Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Take The Test (2)

I'm still not feeling well, although today I am much improved. I'm currently deciding if one more day of bed rest will help me heal more or if I should suck it up and go to work tonight. In any case, that's no reason why I can't pass along this little Gem of the Internets.

Update: My condition improved by leaps and bounds throughout the day today. Although the worst appears to be over I'll keep an urgent doctor appointment I made for tomorrow. Just to be on the safe side. Besides, it's been weeks since anybody has fingered my butt.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Thanks. - A Report From Thanksgiving Day

So the holiday came and went. Wish I had an interesting story or two to relate. If possible, the day was even more uneventful than it normally is. I stayed in bed 'till a little after noon. Missing by quite a bit the Thanksgiving parade. Not that I would be caught dead anywhere near the actual live parade. I made that mistake once before many years ago. Like any large free event that takes place in Manhattan, you need to arrive at the location, in this case anywhere along the parade route, hours and hours beforehand. I don't wait well and I don't do cold. So it goes without saying I don't wait in the cold. Ever. But I do enjoy watching it on TV. Assuming I'm up. You can't ask for a better view.

Since I snoozed through the parade and The Ex was down in Ft. Ladida attending the White Party, my options were limited to whatever fun I could cook up with The Hellcat. The problem with that plan is that The Hellcat has been something of a poop lately. First it was a bad reaction to antibiotics, as he was being treated for a "possible" case of (applause) the clap. I say possible because the boyfriend du jour came down with it for sure, so The Hellcat's Dr. decided to dose him just to be safe. In any case, as they always seem to do, the antibiotics made him nauseous and listless. Then it was a toothache. Or rather, an entire set of teeth ache. Unfortunately, although it seems The Hellcat has, in fact, stopped using meth (it's been well over 6 months if not closer to a year) he's paying the price for years of using. In this case, between the constant grinding of the teeth caused by the meth and the bad oral hygeine also caused by being too high to take care of yourself, The Hellcat has cavities that need filling, broken teeth that need repair, as well as at least one root canal he's going to have to suffer through. Besides all that he seems to have lapsed into his own trough of depression, the upshot of which is he doesn't leave his room for an entire day (except to walk and feed the dog) or he leaves his room only to relocate to the couch and repeatedly fall asleep, only rising to eat junk food or do dog maintenance. Showering and/or bathing seem to be a low priority. This has been going on for over two weeks. It's sad, but also annoying. Even when I was at the bottom of my depression I managed to rally and get out of the house every day, if only for some aimless shopping and a meal at the corner diner. It's depressing having a depressed person lie around the house all day. Particularly when he seems to not want to do anything to address the problem.

So it should come as no surprise that The Hellcat finally rolled out of bed after 3 today. He fed the dog, ate a bowl of cereal and retreated back from whence he came. He did manage a "good morning" but no mention of whatever tentative plans we had to grab some brunch or make a meal.. Not that I was expecting it. I had already gone out the night before and purchased all the fixin's for a big breakfast. In fact, I was just sitting down to the sale circulars from the daily papers and a heaping plate of scrambled eggs w/salsa, a big ole' ham steak , some toasted onion pita and some fresh fruit when he stumbled through the kitchen. And as much as I meant my previous statements that I try to treat a family holiday like Thanksgiving as just another day, it would have been nice if an effort had been made on his part to spend an hour or two with me before I had to go to work. Instead, I spent the afternoon with the TV off puttering around the Internets, paying some bills on-line and shaving my legs. I intended to go see Harry Potter or Rent, but my legs had gotten pretty overgrown. I'm sort of kidding. Besides, by the time I would have had to leave for the movie I had started feeling a little rundown myself. I was running a slight fever and had a headache. So I saved my energy and headed out into a cold and blustery Thanksgiving night to work. The Hellcat was still napping. He had been up a grand total of 10 minutes.

Work was fine, albeit slow. Our regular drunks were in attendance, and I did get a real turkey dinner courtesy of our restaurant next door. Unfortunately, whatever was ailing me had moved into my digestive tract. I didn't get sick, but I did make several hurried trips to the bathroom. If ya' get my drift.

