Thursday, November 30, 2006

Well, That Didn't Take Long

I got home from work last night and found this hand-written note taped to my new neighbor's door:

"Exterminator Emergency! Please knock and let yourself in. Major mouse and roach problem."

It appears the vermin left with the vermin.


Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Way Funny

This morning Martha Stewart had John Leguizamo on as a guest. He's hawking this book. If you missed it, you missed the part where Martha tries to pronounce the title. Hearing Martha Stewart say "Hos" made me giggle. But hearing her mangle "Playa Hatas" was absolutely priceless! She pronounced it like a some Mexican resort town. I did a coffee spit-take.

I could use your help. There was this really sexy man at the gym yesterday, but I don't know .....
Here are the deets:
35-40 yrs old
Gorgeous Face
Perfect Haircut, a touch of gray
In Shape, but very visible body fat
No Chest Hair
Dress Shirt and Pants, but at the gym at 3:30 on Tuesday.
Abercrombie & Fitch boxers, in flannel.
Sniffs sleeveless T-shirt before wearing.


What say you, readers?

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Reunited And It Feels So Good.

I just got back from spending my first Thanksgiving with my family in several years. It was delightful. Seriously. I arrived Thursday afternoon. They had already eaten but there was plenty of food left for me. Just as I finished my dinner my grand-niece (good god!) arrived, at which point my brother and his wife (grandma and grandpa) were done for. Particularly my brother. My grand-nephew is actually the younger of the two, and trust, he got plenty of attention. But it's the girl that reduced my brother to a useless pile of goo. She's started talking and she's in that hysterical phase where she goes from baby talk to complete, adult sentences. She was a little standoff-ish with me at first, but warmed up eventually. Our relationship was cemented when I played Sully to her Boo. Screaming and running ensued. Nothing makes an infant love you faster than being willing to make a total ass of yourself. I got some great pictures.

I also spent lots quality time with my much loved niece. She's twelve now going on 21. Even before her mom died, we shared an uncanny bond. And time apart and dearth of visits don't really seem to affect that. We've had some rough patches, especially when she tried to see how far she could push me, answer: not far. But that's all water under the bridge, and now we take up where we left off no matter how long it's been. When she was younger, I used to think I reminded her of her mom. As she's gotten older, I'm starting to think our bond is because we share a lot of traits. She's moody. I get moody. When she's off from school on a weekday she watches Charmed and then back-to-back ER. It's spooky I tell ya. We popped out on Friday and saw Happy Feet. We had a great time. I got the impression that certain members of my family bring in outside candy and "pop" to the movies. I couldn't impress upon her enough how vital popcorn and Milk Duds, as well as other non-nutritious over-priced concessions are to the movie going experience. The movie itself, only so-so. But the musical numbers were great. We walked home having a nice chat through what was apparently Harlem, Tonawanda, as my mom was waiting for us at the door, about to dash out the door searching the roadside for our lifeless bodies. In a car, of course.

I ate far too much and in addition to the Thanksgiving feast there were multiple helpings of pasta with mama's sauce (my grandmother taught her), stuffed artichokes, apple and chocolate pie. The racist "humor" was kept to a minimum. It turns out my dad thinks that George Bush is an idiot and an embarrassment. Guess that explains the election results. They lost the vaguely bigoted white middle class elderly vote. We spent an inordinate amount of time talking about poop. Ours, each other's and our animal's. I helped mom and dad decorate outside for Christmas.

I got back to New York around 11 pm. Jet's babysitters left a note saying he had behaved well and after skipping food the first night, was bribed by some raw egg in his bowl to eat the next. He was so excited to see me he ran around my legs peeing as he wagged his entire lower body. I didn't mind in the least. It was the pee of love. I petted and hugged him until the entire living room floor was covered in dog hair. And some pee. I took him for a long walk and then tended to my neglected Stoli bottle. I woke up several times during the night just to sit up and give him a couple affectionate pats. The dog, not the bottle.

