Tuesday, May 29, 2007

New Digs

Hi. Welcome back. Hope you had a nice holiday weekend. I certainly did. I spent a good deal of my free time shopping and redecorating the apartment. Bought a new air conditioner and finished painting the baseboards in the living room. I'm far enough along that I moved all the furniture to the new configuration. That meant relocating the TV and DVR cables and wiring. Ditto the phone and all the lamps. All I have left to do is put a fresh coat of paint on the ceiling and finish the window trim. Then I need to put a new coat of polyurethane on the floors and I'm done. Of course, I still haven't picked out the artwork beyond a photo I took of the fountain in the park next door. And I can't decide if I want an area rug but I'm leaning towards no.

Needless to say, all this redecorating seems to have spilled over onto this here blog thingy. It's a work in progress but any new changes should be purely cosmetic. It's spartan, at best, but it's pretty close to what I've been seeing in my mind and I've been wanting to update the header. That picture is from Jones Beach. I love the way the sky looks and it reflects my mood of late. I look into my future and for the first time in ages, I'm hopeful.

Now get back to work.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Hi, Have We Met?

I'm anemic. Don't panic. I've been slightly anemic most of my life. It's shown up on blood tests before, and now it's pronounced enough that I'm currently officially anemic. Which would probably explain why I've been falling asleep at the drop of a hat lately. It's the only minor not good result of what has turned out to be some stellar blood work from yours truly. Not that I had all that much to do with it. I mean, it's my blood, and I do take my meds without fail, and I have been doing all that clean living lately. Come to think of it, I guess I do deserve some credit for my outstanding numbers:

Despite my disturbing ice cream habit and occasional pizza indulgences, I haven't gained a pound and weigh in at a whopping 146.

Blood pressure is textbook perfect.

Blood sugar is fine and my liver is feeling downright frisky. Right smack dab in the middle of normal. You could eat off my liver now.

My HDL (good cholesterol) numbers are "almost freakishly good" according to my health care worker.

Undetectable viral load? Check.

And my T-Cell count you ask? You know I always close with a big number. 445 last time. 821 this time. I kid you not.

There may be something to this sobriety I tell ya. Oh, and I don't have tuberculosis.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Jerry Falwell Still Dead

-image via T-Shirt Hell

Religious semi-crazies attend funeral of overfed, dumpy, evil bigot with trunk load of bombs. Reportedly in response to planned protest by seriously completely crazy religious demonstrators. I love America.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

People Come And Go So Quickly Here

Unfortunately, hiring and firing people is part of my job. The hiring part is pleasant enough, although you have no idea how many people show up for a job totally unprepared to fill out an application (no resume, no contact numbers, NO PEN!!!), I swear, if you show up to apply for a job from me and have to borrow a pen to fill out the application you may as well stamp LOSER REJECT on your forehead. Or they decide to apply for a job waiting tables in a multi-million dollar, multi level, high volume Times Square restaurant when their only previous job experience was in a laundromat. Don't even get me started on the people who come in for a job serving the public when they absolutely reek of cigarettes, let alone the ones who literally stink.

Now firing people is never fun either, but sometimes you simply have no choice. From their behavior alone, some people practically demand you fire them. I'm actually convinced of this. When you repeatedly warn someone about some unacceptable behavior, or as I do at times, when you out and out tell someone that some such action will result in them getting fired, and they do it anyway, well, as far as I'm concerned, for whatever reason, they wanted to get fired because they don't have the brains or guts to quit. While I was off this "weekend", one of the busboys got fired. Apparently, he instructed a table of 15 people to make up their minds about whether or not they wanted water or "quit wasting his time". They opted instead to leave the restaurant without eating and without paying their check. Perhaps he'll be more generous with his valuable time at his next busboy job.

I hired a skinny gay waiter-ess a couple of weeks ago. He's cute, in a long eyelash, unfortunately no ass at all kind of way. Being gay, he's quite good at waiting tables and carrying trays of liquor. I think it's genetic. On his first night at work after training, he was a no-show. I was surprised because he didn't seem to be the type and I thought he at least liked the job enough to give it a try. He showed up for his next shift and immediately came over to me.

"I'm sorry I missed my shift on Thursday."

"So you were scheduled to come in. I thought perhaps I'd made a mistake and mixed up your schedule."