As a matter of fact, between the (literal) pain in the butt I was experiencing, add in the fact that I overall felt like shit, mix in a dollop of feeling all alone and lonely and you have the recipe for me finally jumping off the wagon. I got home and I was cold, I was tired, work bored the crap out of me and my innards felt like they were about to burst outward. So I mixed me a vodka/soda... The earth continued to turn. I didn't go all Days of Wine and Roses and progress right to the rubbing alcohol. I watched the final episode of Rome (loved it!) and then channel surfed 'till about 6 am. I had two drinks, I made myself a third, but I never made a dent in it, instead drifting off to sweet merciful slumber. My "Thanksgiving holiday" coming to an end with a whimper. Actually, the whimper was coming from me. But nothing a good nights sleep, a gallon of Immodium and a giant tube of Preparation H couldn't cure. How was your holiday?

Friday, November 25, 2005

Always Keep One In Reserve

Here's a li'l sumthin' just for stopping by. Judging by my site counter I'm huge in England, so hopefully this will go over well. And yes, Mikell, feel free to share any or all.

also - Here is an example of someone with way too much time on his hands.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving

If you're in New York City from out of town or just at a loss for something to do, or if you spent the day with the dysfunctional relations and you require some emergency alcohol therapy but you're not sure where to go, come on down to the Bowery and visit me at The Slide. We'll be open sometime in the evening until sometime in the morning (don't press me for a commitment) and we'll be decked out per usual for our new Thursday night Bowery Beach Party. I can promise you a Speedo wearin' gogo stud and $5 Bowery Sunbursts, served in a hurricane glass and perfect for chasing the winter chill away. Plus, there might be pie. OK, that's probably a lie. But there will be music.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

That's One Way To Win An Argument

Yesterday. A gay couple driving from New York City to New Jersey was crossing The George Washington Bridge. At some point an argument ensued. Half way across the span the argument got decidedly heated, whereupon the driver stopped the car, got out and jumped headfirst into the Hudson River. He was pulled from the water but pronounced dead a short time later.

And I thought I insisted on having the last word ...

Monday, November 21, 2005

In The News

CNN and UNAIDS are reporting that more than 40 million people worldwide have HIV. 25 million people have died from AIDS since 1981. 3.1 million people died from AIDS last year alone and an estimated 4.9 million more people have been infected. In addition, recent reports indicate that 1 in 5 new cases of HIV reported nationally are from the New York City area. Just in case anyone is counting.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Mark The Passing

Six kinds of shit came raining down on some of my fellow blog-friends and acquaintances after I posted yesterday. I wasn't planning on writing much today but I feel like I need to say something.

News of the death of Texas blogger Angreeblkcub skittered around late yesterday. I only knew him from checking in from time to time and from following his comments and exploits over on Drink More. We traded a couple of good-natured comments a while back as well. His final post is a stunningly prophetic goodbye. Many of you who new him better than I are deeply saddened and at a loss. May the spirits claim him as their own, and may the days and weeks ahead help you all find comfort in his courageous, outrageous, life. If you have some time this week, go back in and read some of his archives and take a few minutes to mark his presence on this plane.

Also, my blog-buddy down in Ft. Lauderdale, R.J. is struggling with what appears to be the imminent loss of a friend as well as the death of a beloved pet and long-time companion. I've never had a pet to completely call my own but the animals I've helped take care of over the years I've always fallen in love with. I can only imagine how attached one must get after spending 18 yrs. with one. While that's a great run for a house pet, it's still incredibly sad to reach the end of that road. I've already sent my condolences and good wishes his way. I just wanted to acknowledge that I'm thinking of you, baby.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Weekend Edition

Neo sent me these a while back. There are more, but these are my favorites.

