Sunday, October 30, 2005

Bits 'N' Pieces

The trouble with taking medication to make you feel better is that once you start to feel better you forget you need to take the medication. Maybe that's just me.

Blind Item: Which Trans-Atlantic talk show host paid a visit to a LES nightspot this Halloween weekend and was last seen leaving with a Trick (or Treat) in the form of a much younger go-go boy? Although truth to tell, from the shape he was in, he'll be lucky to muster a (Union) jack-off. Too obvious?

I have Halloween night off for the first time in years. An interesting state of affairs considering I'm not drinking right now. Of course, as it was pointed out, I just spent the last week and a half in bars also not drinking. How is that different? Perhaps I'll bring my trusty digicam out to snap some pictures of Halloween NYC style. One place you won't find me tomorrow is the parade. That's one cluster fuck to be avoided at all costs.

Halloween aside, tomorow I have a day of beauty planned. Haircut, gym, tan plus other errr... personal grooming rituals. I may even get a massage. With or without "release" TBD.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

I Quit Drinking.

You read that right. Now before any of you do something rash and sell your stock in the USA distributor for Stolichnaya, know this. It's temporary. At least I think it is. The plan is to go 30 days without a drink. We'll asses the matter then.

Why return to the days of prohibition? Because I'm stubborn but I'm not stupid. It occurred to me that while in the midst of treatment for depression, it may not be the wisest choice to continue to go to bed every single night with a belly full of a known depressant. And that's what I've been doing. Every night for years. I compartmentalized my drinking, just like I do every other aspect of my life. Work has a box. My sex life has a box. There's a box for creative pursuits. It stands to reason I'd construct one for drinking. You see I never drink during the day (the rare Sunday brunch being the exception). I don't do Happy Hour. I rarely drink before midnight. But every night, starting around 2 am I would get that itch. That urge. Somewhere a Stoli bottle (or Kettle or Svedka) began to call me.

"It's the end of the day! ... Finish up!... Drink me!" Not the whole bottle of course, but I've been known to make a hefty dent.

Over the course of the last few years, I further withdrew and turned my drinking into a ritual I preferred to pursue alone. Sure, I would have a couple of drinks at the end of a shift. Or I'd head out to Nowhere or The Urge or even (shudder) Spl ... sorry, SBNY on occasion. But that was always the prelude to my drinking alone time. I would turn out the lights, light several candles, find an interesting movie or TV show (As my therapist pointed out, it has all the makings of a hot date. Minus the man, of course.) and then .... woooosh! Up goes the wall. After that, nothing registers. Nothing gets in. No problems at work, no fights with The Ex, no sink full of dirty dishes courtesy of The Hellcat. Nothing. It would all just melt away in a haze of ice cubes and lemon twists.

Trouble is, after awhile, nothing really can get in. That includes other people. I spent the last year of my life working 50 hour weeks with the same people day after day and I never really felt like I got to know any of them. And I don't think I let them get to know me. I'm making the same mistake at my new job. My relations with everyone there are very surface, very non-committal. Part of that was borne out of me taking a new job while in the midst of an emotional crisis. I pulled back to try and mask the difficulty I was having staying focused. But part of it is due to the person I've become. The person I'm no longer enjoying being.

So it was in this spirit, and with the intent of taking advantage of the fact that I had a therapist to lean on, and anti-depressants to make me feel more stable, that I decided to address a part of my life that I have been reluctant to face down. Mind you, after much introspection I've reached the conclusion that alcoholism is not the problem. Alcohol abuse, however, is a symptom. A symptom of my need to feel in control. Yes, I realize the irony in the feeling of ceding control to the alcohol as representing me feeling in control. I didn't say it was logical. All I knew was that for one hour every day at the end of the day I had my spot on the couch, in the night, with the lights out and the candles burning. And I had peace. I had my space. It belonged to me.

The thing is, I can still have that if I want it. Minus the alcohol. And the dry mouth in the morning. And the lack of dreams at night. And the coffee shakes from too much caffeine. And the depression. And the lack of confidence borne from me needing a nightly crutch to hobble into slumber. Ironically, the control I'm feeling from not going to bed drunk at night supersedes the old control issues by a mile. Who knew?

