Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Meanwhile ...

I meant to write about the 96 year old photographer and artist who is resisting a buyout from the Carnegie Corporation, although her reps did float a $10 million figure back in October, she now claims she absolutely will not accept their offer to relocate to a similar or superior apartment at their expense. As she tells the NY Post: "They'll have to drag me out. They'll have to use their bare hands." And so the Corporation has decided to force the issue and arranged for the state to issue eviction notices to the remaining rent-controlled tenants.

Here's what I'm thinking. She's 96 years old. Can't they... you know ... wait?

Johnny Hazzard Stuffs It In

Hot as fuck porn actor and all around Renaissance fag Johnny Hazzard makes a YouTube vid with a simple kitchen recipe for dried figs. I actually think he does a great job for what it is, but quite frankly, if he showed up at my house with a lame-ass gift like a jar of stuffed figs I would immediatelty thank him sweetly while calculating the distance between him and the garbage can. Then I would totally blow him.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Coming Attractions

From The Ashes will be getting a site re-design. Hopefully right at the New Year or very soon after. I have most of it planned out in my head, hopefully translating it to the web page won't take too long. My design skills are largely self taught.

Look for a whole new direction for your fearless hero and the story so far, as I finally clear up all the cryptic clues I've been dropping. Two new roommates are moving in to my Castle High Atop Second Avenue, and I expect that will shake things up around here as well.

I will continue posting through the site re-design, and will try to come up with a year end wrap-up for you in the next few days. Although I'm notoriously bad at that kind of writing, all the cool kids do it.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Merry Christmas From Gov. Paterson

The proposed New York State budget for 2009 includes this bit of fuck you. A $65 million cut in state funding to the AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP).

ADAP pays for anti-HIV drugs and some services for people who may be employed, do not qualify for Medicaid, and are unable to afford private health insurance.

Like ... I don't know ... me.

read more.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

God Bless Us, Everyone

No. I haven't gone all religious in my old age, it's just a phrase that pops in to my head repeatedly during the holidays. I found myself too cash poor to afford tickets for myself and Riley to go see the family, so we'll be spending Christmas just the two of us here in New York City.

I'll have an apartment full of people after this weekend as both of my new roommates will be moving in. I've spent the last week going through every storage space and closet throwing out anything useless or broken that I've been "meaning to" fix or use. If it hasn't happened yet, chances are it never will and I'm just getting rid of it.

I just finished a late breakfast of green eggs & ham, after which we opened gifts. One of us got new cookware and the other got a huge bone. Had I been on the receiving end of the huge bone it would have been a much better day, but life's not fair like that.

I'll be putting the finishing touches on today getting the apartment ready for the new arrivals. If there's time, Riley will be getting a bath as well. Tonight I'll more than likely take in a movie. Not too exciting, and I certainly wish I could have gone to Buffalo to hang with the fam, but it will do.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Chimp-mas

A chimp and a chump make popcorn for Christmas and the chimp freaks the flock out. Pretty funnee! -via Gizmodo

Monday, December 22, 2008


So this morning I wake up and check my email and what do I find?

Hey sexy,
@ what time u want to meet @ the gym?
What muscles will we be working on, beside our tonges & dicks?
hit me back when u get this...
Sent from my iPhone

Unfortunately, I don't know anyone named Ray.
So. Not. Funny.

Go Figure

Got an e-mail last week from the graphic artist that does a lot of the work for SIN NYC. He wanted to know if I could send any pictures of Anne Chilada that I had taken during the Holiday party I told you about. The lovely and talented dragstress will be entertaining this January during the monthly UB2 Bar Night that has found a new home upstairs at the venerable Stonewall Inn over in the West Village. Of course I was thrilled to be asked and sent along three different images that I thought might be suitable. I didn't say it, but I had a feeling that one of the photos would translate well. And wouldn't you know it, this weekend I got a copy of the flyer that was put out to promote the party:

I don't usually make it to the bar night as it involves two things I'm not very good at, drinking (well, I'm good at that but, well ... you know) and talking to people I barely know. But I happened to be (actually) talking to people at the SIN Sunday Brunch I went to a couple of months ago, and it turns out, quite a few people go to the bar night that don't drink at all. Most people, especially alcoholics, assume that everyone drinks like they do. It's not until you actually stop drinking you find out that's not at all true.

If you embiggen the flyer and scroll down to the bottom, what do we have there but the often requested, highly coveted (by me) photo credit. Don't take much to make me happy.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

I Feel Better Already

I like the sun. I like light. I am always raising the shades and trying to brighten whatever room I'm in. The only time I don't is when I'm depressed or in a truly bad mood and just want to sulk. Then I light some candles and play some music and fart around on the internet until I feel better or the day ends and I can go back to bed. Fortunately, these days, those days are few and far between.

Nothing puts me in a better mood than a bright blue sky on a warm and breezy afternoon. I will cross the street just to walk on the sunny side.

Today is the winter solstice, which means it is the shortest day of the year. The least amount of daylight. That should make me sad, but in reality it means that the worst is over for another year. And now every day we gain just a little bit more daylight. Imperceptible at first, but suddenly one day in late January you will notice that it's 5:30 and still not dark yet. And spring is just around the corner. As are bright blue skies and warm breezes.

Nowhere to go but up now.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Time To Purge

I'm relieved to report I finally found not one, but two suitable roommates. I've also made myself a minority in my own home, as I will be living with heterosexuals. Which, quite frankly I don't really mind at all. Some of my worst roommate situations and relationships have been with gay men. That's not meant to be a blanket criticism that gay men are all fucked up and high-maintenance. That may in fact be true, or it may just be true about me. I am more than willing to, in retrospect, acknowledge that some of my previous problems in living with gay men could have come from my alcoholism as well as the fact that I can be fucked up and high-maintenance on occasion.

And also that they were assholes.

