Saturday, September 30, 2006


One of the side benefits of pouring through your files trying to decide what you can live without is that you discover hidden gems. Like this gorgeous shot of the top of a fountain in Central Park. I didn't photoshop a thing, that's how blue the sky was that day.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Wow. Are My Cheeks Red

Again, not what you're thinking.

I assumed due to the noises coming out of my hard drive that when my computer started shutting itself off every 20 mins. or so, that the hard drive was failing. Why I used that as an excuse to replace the monitor with a shiny flat screen model well, let's just say we'd have to dig deeper into my shopaholic, gottahaveit psyche than I care to go. Of course, when that didn't work, I had to pony up the cash to actually replace the drive. Which I did, but then spent an entire day deleting programs and trying to ghost my original drive over to the new one. Not so easy when you're working in 20 minute intervals. I finally succeeded. In celebration I also decided to double the memory as long as I had the guts exposed. And yesterday I happily connected my new 300G hard drive to my system and fired it up. And nothing happened. Just a series of forlorn beeps. After determining that the hard drive wasn't installed wrong, I was afraid that after all my hard work that I had installed the wrong memory and fragged the whole thing. In desperation, I called the fine folks over at Kingston. Tech support patiently talked me through the fix, without once making fun of the fact that I amatuerishly installed the memory wrong. Problem solved.

Again, I happily re-connected all the peripherals and got to re-installing my programs... 20 minutes later it died. At first, I thought that the problem was actually a virus or some malicious program that had sneaked in. But I'm pretty careful about not letting my computer get The AIDS. Finally I had the sense to Google up "PC shuts down repeatedly" and was led to a series of articles all saying the same thing. My system was probably overheating because a fan wasn't working. After blowing out the entire case with compressed gas, and trying but failing to get it fixed that way, I took the radical step of taking off the cover and turning on the PC and having a look. The CPU fan didn't even twitch. The fan not working was making the CPU overheat and the system was shutting itself off to protect itself.

10 dollars later (not counting the $200 monitor and the $80 hard drive and the $35 memory upgrade) my PC is, in fact, good enough to last several more years. If I want, I can even take that old creaky hard drive and use it for additional storage. What anyone needs with 440gigs of storage I'll never know.

Skills acquired:

How to shop for and PROPERLY INSTALL memory.
How to install a hard drive.
How to ghost a hard drive.
How to remove and replace a CPU fan.
Where the motherboard battery is located and what it looks like.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

My First Time

Not what you'd assume but a helluva idea for a story. Note to self. Anyway, it appears the bodies have remained buried, as my background check apparently revealed nothing. Not too surprising, as I've spent huge chunks of my life living "off the grid". I had trouble originally getting my ID in NY state because I couldn't prove I was me, at least in the eyes of the DMV. It would have been helpful if I was on parole or an immigrant. Unfortunately being born in the state and not divorced or incarcerated was seen as a drawback.

So I went in for a new hire meeting. I actually had to be somewhere before noon. Savages. We filled out a bunch of forms. Interestingly, my new employers don't issue paychecks. They do direct deposit. You have no choice. You have some flexibility as far as whether you use your savings account or checking or some other debit account. But you don't get a paycheck. It's not a bother, I just find the fact that it's mandatory interesting.

They've been very thorough as far as what goes on in the hiring process. I've always felt informed and always been contacted by phone as to dates and times and what to expect. One thing that was sprung on us during the new hire meeting was a drug test. The forms for the nearby clinic were included in the new hire packet and we were told the drug test had to happen within 24 hours. I decided to get it over with and skip over to the clinic immediately after the session. I'd never had a drug test, but I have pissed on request before. Note to self, story idea #2.

Monday, September 25, 2006

404 -Brain Not Found

As I predicted, we had a major tech meltdown here in the command center. It was a race to see whether the hard drive or the monitor would be the first to go. I replaced the monitor. Unfortunately the same day the hard drive got decidedly closer to death. On the plus side, I installed a new hard drive relatively easily, considering the last time I tried several years ago I botched it. But my old drive won't stay on more than 20 minutes before it shuts itself off. So I'm scrambling to try and copy and delete massive picture and music files, as well as my beloved, beloved porn, so I can make the system transfer smaller and thereby faster. What's that? You thought I was going to back all these files up when I first noticed the problem weeks ago? Fuck off. In any case, when I'm finished I'll have a massive system upgrade with a new flat screen monitor, double the memory and a ridiculously huge hard drive that I will never, never fill. Geeks rule!

