Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Sometimes My Job Doesn't Totally Suck

Every once in a while we book a show I get really excited about. I may have missed most of gay pride this year, but I did get to see a kick-ass show. We booked Pat Benatar for a two night stay. And while the potential was there for another "Washed up 80's icon" tour, it was anything but. Ms. Benatar rocked! And she looked faaaaabulous doing it. Seriously, I got right up close directly next to the stage and she looks great. She did a good one and a half hour set with a small band that managed a big sound. After a slower start the last half hour as well as the ensuing encore took off and brought the audience to their feet repeatedly. I was very happy when she launched into "Shadows Of The Night". I loved the stripped down version of "Invincible". I'd forgotten what a great song "We Belong" was. And yes, by the end of the set she gave us "Heartbreaker" and "Love Is A Battlefield". I found out that she's a Greenpoint born and Long Island raised native. When she launched into "Hit Me With Your Best Shot" I didn't care. I sang along with the rest of the audience. She was sexy and sassy and her voice was fucking great. If Ms. Benatar happens to come to your town, trust me, go see the show. It was fucking awesome. A ton of people brought her flowers, and in such an intimate setting they handed them right to her during the show. Some got left behind and ended up in my kitchen. Thanks, audience and thank you, Pat Benatar. Great show.

I know, I know, the jail story. Tomorrow, I promise.

Monday, June 27, 2005

Take The Test

Today is National HIV testing day. I got an A(IDS)+ on my very first try. I'm an over-acheiver like that.

Hang On, Hang On. I'll Get To It.

I'm halfway through the tale of The Hellcat's arrest. For now, Happy Gay Pride, y'all.

Thursday, June 23, 2005


I'm fine. I've just been really busy. On an unrelated but more noteworthy point, The Hellcat is in jail. More later ...

Thursday, June 16, 2005

A First Time For Everything

I can't believe in over 2 years of posting crap that this is the first time I got tagged for a survey. I'll get you, R.J. Seriously. *snicker*

What time did you get up this morning? 11am.
Diamonds or pearls? Pearls, for sure.
What was the last film you saw at the cinema? Spiderman 2 (That can’t be right…)
What is your favorite TV show? Iron Chef (Original or American)
What is your middle name? Charles (grrr)
What is your favorite cuisine? Anything Italian
What foods do you dislike? Spinach, also Indian in general
What is your favorite crisp/chip flavor?
Spicy Nacho Doritos
What is your favorite CD at the moment?
I don’t buy CD’s
What is your favorite song? “Get Here” by Oleta Adams
What kind of vehicle do you drive? City boys don’t drive.
What is your favorite sandwich? Quiznos, baby!
What characteristics do you despise? Self-pity.
What is your favorite item of clothing? Smiley-face T shirt that says “I Hate You”
If you could go anywhere on vacation, where would you go? Sicily, then Greece
What color is your bathroom? Orange, Magenta and Brick
What color pants are you wearing? blue (jeans)
Where would you retire? Vegas, baby!
What is your favorite time of the day? After midnight
What is your most memorable birthday? 40th. I quit smoking
What's the last thing you ate? Blimpie Best, cheddar and sour cream chips, can of V8
If you were a crayon, what color would you be? Burnt Siena
What is your favorite cartoon character? Toot Braunstein
What is your favorite flower? Roses
What fabric detergent do you use? Whatever’s cheapest within reason
Do you wish on stars? Nope. But I’ve been known to cast a spell.
What is your shoe size? 9 1/2
Do you have any pets? I live with one.
Last person you talked to on the phone? The Hellcat
What did you want to be when you were little? An entertainer.
What are you meant to be doing now? My third rehab attempt.
What do you first notice about someone? The booty
What was your favorite toy as a child? Lincoln Logs
Summer or winter? Summer.
Hugs or Kisses? Kisses.
Chocolate or vanilla? Chocolate.
Living arrangements? Me, The Ex, The Hellcat, Colby the dog.
When was the last time you cried? At the end of an Extreme Home Makeover episode.
What is under your bed? Lots and lots of dust and comic books
In how many cities have you lived? 2.
Favorite movie of all time? Don’t really have one.
Mountains or beach? Beach
Full names of your potential kids? Alexandra and Toni, both girls.
What is your usual bedtime? 4am

Now, do I have to inflict this on three more victims?

