Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Wednesday 29th 2010 - Self publishing

My diet has been crap, but my cooking has been smashing! Seriously, I'm having trouble resisting food. If I don't get a grip, I am liable to gain way to much weight, as if any extra weight is acceptable. I have been thinking about the surgery. As I collect the larger checks that I should be getting from the art sales, I will set some aside. I think I should have about $3,000 to go with my insurance. Then I will begin the process. I guess my old doctor and nutrition letters are out of date.

A friend recommended that i look into which is a self-publishing site. Check it out. I think I may do that. At least for the e-book. Now, I really want to finish the book. I'd like it to be available by Christmas or the spring. I don't suppose it would matter too much. ASAP. I'll stick to that.

I have, to date, written 18 articles for The last three are listed here... 

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Saturday September 25th, 2010 - First Chapter of my book Positano

Today's post is my first chapter of my book Positano. I've completed about 30 chapters, but I had to rewrite the first five chapters to reflect a tragedy that happens later in the book. Let me know if you like it. You can the first four chapters at

Chapter One
Suicide. It runs in my family. It runs through my blood. Merely speaking the word sends shivers down the backs of anyone within ear shot. They are watching me; always watching me. I don’t know what they expect. It is all around me. You hear it on the news every day. I talk about it with my therapist twice a week. It’s as much a part of me as I am a part of it. They tell me not to think about. My mom says, “Honey, don’t talk about it. Let it go.” She might as well say don’t breath. Suicide. There, I said it again.
I don’t want to die. I know I have a long and beautiful life ahead of me. I have a girlfriend and my life is rebuilding, but, still, it’s there. They don’t understand the difference of awareness and honesty as opposed to the verb. It is an irrefutable part of me. It’s forever in my core. I can’t stop it. The very act or thought of suicide is lurking deep in the dark damp recesses of my mind where no one dares to travel just waiting to strike.
I know the road to death. It is littered with hopelessness, isolation, humiliation, hate, loneliness, loss, and confusion. That night; on that night I felt all of those things. By God’s good grace and caring hand, I failed, but I can’t erase that moment. I hear the gentle waves lapping up the black pebble beach. Swish; swish goes the deep blue sea below me. My crying eyes burn with every salty gust of warm wind. The moon is so beautiful vicariously hanging above the shimmering and endless water. I’ve slowed my panting and I take one final deep breath. I slowly close my eyes and let one foot free. I’m not scared. I can do it. One more step as I felt my body lunge forward and my last foot slipping off of the earth and dangling in the wind as I slowly spin around seeing the surf then the sky then back to the earth.
Pain. I was paralyzed with pain. It hurt to hear, but I could hear. I could hear the ghosts swarming around me speaking in Italian. Then everything went black. I rose again and painfully opened my eyes. I was in a blindingly white room with the rhythmic sound of beep, beep, beep. I couldn’t swallow. Something was in my throat. I could move my arms or feet. They were being held. It hurt to flex my fingers. I realized I was in a hospital. The rhythmic beep was now in a chase as it quickened into a beep beep beep, then I heard people rushing into the room; again speaking in Italian. Then an angel bent down to my ear and said, “It’s going to be okay poor bambino. Just sleep. You’re safe.” My eyes grew blurry and I feel into a half consciousness. I could hear people, then black.
How can I forget that? Seriously; how does one forget that? I’m writing this story today because my therapist said it would be good to write it down and then throw it away. I’ll write the story because I need to. I’ll write the story because I can. I just hope; no I pray, I beg for peace. I just want some quiet. Is that too much to ask?
Sometimes when that moment of terrifying reflection subsides, I wonder what it would have been like to die. Was it as painful as living? Does your light just gracefully fade or do you hang around a while like ghosts in movies? What is heaven really like? I’m sure it’s not like sitting on some stupid cloud looking down at all of the fools. It has occurred to me that I could have gone to hell. That’s what the Catholic Church says. If you take your life into your own hands and deny God’s will you have committed a mortal sin again God. So then I wonder what hell could be like. I seriously doubt that there is any fire involved. Maybe you are cursed to revisit all of your sins and watch the world around your crumble over and over again for all eternity. That would really suck.
I was raised in the church. I’ve been told that God is a loving God and he doesn’t give you more than you can handle. That’s wrong. I couldn’t handle it then and I can barely handle it now. Maybe God does love me. Maybe Jesus died for my sins. Maybe God saved me. Although I live in fear, I am much better than I was two years ago. I’ll go with the God loves you thing, because it comforts me.
I’m free to talk about my new found faith, but not about death. About a year ago I felt compelled to start an anonymous blog. I called it “Suicide Interrupted” and I didn’t use my name or anything that could connect me to this poor soul. However, I did mention it to my best friend and he felt he had to tell my parents and they told my therapist. I tried to explain that the blog was an homage to death, but they put me back into the hospital. They took my clothes; they took my shoe laces and they checked in on me every 15 minutes. For the first 72 hours I didn’t see anyone except for my parents and nurses. I was there for a week. In some weird way, the mental ward is a comforting safe place. They tell you when to eat, when to sleep, when to do anything, but it’s safe. I still wouldn’t recommend publishing a blog. 