So both roommates will be moving in next week sometime between Christmas and New Years, and while one of the bedrooms is completely empty and ready for move in, the other is full of my spillover clothes, blankets, Christmas decoration boxes and unsold comic books. All of which will have to be condensed back in to my bedroom or the storage shelves in the kitchen. So I'll be spending all of this week evaluating, sorting and throwing out all of my "stuff". Clothes I haven't worn, magazines articles I was saving to write stories about, books I have no intention of re-reading, all of it is potential landfill.

Plus the kitchen needs to be scrubbed from top to bottom, and now is as good a time as any. I have no plans to look for work this week as nobody worth worrying about hires during Christmas week.

Three people in this apartment (plus a dog) will feel very crowded if I don't make lots of room. But at least my housing worries are over now as my unemployment will more than cover my bills with everything split three ways. Now if I could only sell off that comic book collection I will kill two birds (space and money) with one stone.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

I'll Show You Mine, If ...

It looks a little thinner in this picture than it actually is. While it's not all "girthy", it's a tad more thick than it appears here. It's got those big balls at the bottom, which I purchased at a discount just this week. It's got bells but no tinsel, and birds have made their home in it. As you can see, Santa is both a top and a bottom. As it should be.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Christmas SIN New York

Usually at this time of year I am completely booked and busy managing someone else's holiday party. But due to the economic meltdown I am all freed up to actually attend a few soirees. And while my people skills are still not what you would call advanced, at least I am no longer plagued by a crippling fear every time the prospect of being in a room full of strangers rears it's head.

Which is why a week ago Saturday I attended the holiday party for the East Village Gay-A group I belong to. It was a pretty good meeting and some OK food (I cooked) followed by a funny albeit pretty dreadful "show". In their defense, I had heard that their entertainment chairs had resigned less than two weeks before the party, so any show was slightly miraculous.

This past Saturday I had the good fortune of being free to join the peeps of SIN NYC at their holiday hoedown, and I have to say, it was an amazing party that put any other I attended to shame.

They rented a really cute space waaaay down on Bank St. in the West Village. Worked out great for me because I was close by taking a class, but it was practically in the Hudson River. Fortunately, it wasn't particularly cold that night, so I didn't have to fuck up my hair with a hat. I hate fucking up my hair.

Anyway, it meant that I had to get up and get going really early that day, as I finally decided the night before that I would be able to (read: could afford) make a pan of lasagna. I also managed to scrape together an extra 10 bucks and stop by a discount store and pick up an offering for their toy drive (more on that later). I felt a little bad that I had to go the discount route, that is until I saw two other toys in the pile that night from the exact same shelf I selected my toy for a tot. It's still charitable if it's budget, right?

The party may have been off the beaten path, but they did an amazing job decorating the space. Some cleverly hung divider curtains and some obviously smart planning meant there was a designated dining area, a lounge-y, food/buffet/bar and a dance floor. The dining tables were really pretty.

While the dance floor ended up more VFW hall but who cares, it worked.

Things took a decidedly upscale turn with the dramatic and timely arrival of a perfectly coiffed Anne Chilada, who gamely entertained the troops. Poor thing, always having to sing for her vodka ... er, supper.

Now pardon me while I rave, but if there was a single highlight to the night, it was most definitely the food. There was So. Much. Food! When I first arrived there was an area next to the bar for appetizers, a long table and a half for main courses, and a separate dessert table. They were just heating up dishes and sending them out when I plopped down my meat (HAR!) and zucchini lasagna. There was already a lot of food out when more and more people started arriving, each carrying a box or a bag or multiple bags of everything. Appetizers, cheeses, main dishes and cake after cake after pie after brownie. There was even the cutest "Candy Land" display already set up full of all manner of goodies. And anyplace that puts out Sweet Tarts for the taking is all right in my book.

And let me tell you, while some people went with the store-bought desserts, albeit three and four at a time, most of these these queens COOKED! And chopped and sliced and baked. The tables were absolutely loaded with food and there was still more coming in an hour and a half after the party started. I was totally gratified that my lasagna offering was absolutely scarfed down within the first half hour. That's the only part I don't like about cooking for a party. I tend to hover around my dish obsessing every time someone passes it up. No worries this time. It was a hit. Or rather the entire buffet was a hit. I had some delicious fried chicken, a piece of a giant hero sandwich, some fried dumplings, and I gorged on appetizer cheeses, meats, shrimp and fresh cut fruit. I was stuffed! Several people were manning the kitchen and the ovens as well as the buffet set up, but for the guys that handled the bulk of the work and planning, they did an absolutely amazing job. And I'm a little cunty so you know that must be true.

The bar was really well stocked (although I obviously didn't partake) and replenished with every new arrival. Plus a certain naughty elf made sure the holiday punch was good and "punchy".

And finally, I want to tell you all that in addition to making me practically roll back to the East Side, the SIN organizers announced a toy drive in conjunction with the party. It wasn't mandatory or heavy-handed, but they did announce ahead of time that the toys would go to families dealing with HIV/AIDS. And isn't it typical that a bunch of homos and those who love them, already with plenty to deal with in their everyday lives would take a few minutes and dollars out of the shopping budget to do this?

All in all I had a great time and took a lot more pictures, which I will post on the SIN photo page later. The music was great (that Joey is kind of yummy, no?), the food was to die for and the whole vibe was about as friendly and no pressure as a room full of fags can get. Thanks and well-wishes go out to SIN co-managers David and Chris T. as well as Anne, Mickeal and everyone who obviously worked so hard to create a fabulous night out for everyone at a time when one can easily lapse in to melancholy.

It was about the best party I've been to in years.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Long Day ...

Hit the ground running today. Took the dog to the store on his morning walk. Picked up the fixin's for a lasagna and spent the afternoon cooking. Went to a class I've been taking, the details of which I am almost ready to share with you all. You may or may not be surprised, depending on how well you read between the lines. After that I immediately went to a pot luck holiday party with all the SIN peeps. It was one of the better parties I've been to in a long, long time. I will have those details as well as some pictures tomorrow. Right now I'm kind of tuckered out.