"No, I was supposed to be here. I was locked up."

(trying not to laugh) "Oh no!"

"I got stopped in the subway and they ran me for warrants and I had a desk appearance I skipped out on. I spent the night in jail. Here's the paperwork."

"Good. I didn't think you were the type to blow off a shift."

"I would have called if I could."

He'll fit right in.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Just Another Whiney Monday

I'm a little beat up. Had the day off and all I managed to do was take the dog for a couple of walks and buy some groceries. I have a little bit of a chest cold, nothing serious, but I've had a slightly painful cough since yesterday. The weather was nice all day but I just didn't have the energy to do much but cook a couple of meals, some fish and pasta. I think the long hours are taking a bit of a toll. My work shifts are typically 12-14 hrs. A 10 hr. shift feels like a half day. I think I'm working around 62-70 hrs. per week. One day last week I nodded off at my desk while working on some paperwork, and I routinely take quick naps on the subway. Trouble is, I'm not sure whether I'm experiencing work fatigue, middle age or HIV related side effects. Wouldn't it be a bitch if it was a little of each? I do know I'm feeling guilty about not having time for Jet. Some days I walk him, leave for work, come home, walk him again and go to bed. I try to make myself feel better by keeping in mind he's worlds better off than on the street or in a shelter headed for a doggie dirt nap. On my days off, and I do get them regularly now, I try to give him extra special attention.

I'm frustrated that I don't have time to get to the gym at all, and I don't like the fact that I only get to one Gay-A meeting a week. I had another dream where I had already gotten drunk before I realized what I'd done, but in this dream I actually felt a little relief mixed with the revulsion. I woke up in a foul mood, disgusted that I'd even dreamed a moment of weakness.

My feet hurt and my knees are throbbing and achy. I could use a full body massage, I'd even forgo the release. Maybe.

In Other News ...

I'm trying to decide what I want to buy most. I'm shopping for a new air conditioner for my bedroom, but it's not an emergency as I already have one. I'm just looking for a bigger, newer, colder model. I've also been regretting my decision to forego a TV in my bedroom. Also not an emergency as I can watch a lot of my favorites on line these days. NBC.com does as awesome job streaming TV shows. I never miss Heroes because of this, and the ads don't bother me at all. But I am in a bit of a panic as the new season of So You Think You Can Dance starts this week, and I work every Thursday without fail. So a visit to my Time Warner office seems likely. I believe a DVR is in my future ...

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Breaking: Jerry Falwell Found Dead

Ronald Reagan reportedly holding open the Gates Of Hell in anticipation. Amen.

Of Note This Weekend

The Today show piece ran this morning. If you want to see it you can check out the Today Show video page. I'm not sure how to upload it on to this site and quite frankly, I don't have time to figure it out. So check it out while you can. I think it came out great, and the restaurant looks pretty good. I loved seeing the view from the stage as I've never seen it from that angle before. The whole thing seemed very exciting, which, I guess if you've always wanted to sing live on a New York City stage it sorta is. Me, I've already grown used to it and jaded. I repeatedly forget anyone is singing at all unless it's so god-awful it demands my attention. While I'm on the subject, I have to say that you don't know torture until you've suffered through your fourth rendition of "I Like Big Butts". And I now have a deep and abiding hatred for that song with the lyrics: "It's Gettin' Hot in Here, So Take Off All Your Clothes". It's annoying and downright creepy when it's being sung by a pack of 10 year old girls. I'm tempted to tell them all to sit down or I'll call their mothers. Trouble is, their moms are usually either on stage with them or taking pictures.

I had yesterday off, and spent most of it fighting off sleep. Ran a couple of errands and got all the bills paid to date. Today was a day off as well, but I had a quick lunch meeting with the other managers and then a meeting with the servers. It wasn't mandatory, and only about 1/2 of them showed up, but at least they felt like their problems were heard and we got to remind them not to get high in the bathrooms.

