Tuesday, November 30, 2004

I Shaved

Well, my balls and butthole, sure. But I meant my face. I'm clean shaven again. No mas salt and pepper goatee. I think I grew it at least a year ago so it's been "my look" for quite some time. It was surprising all day to look in the mirror and see a different face looking back. My upper lip is thinner than I remember. And my buzzcut head totally doesn't work for me anymore. I'm growing my hair back. I'll let it grow for a while to see how much grey I've got in there. I'll decide if it needs some color in a couple of months. This is actually more significant than it sounds. It's partly an outgrowth of the new job. (New beginnings. etc.) But it feels like I'm either developing another new personality (this would be my eleventh, give or take), or perhaps an old persona is taking control. Further proof, all the skin on my palms has been peeling off. No cause for alarm, it's happened dozens of times throughout my adult life. I molt. Either way, a new/old me is braking out. I must need something my soul is providing me, even though I'm not sure what it is yet. In the meantime, I've got a clean smooth butthole to keep me occupied.

"Hello, my name is Tom, and I'm a shopaholic."

"Hi, Tom!"

Seriously, I left the house this afternoon to drop off a prescription and pick up some lunch. My feet, in some sort of a trance, walked me to 23rd St, where I found myself entering Housing Works. I've mentioned before what a kick ass thrift shop it is, and the fact that the proceeds go to people with AIDS keeps me as a regular customer. Besides, since they take donations from other fags that feel as I do, where else are you going to find an Armani sport jacket for 50 dollars? Anyway, of all the luck they were having a fall clearance and all men's clothing was half off. Darn! Well OK, I'll have a little look. I left with a (not Armani) sport jacket (dark grey with blue pinstripes) and two fall sweaters that I could not have seen myself buying previously. The new personality must need clothes. Total cost to me: 21 dollars.

After lunch and a trip to the gym, I headed down to the local Martha Shack on Astor Place. I was looking to replace the decorative pillows on my bed. They've ripped and are unstuffing at an alarming pace. And we know how painful unstuffing too fast can be. Surprisingly, Miss Martha's current selection of decorative pillows is woefully inadequate. A prison project if I ever saw one. Use that cheap lesbian labor, Martha girl! So I settled for replacing the sneaker socks The Hellcat stole from me. Along the way home I decided to stop in at the new Filene's Basement on Union Square. It's far and away bigger than the Filene's I've been shopping at. On the way up, exhibiting enormous self-control, I purposely didn't even glance at the DFW. I don't need shoes. Unfortunately, the Filene's selection of sheets and towels is pretty good, but their decorative pillow selection is even worse than Miss Martha's. No luck there. So would it hurt to check out the menswear? No it would not. Again, some sort of a narcoleptic trance ensued. After starting out in men's shirts, I blacked out. Only to awaken again in men's clearance shoes. Shoes! How could this be? And what's this box in my hand? Why, it's shoes! But wait. It's a color (concord, yes concord) I don't have. And they're shiny! The gays like shiny. And they were marked down twice to $39.99. And now they've made it to clearance and are 40% off of that. I must have them. I am powerless against the clearance shoes. I finished with a belt. And not just any belt. A reversible Kenneth Cole belt. Reversible as in black on one side brown on the other. That's fucking brilliant. Seriously, I am so impressed I may buy several to give to friends. A black and brown belt are essential to anyone's wardrobe. To find both in one belt for $16.99? Kudos to the Kenneth Cole design team.

It's been about a week since I started the testosterone replacement therapy. On the surface, I can't say I feel appreciably different. However I did notice two things. One little, one most definitely not. The little thing, I'm finding myself to be seriously more energetic at the gym. I don't get tired. A half hour on the Stairmonster leaves me feeling barely winded. I do fifteen reps of an exercise when I usually can only do ten. And I only stop because I feel like, well, I should. I wrap up my workout not because I'm worked out, but because I have other things to do. The big thing happened this morning. I woke up around 10:30 and could have dozed longer but I didn't want to waste the day off. As I swung my legs out of the bed and stepped into my slippers, I noticed it. Morning wood. Hello old friend. I confess, I didn't really miss you until my doctor asked me about you. Only then did I realize you were gone. But there you were tenting out my pajama bottoms so strong and proud. On a side note, I've been (annoyingly?) aware of my cock all day. Coming home from the grocery I felt like I had a mild case of blue balls, even though I know I cleaned the pipes last night before bed.

Coming up - I think I'm going to book a massage for tomorrow evening. It will definitely be an erotic massage. How erotic it gets I will have to tell you later. Tomorrow's post title: Finger Fucked at the Gym
A Rare Double Blog Day,

but you know I can't resist posting a remarkable Craigslist ad:

Looking to Play St8 Married need to be Discrete - 29

included with this picture:

Yeah, real discrete buddy. Christ, you "st8" people are fucking freaks. And if you look that shitty in a bra and panties at 29, well....

Sunday, November 28, 2004

How Was Your Holiday Weekend?

It was more by chance than design, but I didn't get an opportunity to post a pithy missive until now. Well, that's partly true. I did manage a half-drunken post last night that the Blogger gods saw fit to unleash a "server error" upon. Just as well, as I distinctly recall confessing some secrets I thought better of after a night's sleep. Although I try to tell you everything, my lovelies, there are times when I need to reveal plans after the fact. I have my reasons.