Much thanks for the holiday E-mails and comments. They were most welcome.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

It's That Time Again

A few days ago, my lower lip split and it won't heal. By the end of every day, my eyes are pot smoker red (for the record, no). I've been dehydrated despite drinking bottles and bottles of water. Yes, it's time to break out the humidifier. My apartment is generously heated by steam. I frequently have to open a window in the dead of winter. There's one open now. The drawback is the moisture is literally sucked out of your body. I started using the humidifier two winters ago. The result is dramatically better. And as a side benefit, it works like a white noise machine, and I sleep like a baby.

This week up for sale on EBay: It's an eclectic mix. I'm not sure if anyone will respond. Good that it's a holiday weekend.

1991 DC Black Canary: New Wings #1-4
complete mini-series.

1987 DC Comics Dr. Fate #1-4 complete mini-series.

1996 Onslaught: Marvel Universe & X-Men Onslaught.

1987 DC Comics Amethyst #1-4
complete mini-series.

1988 DC World of Krypton #1-4 complete Superman mini-series.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Dilemmas Or The Lack Thereof

My depression lifted this afternoon. I had a chance to think about what's been bothering me. In a nutshell it's uncertainty and a resistance to change. And my trepidation is pretty laughable. Considering my uncertainty has to do with which investment and how much I should cash out of to keep up with my bills. Considering how poor some people really are in the country and how unbelievably poor some people are in the world, the fact that some white American guy is upset and resistant to sell some stock is beyond ludicrous.

My resistance to change is related to the prospect of finding a new roommate. I can't really decide if I should be looking for a straight woman or a gay man. Living with a straight woman was by far the best roommate situation I ever had. But that's not a guarantee. And I would kind of like to give a nice place to live to another gay man. Maybe even a HIV+ guy. But I'm so burned by the last two men I lived with that the idea of it depresses the hell out of me. This afternoon it hit me. Why decide now? Just place an ad on Craigslist, maybe post another at the Gay/Lesbian center and see what the universe sends me. I am the one who claims the universe speaks to me. So what am I afraid of? Besides, if I don't like what the universe asks, I can always answer no. That realization gave me comfort. Still, I'm not in a hurry. I'm shooting for a new roommate for the new year. I'll probably spend December on my own. I really really enjoy it.

OMG- I forgot to tell you. I got my newest ConEdison (electric) bill over the weekend. It was 80 dollars. Down from last month at 190. And the month before at 235.00. The first step down was the first roommate, the second was The Ex. So I was not imagining turning off the bathroom light 50 times every weekend. Jesus Howard Christ! 155.00 a month extra! What the fuck were they doing?

Sunday, November 19, 2006

A Martha Moment

Plus other stuff.

A mild depression has set in. It doesn't feel serious and I'm pretty sure of the cause. Money. Or rather the lack thereof. Also, while nobody was looking, fall fell here in the city. I've discussed my seasonal depression before. It actually was nowhere near as bad this year. I think it was offset by my celebration/anticipation of so many positive changes in my life. Plus I'm totally looking forward to being with my family next week. I don't even think I need to crack the clonazepam. But I will if that changes.

Some people veg in front of the TV or take long walks when depressed. I clean. Usually very obscure, I've been meaning to get to things. To wit:

I Oxycleaned all the shears in the apartment. I was afraid the white shears in the alley window wouldn't clean up. Between the location and the fact that they spent the summer blocked by a never used A/C unit (don't ask), they were black on the bottom. But clean up they did. Every success feels like I've shaken off an old burden. But it's also adding to the melancholy.

Then I went after the greasy grimey pots and pans. In the interest of consumer reports, Easy Off oven cleaner is great for getting baked on grease off of baking sheets and pans. Just make sure you're in a well-ventilated area (gasp). This product? Not so much. Doesn't work. Nope. Sorry.

I've been astounded at the size and beauty of the falling leaves. I guess because I'm spending so much time in the park this year. I was about a week too late, but I snapped some pictures in the park. They looked even better than this, but the oak leaves are bigger than my hand, and when they first fell, it was a carpet of reds and golds and greens that only nature could manufacture.

Of course, someone couldn't resist posing for the camera. Turned out to be a great picture.

In the good news department, I sold over $40 in comics this week. A new high. Every week I learn more about the comic sellers market and how to set good fair prices. This may turn out to be a decent side business for me. Baby steps people.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Midnight On Friday

And I just popped a turkey meatloaf in the oven. Fuckin' hot, huh? I'm also enjoying a bottle of wine.