Friday, November 18, 2005

How Dry I Am

Well, it's been four weeks since any form of the demon alcohol has passed my lips. Two more days and I will have reached my goal of one month. I originally mentioned I would do 60 days, but that just smacked of fanaticism. Is that a word? Anyway, I'm in no hurry to break my liquor fast. I've given myself permission to enjoy a glass of wine or two assuming I'm off for Thanksgiving and I find myself cooking or out to dinner on the holiday. We haven't gotten a straight answer from the owners about whether or not we'll be open. I suspect we will be. It doesn't really matter one way or the other. I don't celebrate Thanksgiving as a rule. It's a family holiday in my mind, and since I don't have much in the way of family around, running about trying to "invent" a family and celebration has always felt a bit desperate to me. Of course, that whole statement sort of speaks to an issue I've been dealing with in my therapy sessions. The fact that I have quite a bit of trouble forming intimate relationships, be they friendship or sexual, with anyone. But that's a subject for another day.

Coincidentally (?), I'm pleased to report that I'm feeling worlds better, fucked-up-in-the-head wise. Things aren't perfect. Some of the issues I've been grappling with regarding my above mentioned intimacy problems, my unresolved sense that I've wasted a huge chunk of my life, as well as my fears for my future are all still bubbling beneath the surface. But I no longer feel overwhelmed by it all. I'm no longer experiencing the day to day fear and extreme anxiety, a sense that I am powerless and incapable of facing even the simplest challenge. If I wasn't expressive enough in describing how much I was struggling, I would say that was the most frightening, most frustrating part. The fact that I'm a control freak is well documented and freely acknowledged. So when I felt that I had lost control, of everything, my emotions, my reactions, my ability to reason, well, let's just say I will do whatever it takes to avoid going back there again anytime soon.

So, winter fast approaches. The change of seasons usually makes me feel rather melancholy. I mourn the passing of another summer and wonder, aloud and to myself, how I will slog through another season of cold air and grey skies and (if you're me) really cute sweaters and the opportunity to layer brilliantly. But this year is different. I am renewed. My sense of balance has been restored. I have hope again. And sometimes, hope is enough to keep you going. Stay tuned ...

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Help Wanted

To clean my apartment and paint my bedroom, but that's not why I'm posting.

I'm trying to start a new night at The Slide. I could fall back on the tried and true big dick contest and slutty gogo boys that are an East Village staple, but I thought I'd try something a little less lowbrow. Of course, chances are the whole concept will fall faster than a botoxed forehead at the six month mark but what the hell, at least I'm trying. So I'm putting together an acoustic night for Wednesdays. I'm looking for guitarists, duos, and small combos. I'm also looking for singers who can provide their own vocal tracks. We have a decent sound system (when its working) and a full complement of mics, stands and rudimentary lighting. I'd also like to talk to spoken word artists and poets that would be willing to appear between sets and perform selections from their work. The artists don't necessarily need to be gay. They certainly need to be gay-friendly, bi, or straight but "queer" (which I guess means those East Village tattooed rock boys who don't mind getting a blowjob from "a dude"). Basically anyone with a desire to perform for little or no money that can put together about 20 mins. or more of material.

It's what they used to call a showcase back in the day. Only this one will be for LGBT (did I get all the letters in the right order?) performers and those that support us. Sure, my motivation is to up my bar sales which will ultimately make me look good, but hey, if I can do that and provide exposure and an outlet for my people at the same time, where's the harm? Now I've been trolling Craigslist the last couple of weeks and I've gotten some great leads. Even booked a few people over the coming weeks. But I thought I would use my blog and my tens of readers as another resource. Are you a singer/guitarist looking for a space to perform? Do you know of any performance artist with a crazy bent and no place to show off their talent. Remember, we just staged a murder this past Saturday so we "do" outrageous. If so, please get in touch with me through the comments section or scroll down to the links and shoot me an E-mail. If you know of somebody, feel free to forward this to them or send me a way to get in touch.

I'd really like to create a space for some up and coming artists to get some exposure. I look forward to hearing from you. If not, there's always slutty gogo boys with big dicks.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Get Off My Corner, Bitches!

