Wednesday, December 31, 2003

E-Mail to Neo

So I went to the Doctor. She's new my old doc left. Got my latest test results. No change. again. She says it's officially a plateau or baseline. My current health. Since March my TCell count and viral load have been more or less the same. She says this could last months or even years there's no way to tell but according to her I'm quite the ways away from going on any drug regimen. Aside from that she said my cholesterol levels "are fantastic" lots of "good" cholesterol not very much "bad". I asked her about being hypoglycemic and she said it would be showing up in my blood sugar levels and it isn't so a big no on the wonky blood sugar. I explained my symptoms and she said I may just be over sensitive to changes in my blood sugar (more than others) and I should carry some hard candy or juice. She also said I should drink more water to prevent dehydration. Apparently the liters of water I already drink are not enough. lol. She did agree that my testosterone is "low normal" and dropping slowly but it's still normal and she explained the testosterone replacement therapy and it takes MONTHS to do. So we decided to revisit the issue on my next visit. She also dropped my appointments back to every three months as she said at this point, even if my immune system started to fail they'd be able to catch it and do whatever needed to be done in plenty of time.

So all in all, potentially deadly virus coursing through my veins notwithstanding, I'm as healthy as all get out! Pretty cool, huh? I think I'm going to enjoy the ride for a while. See you tomorrow.

Ed. note:
Composing end of year wrap-up. Some New Year's Day reading......

Thursday, December 25, 2003

Have Yourself a Trannie Little Christmas

Glad you’re not here. Just kidding. I almost lapsed into the maudlin Christmas sucks I have to work poor me nonsense while waiting for the subway but face it kiddies, poor me just ain’t this cat’s bag. And this from a faggot that had a year, hunny.

Anyway, we had a delightful Christmas Eve dinner down at Café Torino. We being me, The Ex, Neo, Neo’s “ex” P--- and the always delightful ”Ashley”. Yes I use the word “delightful” often. It was a two hour affair partly because we were in no hurry and partly because the service was unhurried as well. That wasn’t a complaint, it was just all very relaxed with time between courses and then coffee and after dinner liquers and all damn civilized and pleasant with a lot of , yes, delightful conversations and much polite laughing and smiling.

Afterwards we came up to the bar to say hi to the kids at work and because The Hellcat's mom was in town from Cali and they were going to have a little Christmas Eve love fest at the bar. I had offered to pick up something (veggie tray or something) but he never got back to me. Not surprising, since I’ve got no phone. My phone has been cutting on and off for about three weeks now and I seriously haven’t had the time to call Verizon and inquire as to what the fuck? I honestly hardly ever use the damn thing anyway as e-mail usually gets the job done. I may consider switching to Vonage or another company and just go to internet phone service. The Ex didn’t even make the trip uptown as he wanted to rest up for his planned outing at Urge. “Outing” consisting of getting drunk and ogling naked gogo boys. He’s got this fetish about guys naked or nearly naked in public places. It really turns him on in a cheap, pathetic dirty old man kind of way. On the eve of most holidays, the owner at Urge let’s the boys go naked and (gasp!) with hard-ons and The Ex is right there with a goofy tequila and Budweiser grin on his face staring at guys he has no chance in hell of having.

Neo, “Ashley” and P--- cut out after a couple of minutes partly because Neo didn’t want to be there and partly because Jabba The Drunk couldn’t resist stirring things up by suggesting that Neo might have to work Christmas day after all. Never mind that it wasn’t true and never mind that Jabba wasn’t working on Christmas so how it was even something he needed to be concerned about is beyond me. No, strike that, it is his concern in that he’s not happy unless he’s causing distress in others. His concern grows exponentially in relation to how much time he spends cooped up in that office funneling in Dewars and coming up with plots and scenarios that may or may not have any basis in reality. But I digress.

So that left me. In quite the good mood. Fat and relaxed on a couple glasses of Merlot and some B&B. So I bellied up and got properly introduced to The Hellcat's mom. Turns out she’s from that little town in Cali what got walloped last week from that earthquake. I always worry in advance of meeting new people that I won’t have anything to say or appear stupid. I just need to remind myself that I learned a long time ago that in the art of conversation it really isn’t about what you have to say. It’s all about asking the right questions. People like to talk. They like it even more when they think you’re listening. It’s lots of eye contact and the occasional light touch on the arm and lots of “right, uh-huh”. And people think you’re “just wonderful” and “so nice”. So I ended up hanging out for a couple of hours sipping petit sirah (I am so gay!) and solving the world’s problems with M---‘s mom. I had intended to join The Ex at his “outing” But my all night 21 episode Smallville marathon had finally caught up with me ( and I’m not even a fan, just an insomniac) and I grew weary. Besides, to me, watching naked gogo boys is sort of like going shopping without money. It’s fun at first, but after a while fun gives way to frustration as you’re staring at things (In this case, uncut Latin cock) you can’t have. I went home, and slept contentedly.

Christmas Day I got up around 11:30 and clocked the news. Bomb scares, mad cow, the pope is unintelligible. Right. Fixed myself an enormous plate of scrambled eggs, cheese and ham while simultaneously fixing a dinner and preparing to come to work. If you can call sitting at the bar sipping coffee, blogging, answering the phone and saying Merry Christmas to people every ½ hour work. But I’m here. And I resisted feeling sorry for myself because I truly am pretty happy right now. I feel good.

I started this entry today intending to make someone who is feeling alone today feel a little better but fuck that. I’m so sorry gentle readers, but I can’t give you that. What you’re looking for can’t be found outside yourself. What you want comes from learning to be happy with what you have. Being honest about what you want. And being strong enough to get up off your ass and go get it.

Merry Christmas Y’all.

Tuesday, December 23, 2003

Be Careful What You Wish For

My toilet is broken. About a week ago Sunday, after a particular boozy night for The Ex, the toilet simply stopped flushing. Water would fill it but the actual flush part wouldn't happen. The water would slowly drain away but only after coming right to the lip of the bowl. Visions of disgusting floods suffered by us and the neighbors below filled me with dread. Consequently, I have been going to the gym every day to poo. Some days I would just go ahead and do my whole morning toilette at the NYSC. My theory, since at some point during The Ex's lurching drunkenly around the house he managed to knock over two entire shelves of toiletries, was that some small something or other had fallen in and been flushed. It was enough of an obstruction to block the flushing but still let water through. In any case, I let The Ex handle calling "the Super" who would call the plumber and make repairs. A week ago. I enjoyed my daily e-mails letting me know the plumber was coming on Thursday. Or Friday. Make that Saturday. First thing Monday. You know she was too through. I am doomed to a life of doing everything myself. So I wake up today and pick up the phone and leave a scathing message to "the Super" explaining that two grown men in NYC really can't go a week without a working toilet and if he was not prepared to get a plumber I would call one myself and deduct the cost from the rent. That got us some attention. Apparently our plumber has been non-responsive and is now officially closed for the holiday. A new plumber was hired over the phone and arrived around 8pm. At triple overtime I'm sure but I ain't payin. I mean, it's not like I can use the toilet in my "other" house. Or use the neighbors: "hi, I came over to borrow a cup of poop at your place."
The drain was snaked and pronounced OK. How that could be I don't know. A toilet that works but doesn't? The entire thing was removed and the pipe from our floor out is clear. Upon further inspection, there is in fact a plastic or glass bottle stuck in the ceramic toilet. Further proof that drunken lurching about has unexpected consequences and maybe a 42 year old gay man who does this almost every weekend ought to learn to drink like an adult and not like a frat boy.

Repeated attempts to remove it have so far, failed.

Friday, December 19, 2003


Season's Greetings
D'oh! D'oh!

So Tuesday morning I sent a rather nasty e-mail to my boss down in Florida. Actually, in my defense it was in response to a downright stupid comment and an annoying e-mail from him. Also I was only on my first cup of coffee so reason, it seemed,. hadn't woke up yet. About an hour or so later I was fully awake and began to think this may really piss him off. Ah, fuck it. I make a woefully low salary what do I care? Then I thought maybe I should give Jabba The Drunk a heads up as typically, even when my boss wants to talk about me, he calls Jabba and tells him to tell me. How old am I? Finally around 7:30 or so I stopped in at a Kinko's and sent the original e-mail, my response, and the reason it all started by fax to Jabba. Too late. Apparently, my boss had been burning up the phone lines all afternoon between Florida and New Jersey. Typical, I make him so made he wants to fire me and he still calls Jabba. Daddy, why won't you pay attention to me? Why Daddy, why?

Beside the fact that I probably shouldn't have been rude I was totally right. These motherfuckers think that they are going to underpay me, give me no benefits, not provide health insurance and I'm not just gonna run their bar but administer their web site, run an e-mail list and design their advertising for the bar and any other business they want me to work for. Migrant farm workers have better jobs then me. At least use lube, Daddy.

Anyway, I'm not fired. godammit...

Note to self: My PC is fax capable. Figure out how it works, idiot.

Sunday, December 14, 2003

Thank The Lawd Free At Last!

After many days of ultimatums, threats, yelling and general nonsense for three over 40 gay men to be engaged in. The Saga of Al Coholic has come to a close. It was decided by The Ex that Friday was the day Al was moving out. The Ex would be leaving for work Friday morning and Al would leave with him, for good. I would just as soon have tossed his drunk broke ass yesterday but The Ex couldn't bring himself to do the deed as it were. So I returned home from work more or less ready for bed around midnite but checked in one more time with The ex to make sure everything was said and understood and this situation was resolved as of the morning.