Also tomorrow, I have a few appointments lined up to show the apartment. Hopefully, I will find a decent roommate or two and this will be over with. It's very draining and I just want it resolved.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Not So Fast!

Reports of my roommate search being over were decidedly short-lived.

The day after I reported that it was a done deal it was an undone deal. The young lady I had hit it off with never confirmed she was taking the space, and after a couple of days I decided to begin placing ads on-line again. I finally did hear from her, and it seems she was caught up in the economic cluster fuck and will either be downsized or relocated. Either way, she won't be moving in with me. Color me disappointed.

So the search begins anew and I have several meetings scheduled for this weekend. The only thing I have slightly in my favor is the fact that many leases for Jan. 1 are about to expire so I have a slightly more desperate pool to fish in. I'm not even looking for any long term commitments. In fact, it would fit in rather well with my plans if I can find a couple of foreign travelers or student interns to take a short rental and get lost.

All of this will be moot if I can't find a job in the next couple of months, and in light of the news lately, I'm not over confident.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

"Religion Is Far More Of A Choice Than Homosexuality"

Jon Stewart in an impressive and impassioned exchange with Mike Huckabee over the Gay Marriage brouhaha. Seriously, I got chills.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Any Way You Translate It ...

It's something about cleaning and a cake to the face and showering. I don't really care. After careful consideration and many, many viewings I have to say #3 on the far right is my favorite. Readers?

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Checking In

I've been a little depressed and in a minor panic of late.

I have been having very little luck in finding a roommate to take my old roomie's place. As I said, considering how relatively cheap my apartment actually rents for you would think people would be lining up to move in, but I have been getting less than half a dozen responses per week for the last three weeks. It amounts to about one a day, and then with most of them, when I return the e-mail or phone call inquiry they never call back or follow through. I've tried to figure out if I'm being off-putting in some way but there's honestly no way you can tell what a cranky old fag I am just from my on-line ad.

All that seemed to change this afternoon when I finally met a young lady I seemed to have an instant rapport with. She's friendly and bright and seems to really love the idea of living here with the extra security of a dog to watch the house. Never mind that Riley's protection can be bought with a slice of ham. We sort of tacitly affirmed that the feeling is mutual and I expect that she will call me tomorrow to take the apartment. That will be a huge load off my mind.

Things are not so rosy on the job front. I have been sending out on-line responses to 10 -15 want ads every week, and where that usually would result (for me) in at least two or more requests for interviews, some weeks I'm not getting any. And I have a pretty impressive resume if I do say so myself. Truth be told, I've sort of lied by omission about the time towards the end of my drinking days when I bounced from job to job. No sense muddying up the waters with messy details that don't reflect on where I am now.

Significantly, I have been contacted by the majority of my old employees letting me know that a lot of them are ready and able to return to work any time, which means that my dearth of job opportunities have much to do with the ass falling off the economy and not my own job-worthy-ness. Everyone is out of work or working a crappy job for no money. Knowing that doesn't make my current lack of income any less stressful. Still, now that I've found what seems to be a suitable roommate, I should be able to at least keep current on the bills until a good paying job comes along.

On the bright side of that, I do have a preliminary interview for a job I would dearly love to snag at a new restaurant/hotel across the river in New Jersey. Unfortunately, it's a phone interview, and if you've never had the pleasure, they suck. The headhunter is in Chicago and I will be here in New York. We have a phone call at an appointed time during which she pulls apart my resume and fires a bunch of questions at me. All of which I have to answer without having a face to look at or the ability to gauge whether or not I am boring the crap out of her. I hate it. I am a very visual person, and I usually take cues from someone's face, body language and a host of other non-verbal clues to try and win the person over and give a good interview. A phone interview makes me feel crippled.

I've also been to the dentist again. I bet you thought I was done when my root canal was finally finished. I did too. But it seems that my dentist decided that I had worn away the enamel on my teeth where they meet at the gum line. It could be a side effect of years of drinking and whatever vitamin deficiency goes along with that. So I have a series of appointments set up where he will fill in all those open crevices with porcelain. It should prevent further decay and stop any sensitivity I have to cold foods and ice. If you ask me, I think my dentist has a crush on me and is inventing reasons for me to come in. I don't want to buy trouble, but I can't believe my ADAP insurance covers this many visits and this much work. But they have never asked me for a single payment so I guess I'll just enjoy it and flash my reconditioned smile.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

The Real Result Of The Arkansas Gay Parent Ban

"The measure was written to prohibit straight and gay people who are living together from adopting or becoming foster parents, but its real objective, child welfare experts say, is to bar same-sex couples like Shelley and Ross, 52, from raising children—even if it means youngsters who desperately need families will wait longer."

But finding potential homes for foster children is a continual challenge across the country—especially for children who are older and have special needs. Some 129,000 U.S. children are in foster care, and the only criteria should be who can best provide a loving, permanent home, according to Adam Pertman, executive director of the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute.

In a recent report, the non-partisan group concluded that a national ban on gay adoptions could add $87 million to $130 million to foster care expenditures annually because these children would then be living in other types of institutional care, such as group homes.

"On its face, this [Arkansas] law is just crazy," Pertman said. "I fear what will happen if other states see this as a model." -via Chicago Tribune (read more)

Monday, December 01, 2008

Nice WAD

Did AIDS Change America?
By John-Manuel Andriote

More than 500,000 people have died from AIDS-related illnesses in the US in the last 27 years - but has AIDS really changed the country?

The actor Paul Michael Glaser, who presents a Radio 2 documentary on the subject on Tuesday, has no doubt it has had a tremendous impact at a personal level.