Sunday, September 24, 2006

This Week's Comics 4 Sale

ED. Note: Sorry the links weren't all working. Blogger added some mischeivous code. Fixed now.

Marvel Infinity Wars #1-6 complete mini-series!

Final Night #1-4 complete mini-series plus Green Lantern: Parralax

Sensational She-Hulk #1

My Name Is Chaos #1-4 complete mini-series!

Onslaught: Marvel Universe

Image comics Brigade #1

1991 Superman The Man of Steel #1!

I planned on talking about a bunch of things this week I never got to. Rain is in the forecast for today. Maybe I'll spend the afternoon writing.

Friday, September 22, 2006

MSNBC Headline:

"AIDS testing recommended for most Americans."

The announcement was hailed by some HIV patient advocates and health policy experts. They said the guidelines could help end the stigma of HIV testing and lead to needed care for an estimated 250,000 Americans who don’t yet know they have the disease.

Maybe the stigma could be avoided if reputable news services weren't casually equating testing HIV positive with having AIDS. It's lazy and stupid.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Right Turn

Barring any unforseen complications from a background check (I swear, I thought I had my pants on that morning) I am once again, once again (sigh) gainfully employed. I'm easing into this one, starting at part-time (about 22 hrs. a week). After about six weeks, we'll evaluate and see if I want to go full time. It's a pretty good hourly wage, it's on the books, I'll be able to re-start a 401K, and most important, no more late night hours. Part-time will be a struggle financially for a while, but like a good little grasshopper, I've always got a little bit of money stashed in various places, and I really think this is the smart way to go.

No restaurant or bar this time. I'm a retail queen.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Shuffle, Ball Change

From the Dept. of Stalkerazzi:

Recent celebrity sightings include:

World's First Male Supermodel Markus Schenkenberg, in the produce aisle at the Union Square Food Emporium. I totally stared and touched a cucumber.

TLC hottie host Evan Farmer, right around the corner from my apartment. I actually heard him before I saw him. That deep sexy voice that sounds a little affected for TV? Real. And deeper and sexier.

Job interview tomorrow. Gotta run.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

I Fear I've Gone Too Far

I had a nice weekend with my brother and sister-in-law. I'll break it down later. One of the only plans I made for the weekend I didn't want to miss was a dog event taking place Saturday afternoon in Madison Square Park. I believe it was put on by the AKC, and sponsored by the fine folks at Pup-peroni. There were tons of dogs! People brought various AKC breeds to show off. I fell in love with a pack of English Toy Spaniels. Not enough to get another dog so soon. Someday maybe. They had tables with information on veterinary care and dog grooming. There were raffles and giveaways. Free biscuits and bones. Of note: The fine folks at Pup-peroni set up a photo booth. Lame-ass retards loaded their dogs on their laps, climbed atop a Pup-peroni motorcycle, or worse, some of these crazy dog people loaded their dogs into the sidecar, and then they would sit there beaming, as onlookers tried to repeatedly call the mutt in an effort to get him to look into the camera. So lame. It was an embarrassment to watch. It truly was.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Today's A Good Day To EBay

What's that? You'd like some cool and weird stuff from my comic collection posted on EBay? Not a problem.

Timber Wolf mini-series #1-5 (complete series).

Sensational She-Hulk #1!

Robin mini-series #1-5 (complete series)

Impulse #1!

Silver Surfer/Warlock Resurrection #1-4 (complete series)

The Weird #1-4 (complete series) That's right. The very first appearance of The Weird. Right here.

X-Man #1! (and eight bonus issues)

Next week: A revelation, doggie pictures, my weekend with family.

Buy some comics! I need kibble! (I'm kidding, we're fine.)

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Company's Coming!

In the midst of the weekend's somber tone, I got some most welcome news. My brother and his wife surprised me with an E-mail that they were coming for a visit. They arrive tomorrow. I don't discuss my family all that much. We're not at all estranged, and I do in fact like them all, but we aren't by any definition of the word close. I take some of the blame for that, but family relations are a two way street. Still, I have been missing my family of late, and I did talk about planning a trip home very soon. It's why I took the time to renew my ID.