For those unaware, every year after the 3rd Thursday of the month a marketing trick, I mean tradition, takes place. Millions of bottles of frog juice wash ashore here in America. And nobody likes to be marketed to like New Yorkers. Thus, the signs go up all over town "Le Beaujolais Nouveau est arrive". I know the "e" needs one of those accent thingies, I don't know how. I usually just ignore the hype as I do prefer my Pinot Grigio or a robust Merlot.

But today I was in TJ's Wine Shop picking up some Barefoot and "two buck chuck" (for COOKING) and what did I come upon? Cases and cases of Beaujolais. Directly in front of me. It appears that Le Beaujolais Nouveau est arrive (accent thingie) ici, aussi. How could I resist? My verdict? I can't compare it to the well-regarded 2003 because it's my first bottle but while I'm sure it goes well with both turkey and turkey meatloaf, it's also enjoyable if you're just making a turkey meatloaf for later, instead of just getting drunk at a gay bar. I multi-task like that. Cheers.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

This Is Fucking Lovely

Three HIV positive people on the ADAP waiting list in South Carolina die, another death expected in the next few days. That waiting list could grow to 350 people if congress doesn't act.

Study: New HIV patients can expect to live 24 years. Suddenly, I'm not so worried about my extreme credit card debt.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Creature Comforts

Despite the fact that we've had a moderate November so far, (that's a sure jinx) I've been waking up a little cold in the morning. So today I took a few minutes to put a set of flannel sheets on the bed. As he always does, Jet immediately jumped on the bed and began to roll around. I finally realized that while I absolutely adore the smell and feel of clean sheets, Jet prefers "his" bed to smell like Jet. I did draw the line when we returned from his walk. It was raining. No wet paw prints for a few days please.

Last week, I bought what I thought would be a great laundry bag (at a generous 40% discount).

I quickly had buyers remorse when I spotted one I thought would be better. But I decided to stay the course. It's such a simple purchase but it ended up fitting perfectly in the corner of my bedroom. Instead of an unsightly overflowing laundry bag, I'm enjoying a nice neat corner where I can throw my socks. In short, I love it. Best of all, after laundry day is done, it collapses down to almost nothing.

Things I enjoy about living alone:

  • It takes almost a week to fill the garbage. That frequently happened in a day.
  • It takes almost a week and a half to use a roll of toilet paper. The Ex used to go through fistfulls of it.
  • The bathroom light is off when not in use.
  • The garbage never overflows.
  • There is always ice in the freezer.
  • The toilet seat is ALWAYS SHUT!
  • The kitchen bar/counter is always cleaned of food and crumbs.
Things I don't like:
  • I'm thinking ....

Despite the trepidation, I haven't run into either one of them since moving day. It can't last forever, but I like it.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Ye Olde Comics Shoppe

Or, please don't make me have sex with Ted Haggard.

DC Comics Aquaman limited series #1-5 complete series.

1992 DC Comics Batman/Green Arrow: The Poison Tomorrow

DC Comics 1991 Brave & the Bold #1-6
complete series.

1991 Marvel Comics Infinity Gauntlet #1-6
complete series.

1988 DC Comics maxi-series V for Vendetta #1-10 complete series! ***The reserve price was met on day one. Bid if you want it I apparently under-priced it.

1987 DC Comics Green Arrow: The Longbow Hunters #1-3
graphic novel complete.

Not sure how I ended up with so much Green Arrow this week. Gotta go, Iron Chef America has a special Mario Batali/Rachael Ray vs. Bobby Flay/Giada De Laurentiis. They had to add an extra 1/2 hour just to accommodate all those ginormous heads.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

She's A Busy Bee

So I pretty much have the apartment organized and cleaned to my satisfaction. I still have part of a closet in my bedroom to sift through. I threw out some old electronics I'd forgotten I was keeping, as well as files of promotions and ads from old bar jobs I'd done. No one has ever asked to see them and I've never used them to refresh my memory or give me an idea. The hardest thing to keep up on has been the dog hair. Jet really does shed a ridiculous amount of hair. Granted, I don't brush him often enough but christ, his hair gets everywhere.