So the British tabloids News of the World and The Mail are breathlessly reporting on a man who claims to have beaten back an HIV+ diagnosis by taking supplements. He now tests HIV- and claims to have "cleared the virus" from his system. Our very own NY Post has predictably run a piece on the subject complete with a reporters byline. Remarkable, considering the "reporting" seems like a simple rewrite of a wire service summary. Without naming names, various bloggers far and wide have seen fit to link to the story without giving out some important facts. Namely that both "newspapers" have a tendency to lie. Particularly if it sells more papers. And it shouldn't be lost on anyone that a)The man has sold exclusive rights to the story of his "miracle cure" to both tabloids. b) The first option he considered when told of the news of his "spontaneous clearance" was a lawsuit. c) He professes the desire to help those already diagnosed as HIV+ but so far flat out refuses to undergo further testing to back up and/or explain his good fortune.

While I won't discount that it's in the realm of possibility that human evolution may result in a subset of people that posess or will posess a natural defense against HIV infection or a natural resistance to full blown AIDS, this particular case stinks to high heaven. And shame on the people in the media as well as irresponsible "legitimate" bloggers who lazily are reporting false hope and fantasy as fact. For a more fair and balanced take on the subject, at this point I'll direct you to a telling chronicle of the current facts to The Guardian. And for another well done breakdown of the story behind the story, check out Richard at PAYOR.

On the same beat, for those of you outside of NYC, our own NEXT magazine ran an interview this week with an unspecified HIV specialist. Among the more shocking claims is this little gem:

"Based on the numbers I see in my practice, I would say 40 to 45 percent of gay men in lower Manhattan under 40 are HIV-positive. ... Probably a third of those don't realize they're positive."

I take no comfort in what should be some cautionary statistics if they're true. But it does take a bit of the sting out of some recent rejections based on my sero-status.

I have more to tell you in the morning. It's 3am and Iron Chef is coming on. Stay tuned ...

Monday, November 14, 2005

Murder Most Foul

Saturday night on the Lower East Side. In addition to the usual bevy of GoGo Boys, I found myself enmeshed in drama both planned and unplanned. The planned drama consisted of a visit from performance artist Julie Atlas Muz and a little staged show entitled "Murder In The Slide". She was booked by the club owner, and while I had an idea what to expect, I was excited to see what kind of an effect it would have on the crowd. What started out as a unnervingly quiet night exploded around midnight and by 12:30 we were pretty full. Julie decided around 1:15 that the crowd had peaked and she was ready to perform. After walking around in what amounted to a sequined bra and panties for an hour or so she returned up the stairs wrapped in nothing but white butcher paper. A staged fight with an accomplice broke out by the outside door. We had a relatively mixed crowd in at that point, and I had to reassure one outer-borough young woman that it was OK. She seemed relieved when I started snapping pictures. The "argument" turned into a shoving match, whereupon her "boyfriend" hoisted her into the air and carried her to the stage as Julie screamed for help.

After depositing her on the stage and some more fighting, her boyfriend ripped off the butcher paper leaving her naked.

From there, he dragged her off to the bathroom, which had been covered in more butcher paper and equipped with a strobe light. As classical music swelled in the background the boyfriend violently swung at his victim on the floor, as "blood" splattered up covering him and the wall.

At the climax, Julie as bloody victim popped up against the blood spattered wall, only to slide slowly back down in a death spasm that would have made Quentin Tarantino proud. After which, her killer mingled amongst the crowd, graciously serving cocktail weenies to the delighted albeit confused crowd.

I couldn't resist snapping a picture of a blood covered Julie in our bloody bathroom. If a naked woman covered in sticky fake blood makes this a NSFW post I apologize.

The unplanned drama resulted in a bartender I truly liked getting fired and a dancer refusing to be booked in the club again due to some shoddy treatment he received. How familiar does that sound? I have a feeling I can salvage the situation. I can be rather charming as long as I don't have to sustain it.

Let's see ... what else?