"Honey, you understand that if I wake up tomorrow and he's still in my house I will resolve this issue once and for all, myself?"

"Yes, but he's leaving."

Of course I slept fitfully and finally gave up completely around 9am (!). As soon as I got up The Ex came to me.

"I'm so glad you got up I got up for work and Al Caholic wasn't here I don't know where he is."

This, my friends, is classic addict behavior. You give him a specific sets of instructions and then he makes what, in his mind at least, is an interpretation that will allow him to persue his addiction. In Al's mind, because he was told he had to leave with The Ex, if he wasn't there when The Ex left he wouldn't in turn have to leave. It makes sense if all you want is another day to figure out how you can score more booze. Like this is the first time I've danced this dance. So I sent The Ex off to work and told him I'd take care of it. Hey, he tried. Show of hands of those that didn't know this would fall to me.

About 10am I heard the familiar sounds of keys in the lock and the door opening. Once you get that far if anyone is watching TV in the living room you hear it. I'm sure he was like "oh, shit someone's home" and then the door closed again. Nobody came in. About 10:30 Al came all the way back in and went immediately to his room. I left him to putter around in there for about 1/2 hour. Finally I stood outside his door. I asked,"So, are you here to pick up your things?"


"OK then."

At which point he proceeds to take a shower (a rare event, by the way), get dressed......and....leave! Without his things. This stupid motherfucker thinks he's gonna play me! Me! Girl, I been dealing with drunks and crackheads my whole life. The only time I got played was when I was too crazy myself to stop it. At full strength The Duchess does not get played. So you know I proceeded to leave the apartment, locking the only lock to which I have the only key. I went to the hardware store, purchased a new deadbolt lock, replaced the old deadbolt lock ( fuck, I'm a lesbian) and then piled all the posessions of my broke-ass-jobless-drunken, chicken boiling, gizzard eating, HIV+, cheese using, never leave the house, sex preventing room mate.

And still, several hours later I happened to be looking through the keyhole to see if Al had picked up his things when who appears up the stairs. He gets the note we left him "the $15 is for cab fare, the locks have been changed." (You are the weakest link, goodbye). And still, he tries his old key in the door. As if, this can't be true. I can act like it's not happening and the door.....willl......

I felt horrible. I almost threw up I felt so bad. But I felt like I was in a battle for my home and my sanity and my peace and the kind of life I wan't to life in an inherently crazy, fucked up universe. I needed to make the big call. And I did. May the spirits forgive me.

Thursday, December 11, 2003

Sorry about that....

As you can plainly see I posted on Tues. Dec 9th and again on the 10th. My weblog archived it in the correct order but mysteriously chose to display it in reverse order. This has caused a ripple effect through time that I'm sorry to say is spreading globally. Eventually, everything that happened to you on Tues. and Weds. will reverse itself. Permanently. The good news is once it happens worldwide it will seem normal for everyone and you will no longer be aware that something's amiss. Or, time will eventually fold in on itself and we will all wink out of existence.

Also, a few of my fave bloggers stopped posting immediately after I listed them on the right. Coincidence? I think so. Still, they have displeased me and have been replaced. So.

Wednesday, December 10, 2003

E-mail to Neo

Girl, I Snapped!!!

I woke up around 12:30. I had my usual morning coffee but only 3 or 4 cups over about 3 hours. I had a couple of bagels and some yogurt and then fooled around on line. Al Caholic stayed in The Ex's room all day (at his new job) and I stayed in mine. He boiled chicken ( I said boiled) for 2 1/2 hours. The whole apartment smelled of boiled meat. I was on edge all day. I finally got ready at 5:30 for my last group. I was walking across town just getting more and more worked up about how my home just isn't comfortable anymore and how much longer I'm going to have to put up with this situation and how unfair it is that I have to have this chaos in my home and job, and all the while counseling myself ( a benefit of multiple personality disorder) that I didn't really have to put up with it and I would have to put my foot down with The Ex and be "the bad guy" (if there really is one) in this situation. My vision started to blur and I tried to avoid running into people as I started having problems navigating the streets. I sat down at my group and by then I was shaking like a leaf and sweating. I wanted to jump back up and get out of there but I decided to try and tough it out. I talked a little and tried to listen but I wasn't sure I would make it. I was having a full fledged anxiety attack. Finally after about 40 mins one of the facilitators called me on it. He'd noticed I almost bolted. It all came tumbling out after that of how hard it is to take care of myself and The Ex and the house and the bar and R--- and R----- (who came to me crying because he doesn't understand why I cut his schedule) and I felt like the pressure was too much and I'm not strong enough to do it all and I'm tired, tired, tired. I swear, honey I ended up off my chair and sitting on the floor rocking back and forth saying "I can't, I can't, I can't." For real. She snapped. To their credit, my group allowed me to meltdown right in front of them. Once I got to the floor it was pretty clear to me that I needed to fix this Al Caholic situation right away. I made it through the group and felt much better out in the air. I came right home and just vegged out in front of my TV and finally managed to make some dinner despite a horrible headache. The Ex came back from his trip tonight and I told him the whole thing and that we had to do something right away. I explained that having Al here is like housing one of my customers and I've lost my last refuge. Supposedly, he's giving Al a bus ticket for tomorrow. He is too far gone and he needs way more help than an apartment and job.

Later on, The Ex sat next to me and told me I need to let him know when I'm feeling upset. He told me he is still in love with me (IN LOVE WITH) and would never let me be hurt. He said he'll take care of it, and I guess, in effect, me. And I'll let him.

Tuesday, December 09, 2003

So long, boys

Today is the last meeting for my HIV+ support group. 10 weeks went by fast. I made it to every meeting. I might be the only one who did. I have no life. I'm so glad I found that group and pushed my way in at the last minute. I probably would be where I am now but it would have taken me a lot longer to get here if I hadn't been forced to think about/deal with being HIV+ on a weekly basis. Not that it hasn't been in my face in general what with The Girls at work and my alcoholic jobless broke-ass HIV+ room mate. But at least once a week I was dealing with my being HIV+ and what that means to me. I discovered that I would stay on the path to a more spiritual life. I decided that I would reject the culture of shame that seems to have grown around this within the gay community. I decided that I have nothing to hide regarding being HIV+. I decided to live my life and love myself. Hopefully, I helped a few people along the way.

Thursday, December 04, 2003

Oh, lighten up

It seems to me my blog has had a humor-ectomy of late. I do laugh in real life but things lately have seemed soo serious for soooo long I'm ready to change the mood.

NEWSFLASH: I'm ready to have sex!!. Unexpected side note of my HIV diagnosis is it fucking laid waste to my sex drive. It wasn't that I couldn't do the deed I didn't really want to. I'm pretty sure it was because so many things were brand new to me and I had so much that I needed to process, like how I was going to conduct myself sexually in the future. I just needed to think and I guess my brain just told my genitalia to chill the fuck out. I feel much more confident in what I feel will be acceptable behavior for myself in the future and with that, as of about two and a half weeks ago, I'M FUCKIN HORNY!!!!! Howlin at the moon, horny. I want naked man NOW, horny! I want to fuck and sleep and fuck and shower and eat and fuck again. I want to lick Justin Timberlake starting at his belly and finish at his asshole. horny. I want to have sex bent over the arm of the couch. I want to have sex until I get rugburns. I want to have sex till I'm covered in sweat and gasping for air from my orgasm and then, just as I settle down I want him to bite me on the neck and get the whole fucking rut started again.

If you're in NYC and you want a sure bet, track me down ASAP I will have sex with you.

Monday, December 01, 2003

WORLD AIDS DAY (or WAD tee hee)

This is a fine piece of writing.


There are more than one million of us in the United States.
Don't isolate yourselves.
By Jim Lewis and Michael Slocum,
former editors of Body Positive

Maybe you have tested HIV-positive very recently; maybe you've known it for some time, but this is the first time you've reached out for information or support. You need to know that you are not alone. There are over one million HIV-positive people in the United States.

Testing positive for HIV does not mean that you have AIDS, but HIV is probably the greatest threat to your life you have ever faced. This virus may remain inactive in your body for a long time, but it may not. If you are healthy now, you may still go on to develop some sort of health problems related to HIV. You may develop AIDS. There remain many uncertainties surrounding HIV, and though there is currently no "cure" for HIV infection, there are treatments. You need to learn what information is available and make informed choices about your health.

Many HIV-positive people now live fulfilling and happy lives. Many are healthy and show no symptoms of disease. Many choose to take treatments and drugs that promise to lengthen their lives. So, as serious as this is, there is hope. You do not have to look at testing HIV-positive as if you've been given a death sentence.

It's a good thing you found this out. As upsetting as testing positive may have been for you, you are better off knowing, so you can learn about HIV and decide what you want to do about it. The fact that you cared enough about yourself to get the HIV test and the fact that you are reading this magazine show that you are concerned about your health. So give yourself some credit. You have taken important first steps to take care of yourself, and you should be glad about it.

Years ago, those who tested HIV-positive had few places to turn for support. These people felt like they were hanging in limbo. Fortunately, much has changed. We know more about HIV now, and many organizations have formed around the world to offer support and information to people living with this virus. Many have already faced the questions inherent in living with HIV, and many will follow. You don't have to face this by yourself. There are lots of hands reaching out to assist you.