I took advantage of the extra room and doubled my closet space. And I also had the chance to really spread out and dig into my comic book collection. I now have a really good idea of what I have here. Basically, all my post 1980 comics are here. Which means that my parents are holding my much more valuable pre-1980 collection at their house. Still, I found some interesting little gems that will be up for sale in the coming weeks.

I didn't work out at the gym this whole week. Well, that's a lie I did 1/2 hr. of cardio on Friday and maybe one other day. But I work out pretty much religiously and feel extremely guilty when I start to slack off. I have to remind myself that a lot, a lot of people don't get any exercise at all, and my missing a week isn't such a big deal. It's not like I'll devolve into a blob or anything.

I got my first real paycheck on Friday. A good indication of what I can expect every two weeks. It was satisfying to earn money, and a relief to have my checking account bolstered by many hundreds of dollars. But it's obvious that one of two things has to happen. I need a roommate or I have to find a way to double my income. A second job is a possibility. I wish it was fifteen years ago. I'd just sell my hot tight ass a few times a month. There's just not much market for a 40-something prostitute.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Voter Turnout

Longtime readers know that while I do champion a cause on occasion, I'm largely apolitical. I frequently get turned off by politicians from either party. The pandering, the press conferences, the way people go all black or white make me shake my head. I'm not a black or white guy, I'm frequently gray. As such, I'm registered as an independent voter. I vote depending on many different criteria. I've voted for a Republican mayor the last couple of elections.

I did vote mostly Democratic this time out. It's been strange to vote for people that actually won. I have no expectations that anything of significance will change.

Oh, and just for my own amusement, whenever possible I voted under the Working Families Party. Just to fuck with the numbers.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Pay Attention

I'm going to set aside my vanity and relay some important information. If you are HIV+ and are taking Kaletra you may be experiencing diarrhea. I have every day for over a year. Most times several times a day. It was inconvenient and demoralizing. I tried everything to stop it. I changed my diet several times. I quit drinking coffee. I took enzymes and acidolphous supplements. My health care provider suggested Tums. I also tried liquid Immodium from the drugstore. Nothing worked.

My current provider suggested I try Loperamide. It happens to be Immodium in pill form. I have no idea why it's better than the liquid. My prescription calls for me to take it every 6 hrs. I found twice a day is better. The point is it worked. Finally. I'm not promising that this is the answer for you. I'm saying it worked for me. Don't give up.

Surviving HIV is important. But your quality of life is too. If you have issues, ask questions. Do research. Don't accept that what you're experiencing is what you have to put up with. It took over a year, but my life is now ... so. much. better.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

She's Plumb Tuckered Out

It doesn't happen too often, but occasionally at my job we have an all staff meeting. It needs to happen when we're closed, and they've picked before we open. I of course would prefer after we close. So it was that I got up this morning at 5:30 am. So that I could walk the dog around 6 and leave for the meeting around 7 am. That would be 0700 to some people. To me, it's "hit me in the head with a shovel o'clock". Two hours later, I did manage to stumble through a 1/2 hour of cardio at the gym and then stopped back home to grab some grub and walk Jet again.

Then it was back to work for my regular shift. On Sundays I'm supposed to be on the sales floor but I'm finding we're usually so busy that I end up spending most of the day on a register. 70 thousand dollars is a lot of storage and shelving.

The nicest part of the day was when I was on my lunch break. I mentioned that I was planning on going to Buffalo for Thanksgiving, but I wasn't looking forward to putting Jet in a kennel. That's when one of the people I work with that commutes from Jersey offered to house and dog-sit for free, in order to have a weekend in the city with her boyfriend. SWEET!

I'm booking my plane tickets tomorrow. But now I'm going to bed. The Duchess is exhausted.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

$70 Well Spent

It took almost four hours, and I used a thicker gauge floor tile, but the new kitchen floor is down. My feet and knees ache. The tiles around the edges of the kitchen were filthy. I kept finding pockets of mouse poop. Lots and lots of mouse poop. The kitchen looks great but I may have contracted the hantavirus. At least they won't say I'm not tidy.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Who Are The People In My Neighborhood?