Best known as Starsky in the long-running television show "Starsky & Hutch," Glaser said: "AIDS had a huge impact on my life and on hundreds of thousands of my fellow Americans."

Glaser's own wife, Elizabeth contracted HIV, which causes AIDS, from a blood tranfusion in 1981 - the year AIDS was first reported in the US.

"The fact that no one could pinpoint exactly where the illness was stemming from led to confusion and a certain amount of panic.

Elizabeth and her daughter later died from AIDS-related causes.

Among the archival and new interviews used in the documentary, Elizabeth Glaser's speech to the 1992 Democratic National Convention raised issues still being raised in 2008.

"Do you know how much my AIDS care costs?," she asked.

"Over $40,000 a year. This is not the America I was raised to be proud of, where rich people get care and drugs that poor people can't. We need health care for all."

By the end of 2005, nearly one million Americans had been diagnosed with HIV-AIDS since it was first seen among a handful of young gay men in 1981, according to the most recent figures from the US Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC).

But the figures do not begin to reveal the personal pain those who have been affected have experienced, or the prejudice they have had to endure.

Neither do they shine a light on the huge progress that has been made in managing - if not yet curing - HIV infection.

Early panic

In the early 1980s, Glaser remembers society took time to adjust to the new menace: "The fact that no one could pinpoint exactly where the illness was stemming from led to confusion and a certain amount of panic."

High-profile actors, performers and athletic stars, such as Rock Hudson, Liberace and Ervin "Magic" Johnson, and the involvement of celebrities such as actress Elizabeth Taylor, helped stem that initial panic.

A teenage boy from Indiana called Ryan White, who contracted HIV from blood products used to treat his hemophilia, also played a big part in changing attitudes.

He showed Americans what it was like to live with the health challenges and social stigma of having what many considered a "gay disease."

After his death in 1990, the federal government passed the Ryan White CARE Act, today a $2 billion program funding HIV-AIDS care and support programs.

Gay community hard hit

Without doubt, AIDS has inflicted a terrible toll on the gay community.

America's best-known AIDS activist Larry Kramer recalls: "I had kept a list of how many I knew, and when it reached 500, I stopped keeping the list.

"All of my friends, everybody was dead."

Cleve Jones, a San Francisco gay activist and co-founder of the city's first Aids service organisation, was outraged that friends and families "were too ashamed" to acknowledge the cause of their loved one's death.

Jones formed the AIDS Memorial Quilt in 1987 as a way of memorializing the fallen.

Today the quilt includes more than 40,000 panels for those killed by AIDS - but that represents fewer than one in 12 of those who have died from the disease in the US alone.

The tide began to turn against HIV-AIDS in 1996, when combinations of drugs were reported to have tremendous effects.

By 1998, San Francisco's gay community newspaper Bay Area Reporter made headlines across the country with its own headline: "No obits."

Lowered guard

With the promise of effective treatment, many lowered their guard against HIV, believing the expensive, toxic drugs would save them if necessary.

The upshot has been increasing new HIV infections, particularly among young African-American men.

Dr Marjorie Hill is director of New York's Gay Men's Health Crisis (GMHC), the world's first AIDS service and education organization founded by Larry Kramer and a small group of gay men.

She notes a CDC study which found 46% of a sample of young African-American gay and bisexual men were HIV-positive.

"That's outrageous," she said. "That's unconscionable."

"We're not going out of business - because unfortunately business is booming."

Profound yet incomplete changes

If the US has not become completely accepting of people affected by HIV-AIDS, there have certainly been profound changes in the lives of those affected personally, in the gay community and in society at large.

The greater visibility of gay people in mainstream culture, and a more tolerant attitude in society has helped.

I have spent half my life reporting on the impact of AIDS in America and AIDS has certainly brought a new level of maturity to many gay people.

We had to learn what integrity means and to be yourself and not be apologetic about who you are as a gay person even when surrounded by straight people.

People with HIV today are more involved in managing their own medical care.

And AIDS advocates have struggled to ensure that people with HIV and those with other illnesses participate as advisors, and not as mere "subjects," in medical research.

Carries a stigma

But despite greater awareness, HIV still carries tremendous stigma in America.

People within the gay community are judging each other based on HIV status
Bob Bowers

Dr Hill said nearly half the women in a GMHC support group have not told their families they are HIV-positive.

She said: "They said if I told my family, my niece and nephew would not be allowed to come eat at my house.

"This is 2008. That attitude is ridiculous."

Yet it persists among many gay people, too.

Bob Bowers is a straight man who has lived with HIV for more than 20 years.

He said: "People within the gay community are judging each other based on HIV status."

He notes that if an HIV-positive man asks a "neggie" for a date, "they are not even going to consider it."

Assumptions still made

For many, including some medical professionals, HIV-AIDS continues to be associated with people who "look" a particular way, live in certain parts of town, and have a non-heterosexual orientation.

Dr Hill said: "I'm an African-American woman living in New York.

"In New York black women are nine times more likely to die of HIV than white women.

"I have never had a medical provider ask me if I would like an HIV test."

The question must be asked again: Has AIDS really changed America?

The answer is yes.... but.

Yes it has had profound changes, but it depends on whom and which aspects of the country you are talking about.

John-Manuel Andriote is a former Washington Post journalist who has been writing and researching HIV/AIDS for more than 20 years. His former partner died of AIDS in the 1990s and he has been HIV positive himself since 2005.

How Aids Changed America is broadcast on 2 December at 2230 GMT on BBC Radio 2.

Friday, November 28, 2008

If You Need Me ...

I'll be swinging from a noose off my fire escape.

You know, I was actually not feeling even slightly bad about the holiday consisting of me and Cujo and a great recipe for lasagna. I would have made turkey but an entire turkey dinner for one on Thanksgiving is even more depressing than going to a diner alone for Thanksgiving dinner. Believe me, I've done both and it's better to just cook something you haven't had in a while and enjoy the fact that the city is for all intents and purposes empty. You don't even have to obey the traffic signals because traffic is so light. It's anarchy I tell ya'!