Your Emotional Health

Finding out that you are infected is usually overwhelming. Even if you had suspected it for some time, learning that you are can be a traumatic experience. Testing HIV-positive has led some people to quit their jobs, quickly write out their wills, and say goodbye to their friends and family, only to discover that they aren't sick and will probably live for many years to come. It's common to perceive these results as an immediate death sentence, but this is simply not true.

What you are feeling now is perfectly normal. Anger, fear, confusion, numbness, depression -- all are completely natural reactions to the kind of news you've heard. If you've known for even several weeks, you may find yourself having a normal day, then suddenly remember that you are HIV-positive. It's common for this kind of realization to just "hit you in the face" out of nowhere over and over again. You are not going crazy if this happens to you. Your moods may swing from profound sadness one moment to extreme anger the next. That's normal, too.

The first step to getting through this emotional turmoil is to acknowledge what you are feeling. Don't be surprised to find yourself going through the day in a state of shock. Allow yourself to feel nothing. Your emotions will come rushing back soon enough. This is merely a way that your mind "turns off" to allow you to cope with a problem.

If you are feeling angry, that's fine. You have every right to be angry, and a lot to be angry about. This virus is threatening your very existence. It's okay to express this anger. If you're frightened, acknowledge your fears. You are thinking about things that would make anyone fearful. You are allowed to feel the way you do. Don't be hard on yourself or think you have to be strong. You don't have to be anything.

Fear Of Sickness and Death

Almost everyone is afraid of getting sick and dying. If you're young, you may never have had to face the death of someone close to you. We often think of dying as something that happens only when we're old. You may never have really considered the reality of your own death before. Now, suddenly, you are HIV-positive and your mortality becomes very real. You may be afraid of pain, of hospitals, or of becoming unattractive to others through an illness.

Your reaction to the idea of getting sick or dying could go one of two ways. You may decide that you are definitely going to live and that there is no way that this virus is ever going to "get" you. This is a form of what's called "denial" -- refusing to face some of the possibilities of living with HIV. If you find yourself feeling this way, try to keep in mind that having hope to go on with your life is good. However, it can become dangerous if it keeps you from taking care of yourself.

The other way you might choose to deal with the subject is by deciding that you are absolutely going to die of this and there is nothing you can do about it. If you go this way, you may find yourself fantasizing about your own sickness and death. You have to keep in mind that there are many people who are HIV-positive who are living productive, happy lives, and you can be among them if you choose. It's good to face up to the possible consequences of this infection, but not to the point that living today becomes less important than your fear of the future. It helps to remind yourself that everyone will die, but that doesn't prevent most people from living today.

Starting Over

One of the truths of testing HIV-positive is that once you know, you can never not know again. For better or worse, your life will always be different now. You may be experiencing great feelings of loss about this. You may feel that certain areas of your life are now in the hands of doctors, insurance companies, or symptoms. This can make you feel as though you have less control over your own life and may cause you incredible anxiety.

Know this -- you do not have to give up control of your life. By arming yourself with information and deciding what is right for you, you will soon realize that you are still the same person you were. It is your life, your body, your health, and no matter how well-meaning your family, your friends, or your doctor may be, they have no right to take control of your life. Allow yourself to take time to decide what you want to do. Then go do it.

You may find that many of the priorities in your life change rapidly. If you are considering making major changes in your life, just make sure that you think them through carefully. Many HIV-positive people have made huge changes in the way they live. Many have broken bad habits, such as drinking too much or smoking. Some have gotten out of bad relationships or quit jobs they really hated. Facing the possibility of getting sick or dying has made many of our lives much better because it has made us take action in areas we have previously ignored or repeatedly put off. Mortality can be a great motivator.

Some people blame themselves for being HIV-positive. This kind of guilt and self-hate is very destructive. Regardless of how you were infected, you did not go somewhere or do something with the intention of infecting yourself -- so why beat yourself up about it? You are facing enough right now; you don't need to punish yourself for testing HIV-positive also.

Grief, or extreme sadness, is one of the emotions that most HIV-positive people face at some point. You may be grieving for yourself, facing the possibility of your own death. For many of us, the virus is not only affecting our lives, but the lives of those we love. Many have lost friends and loved ones to HIV, or have many people in their lives who are also HIV-positive. Allow yourself to express grief and fear in some way. Permit yourself to cry. These feelings are valuable and normal; ignoring them will not make them go away.

You may also feel that you are now damaged in some way -- that no one will want to touch you or love you or that you are less desirable because you are HIV-positive. You may feel that you will never be able to love again, that no one would want to be with you if they knew that you were HIV-positive. These feelings will pass. You are not "damaged goods." You are still a valuable person, as capable of giving and receiving love as ever. You can make your own decisions, relax, and enjoy each day. This may be a struggle and you may have to find new ways of coping with daily life, but it's worth it.

Getting Support

Many of us have been raised with the idea of "rugged individualism," that we must face things on our own, that this is what "strength" is all about. Asking for help or reaching out for support are often considered weaknesses. Consequently, a very common response to testing HIV-positive is withdrawal. We isolate ourselves, hiding the news of our status. This can be very painful.

Your life does not have to be doom and gloom. It is possible to have a very positive attitude as a person living with HIV -- millions are doing it right now -- but it is much more difficult to get on with your life and live happily if you're trying to do it alone.

There's no need for you to handle this by yourself, and it's probably a mistake even to try to do it. You are not the only person facing this. Learn who the others are and what they have to offer. Just hearing how someone else has adjusted to living with the virus can be enough to help you realize that life is still good, that you can still have love and laughter. And you may also be surprised to learn that your own sharing can help others. In sharing the issues that concern us, each of our voices lends strength to the others.

Support groups, like those at Body Positive, are a powerful means of learning to cope with this new beginning. There are support groups offered by HIV/AIDS organizations across the country. If you don't know of an HIV/AIDS organization in your area, call us at (212) 566-7333. If there's no support group in your area, you may be just the person to get one started. Just remember: those millions of people living successfully with HIV are people who've reached out to get the help they needed. Wherever you are, you can find support, or the means to create it. It just doesn't make sense for us to face the same issues without helping each other out. We are not alone. And neither are you.

Michael Slocum and Jim Lewis were editors of Body Positive. HIV/AIDS organizations around the world have reprinted "You Are Not Alone" in their own languages.

__________________________________ ______________________________________________

I wrote this for my internet buddy R---- website and he's done a Hurculean job to mark the day. Go see it:

A wise man once said (OK it was me) not to dwell in the past. It's not all
that important how you arrived at this point, what's important is what you
do now that you're here. That's how I feel about being HIV+. There are as
many roads to get here as there are people who already have. The why and how
of contracting HIV are irrelevant. The important part is how you intend to
conduct yourself and your life from here on in. I view my diagnosis as a
test to see if my spiritual beliefs will hold. So far, they have served me
well. I view my diagnosis as an opportunity to continue on the path to
becoming a better man. A challenge to demonstrate courage and determination.
I square my shoulders to the perceptions of shame and the inherent fears and
hold my head up, forcing myself to shake it off and face them down. I defy
death and choose instead to live with HIV.