Longtime readers will remember my Christmas time post about my neighbors down the street and their bloody Santa holiday display. I thought I'd show you that they do indeed make statement art around major holidays, and that news organizations nationally were playing everybody for suckers and manufacturing controversy. Here's what their Halloween decorations looked like. If you can't make it out that's Col. Sanders and a rubber chicken. The bucket says "Unhappy Meal". Not a news van or an angry letter writer in sight.

I'm thinking of fulfilling all recent photo requests by taking photos of me:


Redecorating the apartment.

With my dog.

But I can't figure out how to get the dog to help me redecorate.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

It's The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown

No. Seriously. That's a great pumpkin.
Wondering what I did on Halloween this year? I worked my ass off at home. The Hellcat finally moved his things out. After blaming anything he may have taken that didn't belong to him on "the seizure", he also dropped the bomb that he replaced the shower head with the old one, but he didn't really do a good job and didn't test the seal. In other words, as a final gift, he left me with a broken shower that was just dangling down the wall on a flex hose. As to "the seizure", it's his newest catch-all excuse for anything he fucks up or fails to accomplish. First year it was the ex-boyfriend dying from AIDS, the next year it was depression and the meds he was taking to treat it, now thankfully for him he had a seizure. So now he can use that when he doesn't get a job, or sleeps until 8 pm, or misses an appointment. It's typical behavior when you spend your life as a Professional AIDS Victim. Whatever, he's the rest of the world's problem now.

So yesterday I returned his cable box to get that off my bill. He generously offered to do it himself but I declined since I wanted it taken care of this year. Then I released my inner lesbian and headed to Home Depot. I bought a replacement shower head that would hang directly overhead. While I was at it I bought a replacement cylinder for the apartment deadbolt. The Hellcat mumbled something about having two sets of keys, translation: he had an extra set made for his nasty cunt boyfriend after I expressly told him not to. The Ex still hasn't returned his. There was absolutely no way I was going to relax knowing any of them had keys to my apartment. All of my trust has evaporated.

After having lunch I set about installing the new shower head. It was surprisingly easy. And I've replaced the entire deadbolt on more than one occasion so changing just the cylinder went smooth as well. Once that was sorted, it was time to give Jet a bath. The weather report said it would be in the 60's, and I wanted to give him a bath while it was still warm outside, in case I walked him wet. Besides that, I was about to scrub down the living room, and bath time is a decidedly damp affair, so I figured I would get his bath done before I spent a couple hours cleaning. As expected the apartment got soaked, but Jet is great at bath time. I think he likes the attention and I don't make it a big drama.

Being in full purge mode, I ended up cleaning out the bathroom cabinet. Anything unused or expired or of questionable quality got tossed. Gels, lotions vitamins all out. I filled a small bag.

I took Jet to pick up some prescriptions and by then, the kids had started trick or treating. This being NYC, they went business to business down 2nd Avenue. Restaurants, Nail Salons, bodegas were all fair game. And yes, they all had candy for the kids. Including my pharmacy. Only in New York. I stopped at the dog run and of course, some of the dogs were in costume. It was something of an unexpected celebration. People brought cameras, one woman made bags of doggie treats for all the dogs, and another lady made cupcakes for all the owners. Who knew? Jet didn't get a costume, but I reserve the right to dress him up when I feel like it.

After a dinner/Dancing With The Stars fix, I set about cleaning the living room. I moved all the furniture out. Between the dog hair and the dust bunnies, there was a mountain of dirt behind the couch. I threw out a bunch of lumber and a rusted window screen that has been back there forever. Then I swept and mopped the floor twice. I loaded all the furniture back in and vacuumed all the fabrics. At some point, I rearranged the storage in my bedroom and started working on my closet, but I was practically possessed at that point, so I'm not really sure what order things happened. I can say I have a lot more personal space, and the living room is finally clean after months of squalor.

On Friday, I'm putting down a new floor in the kitchen. And I'm currently shopping thrift stores for a new coffee table and a new dinette. The whole apartment is getting a budget makeover. I wrote here once this year that I had finally bought a matching dinner service for 6. Something I had never had my entire adult life. The other day while reorganizing the kitchen cabinet, I noticed that one of my "friends" had broken a coffee cup. I have no idea when, but I do know that neither one of them said a single word, or apologized, or offered to replace it. Good riddance to a couple of no-class assholes.