Friday, September 24, 2010

Friday September 24th 2010 - Productive day whew

I've been thinking about it and talking to my wife. As soon as I can afford it, in a couple of months, I will go back in and start the process for bariatric surgery. I definitely prefer the Realize-band. .
I will chronicalize every step.

Today I did everything, but make it to the gym. I wrote and published two articles...  and .

Tonight I am going to indulge myself by writing my book after I finish the laundry, make dinner, go to the store, pick up my son from work, take a pee. Oh, got do that one right now.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Thursday September 23rd, 2010 - Examiner article on bariatric surgery

I decided to write an article for the Examiner on bariatric surgery -

Obesity in Denver – Find the facts and the best Denver surgeons online

Losing weight is easy. Consume fewer calories than you burn and you will lose weight. Yeah right. Dr. Richard Tillquist from Colorado Bariatric Surgery in Englewood said, “Most people can stick to a diet for up to a year, but very few can stick with it beyond that.”
Take a look around. See any overweight people? Believe it or not Colorado is one of the fittest states in the union. According to The National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (CDC), Mississippi is the fattest state with 35% obese (adults) while Colorado is the fittest state with only 19% obese.  
Obesity is the leading preventable cause of death worldwide. Childhood obesity is on the rise at an alarming rate. Obesity has been linked to diabetes, heart disease, hypertension and stroke as well as certain kinds of cancer.
Obviously a low calorie diet and exercise is the best way to lose weight, but for hundreds of obese people in Denver losing weight is more frustrating then I-25 during rush hour. For those people who are experts on losing and gaining back weight, weight loss surgery may be an option.
The first thing that people need to know is theirBody Mass Index (BMI). If your BMI is greater than 40, then you are considered to be morbidly obese and surgery should be considered. Types of weight loss surgery range from the rather invasive gastric bypass to the lathroscopic “Lab-band®” or “Realize-band®.” To learn more about each type of surgery, consult
There are over 40 bariatric surgeons in Colorado. Check with your health care insurance on plan coverage. Most surgeons can offer or refer you to various financing options. Most insurance will only apply benefits to surgeons with the “Center of Excellence” designation. To find a qualified surgeon in your area, visit .

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Wednesday September 22nd, 2010 - Bariatric Surgery

When I started this blog it was to track and follow my bariatric surgery. I had jumped through the hoops with my insurance who would pay up to $7,500 and I had passed the psychiatric evaluation. I had already been cleared by my surgeon, Richard Tillquist from Swedish Medical Center Englewood Colorado, and I was ready to set a date.

I wasn't comfortable with surgery so I tried to lose the weight myself. On July 4th, 2009 I became a vegan. That lasted one year and I had lost 37 pounds, but I was already gaining it back by July 4th, 2010. I have  been vocally against surgery unless the weight was life threatening.

Lately I have been trying to psych myself out so that I could start losing weight, but I take one step forward and two steps backwards. I am still gaining weight.

It is time to reconsider bariatric "Realize-Band" lathroscopic surgery. This will be day one: Research. Now I have already been down this road so I know as much as a physician would know, but I'll start from scratch for you. So, day one research

First finding; New insurance, Anthem HMO Colorado will also pay $7500 towards the surgery.
60% for the facility and 40% for the surgeon.