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Monday, June 13, 2005

Good Morning

I could use some advice. As you may have guessed by the clues I left in my last post, I had spent the last three days off from work pondering my fate. Specifically, what to do about work. I tried to make an honest assessment as to the pros and cons to keeping or quitting the job. At the end of the day, I had decided it was time to quit. I was so sure of my decision that I felt an enormous sense of relief. I was so sure of my decision that I phoned mom and dad and told them the news and reiterated what was bothering me. Mostly, it's the hours and the lack of food. I'm supposed to be working between 45 and 50 hours a week. On the surface, it's a lot, but I can handle it. Problem is, it's frequently more. And it's also a matter of the hours taking over the day. I usually try to get up by 11 am every day, but admittedly, it's usually closer to noon. I have some coffee, check my emails, maybe write some half-ass crap to post, then I grab some breakfast/lunch. SSS* and it's off to work. “In-time” is usually 4 or 5. Realistically, I can plan on getting out anywhere from 1am to 3am. 5am is unusual but not unheard of. I'm "allowed" to have another meal after the show ends, that's usually around 11pm or so. The next day is a repeat of the last. And that's just a single shift. A double is doubly long and physically painful. So, did you see anything in there about getting a workout in? Or about working on my photography? Or doing some good writing? To say nothing of gettin' my kitten punched. That's because it didn't happen. There wasn't time. Every endless day that went by I felt like another tiny piece of my soul died a little. I was exhausted every night. I had headaches after every shift. I felt, quite literally, like this job was killing me. Surprisingly, mom and dad were in agreement. I say surprisingly, because they used to be a part of the "keep your job, any job, at all costs," school. My dad, especially has moved off this position as he got older. I’m paraphrasing when I relate he opined, "It doesn't matter what the job is, if you hate it, it's not worth doing. Because ultimately, nobody will appreciate it anyway." And mom, also surprisingly, advised that I was endangering my health. And you know what? She's right. I am. I also factored in to my decision some money considerations. Honestly, as much as I bitch the pay is OK, I guess. But there's no health insurance (Which I don't really need. Thanks, State of New York!) no 401k, which I most assuredly do need, as well as a legendary policy of no raises. You get paid what you get paid. The end.

The upside? It's a job, and those are nice. I do pay my bills and I have a pretty sweet line of credit these days. I'm learning a ton about running a big honking nightclub. My confidence and my assertiveness grow weekly. That's pretty much all I came up with for the "pro" camp. So, done deal. I'm quitting. I'm sure of it, right?

Not so fast.

Tonight I worked with one of the other managers. He has a brain tumor. A brain tumor. It’s his third one. He’s getting radiation therapy. The side effects leave him sweating uncontrollably. He loses motor control of his hands. His vision blurs. I’ll see your potentially fatal blood bourn virus and raise you a tumor. I spoke to Neo about this, and he pointed out that one thing has nothing to do with the other. Keeping my job because someone else has what I consider a “bigger” illness is retarded. What I need is what I need. True enough. But here’s the one thing I haven’t worked out. I‘m doing it again. I have automatically defaulted to the most dramatic conclusion to my situation. Work is taxing my energy. I’m not eating right. So I have to get with my boss and quit. It will be sudden and shocking. They may or may not accept my resignation. I might be escorted out by security. People will be talking about it for days. But what if I take a chance and explain, not outright that I’m HIV+, but that I’m ill? What if I give my boss the opportunity to prove that I’m not just a convenient bag of skin in a suit and actually an employee that is valued? What if I let her know that while I’m completely capable of a regular shift, I really can’t do a 17 hr. “double”? What if I try to explain that while I don’t necessarily need to have six meals a day, I do need to have/bring in some extra food, as nutrition is an important part of controlling my illness? What would happen if they surprised me and agreed to it all?I know for a fact this job is finite. I will be quitting. But it’s a resume builder. Do I do another six months? Do I learn more about contracts and how to handle myself with celebrities and production managers and sound techs and guest list divas? Or do I throw in the towel and admit enough is enough and walk away? No harm, no foul. It’s just not a good fit. These things happen. I’m torn and I could use some help. By all means, weigh in. I’m just not sure what to do.