As usual, my holiday weekend wasn't. I chose to think of Thanksgiving as just another Thursday. Considering it's a uniquely American holiday, and a family one at that, it seems painfully pathetic to me when you scramble to celebrate with absolutely anyone. As some feel that's preferable to being alone. I'm OK alone. Besides, there is the point that while the story behind Thanksgiving is just that, a story, the reality is that in an indirect way, we are celebrating what turned out to be an invasion by the white Europeans that resulted in the wholesale slaughter of an indigenous people. Pass the yams.

I am in the midst of a three day weekend now, though. My boss claims it's a reward for being a "gold star manager" and "a big help the last couple of weeks". I think it was total happenstance and she's blowin' smoke up my skirt, but I like it. I hit the gym today despite sleeping till 1:30 pm. Quite honestly, I use any excuse I can think of for staying in my room or getting out of the house these days. Particularly on the weekends when everyone is home. It's my house, but I don't feel welcomed, and I don't feel cared for. So on the rare occasion when I'm home for the day, I try to get out and keep busy.

Today I spent some time tending to my vast financial empire. Lucky thing, too. I pulled up my brokerage account. It's the one I play with, buying and selling stocks. My retirement account is separate and I tend to leave it mostly alone. If I speculate that a stock has taken a serious beating, this is the account I use to start accumulating shares. I can buy a block wholesale or accumulate for a year or longer. Generally, I tend to keep buying shares as long as the average price I pay is less than the current share price. Sometimes I stop at one hundred or one thousand shares. Then I start shopping for something new. In any case, an investment I made several years ago finally paid off. The stock price popped and I made a quick thousand. Now here's the tricky part, or at least the hardest part. It's time to sell. You see, as happy as I am that the stock popped, there's no way it's going to stay at it's current inflated price. It's time to take some money off the table. If I was the smartest investor I would sell some of the investment off, take the profit and re-invest in another stock. I'd love to, but my cash crunch got a renewed life when the Amex bill for last month came due in full. Hi, have we met? I'm broke.
So I'm cashing out half the investment and using the money to pay off the last of my outstanding bills (not counting my lovely and cherished credit cards). Considering I've spent the last six months chasing my financial tail, it will be a relief to head into the holidays and the New Year on a more secure monetary footing.

Coming up: My blog has been de-sexualized as of late. But it's merely reflective of my life. I've had my reasons. From adjusting to a new job, to my apartment being repeatedly in a shambles. I've adjusted. And on the surface at least, the apartment has returned to, if not normal, presentable. I intend to make sure it stays that way. And I intend to bring back one of the favorite things my little corner of the blogsphere is known for: dirty gay sex. Watch for it.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

In The News ...

A woman has filed a $20 million dollar negligence lawsuit against the Bed-Stuy Family Health Center here in Brooklyn after being misdiagnosed as HIV+. While her lawyer provided no information as to the treatment she did receive, he did claim she gave blood samples "regularly". She apparently received her original misdiagnosis in 1995 which she likened, if you can believe court documents, to "a death sentence".

Further, her response from the point of diagnosis included, again according to court documents, becoming "depressed, reclusive" and contemplating suicide. "She wasted seven years of her life." In that, I most certainly agree. She took the opportunity to meet, face down and excel against one of life's greatest challenges. To be provided with concrete evidence that the time to make your life count for something has finally dawned. And she fucking rolled over and gave up. She didn't hear the clock ticking in the background, she skipped from the middle of the book to the end without a goddamned fight.

And then, in the ultimate proof that this woman was born without a soul, and this country has no sense of shame or priority, when she is, in effect, given back the illusion that her life (apparently) will now go on forever, is she full of joy and hope and (finally!) a sense that her future hasn't been written and her limited options have no more (theoretical) limits? Fuck no! The weak bitch slaps down a suit looking for a $20 million dollar payday. Because it's not enough to be told you're gonna live, not when it provides the opportunity to never accomplish, achieve, fight against or conquer another challenge, all on the governments dime. People suck. They truly do.


They've backed down from the original plan, but after howls of protest from various gay groups, federal prosecutors have tabled their plans to post conviction posters of gay men sentenced for dealing crystal meth. These activists accuse authorities of "needlessly vilifying gay men" and further, try to give a pass to gay meth dealers by claiming they are "nonviolent addicts that sell to support their habits". Yeah you dumb fucks, and they sell to other gay men, other current or future addicts. They are actively participating in the dismantling of our "community", as sure as someone HIV+ knowingly cumming up a neg man's butt, or not bothering to disclose his status. Fuck the meth users and fuck the dealers. While I think the over all idea of the posters is just plain dumb, I have no desire to protect those that are obviously and pointedly not doing anything to protect themselves. Or worse, actually carelessly doing harm to others.

Crystal meth will cause you to lose your job.

It will cause you to lose your money and your home.

Crystal meth use will seriously damage your health, even to the point of rotting your teeth right out of your skull.

Crystal meth use will cause what can turn out to be irreversible brain damage over time.

Unfortunately, we have become a society that seems to think life can be lived without consequence, and without blame. The gay crystal addict should be "informed" but not made to feel bad. That's bullshit. You're hooked on a drug that has rendered you in effect useless, and if you're dealing you're just taking more gay people down with you. I'll give you my compassion when you admit what you are and start doing what you need to get well. Until then, you're just a weak pathetic addict. I could care less if a poster makes you feel bad.

Monday, November 22, 2004

Oh Girl, I'm Tore Up.