In the next post I will paste my article on bariatric surgery

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Tuesday September 21, 2010 - Working diet

Well, today my diet was much better. Perhaps a bit too much bread at dinner. I had three slices with light butter. However, tonight's dinner was steamed mussels and asparagus, so it's overall value was high. Today was paperwork and follow-up day which cost me my gym time. I really need to get into the gym tomorrow. It helps me remember to hold down my calories.

Opps. Almost forgot another "bad" from last night. I take my bipolar medication, Seroquel, right as I am falling to sleep because it gives me twitchy arms and legs. If I take it at the last minute, I usually sleep through the twitches, however, if I wake up prematurely, the only way to calm them down so I can fall back to sleep is to walk upstairs and get a snack. I did that last night because I needed every minute of sleep I could get. Sometimes I sacrifice my diet for sleep. Bad. Bad. Bad.

Today's follow up(s) were all about collecting $$$. A little here, a little in Spain, a little in Oklahoma, and a little in NYC. At this particular juncture it all helps.

Today I wrote an article for the Examiner on the 2010 Colorado State Ballot Measures. Four of them are absolutely insane. Check it out...

Confused? Alarmed? Research the 2010 Colorado ballot measures online

How much do you really know about this year’s Colorado ballot measures? Did you know there are three measures that could reportedly bankrupt the state? Did you know that Amendment 62 redefines a “person” to include the unborn biologically developed?
This year the State ballot measures may eclipse the gubernatorial vote. Why? First, the potential impact of the ballot measures to the State of Colorado is huge and second, national statistics estimate that only 37% of all voting-age citizens vote in midterm elections, thus, leaving these monumental measures to be decide by a small minority of voters.
The following list is a summary of each of the State ballot measures followed by official Colorado State and non-profit, non-partisan links detailing the measures:
  • Amendment P: Regulation of Games of Chance -
    Transfers the licensing and oversight of games of chance, such as bingo and raffles, from the Department of State to the Department of Revenue which already regulates casinos and Colorado State Lottery.
  • Amendment Q: Temporary Location for the State Seat of Government –Allows the governor to designate a temporary meeting location for state seat of government in cases of disaster emergencies.
  • Amendment R: Exempt Possessory Interests in Real Property -
    Eliminates property taxes for individuals or businesses that use government-owned property for a private benefit worth $6,000 or less in market value.
  • Amendment 60: Property Tax -
    Increases the impact of the 1992 Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights (TABOR) by requiring school districts to cut property tax by half by 2020 and recover the loss from state funds.
  • Amendment 61: Limits on State and Local Government Borrowing -
    Prohibits the State government from borrowing money and limits the local government from borrowing money unless approved by the voters.
  • Amendment 62: Application of the Term “Person” -
    Changes the term “person” in all Colorado constitution provisions that address inalienable rights, equality of justice, and due process to include every human being from the moment of biological development.
  • Amendment 63: Health Care Choice -
    Adds health care choice to the bill of rights in the Colorado Constitution, thus, prohibiting the State from requiring or enforcing State requirements that a person participate in a public or private health care plan. The measure does not supersede the federal government’s ability to require coverage.
  • Proposition 101: Income, Vehicle, and Telecommunication Taxes and Fees -
    Gradually, over time, reduces state income tax from 4.63% to 3.5%. When fully implemented, it will reduce or eliminate State sales taxes and/or fees on vehicle sales, leases, and rentals. In addition, it will eliminate State and local sales tax and other fees for any telecommunications services, except for 911 fees.  
  • Proposition 102: Criteria for Release to Pretrial Services Programs -
    Allows only a first time offender of a nonviolent misdemeanor to be released on an unsecured bond to the supervision of a pretrial services program.
Colorado State Ballot Measures – Project Vote Smart (PVS) is a non-profit, non-partisan research org
If passed, Colorado 2010 Amendments 60, 61, and 101 will have a profound effect on the budget as well as public education.
If passed, Amendment 62 will not only have implications on future abortions measures, but also on certain forms of birth control, women’s health care choices, stem cell research, miscarriages, property rights, and potential inheritance rights.
Vote smart. Research the arguments and implications online.  
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Saturday, September 18, 2010

Saturday night September 18th, 2010 - Writings

Bipolar disorder. I just read my last post. Perhaps a bit personal, but I find honesty alluring. Some days I'll wake up stoked and other days I'll wake up in a panic. I have a lot of anxiety dreams that end in horror. Not the best way to start the day. I would say they all happen just before I wake, but that would only be because the ones that you wake with stick in your mind. Sometimes I really have a hard time shaking them off. Especially if I have dreams of betrayal. I wake up paranoid and suspicious, but those dreams are not reflexive of reality. When I can't shake a nightmare I usually try to think of something happy. And what is the happiest thing? Sex. Yes, a moment of blissful thinking knocks me right out it.