Listen, I'm sorry if this all seems rambling and incoherent. This is the first time in 20 years I've felt this overwhelming desire to change the course of my entire life. The fact that I'm willing to even be this honest about my relation to and abuse of alcohol is a major achievement. I'm sort of still working a lot of it out in my own head. Hence, the disjointed post.

But there you have it. My first week without alcohol. I feel worlds better in the morning. And the dreams, good lord the dreams. This afternoon I knew it was time to get up when I dreamed that I lived with The Ex, The Hellcat, The Ex's friend Ron and the little sister from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Not the actress, the character.

I'm not sure where I'm headed with all this.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Saying Hello ...

Just some free advice from me to you. If you have an important Doctor's appointment in the morning, you probably shouldn't be hanging out drinking in a Lower East Side gay bar. If you do decide to drink the night away, you probably shouldn't bring a bag containing all your medical records with you. If you do decide to bring said bag, you oughta keep a real close watch on it instead of getting drunk on Scotch and feeling up the GoGo boy. And when said bag goes missing, you ought not come to me expecting me to do more than give the floor a thorough search by flashlight. And while sympathetic to your plight, you'll excuse me if I secretly think you're a total dumb-ass.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Oh, No She Didn't.

Careful dear, your ego is showing.

Oh, Aaron. I figured my last post would get a rise out of you. The fact that you took the bait so vehemently just makes it all the more laughable. Before you get your panties further in a bunch let me say that I am completely aware that you were treated most shabbily by, (in particular), the previous management. From what I understand it was clearly an unpleasant time in general around these parts. I am also fully aware that prior to my coming on board, you were the DJ on more than one relatively successful night. Some built from nothing. I guess what’s open to debate is whether your presence was cause or effect. Judging by your vitriolic response I assume you believe it was all you, you, you.

Nevertheless, I am dumbfounded by the absolute gall you display by attempting to tell me the blog equivalent of “shut up”. On my own space! Like it or not it’s the Wild West out here on The Internets, and particularly when it comes to my little corner of the blogsphere, and opinions being like assholes in that everyone’s got one, I’m allowed to have mine. Or be one. If anyone’s allowed to tell anyone else around here to shut up, it’s me.

As to me knowing the difference between DJ’s and promoters and the pettiness of challenging my background, I have no need to prove myself or respond to your whiny little challenge. I just spent the last year dealing with PROFFESSIONAL performers, stage managers, booking agents, road managers and publicists. The kind that routinely fill a room with in excess of 1,000 people. So excuse me if I’m non-plussed by some marginal local "talent" that manages to gather 75 fags in New York City on a Tuesday night.

However I will say this. I do, in fact, know the difference between a DJ and a promoter. I also know that in my experience, they share some marked similarities. Not the least of which is an over-developed sense of their own importance. In other words Nancy, get over yourself. In the grand scheme of things, neither one of us matters all that much.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Let's Lighten Things Up (Kind Of)

Britney and Kevin both get 'tooned.- Via Steph & Alek and Thought Not, respectively.

For whatever it's worth, here's the link to my new place of employment. No, I didn't design the web site. It's actually kind of out of date. And I hate that scroll bar at the bottom.

Speaking of which, he made some nasty comments on his site regarding the final night we hosted Gay Jeopardy. Now, I wasn't even there that night except in passing, so I don't know 100% what took place, but I think he's being a little mean and unfair. There are good honest people here working very hard to morph the space into a fun, sexy New York nightclub and lounge. I've only been here a couple of weeks and we are in a bit of a state of flux. But to suggest that everything went to shit and blame it all on "technical problems and an understaffed bar" is quite simply not the whole story. Well, let's say a lot of party promoters and DJ's resort to that line when they can no longer, if they could ever, draw a decent crowd.

We've got a whole new vibe planned for our little corner of downtown, if it works, it's gonna be great.I'm just sayin ... try not to bite the hand that feeds you. Even if it's kibble.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Turns Out, They Got A Pill For That.

So my psych evaluation turned out to be just that, and not the monster in a box I had worried it up to be. After explaining my depression and my desire to feel better, she asked me a series of questions designed, I suppose, to eliminate possibilities as much as diagnose a condition. So no to head trauma, no to seizures, no to alcohol and drug abuse. No (and this was a relief) to manic depression. I apparently don't experience the real manic mania you need to qualify. Sorry, not crazy enough, next!