So Riley and I had finished running and playing catch in the park on the grass that we're normally not allowed on and I had a free hour. I decided to take in a Gay-A meeting. Not that I was feeling particularly needy, I just thought it would be nice to check in and see who was there, and maybe get some inspiration for the rest of the day. As it turns out, the only thing my fellow lonely alcoholics inspired in me was a desire to off myself as violently and quickly as possible.

From the speaker who, when he wasn't speaking in a stupor inducing monotone, was relating how he's retired at 59 years old and living on a pension. And all he does every day, every day, is attend three or four AA meetings.

Then the Cat Lady spoke about how much she loves cats, and about how horribly depressed she was when her cat died, and about how now she has another cat and she's not depressed. But she worries about the cat because he has an eating disorder. And she spends an inordinate amount of time obsessing about her cat because she's worried she isn't forming a meaningful connection with her cat and JESUS CHRIST SOMEONE PUT A BULLET IN ME!

Then the homeless guy in the curiously over-sized vest piped up about how he is homeless with no job, but spent this Thanksgiving like he did every other holiday, sitting in a Starbucks writing a letter. The thing is, this is a rather extensive letter that apparently is multiple pages, front and back, that curiously he composes without knowing who it is going to be for. Apparently, that is revealed at a later time, along with hidden messages to himself that his "higher power" manages to slip past his tin foil hat and into his brain. All of this was told in a rather frightening monotone as well, until he he finally trailed off, laughing at a joke that wasn't particularly funny. By then he looked to me like the evil preacher that tried to kidnap Carol-Anne in Poltergeist.

I couldn't get out of there fast enough. I practically ran home (I also had to pee) and happily started putting together what turned out to be an outrageously good pan of lasagna, all the while trading texts with my niece, that made me feel a little bit like I was actually home where I would have been if I had two nickles to rub together.

But at least I had good food, a happy dog (with an eat everything disorder), and no desire to sit in a Starbucks and compose letters to no one. Not counting this one.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


I snapped this park rat yesterday afternoon. I was out taking some last minute pictures as I'm entering a photography contest put on by one of the local neighborhood associations.

Ugh. I got nothin' right now. Everything is up in the air and on hold and I'm completely aware that Thanksgiving week was/is not going to present the opportunity to resolve any of it.

Squirrels and mice are the current objects of Riley's obsession. If he sees squirrels in the park before I do he practically yanks my arm off trying to get them. Ditto for rats (!) and mice if he hears them rustling in the leaves. Our late night 1 am walk is actually just Riley running from garbage to garbage trying to rustle up "mouses" to chase after. I think it's because we have at least one mouse on the loose in the apartment. If he hears any rustling from in the kitchen at night he is out of bed like a shot until he is satisfied all is well. I kind of wish he would catch the little fucker but I don't expect Riley is clever enough for that. But he's obviously a born hunter and tracker and seems to love the search. I'd love to figure out some "games" that we could play outside that would challenge his skills.

I will try to be back later with a Thanksgiving post. If I don't get the chance have a happy one. Don't eat too much.

Monday, November 24, 2008

This Ought To Be Good

Rabble rouser, Muslim-hating, Botox-abusing, pseudo-intellectual, lightning rod for controversy Michael Lucas weighs in (very late) on the Proposition Hate imbroglio with a sure fired crowd pleaser entiteled The Mormon-Black Axis of Hate. Ready? ... Go!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

No Ebay Comics For Sale

Either I'm pricing them badly or I'm not putting together very enticing ads or it's true that nobody is interested in buying 1980's comic books, but since nothing is selling I'm not going to be putting any more comics up on E-Bay. Instead I've started making one more attempt at putting together a comprehensive list of all the comics I own and selling the entire collection at once. Hopefully, since I live in NYC and there are several large comics and collectible businesses in the area someone will be interested and get me a decent price.

The cell phone and one of the notebook speakers sold however.

Riley has been pretty good and I have become more careful about what I leave out for him to chew up. Which is why yesterday afternoon I left him alone for about four hours as I took a class and went to a Gay-A meeting, thinking all was well. While I was gone he pulled six pouches of dog food I purchased off from a shelf in the kitchen and took them into my bed. Where he proceeded to tear open and eat all six of them. And though he did eat them all he also made a horrible meaty food mess all over the bed spread, that had dried to a delightful hard crust before I got home. It was so ridiculous I couldn't even get mad. I only got pretend mad and scolded him until he skulked off in a corner and showed the appropriate shame. Then I turned around and laughed.

I have to go now. I have a lot of meat-flavored bedding in the laundry to finish.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Um ...

I think I figured out what I want my next job to be.

In related news ...

"Crack" team of investigators nab Nebraska "Butt bandit".

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Sign O' The Times

When I thought that I would be going back to work and needing to hire some front of house staff to do a few upcoming parties I put an ad up on Craigslist. At then end of 48 hours I had close to 450 responses to try and sift through. They kept coming in over a week after the initial date, despite the fact that the interview date in the ad had long since expired. I'm sure it was over 500 people responding.

In the end I couldn't hire any of them because, wonder of wonders, the owners jumped the gun and for whatever reason they were unable to secure permission to open. All the parties scheduled for the end of this month were moved to other locations and no one was hired or re-hired for work. That most definitely includes me.

Supposedly, there will be work available starting in December. Or April.

Last week, my roommate (and her little dog, too!) announced (via text) that she could no longer afford to live in Manhattan, or at least my apartment, and would be moving out on the 15th of December. Obviously, I can't pay the entire rent myself, as I can barely pay my half. So I took out another ad on Craigslist looking for a roommate that would be interested in living in a nice, safe neighborhood in NYC in a fully furnished, reasonably inexpensive ($1000.00) apartment with a middle aged, fairly stable gay man and his dog.