*Shit, Shower and Shave

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Today, I ...

Atlantic City. May 24, 2005

Had margaritas and nachos for dinner.

Had lunch at the Shake Shack.

Worked out at the gym for the third day in a row.

Checked in with Neo. He's fine.

Masturbated twice.

Won a promotional membership to Crunch.

Shored up my vast financial empire.

"Forgot" it was Friday and I had a manager meeting to attend.

Updated my resume.

Get the picture?

Friday, June 10, 2005


My name is Tom.

"Hi, Tom."

And I have an addiction.


I'm hooked on Pimp My Ride.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

What A Nice (Sweaty) Day

Unlike many others around here, you won't be finding me complaining about the heat that finally came to NYC. Bring it. I love it. It seems we're skipping spring altogether this year. It happens that way sometimes. After spending my formative years freezing my ass off every winter in Buffalo, a day or two of sauna like weather is a walk in the park. I will tell you that it got so hot in my living room that the tapered candles melted and bent over. And while I didn't have time for a walk in the park today, I did manage to catch up on a few things. The bills are paid, with the exception of that pesky rent. Luckily, I have the rare landlord that seems to not care one whit when during the month I send in the rent. So I usually just wait until the 14th when The Hellcat's welfare check arrives rather than front his share on the 1st.

I pulled out all of my Barbie Dream Fashions for the summer. I needed to see what I had and what still fit. I'm happy to report that not only was nothing too tight, but I probably won't be able to wear several pairs of shorts. They slip right over my hips if I tug at them. Who says there's nothing good about "The AIDS"? I kid, I kid. It's the after effect of my South Beach diet days. I'm Susan Lucci petite. But not Olsen Twins petite. In any event, while pulling out all my summer clothes I made a few discoveries. The two pairs of linen pants I couldn't find had been stored with the summer clothing. It makes sense after the fact, as linen is a more summer fabric. I have no memory of where I acquired the yellow Nautica capri jeans, but I love them, they are SOOOO gay. Where the powder blue cotton pants came from is anyone's guess. What I do remember, now, is buying the two pairs of cargo shorts towards the end of last summer. The sale tags are still on them. So it looks like a big spring shopping spree won't be necessary. Sweet. For once my shopping "disorder" pays off.

Most importantly, I made it back to the gym today. A half-hour of cardio and a half-hour on abs. Tomorrow I go back and hit the weights and more cardio. I want to put regular training back into my schedule, and see if it makes work less painful. I doubt it will work, but I want to give it a chance. If I'm quitting, I want it to be because I couldn't integrate the job with my life. Not because I'm being a whiny baby.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Another Brief Respite ...

I'm sensing a theme. One of the other managers needed to finagle some coverage on the weekend. I used it to parlay myself a three day break from work starting in the morning. I promise a couple of posts of some substance. Plus, a contest! But for now, The Duchess needs her rest and it's late. Oh, and if you've been meaning to fuck me up the butt, now would be a good time.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

On The Waterfront

If you leave my apartment and walk further east on 20th St., after about five or ten minutes you arrive at the waterfront. Years ago when I moved here it was pretty unremarkable. Since then, they really have done an amazing rehab. They've built walkways and bike paths, picnic areas and green spaces. The view is to die for, and it's still enough of an undiscovered secret that you can take a book or newspaper and some lunch, and you can count on always finding an available bench or table to sit at. Every time I go there I wonder why I don't go there more.