I did express that while I no longer felt in crisis, I quite simply hardly ever felt "Good". And I would like to feel good again. So I have a new friend. It's called Lexapro. It's used in the treatment of adult depression and General Anxiety Disorder. It will eventually replace the Buspirone I'm taking and hopefully, the blurred vision, headaches and hot flashes I've had to suffer through.

Another pill.

Today I researched the best value best price for a new scanner. I wan't to scan in and create some CD slideshow pictures from when I was a kid back home. I know my brother would really enjoy something like that. That's when it hit me. This was the frist time in weeks I've thought about any creative project. Maybe I am feeling better already.

In other news .... and as a total aside I haven't had the chance to mention. As it turns out, The Hellcat has been off his meds since the middle of summer. And he hasn't been under a Dr's. care about it either.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

A Little Nervous

Tomorrow afternoon I go in for my rescheduled psych eval. I'm nervous about it. But my fear of always feeling so odd overwhelm my fear of meeting and confessing my problems to a total atranger. I'm also afraid I won't be able to re-create what I went through during this depression as I've mostly moved away from it. I'm still very blah and apathetic in the morning but I know now it's temporary. By the afternoon, aside from being tired I feel better. By the time the sun goes down my mood improves dramatically and by about 10 pm I feel right as rain. The thing is, I'm pretty sure most people don't wake up in the morning absolutely convinced that they won't have the energy to get through the day. I'm pretty sure most people don't spend the afternoon sacked out on the couch when a world of shopping, gyms or dare I say it, sex looms around every corner. Part of this, I know, is a transition caused by the new job. I'm a person who likes routine and I'm getting used to new hours and new responsibilities. It plays into my fear of loss of control or looking incompetent.

Still, I hope I can express the depths of the despair I was gripped in. I hope I can adequately express my inability some days to even dress myself. My cognitive functions went out the window. I was alternately manic and then woefully depressed. I still am, but I'm managing. I just feel like I shouldn't be experiencing these massive mood shifts every day. Aren't most people on a more even keel most days? Why can't I have that too?

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Damn Fags ....

I'm oh so very much enjoying being back amongst my peeps. But I'd forgotten what a handful gay employees can be. I got spoiled (HA!) at my previous job. All the bartenders were well over 30 and they were responsible, reliable and self-sufficient. Not so much with the gay boys. You have to remind them to do the same thing the same nights over and over again or (tee-hee) they just plum forget. We just started accepting credit cards at the bar, and they are looking at the Veri-phone machine like we just introduced them to fire. But honestly, we pack out the beer every night at the end of the night. Unless of course I forget to say the magic words: "Did you pack out the beer, baby doll?"

So my first night closing alone this week. It was a slow Tuesday and it was cold and wet. As an aside, ENOUGH ALREADY with the rain! It really, truly is ridiculous. Anyhoo, I was already pitchin' a fit as I had determined that one of the bartenders was missing money from his register. This has happened before when I was new to a job and it's incredibly awkward. The bartender doesn't know who the hell you are and you're saying he's short money. How does he know you're telling him the truth and not ripping him off? For that matter, how do I know the reverse? In the end, money was missing from the register due to a malfunction in the drawer. But it was well near 6 a.m. before that was determined. It was when I began closing up the outside that the real fun began. At first, I thought nothing of the fact that the only locks I found were for the opposite side of the club. I just assumed they had been switched. So there was little me jumping up trying to grab the gate and missing by a mile each time. In the rain. After several attempts I finally noticed some strategically placed pipework that made the whole endeavor simplicity itself. Thankfully, (or not, I can't decide) I decided to glance down at the club door before toddling on home. In the rain. Imagine my surprise when I realized the gate I assumed was pulled and locked by one of the bartenders was instead wide open. And imagine how thrilled I was to realize that the only way back inside to lock up properly was through the gate I had just pulled and locked. So I dutifully if not pathetically unlocked everything, fumbled with my keys to find one I had never even used before to let myself back inside, up and down two flights of stairs. I finally found the actual correct locks for the correct gates, locked up both sides of the club correctly and toddled on home. In the (now) pouring rain.