And I think I've finally learned my lesson as to how to handle visits from my brother. I've found a couple of tourist type ideas that may or may not interest them. I found a couple of restaurants that sound like fun I've been meaning to try. Food is the great common ground in my family. And that's it. No major plans and I'm not going to sweat it. They may have something they want to try. Maybe not. I will be available and open to whatever they want to do or see. I'll enjoy the company, and the chance to talk and hang out. No expectations equal no disappointments.

Monday, September 11, 2006

No Snarky Title Today

The Village Voice ran an article last week about the friendship that has blossomed between Phyllis Rodriguez, who's son Greg was murdered in the destruction of the World Trade Center, and Aicha el-Wafi, mother of the so-called 20th hijacker Zacarias Moussaoui. What struck me the most was near the end of the article, as Rodriguez attempts to explain resolving her grief and carrying on:

"How do you accept death when you don't believe there's a heaven or an afterlife?" Rodriguez says. "It's a fact of life. It's an end. It's a loss. The only thing I feel I can do is to not succumb to the tragedy and define myself through it."

Those words have haunted me all week. The sentiment inspires me every day.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Cheese-us Christ, Mary!

Will's reference in a previous comment to the TV show Inked got me to thinking about an episode of Miami Ink I saw recently. A Florida woman was in the shop, getting a tattoo of the grilled cheese sandwich she made that she swears contains an image of the Virgin Mary. I thought it was a joke until I researched the story. It seems that over 10 years ago, she did indeed make a morning snack from grilled cheese, including an initial bite, when she noticed the blessed mother beatifically smiling from the top of the toast. The blessed cheese sandwich was placed in a plastic container where it reportedly has never spoiled.

And if you're skeptical about whether or not the sandwich has been touched by the mother of Jesus, consider that the arterey clogging snack fetched the Florida couple $28K on an EBay auction, plus another 6 thousand for the frying pan it done got fried up in. Touched enough by god's family that the woman saw fit to have the holy sandwich tattooed on her right titty. Amen!

Friday, September 08, 2006

If A Penis Falls In The Woods ...

I stumbled on a fascinating show on TLC, the other night. The unweildy title of it was Born a Boy, Brought up a Girl. It recounted the story of twin boys, born to a Canadian farm couple in 1965. In '66, they were scheduled for circumcision due to a medical condition. The first twin was tragically operated on with a cautery machine (not designed for external use and certainly not on a baby's genitals). His penis was destroyed.

From there the poor child ended up in Baltimore at Johns Hopkins in the care of psychologist John Money. At the time, Money was considered a specialist in the field of sexual development and gender identity. He recommended and espoused that if the boy was given estrogen therapy and surgical intervention to resemble a female, in effect, raising a boy as a girl, and believed that he could demonstrate that gender was largely a result of nurture over nature. He believed that these theories could be applied to so-called "intersexed" babies. Those born with both male and female genitalia, or severely underdeveloped male genitalia.

Bruce/now Brenda lived the first 15 years of his life in a starightjacket of an incorrect gender. Indeed he was experiencing feelings of suicidal depression at age 13. It wasn't until age 15 that Bruce's parents admitted to both Bruce and his twin brother, that their girl was actually born a boy. Brenda immediately felt enormous relief and opted to assume a male identity, calling himself David. David's brother Brian eventually deteriorated mentally and developed schizophrenia. David endured testosterone injections, a double mastectomy and plastic surgery on his genitals to "restore" his male identity.

David eventually grew up, had a decent job and got married. Tragically, his brother Brian overdosed on alcohol and antidepressants in 2002 and died. In 2004 David's marriage seemed to be failing, and he suffered the damaging psychological effects of his "therapies" for his whole life. Finally, severly depressed, David took his own life with a sawed-off shotgun in May of 2004.

Dr. Money's work and theories, as well as Johns Hopkins, suffered severe damage to their reputations, although he has never admitted that he may have made a mistake. And how that mistake caused two innocent boys, and indeed an entire young family, to suffer needlessly for years.

You can get more information here. And read an article about David's suicide by the author of his biography here.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

There's Not Enough Time

I intended to watch the new season of Nip/Tuck. Nothing will bring me on board faster than gratuitous male nudity. For some reason I thought today was the 5th. So I set about setting the VCR (remember them?) and getting dinner ordered in time to simultaneously watch Project Runway. It was only then I discovered that today was the 6th. And I'd missed Nip/Tuck. I've been talking about TV a lot, but compared to most people I know, I don't watch that much. I've avoided a lot of the reality shows. I missed the first 3 seasons of American Idol. And even though I followed along most of this year, I didn't really care if Taylor or the girl won. Big no on Big Brother. Ditto Survivor, although I followed the first season. And remind me to weigh in on the whole latest Survivor/race issue. If you haven't guessed, I don't see anything wrong with it. Hell's Kitchen? Not so much, too close to my real life. I love The Real World concept, but I haven't been emotionally invested since San Francisco. I absolutely hated the Key West cast. Both the alcoholic anorexic and the guy who ended every sentence with "dude" need to be severely beaten.