Went to work on Saturday at 4 pm. Worked two shows and then covered the late night for a manager that got called out of town for a sick relative. I've made no secret of my desire to have nothing to do with the late night weekends. They bring in a separate security team and dj's and basically turn the showroom into a hip-hop club. They physically search people on the way in, including making them empty their pockets and searching the women's purses, even their cigarettes. That's a sure sign of a crowd I would prefer not to cater to. Besides, it's called late night for a reason. Last call is 4 am or later. After completing paperwork, cashing out registers, etc. it can turn into a very late late night. I caught a cab home at 6:45 am. Today I was due back at 2 pm. I was working on fumes in the tank.

We hosted a charity benefit in the afternoon. Then we followed that with the second show. It was Stephanie Mills in concert. Stephanie Mills. It was 30 years ago she played Dorothy in The Wiz on Broadway. Yes, she did her only real pop hit "Never Knew Love Like This Before" but best of all, I finally got to hear Stephanie Mills sing "Home" (from The Wiz). Speaking of tore up, she didn't do the number. That song got did. She closed with it. I got chills. I'm already pretty jaded enough that I rarely notice the performances in the showroom. I noticed this one.

Aside from that, I made some gay money this week. My paycheck included an extra shift. I was pressed into bartending service for a couple of hours on Friday. I managed to pick up an extra $40 for my troubles. I got paid in cash for the extra late night shift as well. More than enough to pay the bills, and possibly splurge on a masseur/escort. Emphasis on masseur but hey, a hardworkin' girl has to have her fun doncha' think?

Friday, November 19, 2004

Your Attention Please...

I do not have tuberculosis. I repeat, no TB, I. That is all. Thank you for your attention.

If you live in Manhattan and you have steam heat in your apt. run, do not walk to get a room humidifier. It's made a huge difference in how I sleep and also how I feel in the morning. To wake up hydrated, well until you experience it you just don't know.

So last night I got home from work, stripped down to my briefs, popped out my contacs and got the coffee ready to brew in the morning. Then I set about making myself a nightcap. Imagine my surprise when all three ice cube trays contained only water. Cursing loudly I got dressed again, threw on a jacket and walked down five flights of stairs to the Korean's where I bought $1.75 bag of ice cubes. Slamming the door near The Ex's bedroom on the way out and on the way back in. The Hellcat was still up, and professed innocence, suggesting The Ex may have dumped all the ice cubes because they tasted funny. I left The Ex a "you suck" note to which he professed his innocence as well. Typical. Regardless of the circumstances the fact remains I live with two people who flat out refuse to consider me or my feelings when they go about their lives. Yesterday before leaving for the gym and then a 10+ hour work shift, I emptied the recycling garbage can and noticed a putrid odor coming from whatever had congealed at the bottom of the can (dog food + people food + god knows what). So I removed the inner liner and put it in the shower. I filled it with Pine Sol and hot water and let it soak. Then I scrubbed it with a toilet brush. I scrub the floors. I bleach the porcelain kitchen sink. I spend my own money to replace and then change the soap encrusted shower curtain. And neither one of them lifts a fucking finger beyond the most basic household maintenance. And sometimes not even that. There was a dead cockroach inside the microwave that sat for two and a half days. It's finally gone, but whatever spilled on the glass plate inside is still there. I guess I'll clean that too. In light of all this, is it too much to ask that I can have a tray of ice cubes at three in the morning? Apparently so.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

I'm Calling The Geek Squad.

If you haven't heard of them it's a roving computer repair/IT team that has branches in various cities throughout the country. They will advise you by phone, or, if you're lucky enough to live in a city where they operate, you can call and have a Geek delivered right to your home. New York being the ultimate delivery town, calling for a Geek delivery only seems natural. (When I first moved into my castle high atop Second Avenue, we used to call for a delivery of food, video and liquor to see if we could time it so they all arrived together. The best we ever achieved was two out of three.)

So I'm having some computer issues. As you know, my PC up and died in The Great (Ongoing) Room Re-do. I thought it was a faulty power source which I replaced to no avail. I was thinking that it might be as simple as a failure in the on/off switch. I do plan to check it out when I get in the mood to tinker. In the meantime I couldn't wait any longer and went ahead and found a new (refurbished) computer with a pretty good processor and a big fat hard drive (thank you, Gold Card). It came with XP Home installed and I kept my monitor so it barely feels like I've changed anything.

But I have no sound. According to the information book the motherboard supports 2,4 or 6 channel audio output. I've only got the two channel output enabled. Two channels, two speakers. It should be working. It isn't. And aside from plugging it in, I know nothing as far as sound and speakers on a computer.

I also want to install my old hard drive on my new computer. Aside from the added storage (I will probably never, ever need) I want to be able to access that drive for some of the programs I've lost copies of, particularly Photoshop. Aside from that, while I did back up my pictures at some point last year (yay me), the newest pictures were never saved. And while I always have access to the blogs listed on this site, I was actually actively or periodically following many many others. Some I could just find and bookmark again. Some, like a newly discovered gay blogger who's also a Buffalo native, I can't recall what his site was called or where I found it. Now intellectually I understand how you go about installing a hard drive. But the one time I tried it a couple of years ago I ended up fragging the whole system. I absolutely cannot afford to do that again. I am comfortable adding a firewire port, I've installed extra memory, I added a faxmodem to a cheap computer that I gave my sister as a gift. So on the surface, I should have the skill to install the drive myself. Quite frankly I'd rather pay someone to come by one afternoon and do it right the first time, make what I'm sure is a simple and obvious correction to my sound settings, and be on his/her way.