USA: 6 of 10 Heterosexual Adults Haven't Been Tested for HIV

35% GLBT Adults Remain Untested as World AIDS Day Nears

National Survey Sheds New Light on the State of HIV Testing
Compiled by GayToday
Witeck-Combs Communications/Harris Interactive
Rochester, N.Y.-- Six out of ten (59%) heterosexual adults report that they have never been tested for the HIV/AIDS virus compared to only a third (35%) of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) adults - timely findings as World AIDS Day is observed on December 1, 2003.
At a time when the U.S. Centers for Disease Control reports HIV infection on the rise in youth and young adults in the United States, two-thirds (67%) of young adults ages 18 to 24 responded they have never received an HIV test. However, 58% of African Americans and 45% of Hispanics - both populations disproportionately affected by HIV/AIDS - indicate they have been tested for HIV at least once, compared to only one-third or 33% of white Americans.
These are highlights from a nationwide Witeck-Combs Communications/Harris Interactive study of 2,056 adults of whom approximately seven percent (7%) self-identified as GLBT. The survey was conducted online between October 21 and 27, 2003 by Harris Interactive®, a worldwide market research and consulting firm, in conjunction with Witeck-Combs Communications, Inc., a strategic public relations and marketing communications firm with special expertise in the GLBT market and on health and disability issues.
One disturbing finding is that eight out of 10 (80%) heterosexual adults say the number one reason for not being tested for HIV is that they do not consider themselves at risk for HIV, an indication that more HIV/AIDS prevention education is needed for heterosexual Americans. "As World AIDS Day approaches, these numbers are a very sobering reminder that federal, state and local governments, public health officials, health care providers, and community and faith-based organizations face significant hurdles in curbing the spread of HIV in America," said Darin Johnson, vice president for Witeck-Combs Communications. "We found that complacency about HIV risk continues to be widespread among all populations and demographics."
"It is particularly alarming that 22 years into the AIDS epidemic, we are still faced with fundamental misunderstandings about HIV and AIDS", said Ana Oliveira, executive director of Gay Men's Health Crisis. "Eighty percent of heterosexuals are not getting tested because AIDS is still considered by many to be a 'gay' disease. However, HIV is contingent on risk behavior, and does not discriminate."
Some other key findings from this survey include:
* A significant majority of heterosexual and GLBT respondents say their health care provider did not discuss HIV/AIDS testing and/or prevention with them during their last medical appointment (only 3% of heterosexuals vs. 12% of GLBT said their provider discussed HIV testing, while 2% of heterosexuals vs. 10% of GLBT said their provider discussed HIV prevention).
* The most common response among those who have been tested, when asked where they had been tested last for HIV, was a health care provider's office (34% GLBT vs. 39% heterosexual), followed by a hospital (21% GLBT vs. 16% heterosexual). Other testing sites include a community health center (12% GLBT vs. 8% heterosexual), public health department (7% GLBT vs. 5% heterosexual), or the workplace (4% GLBT vs. 7% heterosexual).
* Of those who have been tested for HIV, GLBT adults are less likely to learn the results of their test compared to heterosexual adults (79% GLBT vs. 90% heterosexual). " Engaging in risky behavior (45%) and entering into a new intimate relationship (44%) were the top reasons reported by GLBT respondents for getting tested for HIV. Overall, 43% of heterosexuals and 49% of African Americans surveyed said their top reason for getting tested was that it was offered by their health care provider as part of a routine visit.
* The rapid-response HIV test, which produces test results in less than 20 minutes, was recently approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for use in clinical settings. Only 19% of GLBT and 5% of heterosexual respondents said they were extremely or very likely to get a rapid-response HIV test during their next visit with their health care provider now that such tests are available.
* GLBT (84%) and heterosexual (73%) respondents agreed that people living with HIV or AIDS are often discriminated against because of their condition.
"It seems that health care providers and patients continue to feel discomfort in talking about HIV/AIDS testing and prevention issues even when the survey tells us that doctor's offices and hospitals are the most common site for HIV testing and counseling," said David Krane, senior vice president for Harris Interactive.
"The results of this survey are illustrative of the critical work that lies ahead for HIV/AIDS service organizations across the country," said Paul Kawata, executive director of the National Minority AIDS Council, Washington, D.C. "The question for all of us is: Are our messages resonating with people who are at risk of infection? It's clear we need to increase our collective efforts to provide basic HIV/AIDS education for individuals and groups around stigma, at-risk behavior, testing and counseling services, and prevention."
This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive between October 21, 2003 and October 27, 2003, among a nationwide cross section of 2,056 adults (ages 18+). Of those adults surveyed, approximately seven percent (7%), self-identified as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender (GLBT). Figures for age, sex, race, education and number of adults in the household were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. "Propensity score" weighting was also used to adjust for respondents' propensity to be online.
In theory, with a probability sample of this size (for the total sample), one can say with 95 percent certainty that the results have a statistical precision of plus or minus two percentage points of what they would be if the entire adult population had been polled with complete accuracy. Statistical precision is +/-10 percentage points for the GLBT sample. Unfortunately, there are several other possible sources of error in all polls or surveys that are probably more serious than theoretical calculations of sampling error. They include refusals to be interviewed (non-response), question wording and question order, interviewer bias, weighting by demographic control data and screening (e.g., for likely voters). It is impossible to quantify the errors that may result from these factors. This online survey is not a probability sample.
These statements conform to the principles of disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.

Important Resources:

The Body: All you need to know whenever you need to know it.

Body Positive: If you're in NYC serious 411

Ask the Experts: Courtesy of The Way good info

Thursday, November 27, 2003


Woke up today feeling mighty ambitious and under the gun. We will be putting up our holiday decorations on Saturday and Sunday. Last year was my second Christmas at the bar. The first year I hadn’t really gotten a handle on how things worked all the time and while I mentioned that it was time to start thinking about holiday decorations and then mentioned that Christmas was fast approaching I hadn’t yet learned that if I wanted something done and done on my timetable I would have to just pick up the ball and run for daylight. So by the second year I knew to just go out frequently during November and accumulate what we need gradually. I spent over $700 on new ornaments, ribbons, bows, lights etc. I spent another few hundred on pay for design help. It worked out great. Last year the bar was DONE child! Some people hated it, most people liked it. And all of December the bar was a holiday wonderland. Problem is, this year it was expected that I would at least meet if not outdo myself. And I have a lot more irons in the fire this year. In my favor, I did manage to box up most of what we purchased last year and save it. (as opposed to previous years, apparently. We had almost nothing saved from any holiday when I looked for it)

So after a bit of procrastination I did in fact finally manage to hunker down and try to come up with a décor plan for this year. Admittedly, I can cut corners a bit now as far as planning because I have a pretty good idea at this point what will work and what won’t. I know what the focal points in the room are and where to concentrate the treatments. But still, you have to make a plan of some sort. So most of this week has seen my brain cells working on a decorating plan. We had decided to re-use some of the things that were a hit last year but I didn’t want to just duplicate it. I’m a firm believer in tweaking things. Making adjustments. Keeping what works and trying new things. I did a little pre-shop recon yesterday after my group to figure out what was available and what I needed and today was all about getting it done.

But first, I needed to visit my favorite thrift store. OK, one of them. Speaking of my group I had gone to a meeting Tuesday and once I was there I discovered to my horror that the khaki pants I was wearing were horribly stained by grease spots and … other areas. I decided to throw them away and I also decided I didn’t have enough “tween” pants. Something between jeans and dress. I got a couple of pairs of cords and a shirt for $20.

Next I headed down to St. Vinny’s to visit The Hellcat. He’s been having ongoing problems from a wicked bad reaction to a spider bite. The bite area and his whole foot had swollen like crazy and apparently the antibiotics they put him on weren’t working. They finally had to admit him to the hospital to open up the wound and (I assume) scoop the goo out. I stopped at MickeyD’s to smuggle him some cheeseburgers and fries. I found M--- to be in pretty good spirits despite an overnight hospital stay and by the time I arrived he had already been discharged and was waiting to have some prescriptions filled. You know, let me just say here that I’m really impressed with how M--- has seemingly turned things around. After a horrific year full of suicide and good friends getting sick and dying you wouldn’t be that surprised if my girl had just jumped into a vat of crystal and not come out. Now, I’m not with him 24/7 and he is not shy about popping a pill for anything that ails him but I have to say, all this hardship seems to have only brought out the best in M--- and I for one am glad we’ve been able to form a friendship. Every sense I can bring to bear tells me that inside he is a really nice man. And I hope the spirits hear that and give him a good peaceful year next year. He needs it.

Onward to the party store for Christmas stuff. Because I had saved so much from last year I was able to concentrate on “extras” that I wouldn’t have bought last year. Animatronic figures and chaser lights and candy cane stair lights and I basically found everything we needed. And it looks like I’ll only have to spend about $200 or so (not counting extra payroll). I lugged about four bags of doo-dads and lights and who-hash back to the apartment. I actually had to stop because I had more than I could carry. I went home for a bit but decided to venture out and just finish the bulk of it so I bought a couple more animatronic figures, about 20 battery operated candles and we’re done, right? Not so fast, Helen. I still need to get to the hardware store for fishing wire and staples and ornament hangars.

I thought I was just about done and done in but on my way back from the Odd Job/Job Lot (Cheap crap made cheap and sold cheap) I managed to (intellectually, anyway) conceive of a way I might be able to work in a couple of work outs this weekend and get my training back on track. My backfat is truly out of control. So I decided to start with a ½ hour cardio ½ hour ab workout just to get the juices flowing. Oh, déjà vu. And…’s over. It felt good as did I.

My intent was to head to the bar and start dropping some of my purchases there or possibly go out on the town seeing as how the night before Thanksgiving is a pretty fun one usually. But shortly after both my room mate’s had gone out for the night, I discovered that all I wanted was a smart little cocktail and some muted lighting and some HBO and some scented candles and my cute lil ’laptop in my castle high atop Second Ave. For these things above all others, I am well and truly thankful. Have a nice day and enjoy the holiday.

Wednesday, November 26, 2003

Quite the weekend.

Not sure where this is going. I had quite a work week (end). Aside from the usual nonsense, I had the unenviable task of firing two people and cutting the schedule for another. I had two of my other girls be hospitalized, one from an allergic infection and one from AIDS complications. Everyone is on the road to recovery, but it meant making phone calls and contingency plans and re-arranging schedules for people. When you're unsure of just how ill someone is or how long you have to arrange coverage it's a daily chore of putting people in place for a theoretical absence and then "pulling the trigger" on it when the absence is confirmed. On top of that I got me some new girls that we finally managed to make permanent schedules for. So I'm dealing with a whole slew (OK 3) of gay men from many lands. And finally, I was informed recently that I'm making my new room mate "uncomfortable and unwelcome". Add a layer of allegations that I'm "gunning for" HIV positive employees and my head feels like my brain may liquify and leak out my ears.

First, the firings. I had to let go one of our performers and I'm not sure why exactly. I freely admit, when he started I thought he had the personality of lettuce. I still don't think you would ever associate him with the phrase "rollicking good time" but there's no getting around that he's a talented musician and capable performer. It seems he's being used as proof that the bar is being managed. Something is being done. Heads have rolled. Changes have been made. All a part of an ongoing desire to react to a slight dip in revenue and to preserve the status quo. Or rather avenues to a paycheck and alcohol. The second firing was just a case of someone wanting me to take action, even if he may not have understood that's what he wanted. He had repeatedly just not shown up for scheduled shifts. There was always a reason that had to do with either his HIV medication or his medication for a bi-polar disorder or a lost weekend due to his crystal meth addiction. Seeing a pattern? As did I. And while I'm able to try to allow people to see that their addiction/drug use/dependancy has gotten out of hand and let them keep their job while they try to get themselves under control, there is only so far I'm willing to go. He clearly crossed the line and I finally felt that my sense of self respect would take a huge hit if I didn't act. And as much as I'm willing to take a chance I can't let other employees think that that kind of behavior is acceptable. If you don't show up for work and nothing bad happens to you than you have to show up for work when you don't feel like it why, exactly? You see my point? It wasn't HIV. It wasn't bi-polar. It was you have to show up for work when expected to or at least let me know when you can't so I can fix it.