It was actually kind of peaceful in a wet and clammy way. Very few people out and about at that hour. Going on 6:30 a.m. and still dark and gloomy. I oddly enjoyed it. That is, until I found myself about two blocks from my castle high atop Second Ave. When I absent-mindedly patted my jacket in anticipation of some dry clothes and a quick voddie/soda. I was confirming the location of my house keys. Only there was nothing there. I quickly patted down every pocket. Nothing. I found myself crouched under an awning, frantically pawing through my knapsack hoping against hope I had thrown them in there. I looked like a crackhead looking for a last, lost rock. But alas, it finally became apparent that I had most likely left the keys back at the club somewhere during the lock, unlock fiasco. I had no choice but to turn back. Now I truly felt pathetic.

I could have gone home and tried to roust The Ex, it was late (early) enough that he would be wake-able. But the keys to the club were on there too. I had visions of some homeless guy ducking under our awning to get dry and finding the keys to a candy store right there for the taking. Nice way to start my new job. With a break in. So I walked down the fifteen blocks back to the club. The soaking rain being the least of my worries now. For a gut wrenching minute they weren't there and then yes, on the steps down to the club I spotted them. Thank god. I scooped them up and headed back home. It was only when I was halfway back and after I confirmed it was just after 7 a.m. that I remembered I had a 2 p.m. Dr's appointment. god. damn. it. As evidenced by my previous entry, I made it on time. Miraculously.

Side benefit to the new job. Internet access. Blogging at work is fun again.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Ch - Ch - Ch - Ch Changes...

Old viral load: 760,000+. New viral load after 4 weeks in treatment 7,900. For all my bitching it appears I got "The AIDS" on the run. Baby steps, folks. Another round of test results in four more weeks. And I've rescheduled my psych evaluation for this Monday afternoon. I may ask whoever does it to sign a release before I let them go exploring inside my head. It's not safe in there.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Grey And Gloomy

was the day today. My mood sort of matched. I don't think it has sunk in yet that I'm officially never going to go in to a job I've grown to hate. Well, assuming I never take another job I hate, that is. I spent the weekend completing my year in servitude. Giving two weeks notice and then having to complete said weeks is agonizing. Instead of secretly finding joy in never having to say this or put up with that again, I typically spent my time berating myself for putting up with those intolerable conditions for an entire year. I felt bad after every shift. Were it not for my new job, and all the fun I'm having there, well it could reduce a Duchess to tears.

Which, truth to tell, did happen last week. I have alluded to the fact that I'm seeing a counselor. I have been for about six weeks. Every Tuesday. As you saw from the previous posts I was in a pretty bad place. And while much improved, last Tuesday found me decidedly shaky. I debated with myself about showing up for counseling at all. Which is hilarious and typical of me. When I need help, I run from the very people trained to help me. Nothing in my troubles can't be cured by curling up with a cold vodka bottle. Which is how I found myself sobbing uncontrollably as I confessed my fear of being crazy. As I explained I had been in the clutches of a depression I was afraid I would never find my way back from. I tried to re-create in words the chaos that my thought process had become. I did a pretty good job of it too. She immediately scheduled me for a psych evaluation. After re-assuring me that she did not, in fact, think I was crazy. I found a little comfort in that.

Do I need to even tell you I skipped the psych eval? I know! But really, after spending 45 minutes sobbing like a hysterical school girl, the prospect of going through it again, this time with a total stranger, left me less than thrilled. So I skipped it. I'm gay. It's our way ...

I am following through with my next session today. Some good did come out of my breakdown last week. I was able to articulate many of the things that have fueled the depression. Getting older and being alone chief among them. I also have a Dr.'s appointment the following afternoon. I'll be getting the first test results since going on the meds. I intend to discuss my depression with him as well. Don't misunderstand, I'm not curled up in the dark watching infomercials. I work, I sleep. But my appetite is off. I have absolutely no sex drive. I just feel ...... blah. Except when I'm at work. And the current bartender I have a little crush on takes his pants off and works in a skimpy pair of undies. Then I feel really good.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Oh What A Night.

And what a circus I'm presiding over. Thursday night on the Lower East Side. Drunk men, drag queens and Gay Jeopardy. Welcome to my new world. Rather than relate the tale in words I've chosen to edit most of it and give you pictures.