I got a single response from a woman in Italy. Italy!

Time was an ad like that would have generated at least a hundred responses on the very first night. Nobody is moving here and nobody is switching apartments right now. There are no jobs and no money.

I'm kind of screwed.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

This Week On Ebay

Mutant Canucklehead

Lot of Wolverine - 30 books!!

HUGE Lot of Wonder Woman - 77 Comics
! (includes George Perez and John Byrne issues)

Excalibur - Britain's Mutant Super Team! - 66 Books!

Lot of L.E.G.I.O.N. - 55 Books - Includes Issue #1!


I'm selling some brand-new in the box electronics I've acquired. All perfectly legal. If you need a brand new Verizon cell phone or a portable laptop USB speaker set, you should buy from me I'm dirt poor!

Monday, November 17, 2008

More Pictures From The NYC Rally

And I absolutely need to show you these pics from home as I finished making my typically smart-assed sign to hold up. Only because the pictures that follow made it to other web sites. Proof positive that I was there doin' my duty for the cause. This here was my short and sweet message for the front.

And here was the back.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

NYC Gay Rights Rally

Didn't get a lot of pictures because we were sort of jammed up down the side of the road and the news estimates put the size of the crowd at around 3,000. After weather reports called for heavy rain all day I was hoping for the best, but instead it stopped raining completely about an hour or two before the rally, and even the sun peaked out for most of the afternoon. Once the event got going it was speaker after speaker, politician after politician, so I finally got tired and opted to leave. I had another important appointment, after which I took in a Gay-A meeting. By then it was after 8:00 and it was all I could do to get home, walk Cujo and make dinner. Will post more pix and info after I get a good nights sleep. I'm pooped!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Get Up Stand Up

Tomorrow in front of City Hall in New York City and in cities all across this country, homos and those who love 'em will be holding a rally for equal rights. Again. Sparked by a national groundswell of outrage over the passage of Proposition Hate in California, it has since morphed in to a call to action for LGBT people and against all the inequalities and injustices we still are expected to put up with every day.

For the record, queers are still fired from their jobs, denied equal access to homes and apartments and we are not protected when it comes to our own medical treatment decisions, property rights and wills. Of course we are still routinely beaten and killed on the streets of the USA every. single. day.

In my own life and here on this blog, I have documented some of the struggles and inequalities I face, both from within and outside the LGBT community and most certainly at the hands of the federal government, as someone who is nevertheless surviving and thriving despite being HIV+.

For reasons that will be made clear, I am and will continue to be an advocate for the rights of gays and lesbians who have decided to become a part of the solution and become parents to children in desperate need, either through the foster care system or adoption. The state of Arkansas has seen fit to eliminate the possibility that America's children in need will be saved from a punishing system and placed in homes where they can be loved and cared for by passing an initiative banning unmarried couples from becoming foster or adoptive parents. They did this under the guise of protecting families.

For these and many other reasons I intend to participate and Join The Impact. We will no longer tolerate the equal treatment under the law for LBGT people being prevented, delayed or trampled on by bigots or religious zealots. We will no longer allow narrow-minded, prejudiced, judgmental social throwbacks to tell us who we can love, how we can love them and whether or not we have the right to make and define our own families.

We will no longer be silent. This is the day that gays bash back. It's been a long time coming.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

These Posts Will Make Sense Soon ...

These Kids Are Invisible
-By Dan Allen

It’s a gorgeous mid-September Tuesday evening in New York City and the setting sun warmly glows over the streets of Midtown. Chelsea, New York’s gayest enclave, shifts into party mode just a few blocks south. To the northeast, the world is starting to queue up for Broadway hits. Meanwhile, commuters rush to the comforts of home.

But for thousands of gay youth in Gotham, there will be no partying, no theater, no playing tonight.

And once again, no home.

Estimates say that a staggering 20,000 young people are homeless every night in the city, - anywhere from a quarter to a third of those are LGBTQ kids. A lucky fraction of that number has found its way to Sylvia’s Place, tucked here on the city’s far west side, so near and so far from so much wealth.

Read More ...

UPDATE: Dan Savage in a New York Times Op-Ed about the Arkansas Initiative to prevent gay parents.

Even before the law passed, the state estimated that it had only about a quarter of the foster parents it needed. Beginning on Jan. 1, a grandmother in Arkansas cohabitating with her opposite-sex partner because marrying might reduce their pension benefits is barred from taking in her own grandchild; a gay man living with his male partner cannot adopt his deceased sister’s children.

Social conservatives are threatening to roll out Arkansas-style adoption bans in other states. And the timing couldn’t be worse: in tough economic times, the numbers of abused and neglected children in need of foster care rises. But good times or bad, no movement that would turn away qualified parents and condemn children to a broken foster care system should be considered “pro-family.”

Most ominous, once “pro-family” groups start arguing that gay couples are unfit to raise children we might adopt, how long before they argue that we’re unfit to raise those we’ve already adopted? If lesbian couples are unfit to care for foster children, are they fit to care for their own biological children?

Monday, November 10, 2008

The View Gets It Horribly Wrong

If you're wondering how Proposition Hate managed to pass in California, one can get a big fat clue sandwich watching this exchange last week between the ladies on The View.

Ostensibly, Barbara Walters seems to begin the discussion by presenting the religious and moral objections to gay marriage. That religious groups could be sued for refusing to perform same-sex marriages and that same-sex marriage would be "taught" in school. Walters does manage to offhandedly and in her increasingly befuddled manner state that she is trying to present the Prop Hater's argument, but that point is lost and everything that follows seems to be statements of fact rather than lies, which is what they are.

Churches would be under no obligation to perform same-sex marriages, just as the Catholic church can and does refuse to marry divorced people right now. There was nothing in the Supreme Court's decision to allow same-sex marriages that even remotely suggested this would change. That was a lie.