Case in point. My employee who had to be hospitalized. He got word to us that he wouldn't be available for a few days and assured us that he would let us know when he was returning. A little up in the air but you're dealing with health/medicine and it's inherently inexact. That's OK. I can cover his shifts until he's better. That's what I do. But you have to arm me with information before I can ride into battle for you. Everyone (HIV+ or not) is allowed to get sick. But they have to remember I'm running a business around all this chaos. Hopefully, message received.

And besides, it makes The Hellcat's misadventure with his infected bug bite (seriously!) seem positively benign. I'm off to visit him in St. Vinnie's and smuggle in some cheeseburgers. The food there is the horrible stuff of legend. Ta-ra!

Sunday, November 23, 2003

Here's what I can't figure out

About this news coverage on Michael Jackson. I can't even fathom what journalists in America are really supposed to be doing. I mean, has no one in the last 15 or so years gone to a producer and said "Hey, I think this Michael Jackson may have really gone nuts. How about I do a story trying to prove it?" It's one thing when it's straight news reporting (who,what, when etc.) but now that we've moved to the talking head stage where people just sit on a news set and yammer away and speculate about possible future events is no one going to point out that he may be insane???? Insane with scads of money but insane none the less.

Exhibit A

It's sad that in his madness there was no one not one doctor who told him "No, Mr. Jackson if I do another procedure on you I can guarantee your nose will fall off and you will look like some garish clownish approximation of an actual human being." Or perhaps one did and he just went to someone else who just took his money no questions asked. Or perhaps subconsciously there was a part of MJ at war with the crazy pedophile part of his personality and he intentionally scarred himself as some sort of wierd internal penance. I know, I'm reaching. The poor bastard is just rich and crazy. No excuse for abusing children though. You want a special kind of crazy? Check in with "his own" kids (HA!) in about 20 yrs

I also don't understand why no one is pointing out that known pedophiles frequently put themselves in positions that give them access to their target children. So the fact that MJ has built an entire compound as a sort of giant "child-trap" makes him seem like nothing more than the ultimate uber-pedophile. A pedophile on an unlimited budget.

Thursday, November 20, 2003

As promised

I want to share my impressions of my newly added blogfriends I’ve listed at right. Yeah right friends, I’ve only met one and traded e-mails with a couple others. As I’ve said before, I periodically edit my list. If people stop posting for a while or start to bore me. I also will add new blogs and try them out for a few weeks. So just because someone is on the list don’t necessarily take it as an endorsement I may just be test driving it. And before anyone points out the obvious yes, I know that all the blogs I follow are written by men and they’re all gay (or slut). It’s not that I hate the heteros but I don’t feel like they need me to cover them. I occasionally post het friendly material, though. I don’t mind the straights, as long as they keep to themselves. OK hang on:

Truth coming at ya

Addaboy- First on my list (A= Addaboy) Doesn’t post any pictures so I’ve never seen him but I suspect he’s a cutie. I like what he writes and am always entertained. I’d want to sleep with him which of course, means I could hire him.

::matty::- he’s cute

601am- This is a new addition. I don’t know how I feel about it, yet.

bj- Who doesn’t follow his exploits? Will surprise you with particularly well thought out pieces on homosexuality, erotica and legal precedents. And besides, the muthafucka has waaaaayyy more sex than I do He’s from Australia and he can be a bit pedantic. The redemptive features are his links to some hilarious other material.

DOGPOET.COM- Another new addition. I jumped on for the Folsom St cum-stained Tshirt story and was instantly hooked.

Devon the Escort’s Journal- One of the only bloggers I actually have met. I think he’s got quite a set of stones to do what he’s doing in such a public forum. He fascinates me but I do not think we’ll ever have sex.

Dylan Scott’s Journal- This bad boy I’ve been cyber stalking for years. I want to do filthy things to/with and on him. Then I want him to do them to and on me.

Formerly Infatuated- He almost lost me several times but he always manages to pull an impressive post out of the hat and I decide to stick with him for a while longer

Gay Porn Blog- see title

GeekSlut- What do I say about my buddy? We haven’t actually met yet only swapped e-mails. Again, I respond when people just go completely “out there”. I have a feeling we’re going to have sex. I hope we become friends and I hope he doesn’t break me.

jb- Another newbie to my list. He’s a guy he lives here so that gets you in at least.

Kill Your Boyfriend- Hey, if this doesn’t hold your attention nothing will. Why is this guy still alive? Don’t get me wrong I’m real glad he is but hoo-ya. This cat has LIVED.

Lionshaker- He’s English and I think he has stopped posting. Check out that pouty English boy face. I would fantasize about watching him blow me. I still do.

My Life As An Echo…- Totally do-able.

Sardonic Bomb- Lot’s of fun stuff on his blog. Love the Piggy interviews. He really does send you the password

Satan’s Laundromat- Not a blog at all but a photo journal. I love this site. Some of the pictures are brilliant

SignalShift*- He’s young, he’s vain he’s gorgeous. I hate her. Looking everywhere for naked pix of her.

thinking & drinking- My newest pal. Let me just say this. You mess with my new baby you got a whole load of NYC whupass heading right for ya.

Vivdblurry- Toby. You gotta admit he’s interesting. I’ve said it before. Now that I’m too old for him I want him to do filthy things with others and send me pictures. Lots and lots of pictures. Video too

Youngbradford- Just cause everyone does, really.

So there you have it. I make a deliberate effort to keep the list from getting much bigger so I usually try to do a one man on, one man off rule. (rule to live by in general if you ask me). If you’re in NYC I found a lot of these people through the NYC Bloggers link on the right. The rest I found just fucking around over coffee. I’m sure there are others tackling more in-depth subjects, but this is all I can handle first thing in the morning, at noon.

OK Gotta go I have a piece of garlic bread stuck in my gum

Wednesday, November 19, 2003

God Dammit!!!!!!!!

I'm in the middle of a fuckin post and I accidently click off the Blogger site that prompts a box that says OK to save? (click OK) I click OK and *poof!* The whole fuckin post disappears. Now it's 2am and I don't want to be up all night fucking making a journal entry. (cleansing breath) So I won't. It can wait till tomorrow. However, check out the repaired e-mail link to me (so fucking use it! Me like mail) and my newly added list of blogs I follow. The post that disappeared is about why I follow them. Oh well, tomorrow.

Also, ask me about my one man campaign to get Harvey Fierstein to say he's sorry.

Sunday, November 16, 2003

I have gender issues? I don't have gender issues!

I have issues with...
Take Word Association Test

Friday, November 14, 2003

This arrived In my mailbag

Just wanted to drop a line and say hi. I'm R---, 24yo poz guy from Houston. There aren't many of us poz bloggers out there it doesn't seem, or at least, that admit it. I found out April 6, 2000, and like you, the date is stuck in my mind forever. I'm glad you're coping with it and using the blog to do so.

Wanted you to also know that this isn't the first time Harvey has spouted off something totally fucked up. He wrote an Op-Ed in the NYT in July -- -- which I've saved for posterity. So I guess his rant in Next wasn't his first nor will it be his last. Sad, too, for such a visible gay star to be such a complete douche.

Anyways, hope all is well with you and your health. I only know of you, Geekslut, and myself in this country and then a single guy in Britain, who hasn't updated since mid-Sept and could be ill.

R--- M-------


Thanks for the shout out.
My blog started out as a coping thing but became so much more for me. I'm glad to have a link to yours as well I'll add it to my daily reads. Thanks as well for the link to Harvey's NYTimes piece. Apparently, our girl needs to go to school about this subject. And I'm just the fag to teach her a lesson. I'm not going to stop until I know she heard me.

Do you mind if I post this e-mail exchange on my blog?

Please feel free to e-mail me about anything, anytime, much luck and stay well.


So apparently Harvey's rant is part of a larger tack he's taking. Why Harvey has taken to HIV positive bashing is sort of beyond me. Again, I have to believe that he doesn't understand how offensive he's being. But maybe he doesn't care. I ran the whole scenario by a HIV negative guy I talk with on the reg. He totally didn't even need me to explain it to him because he had read the piece and had already seen how it could only be interpreted badly. I got some high praise from Neo who had no idea I was such an aggressive letter writer (In angry letter writing, I'm a top). As he expressed as well, this link that even gay big mouth activists have made that goes HIV positive = sick = terminal = you don't exist is sad and annoying and just.....lazy. If I have to be the one that waves his arms screaming "Hellooooooooo, I'm in the room MUTHAFUCKAS!!!!" I will.

Wednesday, November 12, 2003

That’s Mr. Celebrity Asshole, to you.

“So as a community, we need to come out and say that if you are HIV negative we need you to stay HIV negative, for our future. Our HIV negative people must stay healthy. And that, in a way, is the most controversial part of it. Because then they say “you’re saying there’s something wrong with me because I have HIV.” And I say “Yes, there is something wrong with you. You’re sick. You have a terminal disease. And I don’t want it. And I’m sorry you have it and I will do everything I can to take care of you. But I don’t want another generation lost.”