I haven't talked about it here before, but I was very upset to hear that poet and performance artist Emanuel Xavier was beaten by a gang of teens on the street last month. I'm an admirer of his work and have seen him perform at several spoken word events over the last few years. However, it seems he'll recover and he's speaking out about the attack. - via Gay City News

I spent this evening trying his recipe and making a big ole' pot of beef stew. If you've never made it before but always wanted to (like me) give his recipe a try. It's remarkably easy and simple to modify with other ideas and things you have in the fridge. I added red and green peppers, some corn, half a cup of V8 juice and a healthy splash of Merlot. It came out positively yummie but thanks to my Sicilian blood I made far too much. Anyone got a hankerin' for a beef stew lunch, gimme a shout out, yo. I got lots. And thanks again, Ethan.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Insert Part A Into Slot B

I'd be remiss if I didn't provide a link to the wackiest porn shoot ever. I had to re-read the article several times just to make sure I understood who had what parts and what they were doing with them. Enjoy, and have a nice weekend.

Friday, November 11, 2005

From My Mailbag NSFW!

In response to a Craigslist ad "Horny top looking for younger jock bottom" (Don't start! I was in a mood.) I posted a while back, I received this most generous, if a bit off topic, offer in my e-mail from one self-proclaimed "AmazingSTUD". It was accompanied by a series of photos that I feel compelled to post here as well. Just so you understand my need to respond. Here's the original e-mail:

Do You Enjoy Complimentary (no charge) MASSAGE and MORE?
I am a Professional Photographer and Former Pro Masseur (7 yrs experience)

Please be HIV neg, d/d free, NON-SMOKER. I am the same. No bareback or Drugs (PNP).

Please reply by return email (if possible, with your fullbody or x and or nude pics with face)
WS tops are hot, but optional

As you can see, he asks that I be a NON-SMOKER, and judging by the caps it is extremely important. Luckily I quit four years ago. He specifically states that he's not interested in bareback sex nor does he do drugs or want to deal with drugs. Fine and fine. We're absolutely lousy with condoms and lube around the castle. I'm not bragging. Quite the opposite, the only reason I'm well equipped in the safe sex department is I haven't been having any sex of any kind. And my drug use these days is limited to what "The Man" tells me to take. But I digress.

Unfortunately (for me) he also specifically insists I be HIV-, and alas, I am not.

But here's where my confusion lies. If the offer is for a MASSAGE and MORE (which I'm assuming means him bottoming, or something) plus, in case you didn't notice, that casually thrown in WS top option at the end. Like, "By the way, if you get the urge to pee on me, by all means, do". And if unsafe sex is not an option and there's no chance that either one of us is gonna show up high on X or crystal meth and do something stupid, why oh why is my HIV status an issue?

Now, you understand I'm not saying anyone has to engage in a sexual liaison with anyone not of their choosing. I'm just wondering, if you lay down the guidelines of no drugs and no bareback sex, where does my being HIV+ factor in?

So I asked him.

Here's my (grammatically poor) e-mail response:


I really appreciate the generous offer. While I would love to take you up on
the offer of a complimentary massage and more. I guess I need to decline,
even though I'd rather not.

Like you I am a non-smoker and drug free. That includes poppers and pot. And
I am fully prepared to engage in healthy safe sex practices. Unfortunately,
I am a healthy HIV+ man and that seems to rule me out according to your

I'm curious, however, as to why if you only practice safe sex would my HIV
status be a factor in receiving a massage and whatever you meant by more? Of
course, I can't force you to have a sexual experience you clearly aren't
interested in, I'm just wondering what the deal-breaker is here for you?

Unfortunately, I got no response.

In Other News ... It's been three weeks and I still haven't cracked. Not a drop to drink. I have another week and two days to go to make my goal of one month dry. Obviously, I'm going to make it. Now I need to decide if I press on sober, or try to rejoin the social drinking set.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

And Now, Some Fresh Numbers

Monday found me at the doctor for the results of my latest blood work. Before I get to that, I need to vent a bit. Overall, considering I have no insurance and am essentially a ward of the state, my access to and experiences with health care for HIV+ persons has been excellent. I've been extremely blessed in that regard. I am able to secure appointments easily and quickly. My therapist, adherence counselor and my doctor have all provided me with direct phone numbers in order to reach them should a crisis arise. During the course of my previously chronicled emotional meltdown, I was afforded comfort and concern, as well as provided more intense psychiactric counseling, and for the most part, felt a sense that I had people looking out for me.