Aftterward, I got a shopping itch that hasn't been scratched in far too long. I only bought one shirt (on sale) and one new couch cover (marked down to $4.99 ...I KNOW!). Then with all the money I saved I spent $80.00 in matching pillows. After I got the new pillows on the newly covered couch, I realized how grungy and dirty the old pillows had become. So I laundered the area rugs and all the bed pillows and throws. I picked up my winter dry cleaning and put it in the back of the closet. And now I really feel like spring has sprung here on Second Avenue.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

If You're Awake...

on Monday, the Today show spent the afternoon and evening filming for a segment that is slated to air around 8 am that morning. I wish I had some gossip to share but nothing noteworthy happened and we were pretty busy doing other things. Meredith Viera gamely did a karaoke number for an appreciative crowd. Business has picked up considerably and assuming the Today show piece comes out well it could only get better. I was crazy busy most of yesterday and we need more help. I'm more inclined to actively hire now because most of our payroll issues have been ironed out and tip money for the staff has been steadily creeping up. Friday was payday and there were a lot more happy, smiling faces and mercifully, nobody pissed of or threatening to quit.

So if you got kinfolk in the area (and they can legally work in this country) and he or she is looking for semi-gainful employ you can send 'em my way. I particularly need good-natured, experienced servers and bussers. Big plus if they're Latin males of ambiguous sexuality.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

I Almost Can't Believe It (2)

So I had two days off in a row. You can officially put me in the regrouped category. I got some sleep, and I managed to accomplish 13 of the 18 things on my "want to do" list. In addition I hung new shades in the bedrooms and I saw a movie. Spider Man 3. I didn't hate it, but I wish I could say I liked it. I enjoyed some of the fight scenes, some I think were just a mess of CG animation. And I loved the gay subtext between Peter and Harry. Or maybe the gay subtext was between me and James Franco.

Anyway on to the milestone. Yesterday I reached 90 days of sobriety. Maybe not a big deal to some, but a pretty important goal amongst the Gay-A crowd. I don't know about that but it was a long road and I'm a little shocked and very pleased I made it this far. I was happy to be off yesterday so I had time to go to a meeting, my first in a couple of weeks, and mark the event. I didn't get the chance to speak, so I'm left to contemplate what it means to myself. If I had to note two surprising things about being sober this long, it would be that I'm surprised at how completely all sense of fear has left me. And I guess how fearful and stagnated I'd allowed myself to become. I thought I was a pretty brave individual before, but now, after facing this problem, virtually nothing scares me. I even dreamt about it last night. A recurring theme in my dreams has always been my own powerlessness. I would wake up sad and frustrated, much the same way I was living my daily life. Last night in my dreams I grabbed the human embodiment of my fear by the throat. I got right up in its face and said out loud: "You. Don't Scare. Me." And then I woke up, ready to face another day.

Also, for someone who would have professed to taking good care of myself, I'm a little shocked at how much being sober has become about giving myself a gift. It's no coincidence that I stopped drinking before my birthday. But one of the ways I've managed to stay sober has been because I don't see it as doing without something. I don't see it as a punishment. So I almost never have the feeling of giving something up that I want. What I want is to take care of myself. What I want is to feel good. What I want is to be happy. And I get all those things in return when I don't drink. A more than fair trade off in my mind.

And so while I'm not shouting my reaching this milestone from the rooftops, I did feel like I should mark it somehow. It almost seemed tattoo-worthy, but before you leap ahead, I've pretty much decided that my tatt-less body may have to remain so considering my advanced years. But in that same spirit, I decided to cut off my hair. I've let it grow the past year or so, with occasional trims and such, and it's been worn long for enough time that all my ID and licenses feature a long-haired me. Everyone's used to it by now and it's how I got hired at work. But I wanted to make a new start now that I'm "officially" sober. I stopped in to my regular spot for Chinese food the evening after I lopped it off. I ordered my regular fare and much discussion in a language other than English ensued. Then the woman at the counter finally asked: "Did you just cut your hair?" Apparently, I look very different. Which is good, because I feel different too. Different, and a whole lot better.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