---- Harvey Fierstein in Next magazine

An open letter to Harvey,

Dear Mr. Fierstein,

Who the fuck do you think you are? As an HIV positive gay man I find your views defeatist, inflammatory, ill informed and downright offensive. You have apparently decided for me that because I’ve been exposed to a virus I’m now sick. That’s funny, I don’t feel sick. I see a doctor on a regular basis. You’d think, since I’m apparently sick, he would have put me on some sort of medication. I’ll have to ask about that. Being sick, I guess it was a mistake to renew my gym membership for another year. You’ve decided I’m sick. What was I thinking working out four times a week? I guess I ought to cut back on those 50 hour work weeks as well.

Wait, it gets worse. Now I’m terminal? Beyond the dying just a little bit every day variety? And me with my affairs all not in order. And here I thought that my family’s rich tradition of heart disease was going to be what ultimately did me in. Turns out it was just some half-witted celebrity pronouncing me terminal. I mean you do know that with treatment (assuming it becomes necessary) I’m just as likely to be hit by a falling piano as to be killed by HIV. It’s not the monster you seem to believe it is. It’s a virus, Harvey. A bug. It may kill me…….someday. But maybe not. And in the meantime I will continue to hold down a job and clean my apartment and order Broadway show tickets a year in advance (although I can think of one I don't want to see anymore) and make financial investments and have dinner and many bottles of wine with good friends. I’m sorry if that sounds all hopeful and forward thinking on my part. It seems you just want me to get the hell out of the way so you can somehow “save” the next generation.

And while we’re on that subject, was there a vote I missed where I became part of a lost generation? I must say, had I been asked I would have reported I don’t feel lost. Indeed, these days, I feel more centered and powerful than I have in years. Centered enough to see an insult wrapped up in a pretty package. I have no doubt your intent is to spare young gay people needless suffering or the discrimination (you claim we HIV positive people don’t suffer) we endure from well meaning HIV negative activists, but I’ll be damned if I let you or anyone else decide to sweep me into some “lost generation” category you’ve dreamed up for me. I’m not finished yet, Harvey. I’m still creating art. I’m still working for charity. I’m still going to re-learn French. I’m still writing angry letters to big mouth activists. I won’t be stopping anytime soon, either. Even if you do decide that I’m sick, dying and lost.

Friday, November 07, 2003

Odds and ends...

I had a connection with my buddy geekslut yesterday. I mailed him after reading his latest post ( something about how he fascinates and scares me at the same time). I got an e-mail from him shortly after. It was a comment about my recent post. Then we chatted back and forth for a couple. About an hour or so later (maybe longer) I got an e-mail reply to my original comment. It was only then that I realized we had originally e-mailed each other independently. Like the phone calls I get when I really want to talk to Neo. Or when people show up at the bar when I was just thinking about them. Wierd? Not in the slightest anymore. I'm paranormal, deal with it.

I do, in fact, read the NY Post on occasion (but I always shower afterward). But Harvey Milk HS Tranny Theives??? Please, oh please let this be true! Would anyone buy Free Brian "Whoopie" Gonzalez T-shirts if I made them?

I managed to artfully work in the fact that I'm HIV+ into a conversation I had with T----. It's part of my continuing effort to just dump it all out there for all to see. It's how I want to live my life and it's been a source of pride and strength for me of late. He was a little surprised but outwardly non-plussed. Nice

Speaking of which. My last group session caused me to make a major revelation to myself. I'm almost done processing and will share this weekend.

Tuesday, November 04, 2003

Newsflash!... Aging former pornstar 86'd from bar!!!

Now I have to admit in the interest of full disclosure I am relating this information without actually being there for all of it but I have interviewed several reliable sources and I believe I have the basic facts right.

A couple of weeks ago one of The Hellcats introduced me to someone he was chatting with. He was nice looking and seemed very friendly. Asked a lot of questions, seemed genuinely curious, a bit rough in an outer-borough (sorry, you have to live here to get that) sort of way. I pegged him for a chatty 30 something who would probably really like you for $150-$200. We talked about photography, he mentioned he had posed for some photographers and I showed him a couple of b&w shots I took that are up in the bar. J--- got him to show me his bicep (I'm so not impressed by that but J--- really is so I could see the attraction) which he did sort of reluctantly which I thought was cute and he complained we don't allow tank tops in the bar (that again....are you seeing the pattern for another reason we don't allow it. It'll turn into an advertisement.) That was that, I thought, after he left. It was only then that J--- said,

"Do you know who that was?"

"No, who?"

"That was ______ ______ (aging former pornstar)."


"Oh really? Oh yeah, I guess it was."

When did she start working the neighborhood? I thought to myself. Oh well, file that under "interesting stuff". Over the course of the next few weeks he was back many times and always said at least a quick hello. He always seemed a little high strung (but not strung out). The only problem I was having was that he was being very open with me and my staff about what he does and why he was there and it's really hard to maintain a "see no hooker speak no hooker" policy when he's coming up confessing all. I tried to subtly let him know that I didn't want to discuss how he made a living but subtlety seemed lost on this guy. Now, before I go any further, when I refer to _____ _____ hot_guys_1_dvd_back.jpg as "aging former pornstar" let me just say that with what I'm sure is a judiscious use of chemical enhancement and an obvious TON of work in the gym this man still has an unbelievable body. (which he would bring up and flash to you right in the middle of a conversation about oh, tension in the Middle East. As in, "Yeah, I bet Arafat doesn't have abs like these.") However, he's not the 22 yr old wonder boy of a decade ago when videos were made with his name in the title and you would rewind the video to the point where his ass just seemed to defy gravity. He's also still very handsome just a little more...... lived. Trust, if he knocked on my front door, dropped his jeans and said "eat me" I'd still go get me a knife fork and napkin. So I re-filed him under "possible future problem" and moved on.

Flash forward to the Thursday before Halloween. I opened, so I was tucked safely into my bed high atop Second Ave when this went down. Apparently, there was a woman in the bar, the same woman I had seen all week. Approaching fifty, never met a martini she didn't like. Sort of a blousy boozy possibly European traveler (not tourist) that will blow into town for a week or a month and for some reason spend a week bellied up to my bar. What usually happens is the gay for pay boys or the true hustlers usually give themselves away falling all over these women. Possibly because they want a little straight boot knockin' but also possibly, because they see a drunk older woman they're thinking easy mark they can pour into a cab and ransack a hotel room. After all, the logic goes, what woman is going to call the cops and admit she got liquored up in a gay bar and took home a twenty something hustler who proceeded to rob her purse? Needless to say, not only do we not condone this kind of behavior but we actively try to nip it in the bud. And admittedley, we're a little attitudinal in the first place because these "gay for pay" boys just rub us fags the wrong way. I mean, to each his own and let's face it, if you consider yourself gay for pay as you go down on dick or get a big stiffy before you take a ride on some guy's ass, I'm so very sorry but you're at least bi. And it seems by considering yourself not gay it perpetuates the thinking that being really gay is wrong or at least other....not me. I had to shoo a regular "patron" away from the same woman a few days earlier and I did it with extreme attitude and it let to a confontation of my own where I let this "patron" know exactly what time it was.

So on this night, the same woman had attracted the attention of _____ _____ how_to_get_a_man_vhs.jpg. Jabba The Drunk must have seen something he didn't like because he felt the need to say something. My sources say Jabba was actually non-confrontational and was just trying to let everyone involved know that the bar manager was keeping an eye on things. Apparently this led to an argument where _____ _____ was saying things like "I'm not your average hustler. " and "I'm not scared of any gay bar manager." And I guess in effect the escort version of "don't you know who I am?". Well, Jabba would have none of that, and rightly so. So before you can say zip up, here comes the cops, _____ _____ bartender_vhs.jpg is being hustled out the door being told I hope you enjoyed your night bacause you're out of here. And with that, _____ _____ wanted_man_vhs.jpg got himself 86'd from the bar.

Let me try to explain why. Contrary to what everyone probably thinks, the collective "we" are not in the sex for money business. We have nothing to do with the people who do. Consequently, we are not going to put up with attitude or drunkeness or fights or any other malfeasence the boys who love you for pay are going to get into. Nor are we going to take any lip from an aging former porn star. Yes we do know who you are and yes, you are just an average hustler and yes, if we are going to turn a (relatively) blind eye as you use my place of business to run one of your own than you damn well are going to do it my way or get out. There have been thousands before you and there will be thousands after. 40 films with you fucking or jerking off makes you...... overexposed. And now that you actually have to get out there and sell yourself, aging former porn star, you need "us" but "we" certainly don't need you. As evidenced by the fact that you tried to talk your way back in four days later. It didn't work.

Now, I could just tell you exactly who it is but I included all you need to know and telling would ruin the spirit of this anonymous blog. So, if you still don't know I'll give you one final clue here. (and let me say, aging former porn star still knows how to find the flattering camera angle)

Monday, November 03, 2003

Halloween Madness...

I would have done my Halloween wrap-up sooner but I was seriously wiped out afterward. I got to the bar at 4pm and started running around getting last minute supplies. I decided to put out more candy so I popped out to the drugstore for some bags of Tootsie Rolls and Smarties and Sweet Tarts, etc. I was looking for Halloween candles to put out but they had been all snapped up by then. The opening staff was running behind as they apparently either failed to factor in dressing/makeup time into their normal duties. (This would be a running theme all night, none of the bars opened on time. The downstairs was almost 45 min late in opening) I was already beginning to boil a little (not at the staff) as people seemed to be getting so aggravated that rooms they wanted open weren't. These were people coming from work who obviously could care less that it was Halloween dressed in child molester trenchcoats that would just stand outside a shut door and glare at me whenever I walked by. People are getting dressed and putting out candy and dressing rooms in other words trying to put on a nice party FOR YOU but god forbid we inconvenience you in any possible way in order to accomplish it.