I replaced all my bathroom towels today. I had half a dozen or so that matched the colors in the bathroom. Once The Hellcat moved in, they started disappearing one by one. He has a tendency to react to (frequent) spills by grabbing the closest towel, regardless of what it's for or who it belongs to. Paper towels never seem to be an option. I've seen him use one of my bath towels to clean up a spilled liter of Pepsi. I watched, appalled, as he took one of my bathroom face towels and used it to dry his dog. Then he put it back in the bathroom on the towel rack where it hung for days. I have no idea if anybody used it to wipe their face or dry their hands. It would probably still be there if I hadn't cracked and threw it in my laundry. I'm sure he believed that his intent was to use one of the towels, or let a trick clean up with a towel, pledging in his head that he would launder and return it. The problem is he doesn't always remember his pledges and justifications that he makes to himself when he's high. So over the last few months all my bathroom towels disappeared. I plan on explaining this to The Hellcat the next time I'm sure he's sober. I will make sure he understand that the new towels don't belong to the house. They're mine. I bought them, and I'm the only one that can use them. Taking one with the intent to launder it is not an option, regardless of whether or not he's high, as he has proven that won't happen. I'm interested in whether or not he can follow a clearly stated boundary. I suspect not but maybe he'll surprise me.

I finally made it back to the gym today. Probably only the second time since starting my new job. And the first time I really wanted to since getting sick. I did a half hour of cardio and a half hour of abs. I should have time to get there again tomorrow. I'll be starting back in on the weight training. Not coincidentally, tomorrow I start the testosterone replacement therapy. It's basically steroids. The implications are obvious. My desire to document...well, everything has me wanting to get some "before" pictures. If there's time in the next couple of days I'll get it done.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Congratulations, You Only Died A Bit More.

Went to the Doctor's today. It was a regularly scheduled visit. A follow-up to my latest labs. It was a very good news/bad news experience. Some of the good news: cholesterol, liver function, blood sugar all normal. Some not so good news. My T-Cell count dropped dramatically, by almost exactly 100. (Even my T-Cells fall away in nice round numbers and in an orderly fashion.) I'm currently at 349. Still all right but approaching the 300 point where my doctor and most of the current medical industry recommends you start taking medication. It's no cause for panic, we've scheduled a re-test for the first week in January. Hopefully, I'll stabilize again or possibly get the number back up. If I test again and show another drop, however, my doctor wants to open up discussions about my first meds.

I talked with my doctor about my recent illness and described all the symptoms I experienced including my cow pox at the end. Fortunately my pox co-operated and though greatly faded, I could at least show the residual effect. Except for the visual evidence and a slight congestion in the morning I have no other symptoms of my illness left. She swabbed my throat and did an on the spot test for strep. I didn't have it. After that, she speculated that it was just a virus that resulted in a rash of some sort. Since it seemed to be resolving itself she told me not to worry about it, but by all means if it reappears anytime soon I should come in immediately.

I talked with her about feeling like absolute crap the week or two before I got really sick. I asked if it were possible that my T-Cell drop was just a further symptom of the viral infection. It should also be noted that I didn't experience an increase in my viral load, which is something you would expect with a large change in T-Cells. She at least threw me that bone and said that it was certainly possible.

I let them do a TB test. The last time I took it I got too busy to have the results checked, and there's some state law in New York that makes you have one at least once a year. I mean, it's not like they ask you to leave the state if you don't get it, but they totally bug you about it so it's easier to just take the test. I have to say though, at least at the Gay/Lesbian Health Center where I'm treated, they don't make you sit and wait to have your TB test read. You walk in and tell them why you're there, and someone comes immediately to check your test. The whole process takes a couple of minutes, minus the time it takes to walk over there.

So I left vaguely unsettled, and I started thinking. I'm wondering why I'm fighting so hard to stay off the medication as long as possible? I mean, it's not the pills per se, I already take pills every day. I take a multi-vitamin and extra C. I take three anti-anxiety pills in the morning and three more at night. I take the occasional Clonazepam. I take an anti-inflammatory when my joints ache. In short, I'm OK with pills. In a way, when I finally do go on medication it will be a good thing. My T-Cell count will climb. My viral load will drop, possibly to an undetectable level. But I still don't want to go on meds. If I examine why, the surface answer is I just don't want to. I don't want to. But the truth lies deeper. I don't want to go on those meds. The HIV meds. May the spirits forgive me I don't want physical, concrete evidence in pill form for me to see that I'm HIV positive and sick enough to need to take daily medication because of it. And as hard as I've worked to accept my illness and incorporate it as just another aspect of my life, what does it say about my own prejudices and fears that I seem to want to remain HIV+ on paper only? That I fear the day I have to acknowledge my illness, to literally have to swallow the evidence into my body with medication that theoretically I could be on for the rest of my life. How embarrassed am I to come to the conclusion that I can handle being (in my own words) "sick, but not sick, sick. You know?"