Saturday, June 04, 2005


I'm enjoying a brief respite from the cluster fuck my life has become (despite that opening, I'm really in a pretty good mood). Both The Hellcat and The Ex are out of town. The Ex is down in Florida, attending that Gay Disney weekend they have every year. I don't know. Something about "The Gays" throwing their "Gay Dollars" into the corporate coffers of "The Man" has always bugged me a bit. Of course, it's not at all lost on me that a demonstration for "The Man" of what throwing our "Gay Dollars" at something actually translates into in terms of real dollars, and how Disney now openly solicits Gay Weekend business in the face of continued, albeit laughingly lame, protest could be a positive thing. Here's a heretofore unknown fun fact about me: I've never been to Disney anything. Not Land, not World, not even Euro. That could explain some of my resentment. The Hellcat has gone home to Cali. Considering he on da Welfare, he travels much more extensively than I do. Supposedly, he'll be gone for 10 days, cleaning out some storage and taking care of some financial matters. I have visions of dozens of UPS boxes showing up in a couple of weeks here. If it happens, he's just going to have to turn right around and find storage here in the city.

I bought an adapter for my computer that allows you to watch TV on your PC. It's not a card it's external. I've actually had it for a couple of weeks. When I first hooked it up I got no picture at all. I had to rig it by bypassing the cable box, but that just gave me about a dozen stations. As I always do, I was worrying the problem in the background of my brain ever since. I concocted several scenarios as to how to solve the issue. After almost two weeks, something popped into my head. I wonder if I need to turn the cable box "on"? *sigh* It's working perfectly now. I'm smart and an idiot. It's two, two, two mints in one.

My job has played havoc with all of my schedules. Eating included. I had breakfast today at 4 pm. I finally got hungry again around 11. But I didn't want to eat because a meal will keep me up for hours. And I need to be up to open the restaurant. So for dinner I'm having bloody marys... What?

Thursday, June 02, 2005

I Couldn't Resist

Which X-Men member are you?

You scored as Cyclops. Codename: Cyclops
Full Name: Scott Summers
Mutant Powers: Optic blasts of intense light-beams.

Scott Summers was an early follower of Xavier's dream and a mutant that suffered all his life.As a young boy, Scott and his brother, Alex Summers, were with his parents on a plane of his dad. But then, a SHIAR ship destroyed the plane, capturing both Scott´s mother and father. Just before being kidnapped, Scott´s father, Major Christopher Summers, gave a parachute to his sons and dropped them out of the plane. The ´chute didn´t open, and Scott first manifested his mutant powers, as he used his optic blasts to slow down the fall. The boys were found in a forest, sleeping. Alex was adopted by a family, but Scott was sent to an orphanage, that was owned by Nathaniel Essex, a.k.a. Mr. Sinister. Sinister discovered the genetical potential that lay within Scott, and began to make experiments on him. Many years later, Charles Xavier found Scott by using Cerebro, and took him away from the orphanage. Before he left, Sinister took away Scott's memories of his time there.

Cyclops was a member of the original five X-men, and there he fell in love with another teammate, Marvel Girl, or Jean Grey. Eventually, he met his brother, Alex, who now went by the name of Havok, and later his father, who now called himself Cosair and was leader of an alien vessel that fought in space.



