port.

The removal is a GREAT moment as it signifies the end of your battle. It’s better than ringing the bell, it means the doctors are convinced you are done! Even though I have months of physical therapy to still go through, and a lifetime of pain to deal with I am thrilled at this milestone!

All done!

Ok, says the nurse you are all done! Time to call my friend, Craig, and get a ride home. At least someone was here for me! Can’t thank him enough! Time to put this behind me, keep the lessons it has taught me so I can help others in the future!

Happy Thanksgiving tomorrow! I know I have a lot to be thankful for!