Lastly, and also in keeping with the good news/bad news, I had another test done to measure my testosterone levels. I got my lowest results ever. It's a wonder I get hard at all. (I still do, I swear.) Short term, it may be another answer to my feelings of fatigue. Long term, left untreated my doctor claims it puts me at risk (about 20 yrs. out) for osteo.... osteopi.... brittle bones. So the fourth of the fistfull of prescriptions I left with today included Androgel. I'm going on testosterone replacement therapy. The possible side effects can include a loss of belly fat (these are results I've been made aware of both from "the internets" and from South Beach Diet research), as well as an increase in muscle mass and body weight. Aside from that, I supposedly can look forward to a several month period of the Tommy Lee syndrome. I'm going to be better, bigger, stronger and harder. Several times a day if the research pans out for me. Let me know if you need a well hung 141 lb. sex machine in the next couple of months.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

2 1/2 Days Off

Wahoo! It's been a few weeks since I've had a real "weekend". In the nightclub business, 2+ days off, regardless of when they take place, count as a weekend. Plans so far include a day of beauty, tanning most parts, shaving others. Laundry of course. It's also been a few weeks since I've been at full strength. In the past my days off consisted of puttering around the house and cleaning up after my room mates. I'm going to try to catch The Incredibles. It's the first movie lately in a long while I've actually wanted to see. I love movies. But I don't just like anything. Cool animation, funny horror, action/adventure I'm in. Epic dramas, anything by Merchant/Ivory, I'll watch it on video. Maybe. I've still never seen Titanic.

Work went really well in spite of the fact it was me and Gozar The Keymaster. I had to take point for the main showroom and make a workable floor plan. Then I had to arrange for All Access Passes, Photo Passes for the press, Video Passes for others as well as video release forms. Then I had to set aside seats and tables for the house list as well as providing tables for unexpected VIP's and a last minute VIP section for the headliner's record company and guests. It wasn't that big of a show, probably 250 people total, so it was a great way to get my feet wet in areas where I've only just observed. I lead the pre-shift meeting. Being a former actress, I have an innate sense of whether people have totally tuned me out, or I've got their attention. The Dutchess can still command a room. I'm actually looking forward to a night when we're working a fully seated, really busy show. I want to cut loose and show some people how it's done.

The funny part of tonight was it was technically Gozar's show. According to the schedule I was supposedly just assisting in the show room and running the restaurant. But he and I both knew that Gozar was incapable of running even a small event like this. You could almost hear the relief in his voice when he realized that I was leading the charge up the hill. He was only too happy to carry the flag. The only area that we totally clashed over was when the restaurant hostess used his inability to make a hard decision to get out of work two hours early. I pulled him aside and explained that he had overstepped his boundaries. The person assigned to run the restaurant should make that call. Because without a hostess, the person assigned to run the restaurant then has to hover by the door making sure new customers are properly greeted and sat. I also made a point of expressing my dissatisfaction with the situation completely privately. Gozar seems to not understand at this point that certain things need to be kept "management only". We need to present a united front even if it's not really true. I'm gay. I'm totally comfortable creating an illusion. Heterosexuals need to be taught discretion.

Monday, November 15, 2004

Tom Was Here

Home from work at 2:30 am. Of course, I went in at 10 am. The day shift was uneventful. I spent a little time bonding with the owner's mom. She handles the bookkeeping for the club. She's actually a pretty nice lady, relatively mellow. She seems (on the surface, at least) to forgive mistakes as long as you can document what happened, in order to resolve the issue and send better information up the chain. The owner et. al, apparently only want clean, bottom line data. So Mom is the filter between us (management) and them. I had a $98 credit card discrepancy on Friday. I tried to figure it out. After about 20 mins. of adding and re-adding credit card deposits at 4:30 in the morning I finally gave up. One thing I've learned is that sometimes you need to look at a problem with a fresh pair of eyes. Either someone else's or your own after a night's sleep. Something that appears unsolvable at 4 am can be instantly resolved the next day at noon. Mom confirmed that I made the right decision. Pack it up, leave a note, and go the fuck home.

The night shift was technically uneventful as well. We did the Sunday night comedy show in the restaurant and an outside contractor booked the show room. This is usually a recipe for disaster as an outside promoter can be totally unprepared for the vagaries of a nightclub booking in New York City. They don't seem to grasp that you need to issue backstage passes for your entire crew. Trying to push your way through a doorway by muttering "He's with me." gets you a stiff-arm to the chest and a demand for a ticket or ID. Insisting the person you're trying to mack through the door is "hooked up" only serves to redouble the staff's resolve to not allow you to get what you want. This group was surprisingly professional. They were organized and very low maintenance

In any case, if I had any difficulties at all it was with the other new manager. He has a serious problem with insecurity and tries to cover it up two ways. He fixates on a single issue for a couple of days and talks about it and fusses over it ad infinitum to the point where the staff just ends up rolling their eyes and not responding at all. Or he just starts yelling and swearing at people, starting arguments and building resentment among the staff to what appears to be a growing critical mass. Now, I'm not absolving the staff of any guilt in this scenario. They will try, given the opportunity, and depending on who we're talking about, to get out without finishing their work. But I do maintain that in my opinion, the manager that tries to get what he wants by yelling, by threats and intimidation, by talking to adults as if they were less than or not adults, is usually covering up for his own insecurities. People that solve a problem by screaming are usually trying to not allow you to find out they're not too bright. His latest fixation seems to be with the key box. To explain: We have a key box in the managers office with duplicate keys to almost everything. Dressing rooms, locker rooms, dry storage, liquor rooms, menu cabinets etc. The staff, during the course of the day, will grab keys they need to open up rooms or bars or storage. They're supposed to return the key to the key box ASAP. That doesn't always happen. But the new manager is obsessed and keeps urging me to take people's ID and use Post-It notes to track who has what key. Feh. I know who returns keys and can be trusted and who can't. I endured my key lecture only to enjoy the image of me stabbing his temple with a pen and driving it deep enough to write my name on the surface of his brain. But maybe that's just me.