Anyhow we finally got everyone dressed and everything up and running and Jabba The Drunk arrived to begin the arduous task of fitting a 6'4 "big-boned" man into a blue satin dress so I retired to the employee area to put on my costume and makeup.
I had intended to just do my face and attach some extras like horns and a tail but my staff sort of went off in a sexy, skin-showing direction and I was jealous. I was a little afraid that my back fat would be kind of unattractive but I thought fuck it. So I did a whole body paint thing and I got one word RED! I guess at the right angle I don't look too fat, huh?

My Girls did an exceptional job with their outfits and we all looked great if I do say so myself. I'm not going to post pictures of them because I didn't ask yet but J--- looked really sexy and very cute. He's such a handsome kid. The Hellcats both worked (although I forgot to tell you they have split as roommates) and they looked great but I was obviously quite smitten with M--- that night. I took about 6 pictures of him over the course of the night and a couple of them are fucking hot. I actually asked him as I was taking one picture if he minded if I jerked off to it. Don't worry, this isn't another falling for a coworker what do I do story. This is just lust, as in... you're hot and I want to get in your pants. Lust doesn't confuse me. Lust I know what to do with. Smile and squirm. Actually, I lied. I'll post some pics that are so made up you can't really tell who they are. These are a mix of employees and guests.

Everything went pretty smoothly until around 11 or so when we really filled up. Extreme drunkenness set in at the same time and people started acting the fools all at once. My story of the night goes here. I had taken refuge in the downstairs bar as it was next to impossible to navigate the upstairs. Besides the downstairs bar was where The Hellcat was working and I was thinking I don't know, maybe I can accidently lick him. I'm standing behind the bar when M--- goes "Holy shit! (or something) That guy just bit him! I look across the bar and see a 65 yr old man with a red welt on his cheek. I was stunned for a second but went over to him.

Me: "Hey, did that guy just bite you?"
Man: "Yeah, and it really hurt!"

I could see blood coming to the surface of his cheek. It was that nasty a bite. "The biter" in question had already taken off and I quickly followed up the stairs where he was casually about to blend in with the crowd. I grabbed him and his beer and hurled a few fuckin fuck what the fuck ya doin as I hustled him out the front door. I pointed him out to my doormen and said something like that him.....bite......bad.....86'd but apparently I wasn't clear. I'm back in the piano bar about 10 minutes later and one of my customers grabs me and says,

"Hey isn't that the guy you hustled out of here a few minutes ago?"

I'll be damned it fucking is! So I grab him again,

"What are you fucking stoopid? You fucking bit someone you freak now get the hell out and don't come back!"

all the while hustling him out again.

At some point I had to call the cops on another "patron" who was obviously drunk and high who was basically annoying, terrorizing, fucking with people on the sidewalk as they popped out for a smoke. I was so stressed by now I have no idea what order things happened. It's in a big file in my head labled BAD. But if you can believe it or not a few minutes later I find myself in the front bar and look up just in time to see T---- handing "The biter" a fresh beer. He fucking came back! The top of my head opened and then a demon popped out that grabbed the beer, slammed it on the bar grabbed this crazy bastard and I screamed every swear word I could think of at the top of my lungs and pushed kicked slapped this guy out the front door. Where I then screamed in his face to "GET OUT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! scaring all the smokers and I'm sure amusing a few of them. I let my doormen know if he got in again someone was fired and that was that. (he did actually try but by then my door knew I was not playin so they shood him off) Why did he bite that man I don't know. Why did he keep coming back after being physically ejected, ... 3 times.... I don't know. Why did I proceed to get drunk and spend all day Saturday with a splitting (non-hangover) headache? That I know.

Thursday, October 30, 2003

Hey, I'm a Hilton sister...

I spent the day as a girl of leisure. After an awful night's sleep (I got up five times to piss. Why my body was in purge mode I don't know) I finally gave up around 10:30 which is fine cause I'm on the early shift this week so I need to get my ass up if I want to have a life before work. I had a little coffee a little House Invaders a little Ground Force (I love BBCAmerica) I farted around on line for a while trying to figure out how to add Verizon dial-up to my DSL service. Curiously on their site they tell you that you can in a little pop up window but they don't say how. I'm assuming a phone call is in order. Surfed for porn, (natch) and posted a couple of feelers out on Craigslist for my (nekked mens') photography services PS Johnny can't read for real I specifically post that I'm available during the day and they ask for 10pm. I say never on weekends they ask about Saturday or Sunday. I know I can write so....... I post I'm looking to suck off a hot Latin college top I get a 48 yr old married guy from Paramus. Honestly, can't a faggot arrange a hookup without all this nonsense? Anyway after much fucking around and a ton of mental gymnastics as I continually shuffled my schedule in my head as the day wore away. I did manage to get my shit together and leave the house around 3:15. Good morning New York! I headed for my health club as I still hadn't showered yet and I was in the mood for those fucking awsome NYSC showers that practically blast you across the room like that Seinfeld episode. I love walking out of there absolutely sure the firehose has cleaned out everything that needs it . *WINK* Still not feeling totally refreshed I took a steam/sauna (mind you, I still hadn't accomplished a thing today but write two checks. Exhausting though that may be) of course, cruising for dick in a cat perched on a mantle way. If a mouse comes by, great. If not, *stretch* the heat feels gooooood. I left the health club and looked at my watch. Oh my, it's well past lunchtime! Where's a girl on the go gonna grab a bite to eat on 23rd street? That new vegan place that opened this week? Fuck no! It's Quizno's once again! As a matter of fact I liked it so much yesterday I had the exact same sammich and broccoli/cheese soup I had yesterday. I'm cool like that you make me feel good I'll be back for more. *HINT*

Thoroughly satiated but still feeling a might peckish I skipped (gayly) half a block down the street to avail myself of the services of this establishment. No spray on tan for this debutant. You give me cancer and you give it to me now!. While in the tanning coffin (no coincidence that) I resolved to make some decisions regarding my Halloween costume for Friday. I had lots of vague ideas and I needed a concrete plan to decide where I needed to focus my shopping. I was leaning towards a pirate motif of some sort which immediately made me think of Johnny Depp,Johnny Depp.jpg and of course being naked I started to get a chubby which you totally don't want because the little sock I was using would totally not cover my massive schlong fully erect so back to costumes pirate.... pirate.... puffy shirt ah! I need to go here. Goody! Freshly irradiated and startled (every time!) by the coffin clicking off I head out to the rain! Rain! ewwwwww my hair! Fortunately it was just a shower and I resumed my journey up to 51st/5th to check out the latest in poorly made suspicious fabric men's clothing they carry. It has a tendency to disintegrate when the season is over but saves me the trouble of donating it to charity and it translates into more shopping so thumbs up!

------ hang on, I need a cocktail------

That's better. So I scoped out the whole Men's section of H&M but no puffy pirate shirt to be found. I did, however, locate three pair each of new underware (or, as the black queen said when he walked up to the racks, oooh drawers! I ain't lyin'.) and new dress socks. I thought about doing a Winona and just stuffing them in my purse but alas, I had no purse so I just paid. With a bounce in my step (any purchase is a good purchase) I hop back in my limo and head back to 23rd st to hit a new costume shop that just opened on 22nd/3rd. It was crazy crowded so I had to enter a Zen shopping zone where a bubble of calm surrounds me and no matter how long I have to stand behind a fat Latin girl trying to decide if she wants to be the green or the blue M&M I can. In my Zen shopping zone I don't really find what I'm looking for it finds me. So I wander around the shop checking out cheesy costume after cheesy costume. I found a purple velvet pimp get-up that struck me as hilarious for work but it was one of the most expensive costumes they sold. Of course! That's why I liked it. I finally settled on a totally thrown together mix of devil horns and mask and makeup and an idea to use my own clothes and voila! A costume that isn't much but I'll look cute in is born.

Phew! Now I'm truly exhausted and feeling stressed out so what's a girl to do. You guessed it back to the health club (I swear!) only this time I really do work out. A half hour of cardio on the Stairmaster (fat burner setting is the hardest) and a half hour of my custom made (by me) ab workout. So my butt will look good tomorrow and my abs will be tight (well, tighter). Perfect if I decide to hop up on a banquette and dance the night away. I finished my workout and after another round of shower/steam/sauna I head out for home and a bite to eat at a fabulous eatery where I mingled with the local celebrities.

PS Part 1
As if this day wasn't fabulous enough, after I got home I checked my e-mail and found a message from someone at Blogger. I had written them in a last ditch effort to fix my archives and repair all the problems in the posted pictures with passwords and such. I tried to explain the problem and not be nasty and surprise! They finally identified the problem and repaired the settings that were screwing things up. Sooooo, except for one little section that somehow got corrupted in the translation I have managed to replace all the pictures by either embedding them within the blog or providing a link that doesn't require a password. So please, go back and have a look at all the stuff I wanted you to see the first time.

PS Part 2
I went to the Dr's for my latest round of blood work. I was a little nervous because I had felt so crappy all last month. As it turns out everything seems pretty fine. I did have a drop in my TCell count to around 439 (from 573 or so) but still acceptable and my viral load dropped to 10,784 (from 38,00). My Dr. tells me that amounts to no real change and that's also good. Had the second part of my Hep A vaccine so apparently I can eat ass with abandon and got my first ever flu shot. (knock wood) I never had the flu but what the heck why take that kind of chance?