I loved Top Chef. Hell's Kitchen and good food sans yelling. I got sucked in to So You Think You Can Dance. I skipped the 1st Dancing With The Stars, totally got in to the 2nd. And I love the cast for the 3rd. I'll be watching. And they've already announced the airdates for Top Chef 2. Where Little People Big World fits in this spectrum I don't know. So it seems I have no time in the TV portion of my brain for Celebrity Duets. And I honestly only care how Jai Rodriguez is doing anyway, as I keep skittering between he's pretty hot to he's an annoying bottom I want to make cry and then fuck.

And before you suggest Tivo, please don't. From what I know about Tivo, and how it goes out and finds shows it thinks you might like, I couldn't take the pressure. I can barely keep my E-mail inbox cleaned out.

Oh, speaking of E-mail! I got this in mine this morning:

Hi There,

I thought your users may be interested in this issue we are trying to bring to light.

Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU) is facing serious backlash for their gay sheep experiments in which the goal is to identify a biological basis for homosexuality in sheep in an effort to cure homosexuality in humans. OHSU experimenters are killing scores of sheep in an attempt to find the hormonal mechanisms behind homosexual tendencies, so that they can subsequently be changed.

Please let me know if you have any questions, etc. and thank you for your consideration of this feature.


I omitted the link to feature as it turns out, this is a PETA sponsored mass mailing, that seems to be keyed to "gay blog". I'm outraged. Here is my e-mail response:

Hi There,

I thought I'd let you know I loath PETA and refuse to support anything on their agenda. I consider most of it's members to be laughably weak-minded half-wits, and the rest to be dangerous social terrorists. Please don't contact me again. Ever!


Wednesday, September 06, 2006

I'm Getting Lazy

The alarm went off this morning. The bedroom was dark, the air was that elusive perfect temperature. Not hot at all and just slightly cool. I didn't hesitate to turn it off and roll over. Waking for the day at the crack of noon. I was certainly refreshed.

I've been slowly weaning myself down on the coffee. It started last year when I noticed that the most anxiety ridden portion of my day was after I had tweaked out on four or five cups of coffee every afternoon. Of course, during my heavy alcohol and drug years, an entire pot was a daily occurrence. So I began stopping after three. Then two. Today I made the coffee and stopped after realizing I was wide awake after a single cup. I gave myself permission to have another cup later in the day if I started to drag or developed a non-caffeine headache but I never did. So tomorrow I may have a single cup, black no sugar, or I may just skip it. I have no plans to never have any, a nice cup of coffee while reading the NY Post is every New Yorker's right, but my "morning" routine still takes well over an hour. It would be nice to speed that up a little.

Answered a few on-line job listings. I also have an interview next week for a retail job. Haven't done retail in years and years. But I honestly want a bartending job I think. I definitely have no desire to be in charge of a restaurant. I just want to punch in and out and be left alone. And bartending at the right place would mean I wouldn't need to work full time to make enough to live on. Plus, I could enroll in some on-line courses and maybe go to college. That's right, I'm thinking of going back to school. But I obviously can't take any morning classes.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Of Note This Holiday Weekend

"It made my big toe shoot up in my boot."


My PC has started to whirr as it starts up and it shuts itself off if I leave it on. Also, the monitor flickers on white pages. I think it's a race to see which will go first. I best back up some files tomorrow just in case.

Crocodile Hunter killed by stingray.

Willi Ninja passes

Tonight for at least an hour and 1/2, I had the theme from Lidsville running through my head. How's that for a topper? No, really. I'm just fine.

Update: I turned on the TV this afternoon and ABC Family is showing a marathon Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. The first episode I watched had a working class family where both parents were deaf. One son was autistic and blind. The oldest interpreted for his parents and helped care for his brother. I realize they intend to manipulate you, but I didn't choke up or get teary eyed. I sat on my couch sobbing for almost the entire hour. I'm exhausted.

Friday, September 01, 2006

A Day In The Life

of an HIV+, unemployed middle aged NYC man.