Friday, November 12, 2004

BRILLIANT! (and pretty funny)

SorryEverybody.com check out the galleries. You could spend hours.

In His Own Words. Dartmouth lacrosse goalie comes out. -via towleroad

Which Desperate Housewife are you?

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

I Got Pox!

I'm saying monkey pox, but I'm not sure. Could be chicken. I prefer monkey. I noticed it first when my fever first hit. I had three zit-like bumps on my abdomen. I didn't really pay it any mind as at the time, I felt so bad I was hoping someone would casually walk up to me and split my skull open with an aluminum baseball bat. As my brain began to swell and ooze out the fracture onto the sidewalk I would have spit the blood pooling in my mouth and whispered "thank you". That's how bad I felt. In any case, by yesterday I was much improved and began getting ready to shower and work. When I took my blouse off and walked by a mirror is when I first discovered the horror. Pox! Pox everywhere. Down both arms, my torso and back are covered. I got pox on my scalp and forehead. Only a little pox on the face. Curiously, almost nothing below the waist. It's a prudish pox, it is. Positively no cock-pox. It's not itchy, and I've monitored it all day it's not spreading. I may have spread it, though. In spite of the occasional temperature spike I went to the Home Depot for Gays as well as Bed Bath and Beyonce. I took my pox along with me. I bought a room humidifier. The steam heat in my apartment is intense, to say the least. Between the cold weather and being sick and feverish, by the time I woke up yesterday and today, I felt like ferrets had snuck into my bed and reached down my throat with their tiny ferret feet and scratched and scratched until they left a red, raw mess inside. I had to hydrate my mouth a couple of times before I could manage to commit to a swallow (heh heh). If you were listening from the other room it sounded like I was getting slipped the pickle. I was drinking water.

I also brought my pox to the Laundramat. It was match the socks or throw them out day. Sadly four white and five dark socks met their end today. Someone should start a Sock Registry on-line. People from all over the world could post their single sock with a picture and a brief description. Other's could search the site until a sock match is made and eanie, meanie, chili-beanie a matching pair of socks is reunited.

I left a message with Mom and Dad telling them that I had been sick all weekend, but I was feeling much better, and I mentioned that I had the pox. I know I laughed on more than one occasion when leaving the message. Still, I decided to follow it up today and called while still in bed after my first morning cuppa. Mom inquired how I was and asked about the pox.

"I don't know Mom, it's pox. Like chicken pox, it looks like that. It doesn't seem to be getting any worse and I feel so much better I'm not really concerned."

"Is it because of your condition?"

"Maybe. Or I maybe caught a pox from some sniveling brat on the subway."

"Cause your father and I were thinking it was that skin thing that people with your condition get."

"Ma, you were afraid I have Kaposi's ?"

"Well, we were worried."

"That's not pox, that's cancer. I don't have cancer. Most HIV+ people never contract Kaposi's anymore. I mean, anything's possible, but not with my TCell count or viral load. I guess if you totally roll over and refuse to take meds and let yourself get taken you might develop it. I got red bumps all up and down my upper body. You know. Pox."

I don't regret telling the family I was HIV+ on my last trip home (and I owe you that story in it's entirety), but I knew the other edge of that double-edge would be how carefully I dole out information. Not the least bit surprisingly, I say pox, they hear cancer.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Current Body Temperature: 99.5

I just went down to the Korean's at 2:15 am to fetch a fresh bottle of Canada Dry Lemon/lime soda. I had a bit at home but as I began to construct my night time Stoli/soda(s) I remembered that it was starting to flatten last night. And I really, really wanted a fresh, crisp bubbly cocktail to relax and blog with. So then the question was: "Enough to throw a coat on over my jammies and tramp down five flights of stairs in my ultra-suede bedroom slippers?" To which I answered "Oh hell, yes." Indulgent hedonist or problem drinker? You decide.

I received the following e-mail from The Ex today. He had spent the weekend with "friends" in Philadelphia. I didn't edit it except where The Ex's grammar school English skills make it unreadable. I also left the names in as you don't know any of these people. Except of course for Gerald. The true identity of one "Al Caholic". By the way, The Ex is the only one besides my aunts and cousins who still call me Tommy. I like it from him.


1st things 1st, how are you feeling? Was it the flu? How was work?

I will never help Gerald again. Not that this was his fault, but every time I suggest something to Gerald, (move to NY, go with me to Philly), it turns out to be a disaster!! He showed up to Michaels work, and he said he was drunk. I don't know if he was. Later Michael got super drunk, and told off Gerald and threw shoes at him. After that incident I didn't want to be around McParlin any more. He's too vicious. He totally flipped out on Gerald and was really nasty. I finally grabbed Gerald and left Michaels house. I was pissed, and Gerald was a mess, (not drunk, but very very upset). We had to find a cab, go back into the city and I had to pay for a hotel room. I felt responsible for Gerald and I didn't want him sleeping on the street. I would have gone home the next day, but I didn't want to leave Jay alone with Michael. The next day we got up, I gave Gerald 20.00, bought him breakfast and sent him on his way. I went back to Michael's and when I got there at 2 pm, both him and Jay were drinking already. I sat there and watched them both drink all day long. A beautiful day and I sat there and watched them drink. Sunday was nice, we went sight seeing.