Monday, October 27, 2003

Blogging @ work (dot com)

That’s right, I am collecting a substandard weekly salary and instead of doing my job I’m in my cramped office composing this missive. Scandalous! Rather than try and go back into the lost entry from the other day I thought it would be easier to relate my afternoon with Neo and try to work in some details of my group experience as well since I discussed most of it with Neo anyway. He wanted company on a trip to the Metropolitan. He had a writing assignment for a sculpture class he’s taking and needed to I guess, critique or describe three pieces of sculpture there and since I had last been to the Met oh….. never I thought why not? So I scarfed down a sammich, (not Blimpie’s, a leftover Quizno’s I’m sooo happy they’ve started opening in NYC, although I still loves me my Blimpie’s) and perched on my porch and waited for Neo to pick me up in the latest Shitmobile he’s driving. I guess before I go any further I kinda oughta explain all the references to the man I dramatically (some might say melodramatically) said goodbye to a while back. Think of it as more of a symbolic goodbye. Look, I’m going through a lot of shit right now, and the one thing I’m not going to do is break off a relationship with the one man in my life I can say anything to. Besides, while I truly deeply love Neo I’m not so sure anymore that I’m in love with him or ever was at all. I’m sort of thinking I was just in love with being in love. Part of what I spoke about in the group on Tuesday was how being HIV+ has started me re-evaluating all my relationships. Which is why things have gotten so bad (or is it sad) between me and The Ex. It’s why I’ve reduced him in my mind at least to just a guy I live with and certainly not someone I can count on or trust to be there for me. It’s not that he’s a bad person. It’s just that we have grown so far apart spiritually and emotionally and mentally (well, that’s always been the case he was always stupid) that we really are sharing nothing at this point but the place we live in. And that’s not a complaint. It’s just that I was previously expending a lot of energy trying to breathe life into something that died a long time ago. I’m not doing it anymore. So you can see that I’m surely not cutting someone like Neo out of my life who does satisfy my need to think and grow and learn and most of all laugh.

I started telling him about the other main topic of conversation at the group which was…..wait for it…. SEX. Or more to the point sex with condoms or more to the pointy point sex without them. I know, or I guess, some of you who aren’t gay or aren’t HIV+ can’t believe we spend any time as HIV+ people discussing sex without condoms but surprise surprise a real live dirty gay secret. Some HIV+ men are having sex without em. Sometimes with other HIV+ men but sometimes not and rarely with any kind of open disclosure. And that, my friends is the real bugaboo here. Basically, as we discussed it, it wasn’t a real issue for HIV+ men with negative boyfriends. Condoms it is. But what of us single gals? A couple of the boys finally grew a set of balls and admitted they’re still going to sex parties and people aren’t using condoms and by implication neither were they. One man said he was having sex, but always with condoms and then there’s yours truly firmly straddling the fence. Since my diagnosis I can truly say I haven’t had overtly unsafe sex with anyone. (By that I mean nobody I know rubbers up for cocksucking as long as there’s no cum involved). But I had some jerk off scenes and a hot three way where I sort of hosted and got sucked but there was no intercourse by/on me and I ended up cumming on a coffee table. (ewww is my coffee table HIV+???) And no sex parties for me. I will admit however that I peruse on an almost daily basis and I did in fact have condomless sex with another guy who a) knew I was HIV+ and b) was also and I still didn’t cum in his ass but I did fuck him. In my opinion two people who are HIV+ that decide to have bare sex are at least taking a shared, small risk together (of re-infection). So the question on the table in my group was how we all felt about sex and condoms and using them or not and what about those sex parties where nothing is discussed. The group collectively sort of seemed to be reaching a consensus of it wasn’t our responsibility to let someone we were having sex with know that we were HIV+ it was the responsibility of the other person to ask us to use a condom. Otherwise, the assumption is that the other guy is POZ too or doesn’t care. How convenient! Now we get to have sex and cum up some guys hot ass and bear absolutely no responsibility for protecting the health of the guy we’re fucking. Oh what a happy day this is! Yes, I’m going to have the most intimate relationship a man can have with another man. I’m going to put myself inside you. But care about you? Protect you? Shut the fuck up and get me off, hole. “It takes the lotion from the bucket and puts it on the body.” At what point did sex become all about fucking and not all the other good naked or semi naked private or semi public things two guys could do to get each other off? *hops off high horse*

So Neo got what he needed and I spent a couple of quality hours with the ancient Greeks. I was thoroughly entertained. The Metropolitan, does everyone know about this? After that we scarfed a couple of street dogs and dished about all of our drunk and co-dependent co-workers. I returned to my castle high atop Second Ave. feeling thoroughly smug and superior.

Wednesday, October 22, 2003

Dammit to hell!

I wrote up an extensive and (if I do say so myself) insightful peice recounting my latest HIV+ support group meeting. As an experiment I wrote it all on my new laptop that I hooked up wirelessly to my PC. Everything went fine with the actual writing until it came time to post/publish when the whole peice went *poof* and I must have panicked and somehow scorched the whole thing. Ah well, maybe later today if I'm feeling it I'll try to re-create the highlites. For now I'm Cinderella looking forward to a day of laundry and floor scrubbing. Oops! Maybe not....Neo just called inviting me to the museum.

If you can read this, blogging via laptop experiment #2 was a success...

Sunday, October 19, 2003

People suck, they truly do

While I'm watching Justice League on the Cartoon Network.

I woke up at 10 (am!) to meet someone at noon (more on that later). He was running late so I told him I would get some breakfast and meet later. I head downstairs and get to the locked (usually) street level door to the vestibule (it's too small to be a lobby). The door is propped open with a newspaper bundle upon further inspection I see that the doorknob has come off (again) and once whoever was the last to leave managed to get the door open, they placed the doorknob neatly off to the side and propped open the door. I briefly considered running back upstairs for a screwdriver to do the job myself but heck, I figured even the new "Super" could handle this job. So I headed out for breakfast and did a little shopping (not for anything specific, just shopping) and returned an hour later. Flash forward several hours and I leave again, why I don't know, although the weekends here have become decidedly unpleasant and I look for any excuse to leave (more on that later as well). By then, someone, I'm assuming the "Super" has done some sort of elaborate duct tape (I wish I was making this up) temporary repair. As I'm making my way back in to the building a thought pops into my head. My bike is stolen. I head to the area under the stairs where we stash all our bikes. I see the bikes and look for mine. No, no, no.......and no. My bike is gone. That sucks. I can't believe someone stole my bike. I quickly move directly to acceptance. It's just a posession. Just a thing. Now it's gone. Part of the reason I didn't spend hundreds of dollars on it was because I had a feeling it was going to be a temporary relationship so I haven't lost that much still.......

Let those who have done evil suffer evil upon them. I call upon the spirits of Karma and Justice to bring retribution upon thee. May the Luck Lords frown upon you. May you suffer that which you deserve.

That oughta be good for a bike induced broken leg at least.

In other news

I ended up arranging a trade via Craigslist. I was swapping my video camera which I don't use for a laptop which I have been salivating over. I exchanged many many e-mails with a man named Dimitry who seemed geniunely interested in arranging a trade. After weeks of emails (understandably, the people on Craigslist be nuts!) the trade was for today. It got postponed two hours but the swap happened. He rang my buzzer about 2pm on a Saturday afternoon and despite the fact that I already mentioned to my room mates that someone was coming over, the sound of the buzzer caused all kinds of comments and questions like a couple of Prarie Dogs signaling danger! Honestly, these last few weeks it's like a couple of old ladies moved in with me. They bicker about nonsense and make stupid comments about food and whatever TV show is on and how "that's not funny" and "that's no good" and they almost never leave hence, I've barricaded myself in my bedroom where I've hooked up the DSL line and the Digital TV line and my phone and I just stay in here and talk quietly on the phone until It's time for me to leave. Back to Dimitry, I wish I could veer into a sex story now as he was Russian and a dancer living in the East Village (!!!!!!!!!!!) but alas, he claimed to have a girlfriend. My days of tricking a "straight" guy into having sex ("dude, I was sooo drunk") are ovah. Anyhow everything went off great until I used the laptop at my local coffee shop on battery and instead of the hour and a half of battery life it claimed I would get I got about a half hour before the thing conked out. I'm trying to recharge the battery and see if it comes back to life. If not, I gave a 500 dollar camera to someone for a useless piece of shit. Funny, I didn't sense he was up to something. Hopefully, everything will be fine in the morning.

I went to CBGB's today to see the last installment of Homocorps.
I saw the Dead Betties, loud and kinda boring, Yoni (in his underware, I guess I'd fuck him but no talent at all) and Cazwell. Now that boy has got it goin on. By that I mean he's not perfect his music isn't all necessarily polished but he's obvioulsly soooo smart and extremely talented and everything he does has a little edge of humor to it. I first saw him at the Bowery Poetry Club doing just spoken word and now here and I totally love him.

Update: I left the laptop to recharge all night and got a little panicky when it didn't turn on but I fiddled with it a bit and finally disconnected the power source and hit the on/off and shazam! It's got life. Now I have to add an Ethernet connection on my PC and then a wireless adapter so I can use the laptop around the apartment. But really, it's all about being able to work at the bar outside the office and being able to do this blog outside anywhere but here. My castle high above Second Avenue has turned into a dungeon.