Having said that, this past two days has been an exercise in frustration. My Monday appointment was for 2:30. I freely admit I have a tendency to dawdle in the afternoon, and leave at the last possible minute (if not a few minutes late) for the 1/2 hour trek directly across town to the Health Center. I don't expect to breeze in and be swept directly into the exam room. I'm willing to wait, and I understand that seeing patients can be inexact as far as budgeting time. 15, 20 minutes, even 1/2 hour and I don't really take note. But when a nurse comes in to the waiting room and blithely informs everyone that the doctor is approximately an hour and twenty minutes behind on his appointments well, that's just poor management and a bit of an insult to patients who have a limited amount of free time. Indeed, it was a full two hours later that I finally found myself in an exam room, still waiting to actually see my doctor. By the time he arrived I was starving and completely uninterested in anything but a rudimentary exchange of information. I got my numbers, picked up some renewed prescriptions and told him I was feeling "Better. Fine." To top it all off, half the reason I was there was because I wanted to get a flu shot. Imagine how through I was when he informed me they were "out" and I should contact the city Health Department or call and come back later in the week when they "might have more." Another opportunity to sit around and possibly (or not) get a flu shot? Great! Can't wait!

The next day found me at my local Duane Reade, armed with three prescriptions, two of which were renewals. One of them, Androgel, I've been taking for months. So imagine my surprise when the "pharmacist" informed me that he couldn't fill my prescription. Because I needed a prescription. Seriously. I immediately started talking to him like he was brain damaged.

"You do realize that you're holding a prescription don't you?"

"But you need a new one."

"Newer than 24 hours ago?"

"When did you get this?"

"Yesterday. It's a prescription from my doctor. I'm not sure what you mean. It's the only prescription I've ever had."

"Well, we don't have it so we'll have to order it. It will be a while."

"How long is 'a while'?"

"Probably Friday."


"What's your date of birth?"

"Fuck you." (I made that part up.)

"It will be ready tomorrow."

(Huh?) It wasn't lost on me that Friday had now become tomorrow. But I had an appointment with my therapist and decided to leave well enough alone. It was two hours later when I returned to the pharmacy. Would you be shocked to learn that the Androgel prescription was, in fact, filled that day? He out and out lied about not having it. Sure enough though, another prescription I had filled at that same pharmacy 3 weeks earlier was kicked out as "not covered". I have since learned that for once, they got it right, sort of. As it turns out, the state will cover my medication in a stronger dose, and not the weaker one I had requested. More medication than you need? Yeah, we'll pay for that! Again, I'm just venting, but I've been spending a lot of my free time lately taking care of my physical and mental health. It's exasperating to have to keep returning to places two and three times to get anything done.

Enough. I promised you some test results.

After about 8 weeks in treatment my viral load has dropped again. From 7,900 to 1,163. My T-Cells are a robust 452. Equally as important, my liver is showing no adverse effects from the medication, and my cholesterol, both good and bad, are unchanged and beyond excellent. Oh, I am slightly anemic. But that runs in my family and it shows up periodically in my tests.

Considering it took almost two and a half hours, I guess I could get worse news than I'm just fine.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Autumn In New York

Sunday found me up first thing in the, well... noon. The Hellcat and I had tentative plans to try and get our asses moving as early as possible on Monday. I've been wanting to take the digicam up to Central Park. While it hardly rivals a tour of the changing leaves in the deep woods of Vermont, for us tried and true New Yorkers, it's our version of experiencing the wonder that is nature and the great outdoors. As opposed to the outdoors where they keep all the Dim Sum delivery people when they're not at my apartment dropping off an order.