10:45. Turn off 10:30 alarm and get out of bed. Scratch that, actually get woken up around 6:30 by dog barking at neighbors as they begin leaving for work. Coax dog back to bedroom and shut the door. Take 1/2 an Ambien to get back to sleep. Awakened again at 8:30, again by dog, on bed, whining and scratching at my head. This has never happened before. Sensing a Lassie moment I get up, expecting to be led to Timmy down the well. Instead he leads me to the bathroom. Confused, I open the door where he promptly jumps up on the sink and starts drinkng from the always leaking faucet. Getting the message I refill his water dish, and he gratefully slakes his thirst. I pee, and we both return to the bedroom. Again, I shut the door. Back to 10:45. I get up and hit the button on the coffeemaker. I put on a pair of sandals and get back into bed. I watch the last segments on Ellen and Tony Danza. Martha comes on. Coffee is ready.

Enjoy a cup in bed while Martha makes crafts with the Trading Spaces lady. Switch to ER re-run. Ugh! Carol's twins are born. Boring! Check E-mail. Check updated blogs. Surf for porn. Ignore hard-on for now. Pour 2nd cup of coffee. Start to think about breakfast. Put out HIV meds, Omega Fish oil supplement, take daily dose of Lexapro. Read more blogs. Read Craigslist "men seeking men". Check E-mail again. Check snail mail pile for unopened/due bills. Pay bills on-line.

Put in contacs. Take dog for walk. Check mail in box. Find unemployment check and free Instinct magazine subscription. Yawn. Walk dog, go to bank. Get call for job interview. Bump "House of Brews" back to never. Deposit check. Freak out at checking total. Return home and pull up checking account on-line. Call Citibank for explanation to $934.00 debit. Mystery solved, all is well. Pick out clothes for interview. Sweep up hardwood floors of dog hair. Take HIV meds.

Have protein shake, eat a fresh peach, cup of mixed berry yogurt. Take acidolphous supplements, digestive enzymes. Decide against V8 juice. Brush teeth, shower and shave. Floss and dress. Check Craigslist "help wanted'. And "men seeking men". Take clonazepam to prepare for dental visit. Check Manhunt for cute men. Yawn. Take multi-vitamin supplement. Wonder why I don't rattle when I walk.

Walk across town to clinic. Confirm clonazepam is kicking in by droopy eyelids and warm fuzzy feeling. Arrive at dentist office only 5 minutes late. Miraculous. This is a shocking turn of events and the conquering of one of my last, most powerful phobias. I hop into the chair with only a hint of anxiety. In fact, I want to be there. Fresh X-rays and I don't feel like gagging. Metal pick and mirrors no problem. Suspicious lesion found on gum. Submit to cleaning. Pretty painless if not a tad uncomfortable at times. Submit to some sort of torture needle in gum without anesthesia. Ouch. Get another X-ray. Discuss deeper cleaning over a series of visits. And I'm gonna need a root canal. Lovely. But I'm a brave little soldier, and quite pleased with myself.

Leave with two new prescriptions. Go to job interview. Turns out to be a "screening". Possible interview next week. Whatever. Walk back across town. Drop off prescriptions. Pick up fresh HIV meds, multivitamins. Buy digestive enzymes. Stop at comic book store. Stop for sushi. Walk back across town right on time for HIV+ support group. Group was good. They're very nice men. Cross 14th St. Buy bottle of wine. Buy pork chops for dinner. Buy fresh tomatoes at the good produce stand.

Return home. Feel guilty for leaving dog alone for 6 hours. Give dog some sweet sweet lovin'. Unpack bags. Start dinner. Pour glass of wine. Check E-mail. Another interview offer. Answer E-mail. Walk dog. Turn on 2nd half of Celebrity Duets. Wonder who's drunker, Little Richard or Paula Abdul. I'm gonna need another week. Pork chops and wild rice with 2nd glass of wine. Get drowsy while reading paper. Medication and nerves from dentist. Give in to 1/2 hour nap. Wake up and do dinner dishes. Pre-set coffee for morning. Brush teeth and admire plaque-free smile. Decide my hair is finally looking OK. Take dog for final walk. Change into sweats and T-shirt. Put on testosterone supplement. Fix a cocktail. Compose a self-indulgent blog post of dubious interest to anybody. Consider masturbating to porn. I'll let you know. Turn apartment lights down for bed time.

It's 1:45.