Of course there are other days where I wake up charged and ready to kick some butt. I rush through my morning routine as fast as possible so I can begin doing what I love... writing. I write so many different things. Blogs, articles, commentaries, non-fiction, fiction... I'll write just about anything for $$$ or just for the fun of it. I was great in grad school. Most of it is about reading and writing. To be honest, I coasted at DU's GSIS and at AIU. Well, actually, I coasted through my undergrad as well. I graduated sum cum laude with a 3.9 something.

So I'm good at two things... writing and school. I'm pretty good at teaching as well, but I suck at car repair. I am pretty good with my hands and my compulsive perfectionism helps me when I construct walls and paint.

Painting artwork comes from somewhere else. I have a vision that sticks with me and I have to paint it in order to get it out of my head. I have one now that I am going to have to paint soon. I may or may not use my heavily textured method. This particular painting simply requires streaks of tonality. I couldn't explain it in words, but I alway marvel at the finished product. I stand back and, oh my God, it looks exactly as it did in my head. Now sign it and move on.

So what were we talking about? Fat and non-linear thinking. The difference between bipolars and normal people is that our mood swings are much more extreme. They consider bipolarity a biological phenomena. As such, most, if not all, health insurance companies classify bipolarity and schizophrenia not as mental health, but as a biological. The same as high blood pressure or something. That allows them to cheat you on co-pay and deductible and charge you more. My insurance pays 100% for mental health, but, because of the parity law, they treat my visits as if they were a medical specialty. $50 co-pays. Could be worse. At least I do have some coverage.

Phat. I still feel as if I have emerged from a fragile state just to remain guarded against fragile states and, thus, food is my mistress. My love; my ecstasy. I really need start losing weight again. I haven't gained much but my pants did feel a bit snug this morning. So, on goes the battle. Just like an old truck, I have to adjust my choke to regain the hum of all the cylinders running. My bipolar pity party is over. Time to dig in. Not so easy.  

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Thursday September 16th, 2010 - Mental health: bipolar