Jean Grey












Professor X












Which X-Men member are You?
created with

On a related tip, I'm going home to Buffalo next month. I'm having my massive (fer real) comic book collection shipped back to New York City. I intend to join it with my much smaller New York collection. I will catalogue it and then I will sell it all. Hopefully I can get a comic book store to give me one price but it might be too big. And I might get more money creating an EBay site and sell it off piecemeal. I was a collector for the joy I got from reading comics but I always always had the intent of making a collection and selling it off. It will do me no good if I wait another 10 or 20 years. We need a down payment for a home. We sell the family jewels. Even if the jewels are comic books.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

It's The Small Victories

Atlantic City, May 24 2005

Flashback about 5 years. I had gone out for an afternoon of shopping. I think I may have skipped breakfast but in those days, I hardly ever ate a morning meal anyway. In any case, I had what I thought was a coffee buzz going on. I felt ... off. I remember heading up the escalator above the Bed, Bath and Beyonce when it hit me. I was awash in fear. I wasn't even sure what was happening but I knew, I just knew that I needed to get back down to street level. I was having a panic attack. Not my first, but an early one. My heart was racing and I began to sweat. I had tunnel vision. I immediately turned on the balcony that the escalator let me off on, intending to go back down. Trouble was, with the tunnel vision came a sense of vertigo. I was sure that I would fall down the moving escalator if I attempted to ride it down. I was temporarily trapped as I paced back and forth between the escalator down to the plexiglass street level view, just 1/2 a floor below. Above me, I finally reasoned, was the second floor and I assumed, an elevator. The only acceptable mode of transport for me now besides the stairs. If down wasn't an option for me perhaps I could go up, and make my escape from there. More pacing between the up and down options ensued until, with a deep breath and a white knuckle grasp of the handrail, I made a harrowing and seemingly endless journey to the second floor. Whereupon a conveniently located elevator whisked me back to street level and I emerged, gasping for air and hands still shaking six blocks later headed for home.

As it sometimes did, this "event" left me feeling jumpy and exhausted the rest of the day. Only this one left another calling card. As is the case of many who experience panic, sometimes the place or thing that triggered the attack becomes something to fear and avoid. So it was the birth of my inability to use an escalator. All of them. Using an escalator up was problematic. Taking it down became impossible. While the flat out panic wouldn't always come back, the vertigo, the feeling of potentially tumbling forward and rolling head first would. It became simpler and almost an afterthought that whenever an escalator presented itself in my path, I would find the alternate staircase or elevator and take that route. Secretly, I viewed it as a weakness, an anomaly that embarrassed me. Over the years, as I've sought treatment for my general anxiety I've worked on my escalator phobia with a modicum of success. At first, I managed several trips upward intending to come back down but always defaulting to the moving box. Finally, after months of false starts I successfully managed to take a down escalator, at the KMart at Astor Place. Seriously, I was overjoyed. It was the highlight of that day. Fairly soon, I was able to tolerate the moving stairs in a variety of locations, with some restrictions. The space needed to be fairly well enclosed. Too much open air in my view would induce vertigo. Too much height was problematic for the same reason. Really big, steep rides were out for now. Gradually, each successive successful trip became less and less a white knuckle death grip exercise in cleansing breath, and more of an afterthought, I had rejoined the moving stairs movement. I still don't particularly like them when they're crowded, but I don't particularly like crowds. But coming upon a moving staircase presents no feeling positive or negative in me anymore.

I bring all this up because when spending time in Atlantic City with my family last week I noticed something. Whenever my mom or sister approached an escalator up or down, they both opted for the stairs. Every time. I assure you, it's not a fitness issue. It was only then it hit me like a clap of thunder. My mother's "fear" of escalators. How it gives her a feeling of falling. My sister too. It didn't manifest in her until her 30's. I had this information all along but failed to apply it to my own situation. I was amazed, noticing for the first time how the men in their lives either ride the escalator down and wait at the bottom, or simply accompany them on the staircase. How they've accepted what I considered a failing to be conquered, and incorporated it into their daily routine. So why did I make myself out to be some staircase challenged freak? And why didn't I know that, since it obviously affects exactly one half of my immediate family, the damn problem was partially genetic? Maybe it's best I didn't know. I may have not even tried to fix it. Still, it's nice to no longer be afraid of the escalator.