Monday, 11 September 2017

Male Menopause.

When we hear Menopause, we think of women, but it's also a male thing too. I've been going through this  for several years. I believe male  menopause is more a physical thing, and mid life crisis is more a social condition. They are both entwined and experienced at the same time. The last thing on my mind was male menopause, it slowly crept up.  It's a condition no one anticipates or plans for. We don't deny it cause it's not acknowledged 
I'm 51 now. Looking back the first sign started 15 years ago, when my career in fashion industry was at a high. I was crazy busy , pushing myself to the maximum. My body had its limits. Until 36 I had no problems sleeping , you couldn't get me to wake up. Then the stress set in. I had problems getting to sleep and staying asleep. 
It was my body saying hey this is too much, but also that was my peak. 
At the same time my libido was struck. I had problems with getting and maintaining erections. Again due to stress my body sent a message. Looking back, if I wasn't so stressed those events would have been delayed by several years. 
As the years rolled on, I found I had less energy and strength. I used to go to the gym, do yoga, run the 4km in 30 minutes around centennial park. Those where my porn star years. 
But after 45, things changed . I simply didn't have the physical drive , my body was saying no, it said stop pushing me. My ego was saying one thing, my body had other plans. 
I was eating more due to less energy and exercising less. I became more plump, round. I was looking like a frumpy grumpy middle aged person. Welcome male menopause. 
I went from being a hot stud chased down the street to become a sacred cow that the public was shoeing away. Not nice. 
Male menopause is also connected to gravity. What goes up - our looks, stamina, energy , persistence, with time comes down or simply disappears.
It's also a welcome to mid life. I've realised fighting is not the way to go. 
When we hear the word menopause we think of frustrated middle aged women fighting the biological clock, rushing to have children at the last moment before their menstral cycle finishes. 
How about middle aged men wanting to have children ? I assumed being a man I can choose to have children naturally when ever I'm ready. I'm not physically comprimised the way females are, I will be ok.  I was wrong. This was hard to accept. 
Male menopause is all about physical limitations imposed by time and our denial to accept it. 
went to the IVF clinic , had my sperm tested, they said it was pretty good for my age. 
The amount of people who want to have children with a guy almost 50 is greatly diminished.
Your chances are as slim as a menopausal female. 
 Why have kids with a 48 year old, when there are guys 20s or 30s instead ? 
So my dick isn't as hard, I dont cum as much, I'm not as motivated , my tits and arse are starting to sag, my waist is ballooning . My friends are on Viagra or getting facelifts, but look like plastic dummies. Others do liposuction, only to put the fat back on. I just want to retreat at home watch tv while I eat another box of biscuits. Im lazy and feel crap. Male menopause is not my friend but a partner that's here to stay. 
What's the solution? 
Stop acting like a 30 year old, and don't give up. Go slow, but keep going. 
Eliminate as much stress as possible. It's poison to health, our bodies and minds can't take it. 
At 50 we our bodies can't cope with the drug taking, smoking, drinking , bad diets, partying . 
This is our chance to start acting responsibly, with acceptance and dignity. The secret is too look like you're living it up, but to do it in a low key way. Why run a marathon if you end up having a heart attack ? Why have 5 drinks tonight when really 2 is all your body can cope with nowadays . Why eat burgers and fries when you can't loose weight ? It's about low impact sustainable living. 
If you don't have the energy to go to the gym, go for long fast paced walks instead. 
On a fashion level. It's ok to dress 10 years younger, but please stop dressing like you've stolen your sons clothes. There's nothing more embarrassing  seeing these old out of shape guys dressing like teenagers . They look like like sausages. Wearing tight kids clothes .  . When ever I see these guys I think ....they're in denial.  
Fast hard impact living is replaced by slow thoughtful sustainable actions. 
Don't give up. It's worse. I have all these male friends in their early 50s who used to be physically stunning. They had 6pak stomachs , now they look like Santa Clause. They look sad. You know that look, they've given up. They stopped making the effort now they're miserable, and won't be around for ever. 

Friday, 10 March 2017

Joy Hruby. A wonderful lady.