Same-sex marriage would not be taught in school. Why would it? Think back to your own substandard American education. When did you take a marriage course or a marriage class? When did you have a marriage lesson or learn about the history of marriage? Would that be Social Studies or Home Economics? Why would our schools suddenly begin "teaching" about same-sex marriage? They don't "teach" marriage, period. That was a lie.

Then Barbara jumps back in to repeat another lie, this time that religious figures could be jailed for preaching against homosexuality. Of course, this makes Miss Sherri "The World is Flat" Shepherd's head almost twist off. After reinforcing this load of crap Shepherd has the nerve to pull out that "I have gay friends" bullshit line and talk about "Uncle Tommy and Uncle Jimmy". And how she struggles with this issue. The same way she struggled with voting for Obama or McCain up until last week, only to have to sit and watch her weep and "thank tha lawd" the morning after the election. If Sherri Shepherd wasn't so unbelievably stupid I would be furious. But again, the right to a same-sex marriage and a preacher using their pulpit to spread bigotry and hate and denounce gay people are two completely unrelated issues. Nothing in the Supreme Court's decision to allow same-sex marriage had anything remotely in it suggesting that would change. Yet another outrageous lie.

This all apparently brought down the wrath of both GLADD and Her Highness St. Ellen, because today's show led with more gay marriage debate and Whoopi attempting to set out some facts. I won't even re-cap how ridiculously asinine Sherri Shepherd sounded yet again, saying she needed more information, not those bothersome laws and facts, before she could have an opinion, any opinion beyond what her Bible studies tell her. Newsflash there Sherri, those of us who don't believe in the Bible as anything other than a book are not in the least bit interested in whether or not your religious beliefs should become our laws. And you're fat.

What totally put me over the top was when the borderline senile Barbara Walters closed the first segment by bringing up the amendment that, according to Walters the state of Nebraska passed, that prevents gay people from adopting. First of all, It was FREAKIN' ARKANSAS, and in actuality what those pinhead, cousin marrying bigots did was pass an amendment so that no unmarried couples of any sexual preference could become foster parents or adoptive parents. They did this because it was the only way they could conceivably legally keep gay people out of foster care and take away their rights to adopt. So fearful and frothy in their religious righteousness are these inbred cretins that they sacrifice the safety, well-being and future happiness of hundreds if not thousands of children, all in an effort to take away the rights of gay people to start and have a family.

In their defense, after coming back from commercial and presumably after the fact checkers in the control room managed to, I don't know, check some facts, and after Barbara Walters' arterial flow problem was properly adjusted, they did correctly state that the amendment was passed in Arkansas, without any explanation as to what the amendment actually was or why it meant anything, followed by another story wherein Sherri Shepherd hangs out with gay people when she's not, not having premarital sex and simultaneously condemning those who do.

And if this is how badly wrong a group of seemingly intelligent (and Sherri Shepherd) and reasonably well-informed (and Sherri Shepherd) bunch of women in television with access to news (and whatever they do on FOX) get the facts of this story, I guess it's no surprise that something as ugly as Proposition Hate managed to pass with all those voters in rural California.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

I'm In Hell

I trust you remember last month, when Riley decided to completely demolish my eyeglasses. I ended up scraping together what turned out to be my last bit of available credit to have a new pair made up. Not wanting to take a chance, I erred on what I thought was the side of caution, and kept the new pair in their case, under my meds and a bag of quarters I keep to do laundry with.

At the end of last week I left the house for about 40 mins. to do said laundry. I also moved my bag of meds to the coffee table, so I wouldn't forget to take them when I came back with some breakfast.

In case the picture is not illustrative enough, Riley took the opportunity to dig out my new glasses, in the case, and completely destroy them. That black object in the middle is what's left of the glass case, and the shiny twisted pieces on either end is the metal plate inside the case. He also climbed up on my desk and pulled my wallet off. Somehow he got inside and took out all my credit cards and ID. He completely chewed up one of my cards. I included my cell phone in the picture because he also chewed off the antennae, but that was on another day. You can add a shoe and two different belts to the tab as well

I completely lost my shit, screaming at him and shaking the chewed up objects in his face as he cowered on the bed. I also spanked his butt. I'm not proud of that, but it's what happened. My reaction was completely over the top, and I shocked even myself how angry I got. It wasn't until later, after calming down, that I realized I was really angry because I knew I couldn't afford to replace the glasses. I can't afford much of anything right now beyond enough groceries and dog food to keep us going. There's nothing extra.

And I'm embarrassed about that and sick of living hand to mouth.

I called my parents right after it happened, mostly to vent, which I did. Surprisingly they generously offered to pay for a replacement pair. Even more surprisingly, they immediately sent a check overnight mail for twice what I needed. I have some theories for why that is, but that might have to be another whole post. And while I accepted the check most happily, I also have understandably mixed feelings about needing my mom and dad to give me cash at my age.

If I can't get Riley to stop chewing up my things, I have decided he will have to be penned up in the kitchen whenever I'm gone. And we will both hate that.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Dirty Laundry

Among the many, many unfortunate pieces of collateral damage coming out of the passage of anti-gay legislation in the recent election, I think most disturbing (although I confess, not really shocking) is the naked racism directed at Black LGBT people, regardless of whether they publicly campaigned against Prop Hate or not.

I started to see blatantly racist comments left on the blog posts at Queerty and then Towleroad right after Prop Hate passed. Since then they are de rigeur and easy to find on any blog covering the issue, including big-time bloggers Joe.My.God. and Dan Savage. And it pains me that neither the editors at Queerty nor Andy @ Towleroad seem to be taking any steps to publicly rebuke and denounce any of the racist vitriol appearing on their sites.