Michael just called me while I was doing this e-mail. Apparently Gerald called him last night and this morning. He's going to sue him and the restaurant for 1,000,000. I felt like a guard at an insane prison, and they took control of me and the cell. Jay was ok, but he gets soooooo looped on those drugs he's taking, it's scary. Gerald has like no self-esteem left and this didn't help. His boyfriend got on the phone last night and was really upset. Not at me but the whole situation.

I should know better than to be around Michael. I haven't hung out with him since I went to London over a year ago, and I swore then that I would never see him again.

The only saving grace is the fact that when I got back to the house that Michael was all cut up. Apparently he fell down the stairs. That drunk is going to kill himself by those stairs. He deserved it though.

Now, how cute is The Ex that he keeps taking friends back regardless of the abominable behavior they exhibit in the past. He really is a loyal friend. We had to physically remove Gerald from our apartment and change the locks to get him out and still, there The Ex is taking him away for the weekend and totally taking care of him when things go sour (as they always do). His friend Jay is an HIV+ ex-boyfriend living in North Carolina. Apparently, services for PWA/HIV+ people is bordering on murderous and Jay is having an awful time getting doctor appointments, prescriptions filled, or even phone calls answered. They are trying to foreclose on his house. (Ya gotta love those Red states, such compassion!) Having said that, from The Ex's description of his last visit with Jay he basically sits around the house smoking cigarette after cigarette (full ashtrays and dog shit in every room) until he cracks open the first bottle of Seagram's 7 sometime between noon and 3 pm. At which point it's a race to the incoherent, stumbling, bed-wetting finish line (I remember it well). He has thrush down his entire esophagus, he has mouth sores, his teeth are rotting. When he attempts to eat solid food it inevitably comes out of one of two holes. I tried to be blunt with The Ex:

"Jay is killing himself. But he's a total pussy so he's doing it slowly."

He heard me, he just didn't want to so he didn't.

The thing is, as much as I admire and marvel at The Ex's ability to forgive his friends no matter how horribly they behave, at what point is enough, enough? This man Michael didn't just hang out with The Ex in London. The Ex scored him a free flight and air fare. At which point Michael spent every night picking meaningless drunken fights with The Ex to the point where, in his own words, he vows to "never see him again".

And how do you explain that for every gay man that (tries to) take an HIV+ diagnosis as a signal to make whatever life (hopefully a considerable one) you have left to be happy, rewarding, and fulfilling, you have another who passively allows the virus to consume him and worse, accelerates the process by taking no responsibility for your health, your healthcare, in short, your life. Get up and fight, faggot! It's what we do.

On a related but side note. A public message to my internet pal Ryan, and the first HIV+ person to contact me via e-mail after my blog went up. I feel you. I was there for a while this year. At some point I re-remembered what I thought I had already internalized. I'm discovering that life on a daily basis can knock you off-center spiritually if you let it. It just sort of happens and it's not important. What is important is your ability to bore back down to the core facts. We have a potentially fatal disease coursing though our bloodstreams that 20 yrs. ago probably would have left us for dead. We're not dead. And while all is possible, if we don't actively try to push the envelope on dead it's not a major concern. Live. Enjoy. Challenge yourself. Face a fear. As you're walking down a city street surrounded by people shopping, eating, laughing, talking on a phone, bumping into you, remind yourself: Technically, I'm not supposed to be here. But I am. It works for me. I hope you feel better.

Monday, November 08, 2004

I'm Healed!

Well, I'm infinitely better, at least. My temp still reads 100 degrees but I don't feel the least bit warm. I worked my shift as scheduled, and even though it was a shorter night, I felt OK for the first time in days and days. Work is going well. I've been receiving lots of praise from the senior management. I'm not going to bullshit you with false modesty and say I'm not aware that I am light years ahead on the learning curve versus the manager that started two days before me. Granted, I worked with the computer system they use at the job before my last one. But that was as a bartender. I had very little exposure to the management side. The thing is, it's just a system. Every bar or nightclub has one and they all share the same qualities. Tally the registers, reset the banks and theoretically, what's left over should equal your sales. That's an oversimplification but that's pretty much it. The only difference is the particular accounting system each establishment uses to achieve that goal. So you just learn it. Some people can't seem to grasp that what is on the surface a daunting task is actually quite simple and logical. You just have to properly prepare your materials and learn to do each cash-out the same way every time, time after time. It very quickly becomes automatic. If you can't or won't learn that simple fact, you're fucked and you'll remain fucked.

The two biggest problems I'm having at the moment involve the waitstaff and one of the managers. A few of the bartenders and some of the waitstaff have remarked to me how stunned they are at what I'm able to take care of for them and how I seem so relaxed and confident. I mean, I did hang back the first couple of weeks as I re-familiarized myself with the computer system. And I am *ahem* "intuitive" enough to quickly have realized that while everything I was learning had various degrees of importance, it was essential that I learn how to shut the place down (meaning accounting for many many many thousands of dollars in cash and credit charges), as well as physically securing a pretty large restaurant/nightclub. So that became my primary focus. By the end of my second week I pretty much accomplished my goal. Not so my co-worker. He's disorganized, unfocused and clearly not in control of the staff. They are running him instead of the other way around. The problem is, the general consensus is that my co-worker is the normal end product of the fast track training they put us through. So the staff is used to some dithering, ill-informed, tentative pile of useless. That is so not The Dutchess. So every time they come to me with a situation and I instantly make a decision and tell them how to handle it, I get another question. Or the same question rephrased. Or expanded upon.