Since the weather report for Monday was turning iffy and since we both found ourselves travel ready before 3 pm (an extremely rare occurrence around the castle) we decided to race against the dwindling late afternoon light a day early and try to capture some images.

We hadn't remembered or counted on running into the remnants of The New York City Marathon. And by remnants I mean the true stragglers. These were the people that were determined to finish the race. Even if the race turned into a walk. Hell, as I pointed out, even if they walked the entire course through all five boroughs it was still a long-ass fuckin walk. Not to mention the guy we spotted trotting along with a seeing eye person as a guide. But as compelling as some of the stories seemed I was interested in capturing more photos in the nature category, so we left the marathoners and thousands upon thousands of discarded Gatorade cups behind and pressed further into the park. I like this image. You can see the West Side apartments jutting above the tree line and the cool autumn breeze slightly rippling the lake.

By late afternoon (damn Daylight Savings Time!) it was completely dark and only 5:00. By then, we were headed towards the exit home which always takes us past Mr. Trump's skating rink. As you can see, it's already open and a perennial attraction for both locals and tourists alike. The city skyline makes a pretty dramatic backdrop, despite the obvious exposure problems, I like this shot, too.

As The Hellcat and I walked along the park, he with his professional-type film camera and me with my sub-$200 5.1 mega-pixel digi, we discussed what attracts our eye about a potential shot. We both agreed that while talent and an eye for detail, as well as the ability to pull something extraordinary out of the ordinary count for something, a lot of truly beautiful photography can be boiled down to plain dumb luck. And that explains this, my favorite picture of the afternoon. I wish I could say I planned it all. The truth is, I stumbled upon a confluence of light and color and shadow that I thought was beautiful. I hoped I was able to capture it and it appears I did. This one will go up in the apartment.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

(More) Bits And Pieces - Weekend Edition

I had a chance during my Halloween non-celebration to clean up and update my links section. I took off some sites that are no longer blogging or that I simply lost interest in. Not to worry. For every blogger that got dropped I found another interesting (at least to me) contributor to the blogsphere to replace them. For now, you'll have to scroll waaaaay down to the end of my page if you want to follow these links. I'm blogging from work today, and not only am I using a Mac (which I've never used before two weeks ago) but I'm using Safari for a browser. It seems (as near as I can tell) that Safari doesn't support some Blogger features. Most significantly, there's no link button for me to provide you with an easy way to check out these sites. I'll update and add links (done!) from home in the morning. Anyway, here we go. Stop by and say hi, and tell 'em Tom sent ya.

BLURT - He's a self proclaimed urban punk/poz slut. All I know is he's dirty, provocative and funny. Three of my favorite qualities in a man.

ARTEMIS' NIGHTLIFE RAMBLINGS - She's a New York City drag celebutante and gal about town. We met because she was hosting a Wednesday night party for us that (through no fault of hers) never really got off the ground. The girl gets around so it's a good read.

BRAT BOY BULLETIN - Take a look at the generous amount of self-pictures young Ethan shares on his site. Must I explain?

HEAVEN - Memoirs of a boy of pleasure. Brandon Aguilar, porn actor, deep thinker, and the proverbial hooker with a heart of gold. Say what you will, his musings and his experiences make you stop and go hmmm.

And while we're gaily traipsing through the blog field, I'd be remiss if I didn't welcome back a re-launched VIVIDBLURRY. I like the new site design. It's simple and effective. Young Toby seems to have lost none of his snarky wit and willingness to offend from behind his protective fort of empty cases of box wine. However, I'm gonna miss the link to me he provided on his old front page. Not only was it a classic insult but it was good for about 50 hits a day. Ah well, time to pick a fight elsewhere.