I Scream, You Scream

I've had 1/2 a pint of ice cream every night before bed for at least three weeks now. And I've been eating hamburgers with french fries, pizza, pasta and bread with abandon. Needless to say I haven't been anywhere near a gym in weeks. By all rights, I should have put on at least 5+ lbs by now. But I think between my naturally high metabolism and the fact that my workday lasts in excess of 13+ hours I luckily haven't turned into a flabby nightmare. Although I doubt this free ride on the gravy train will last much longer. It's time to start taking good care of myself again. I cooked a chicken and rice dish today and added some freshly diced tomato and some sliced mushroom. Tomorrow I will stock the fridge with some fresh fruits and vegetables. And no more chips and dip for lunch. No promises on the ice cream. I'm assuming because of my sporadic posting and my one or two note themes (namely work and dogs, plus no gay sex) of late my readership has taken a dramatic plunge. More than half of you have moved on to bloggers with more interesting lives. Fortunately, my writing is pretty masturbatory in nature. No matter.Tomorrow, I will have reached a fairly important milestone. I've already commemorated the event. The details will be revealed. Check back. If anyone's still reading.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Tori, Tori, Tori

Tori Amos did a record release party on the main stage the other day. About 300 people were in attendance, by invitation only. Checking in the crowd made for long lines out front but inside it was surprisingly smooth. I arrived in the late afternoon when Tori had already started her sound check. I didn't watch as I had 5 trainees show up that needed an orientation. I also didn't see the actual performance since I had work to do in the office and I took advantage of the fact that Tori asked that no bar or wait service take place during the performance. Thus, no servers or bartenders for me to keep watch over. By the time I came out to the floor, the 1/2 hr show was over. I hear it was really good. Tori's people were packing up as a crew from MTV was loading in. It seems the final episode of the latest version of Making The Band (Part 5??) was filming that night. Sean Combs was due to arrive but it literally had nothing to do with me so ....FFFFT. I did, however spot a certain celebrity-blogger and confessed Tori-fan in attendance:

-photo via Pink Is The New Blog

Friday, May 04, 2007

But First, This Message ...

What a great day! I had a fantastic Reuben for lunch that I've been craving for a week now. Went shopping at the Home Depot and bought all kinds of crap, cleaning supplies, a new window shade etc. I ran out before I started shopping for a bigger ticket item. *cough* washer/dryer *cough* Must. Resist. It was sunny and cool and I haunted the thrift stores on 23rd st. even though I don't really need anything right now. Stopped off at the Fake N' Bake. Funny that, when this branch opened a couple months ago I was excited because it was closer to the apartment and across from my gym. But I was baffled when the banner went up advertising they would be open 24 hrs. As odd as this city is, who has the urge to grab a tan at 3 or 4 am? And do you want to be open for people who get that urge in the middle of the night? Quite frankly you don't see a lot of tanned nurses and cops around town. Sure enough, it didn't last and they now close at a more reasonable (for NYC) midnight.

After that, I ran across the street and took a hot shower and steam. I popped in to the sauna and massaged my poor tired feet. It was heavenly. Then I came home and swept and mopped the entrance hallway. It has been smelling like dog pee lately. About 1/2 hr after I finished, Mr. Tails squatted and peed right there. Guess that explains the smell. Speaking of dogs (and when am I not?), somebody had a "birthday" of sorts while I was busy working. Since I don't really know when his birthday is I had to pick one, and I decided April 30 would be easy to remember. So even though I have many stories to tell you about the last few weeks, let's take a moment to wish my best friend a very happy birthday. Underbite. Floppy ear. Irresistible, no?


Thursday, May 03, 2007

I Almost Can't Believe It

After what feels like for-freakin-ever, I finally have a day off. In actuality, it seems the big push is finally pretty much over. After today, I'm back at work for two days and then off for two more. The next few weeks I'm scheduled for at least one day off a week and frequently two. This could change of course.

I feel like I have a million things to do, but in reality I've managed to keep up on the household bills and most of the chores, so I don't have anything that needs to be done. Rather I have a ton of things I've been dying to do. The list includes:

Get a tan
Get my hair cut
Get my hair colored
Shave various body parts
Masturbate and repeat
Buy living room paint
Go shopping
Get to the gym
Buy a full length mirror
Take the dog on a long walk
Mop the floors
Buy new curtains
Launder all the throw pillows
Drop off dry cleaning
Clean and store winter coats
Buy tan shoelaces
Buy a case of dog food
Did shopping and masturbating make the list?

Tonight I'll drop in on the Thursday HIV+ men's group and then a Gay-A meeting, neither one of which I've been to in weeks. Everything else I do today will be gravy. Sun is out and I'm hungry. Please enjoy this gorgeous Annie Leibovitz shot of the Queen of England. I doubt I need to explain why I love it.
Later peeps.