Today I would like to write about my bipolar disorder because mental health is imperative to weight loss. If you can't shake the downtime and learn how to manipulate the uptime you will be missing positive opportunities. 
Bipolar disorder, also known as manic-depressive illness, is a brain disorder that causes unusual shifts in mood, energy, activity levels, and the ability to carry out day-to-day tasks. Symptoms of bipolar disorder are severe. They are different from the normal ups and downs that everyone goes through from time to time. Bipolar disorder symptoms can result in damaged relationships, poor job or school performance, and even suicide. But bipolar disorder can be treated, and people with this illness can lead full and productive lives.
My late father committed suicide in 1993. He was 50. My grandmother committed suicide when I was a baby. She was 50. My uncle went early. I think he was in his mid-30's when he jumped off of a building. Several of my grandmother's family committed suicide. They were all manic-depressive (bipolar). 
You really should see the clinician's faces when I start with that. I can almost hear them write "needs 72 hour suicide watch." To tell you the truth I do think about suicide, but I'm only 45 so it would be premature. I'm kidding, however, I do think about suicide. I almost tried. I had a plan, but my wife slapped my ass in the hospital. 
That was 2001. I had just lost a $10 million dollar venture capital bid for my fledgling company. I was the CEO. I was under more pressure than I could handle. I started to drink beer then rum. It didn't help. I fell apart and landed in the "holiday inn" (mental facility) for the first time. They diagnosed me bipolar. I used to tell my wife that I felt as if something chemical was wrong with me. I was right. All the signs; all of my life, had pointed towards bipolarity. 
I had a doctor tell me that I was the worst kind of bipolar: manic-manic. I do have panic attacks and I do feel overwhelmed by anxiety occasionally, but I wouldn't really qualify those as depression. She said that I was the worst because I fed on mania. She said I liked being super manic. I'm normally running on manic, but I can kick it up to the point where my family becomes concerned and they don't particularly like me. I love it because I can do a million things at once. 
I always think I'm so smart and capable that everything I touch turns to gold, but then I come back and realize that I was fooling myself. In the mean time I would torment my family because I am short and overly determined to do what I want to do. I think I can walk on water and everyone should leave me the hell alone. My wife is my watchdog because I usually can't tell when I have crossed the line. Sometimes it's a real bitch to settle down even when I know I'm over the limit.  
For many years after 2001 I felt bad and I would make urgent appointments with my doctor, but I stayed out of hospitals. In 2007, I was diagnosed with leukemia among a laundry list of crap. I corrected everything over the next few months, but I couldn't control my platelets or my weight. By November, I had blown up to 456 pounds.
They finally put me in the hospital and I lost 50 pounds on IV lasix and then I stopped eating. I ate a tiny bit, but everything started tasting like copper. I ate enough to keep me from passing out. I was losing two to three pounds a day. Some days I lost five pounds. 
By the end of December 2007 I had lost 70-80 pounds. My meds went crazy and toxified my system. I went into the holiday inn completely psychotic. I was in a hallucinatory state for three weeks. I couldn't remember anyone's name except for my wife. I had a special friend who lived in my bedsprings. He looked like a cross between a dead harry potter and gollum. 
I finally got out, but my outpatient status lasted a long time. Finally, after a year or so, my mind reached 100%, but my body was still shit. Shortly after that I began losing weight by becoming a strict vegan and an extreme worker outter dude (new words aka sarah palin).   
I am much healthier today, but I still keep pilling more and more on my plate. I have at least 8 projects going on right now. If one of them tanks, the others may suffer because it is completely feasible that I will have an episode. Sometimes I feel like I am on the edge of madness, but I fight back and move forward. I know I'll have to go back to the holiday inn at some point. I do like feeling safe and nurtured. But, I don't need that right now. Everything is turning around for me. 
My fluctuating mental health is my personal weight challenge. When I get manic I eat. And eat. That is the real reason I have gained weight back. I have been on high mental alert since January of this year. Staying healthy and stable took priority and calories did not. I've been trying to get back, but financial issues have kept me on edge. Soon I hope I can get a grip. As for today, I will do my best to diet. Humm. That was a long post. sorry. Now I have to write an article on free online education for denver senior citizens. Later. I apologize for any grammar errors. I don't have time to read back through it. If you like hearing about my deepest secrets,follow this blog.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Second post Wednesday September 15th, 2010 MorningStar article

  • September 15th, 2010 4:18 pm MT

Denver's MorningStar Senior Living is rolling out an ambitious computer and Internet training series

Grandparents rule!
Photo: by surlygirl
On Thursday October 7th, 2010, MorningStar Senior Living’s Dayton Place Denver will begin classes on “Basic computer knowledge 101.” The first meeting of this pilot course presented by Denver’s Modern Senior Technology, Inc.™ begins at 10:30am and is scheduled to run one hour. 
Kevin Tong, MorningStar’s Life Enrichment Director at Dayton Place, said that if this course is received as well as anticipated, they may expand the program to their other Colorado communities. “We want to offer a class that helps our experienced and inexperienced residents on the computer and the Internet.”
Tong explained further that, “We have received numerous family requests for online social networking training.” One of the pitfalls of senior living is keeping in contact with friends, sons and daughters as well as grandchildren.
One of the primary objectives of the program is to introduce the residents to social networking websites like™ who now has over 500 million registered users or the 26 million micro-blogging users of™
Perhaps the most useful social networking phenomenon for seniors is™. Originally used by companies the world over, Skype now has over 600 million registered users from both the private and public sectors. Through the utilization of Skype’s online video conferencing, seniors can video conference with their families in “real time.” 
Opening communication channels may not be the most significant benefit. According™, “several studies also have suggested that people who engage in intellectually stimulating activities, such as social interactions… significantly lower their risk of developing Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia.”
MorningStar’s quest to expand their resident’s knowledge through the utilization of the computer and the Internet will not only enrich their lives; it may even extend it.
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