"They don't like their food."

"Are they eating it?"


" OK. Take it off the table, offer to get them something else and I'll comp it off."

"Are you sure?"


"Do you want to talk to them?"

"Why? I can see from here their plates are practically untouched."

"Shouldn't it be a void?"

"No. It was made."

"We usually void it."

"Well, that's wrong and now I must stab you repeatedly with this butter knife until you die."

The other problem is with the manager that was hired a month or two before me. Technically, according to a meeting I attended Friday he has seniority over me. We'll call him The Doughy Israeli. He seems to be around 30, pear- shaped, with a fat ass and a horrific wardrobe. He's not a nasty person per se, but he's none too bright. He seems to be interested in collecting a paycheck doing as little real work as possible. Well, that's all well and good if a senior manager is on, he can just lumber around in the background like a Hebraic Pillsbury Doughboy bouncing off the banquets until it's time to close. Last night, we closed together and at the end of the night I discovered that the entire credit card transactions for the day were not transmitted. He at first didn't even know what I was talking about, and then insisted it was no big deal. I knew better. Fortunately my boss was still around and after conferring with her, she confirmed my discovery, admonished The Doughy Israeli for not remembering and showed me how to fix it. So because I had to technically defer to TDI on a number of issues tonight, and because he started the shift by showing up a half-hour late, almost nothing happened a) the way I prefer it to happen and b) the way I know to be correct. I was frustrated on a number of issues and finally took to walking away shaking my head. The maddening thing is if you talk to him, he'll let you know pretty quickly that in his mind at least, he Da Man. Two years ago, I would suffer this situation. Ten years ago, I would have left sneaker prints on the back of his suit jacket as I sliced the tendons in his heel. I'm feeling I can find the middle path.

Saturday, November 06, 2004

I'm sick, but not sick, sick, (I think).

Good Lawd I feel like crap. Two days of fever and chills. Last night I didn't sleep more then an hour at a time and probably four hours total. I woke up this morning either shivering, or in a soup made of me. I finally gave up trying and got out of bed to discover that The Hellcat never came home. When last seen, he had been heading over to a crystal meth "friend's" to "hang out" and pick up a wet/dry vac. The fact that he didn't take Colby should have been a clue. So as horrible as I felt I ended up taking his dog down five flights of stairs during a bitterly cold windstorm to let him go. I know. Some of you, who aren't dog people can say "Fuck that, leave the dog to suffer." How can I, when I was miserable and suffering too? But I'm a person. I can feed myself. No one has to take me outside to shit. (Unless they ask nicely) So I fed the dog and took him out, all the while inventing arguments and scenario's with The Hellcat where I tell him how fucking selfish he is. How unfair after I told him how awful I felt the night before. And still, once again he leaves my in a position of being cruel to an innocent animal, or jeopardizing my own health by going outside covered in flopsweat.

In any case, my new computer arrived one day late. Hooking it up was a breeze. Printer works. Phone, DSL. Check and check. It's cherry. I'm having speaker problems which I must solve to enjoy me some internet porn. Also. I want to hook up my old Hard Drive to my new system. Does anyone know If I have to do the whole (heh hole) Master/Slave thing? Or can I pop my old hard drive into a drive bay on my new PC and designate it with a new letter. Will XP see and read off it?

PS: Thanks, Sean. Hopefully I'll be on the mend tomorrow. A decent night's sleep would be lovely.

Update: 12:30 Saturday. I finally slept through the night. My fever broke at some point while I slept. I'm starving, dehydrated and still a little tired but I'll be fine. You know, when you're HIV+, getting sick is not all that remarkable. The weird part is that getting better is cause for a bit of celebration. Any day I can confirm I have a functioning immune system is a good day indeed.

Current body temperature: 101.5.

Thursday, November 04, 2004


I've tried to post an election wrap up three times. But this wonky laptop gerry-rigged system I have set up has frustrated the ever-lovin' fuck out of me. The cursor keeps jumping into the middle of sentences and words. I can't work like this. Besides, I've been sick for a few days. I picked up a stomach virus that knocked the shit out of me (literally, I know TMI) and left me shaky and lethargic. Tonight after work I developed the chills and I can't get warm. And I've been working every day through it all. Nightclub managers don't get sick. At least this one doesn't. Day off tomorrow and my new computer is due to arrive via FedEx. Fuck! This jumpy cursor is fucking frustrating. I have no patience for this. I know I've been promising lots of extra stories and new info and I apologize for letting you down (if you even give a fuck) but I've had time constraints and tech issues. I had the cursor jump to different spots in this post three times in the last two sentences. Screaming, "fuck you, goddammit!!' at the top of your lungs at 5am isn't healthy. I'm not healthy. I hope I'm just sick. And not sick. You know?

PS (twelve hours later): I seem to be experiencing different cold symptoms on different days. Today I've had a splitting headache the entire day. OK, I'm starting to sound whiny and that's so not me. The new computer is due to arrive any minute so it's time to disconnect the peice of shit laptop and clear the dust out from under my desk. With luck, installing the new PC won't be a problem (yeah right). If I go off the grid for a couple no worries. Bye, y'all.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Oh. My. God.

I ran the club and the restaurant completely on my own tonight. The headliner cancelled an hour before he was supposed to perform. It's a miracle the temple of my head didn't burst from an aneurysm. I'll try to tell you the whole story tomorrow. VOTE muthafuckahs!