The night started un-eventfully enough with a couple of Go Go Boy auditions. And while this one was decidedly a Go Go Man and not a boy I'd probably hire him because he has a big dick and he wasn't afraid to prove it. Believe it or not (you bitches!) I declined.

After which, we moved into the Marquee and Gay jeopardy with Linda Simpson.

The actual game show bored the fuck out of me but included Linda Simpson as host (cranky schoolmarm) as well as Sultana, Duch and Taboo as contestants. I'm afraid of Taboo. But I love how Duch kept referring to Linda as simply "Simpson".

There were several Lower East Side celebutants in attendance. Case in point: Miss Violet Temper:

After the show, all the drag Queens did a number but only a couple truly stood out. Sorry, bitches!...
Duch worked her magic on the crowd ...

And so did Sultana. She worked!

Before, during and after some drunk men insisted on taking off their clothes and letting their cocks flop around in their boxers. For the most part I didn't care but then there was this man:

All in all, Ms. Simpson does a pretty amazing job considering the meager (Read: no) budget she's given. The fact that she gets some amazing guests and people to come out and support her week after week speaks to that. Which is why it's a shame that it looks like Gay Jeopardy will be cancelled after next week. At least that's the story so far. I've spoken with the powers that be and all is not set in stone. There are variables. And in one scenario Gay Jeopardy featuring the highly entertaining Linda Simpson lives on. If not, next week is it. But you didn't hear any of that here. Stay tuned ...

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

My New Job

photo credit: tommyrico 10/05/05

With every new job comes new responsibilites. To wit:

Seeking GoGO Boys/dancers for established East Village Gay bar. Friendly exhibitionist in good or great shape. You don't need to be a muscle god. You should look hot in next to nothing. Must be comfortable working in skimpy clothes, underwear or jockstrap. No nudity required. Must be available to work late. Pay and tips available. Audition and/or interview required. Please include contact number, age and stats in reply. A picture would be helpful.

It's a chore, but I vow to soldier on.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Good Stuff

Still working for my old employers. It's a chore but the way to be professional and exit gracefully. As a side benefit I happened to work the Yahoo New Artist Series performances. I perused the listing of performers and I admit I made fun of one. She was billed as the "Hip-Hop violinist" and I laughed. My mistake. Miri Ben-Ari was fucking awesome. She brought the crowd, which was admittedly jaded and also halved just because the show lasted too long, out of their chairs, and I'm telling you, she may be technically a novelty act, but the people at Reebok know what I know, and they've financed the first video off her brand new album. This has never been done before as an endorsement deal. This bitch rocks!!!

Update... Between work and new work and late nights of semi-lucid drunken blogging a milestone was reached and I missed it. My feeble attempts at keeping a site of interest to my tens of readers crossed a huge barrier. At least for me. On September 29 at precisely 6:51:54 pm my little corner of The Blogspot recieved it's 100,000th visitor. He or she only stayed less than a minute. And he or she got here from a Google image referral, as he or she was looking up dirty gay filth. And found his or her way here, imagine that! In any case, whoever you are in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, I thank you for the attention. Sorry about where you live, though.

While I'm saying thank-yous, I'd like to take the time to thank everyone who posted or e-mailed me during the depths of my last depression. It was an incredibly frightening time for me, and offers of help and counseling and plain old encouragement were concrete pililngs for me to hold on to as I weathered the (brain) storm. The worst seems to be over, although I still have a few bad mornings. I feel just fine, right now. If I had to be descriptive though I still feel made of glass, easily shattered. Hopefully, every day will lessen that. My current theory is it was a combination of extreme stress on several fronts. I simply became overwhelmed. I had a blood test this week and will be getting fresh numbers in two weeks. I plan on following up with my Dr. and I will be sure to impress upon him that this was no ordinary mild depression I went through. If there's something I can take that will prevent a repeat episode, I never want to feel so hopeless and alone again.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Meeting With My New Boss

Fuck. It turns out they want to use me (full time manager) to replace L*** (part-time manager). I've met L***. He's a nice guy. I've been in this situation before but it's awkward. Knowing that I need to get information from him that will ultimately lead to me replacing him. I feel dirty. And not in the good way. He's been so generous of spirit that I hate to be in this position. I prefer missionary.... I don't even know what that joke means ...