This story is about my experiences with Joy Hruby. 
I met Joy in 2001, I was studying film and media production. As a student needing work experience. 
community TV was a good option . Channel 31 in those days was  an  obscure channel people used to get without knowing what it was. The signal was weak or unreliable, reception was limited  to residents here and there . 
Community TV was around in Redfern since 1988. 
My dream was to be on TV. I enquired about CTV1, an underfunded grass roots set up. I had to find a program to work on that wanted me. 
Joys show " Around the world with Joy Hruby " was filmed on a Tuesday night. I remembered turning up to what was a mixed bag of odd people a cross between a pantomime and crisis centre. Being community TV means everyone was working for free, it served as a training ground for aspiring TV presenters or crew to eventually make their way into the mainstream. Until then I was doing extras work on  All Saints or Home and Away.
There was this crazy but endearing energy on the set of what was a storage space in the basement of the housing commission towers at Redfern. You couldn't get any more grass roots than this. 
I met Joy , she was this sweet wonderful lovely warm old Aussie lady from a bygone era. A tiny bit of a theatrical diva, Joy was a cross between Dame Edna and Gloria Swanson. Always calm and poised Joy spoke The Queens English in eloquent style ! 
I immediately felt liked and accepted. Joy later said when we met she wasn't sure but she gave me a go anyway. Joys attitude of giving people a go launched many careers, it also gave purpose to the idle , disadvantaged, or those like me starting out. 
There was a deep sense of community and connection between everyone, completely different people made instant friendships . 
From the beginning Joy allowed me to produce and present my own weekly 6 minute segment. 
For someone who was doing a media film course this was a huge break in humble circumstances. 
For several years I would find / organise guests  while pitching the ideas to Joy, then with her guidance interview them on the show . This was broadcast live to the local residents, that was CTV1, then put on a tape to be dropped off to channel 31 to be broadcast to the Sydney area as well. 
Joy was many things , she was the producer, director and star of her own show, but she also shared the spotlight with others. Every week she offered advice on how to present, or tips to improve  interviewing skills . This was an incubation of better things to come. For several years I cut my teeth, 
But at the same time enjoyed it. 
2002 after 9/11 was a turbulent time politically . Looking back now,  it was incredible to note that all those different independently produced shows by various radical groups , most with an agenda to push - where not censored , while at the same time there where a growing number of viewers watching  . There where anti everything shows. Anti Israel, anti establishment, anti corporate etc. there where shows that where pro anything the government objected to. So the plug was pulled. 
Community was shut down for a while, then the licence was put out to Tender. 
The new community station was TVS , that's Television Sydney, part of Sydney western universality campus based out at Penrith. TVS had new management but also involved many from the original channel 31.  Joy was on the new board . She pushed hard for me to have my own show, based on the fact I had 4 years experience on her show. The new board agreed on the condition it was to be a Greek Cooking Show !!!!  Joy had a huge influence on my life . 
Working with other students from film school we made a pilot show, which was approved by TVS, 
Then I did one 13 part series of a highly successful Greek Cooking show called "Greek Style " 
This TV series was then picked up by community TV channels in Melbourne, Brisbane , Adelaide and Perth. This was the most exciting era of my life. From the most humble beginnings I became a successful tv producer, presenter and celebrity ! 
All along Joy was supportive. Her show became a star factory, many of her presenters went on to create their own shows. This was a wonderful time for many including the grateful public who had access to real people creating independent shows, with no budget, no corporate or political interference . Joy was the proud mother hen. Her ugly ducklings became the new generation of black swans. 
In the meantime for 7 years I made lifestyle show " Yianni's City Life " a mix of cooking, interviews , fashion and events. In 2010 my show was in the best lifestyle program category in the Logies .
Joy continued to do her show in Botany, it was filmed in the garage of her tiny townhouse . As Joy grew elderly she allowed others to do more for her. There was a loyal group of presenters and crew who in the end took over. 
The only time I saw Joy angry was during the battle to stop the closure of community TV.
The enemy was the then communications minister Malcolm Turnball. He decided it was time for community TV to be online only ! 
How can it be TV if its not on TV ? Unfortunately the spectrum was sold to Optus and Telstra for billions of dollars...this was a sad end to a great era of broadcast community free to air tv. 
Through crowd funding Joy raised several thousands of $$$, this enabled her to keep producing her show for You Tube.  
Joy became frail at but was always in good spirits, deeply religious yet non judgemental. I remember once years ago mentioning how bitter some people become with time. Joys respond was "that's the easy way out " Joy kept herself busy, there where many people around her because she was this loving mother , aunt, or Grandmother figure . Joys children and their kids are equally similar. 
In the last few years Joy went into a nursing home, the first one " Sir Joseph Banks " around the corner from her home , Joy was able come home  every day for several hours . Then Joy got a spot at a very nice place at Rushcutters Bay -Elizabeth Lodge. There she had her own room with a pleasant view, the atmosphere there was happy. I visited Joy twice. About a week before Joy passed away I just had this feeling to see her. I popped in at lunch time, in the dining room , we sat together and ate a meal.  
Mentally Joy was in fine , we had in depth conversation, but she did look weak. Joy was planning her 90th birthday for Saturday July 1st 2017. 
Joys funeral at Maroubra was the happiest one I've ever experienced. I am Greek Orthodox and our funerals are so depressing ! Yes we where sad - but the day was a true celebration of a great person who lived more than most. Joy was well prepared for her departure she pre made a video dressed as an angle talking to us from heaven. The church was packed , then we all headed to the Yarra bay sailing club near her original home at La Perouse for the most Joy-us wake ! 
Joy Hruby thanks for the great memories - see you in heaven one day ! Hugs 
Yianni Zinonos