Last night brought us a minor mishap in the GoGo Boy department. At some point later into the evening as I was performing my assigned task of "killjoy" and (as nicely as possible) breaking up couples and trios of hot boys (and not so hot dirty men) as they tried to not so subtly have sex in semi-public areas, I saw a commotion break out in the middle of the room. Upon further inspection I noticed a shapely pair of bare legs lying on the ground. Fortunately, they were attached to the aforementioned GoGo Boy. Unfortunately it appeared that he had fallen off his GoGo platform. How this happened was and still is a mystery. By the time I got there he was surrounded by ineffectual (drunken) assistance, and appeared to be unconscious, or at least dazed. After a minute or two he recovered enough to insist he was fine and resist coming down to the dressing room to see if he was OK. We prevailed, which was a good thing for upon closer inspection in the light it seemed that he had suffered a nasty (read: bloody) laceration to the back of his head. As everybody ran to fetch gloves and first aid kits, and then proceeded to twitter on about how he needed stitches and should go to the hospital, it was yours truly who actually set about cleaning up his bloody scalp and matted hair. As we all know by now I'm not in the least bit squeamish about such tasks. So while my injured Canadian Hottie kept insisting he could go out and finish his shift I dutifully managed to finally stanch (most of) the blood flow, while explaining how decidedly un-hot it would be if I allowed him to step back on the GoGo platform with a fresh open wound. He finally acquiesced, if for no other reason than by the time I got him reasonably patched up his shift was already over. He finally, if a little bit wobbly, saw fit to head for home. At my request, I received a text message from him this afternoon assuring me that he suffered no concussion and he was fine.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Two Weeks

and not a drop to drink. This despite an admittedly difficult to fight off craving for a glass of wine. Or three. I feel like I've left the habit breaking portion of this lesson and have moved into the character building section. The one where I set a goal and tenaciously hang on, keeping my eyes on the prize. Ultimately, I would like to be able to split a bottle of wine with a humpy date and, well, hump my date. I'd like to be able to meet friends out for brunch and get a Sunday afternoon buzz on Bloody Mary's. I'd like to be able to have a couple martinis before dinner and laugh and talk and relax and have that be the end of it. So I need to spend some more time building my resources so I don't fall back into my old anti-social ways. I'm learning all over again how to be comfortable in my own skin. To overcome my innate sense of shyness and just to relax and have fun again. I used to be a ton of shits and giggles. I lost that quality somewhere along the way. I miss it.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

What An Odd Feeling

After months of turmoil, I suddenly find myself in the proverbial lull. I went to my therapy session yesterday and remarked on how utterly unremarkable I was feeling. For the first time in weeks I had no real agenda, nothing that felt like a pressing need for me to discuss. It seems between the medication and the lack of alcohol I have finally managed to acheive what feels like a shocking level of "normalcy". Of course, once I got to talking I did manage to re-visit some familiar themes. Like how I have no real interest in living with The Hellcat or The Ex anymore. It's not that they're bad people. Far from it. At their core I would say they are both pretty good guys. But they share a similar trait. They are both completely thoughtless. And by that I mean without thought for the people around them or for their environment. Beyond the basic comforts I mean. On more than one occasion I have attempted to not scrub the toilet or wash the kitchen floor or disinfect inside the microwave. I have managed to go weeks on any number of these tasks, only to break down in utter disgust at the sheer filth the both of them are willing to put up with. Whereupon I do it myself. Still, it amazes me that two grown men can live this way on a daily basis. I would love to be a fly on the grease covered wall when I do finally leave these two to fend for themselves. The Hellcat I'm not so worried about as he seems to have a knack for finding people to clean up after him. The Ex is in for a rude awakening.

Halloween came and went. I got so busy puttering around the house taking care of this and that that it was after 10:30 before I realized I could still make it out to any number of bars or events and get some pictures. Between not even considering making up a costume and given that I have a few weeks to go on my pledge to dry out I decided to skip the frivolity and took a trip to Baskin/Robbins instead. A scoop of vanilla and a scoop of chocolate peanut butter was all the celebrating I would need. I spent the night cleaning up my PC and laptop. Deleting files, organizing photographs and downloading some new software. You may have gone out and got laid but I defragged two, - count 'em two, hard drives. Party on, dude!

And finally, from the Dept. of What The Hell?: there's this.