Now comes word (via Rod 2.0 and some of his readers) that Black gay supporters of No on Hate that have shown up at various California protests (because nobody does indignant outrage like The Gays), have been met with hostility, outrage and more ugly racism. Some were called Nigger. To wit:

It was like being at a klan rally except the klansmen were wearing Abercrombie polos and Birkenstocks. YOU NIGGER, one man shouted at men. If your people want to call me a FAGGOT, I will call you a nigger. Someone else said same thing to me on the next block near the temple...me and my friend were walking, he is also gay but Korean, and a young WeHo clone said after last night the niggers better not come to West Hollywood if they knew what was BEST for them.

Los Angeles resident and Rod 2.0 reader A. Ronald says he and his boyfriend, who are both black, were carrying NO ON PROP 8 signs and still subjected to racial abuse.

Three older men accosted my friend and shouted, "Black people did this, I hope you people are happy!" A young lesbian couple with mohawks and Obama buttons joined the shouting and said there were "very disappointed with black people" and "how could we" after the Obama victory. This was stupid for them to single us out because we were carrying those blue NO ON PROP 8 signs! I pointed that out and the one of the older men said it didn't matter because "most black people hated gays" and he was "wrong" to think we had compassion. That was the most insulting thing I had ever heard. I guess he never thought we were gay.

It is not the least bit surprising to me that an undercurrent of racism exists from well-to-do white gay men directed at their Black brethren. Anybody who has spent any time simply listening at enough dinner and cocktail parties is well aware it has always been simmering beneath the surface. It's always been one of our dirty little (not so well kept) secrets. But it is surprising that it has exploded to the forefront with such force, with Blacks regardless of their stated sexuality being singled out for blame on an issue where there is more than enough blame to spread around.

As soon as the shit hits the fan, the first thing we do is turn around, target and gobble up our own? I don't get it.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

You Must Read This!

Look, while I am personally against the whole gay marriage thing FOR ME, I appreciate that it is an issue that is very important to a lot of my peeps. One of the collateral issues surrounding gay marriage I am ever more concerned about however, is how the issues of equality under the law for medical decisions and hospital policy and the rights of gay people and their kids are being threatened, ignored, or in the case of Arkansas and those ridiculous bigots, completely trampled upon.

With that said, I urge you to read this heartbreaking story posted by Jake over at NoFo. If it doesn't leave you shaking with indignation and make the threat to gay families crystal clear I don't know what will.

Proposition Hate

Thomas (not his real name) came to live with us on October 13, 2007. Developmentally disabled since birth, Thomas had been essentially abandoned by his father years ago. He’d been living with his mother for the last 15 years in a personal hell he still doesn’t have the skills or even the understanding to describe. From what he’s been able to tell us, she was grotesquely abusive. Instead of merely beating him, she’d make him bring her whatever she was going to beat him with to prolong his terror and humiliation. When she beat him until he bled, she wouldn’t let him clean up the bloodstains on the walls and floor … so he couldn’t escape the reminders of his beatings anywhere he went in the house. When he didn’t make his bed the way she wanted, she made him sleep on the floor next to it. For five years. When a man she was having an affair with committed suicide, she told Thomas she wished he had been the one to kill himself. She clearly had never taken him to a dentist. Or even taught him how to brush his teeth. And while she was constantly dressed in sequins and hats, she dressed him like a retarded, homeless stereotype: pants that were too short, used underwear that was 12 sizes too big and cracked plastic shoes that made him walk with a limp.

Once the domestic partner and I realized what was going on and rescued him (his mother had left him alone for a week while she went on a cruise, telling him he couldn’t go outside or even watch TV while she was gone … and that she’d call the cable company when she got back and beat him severely if they told her he had turned on the TV in her absence) we brought him to live with us. The poor guy was a shell of a man, afraid to talk, assert himself on any level or even make eye contact. And he was clearly terrified that he was going to be punished for causing so much fuss on his behalf. In those first few days in our house, he even apologized to me when I “caught” him using one of our glasses to get a drink of water.

Over the last 13 months in our home, he’s learned to smile and talk to strangers and make terrible jokes and hold a part-time job and be responsible for the simple chores we’ve assigned him and feel safe functioning in a world where he knows his caretakers won’t repeatedly, relentlessly abuse him. In our house, he’s free to watch the shows he loves (which, to our chagrin, involves heavy rotations of WWE), socialize with our friends, sleep in a big comfy bed, and live a life free of the fear of beatings and psychological cruelty. In short, we’ve been the first to give him the responsible, loving parenting that gay-hostile “Christian” conservatives arrogantly declare can come only from straight people. And Thomas’ very existence blows massive holes in the meaningless “every child deserves a mother and father” inanity that these cretins parrot endlessly in their emotionally violent crusades against marriage equality. NO child deserves Thomas’ mother and father, so what these moral charlatans are saying is a grotesque oversimplification of the truth. Rational people call it a lie. Legitimate Christians and their autocratic, jealous god call it “bearing false witness.”

Now consider the fact that Thomas is my domestic partner’s brother.

If the domestic partner dies, their parents have legal access to all our shared property, including our house. The mother who told her other son that Thomas “made her” beat him could share ownership of our home and have every legal right to move in and resume abusing him. The father who has NEVER ONCE contacted us to see how Thomas is doing after surviving 15 years of abuse and then living for more than a year with me, a complete stranger, could assume half ownership of our house and try to sell it, leaving Thomas and me struggling to find a place we could afford to live. And I’d have no legal recourse. Because legally I’m little more than a roommate.

And the blame for all of this falls squarely on the shoulders of “Christian” hatred junkies who are so consumed by their unholy loathing for me and my domestic partner and gay people everywhere that they’ve spent billions of dollars convincing voters across our country to deny us equal access to the legal and financial protection of marriage.

In addition to “every child deserves a mother and a father,” these self-professed “Christians” use meaningless, grotesquely misleading catchphrases like “sacred institution” and “threat” and “protect” and “redefine” and, when they don’t get their way, “activist judges” to further their loathsome agenda to vilify gay people and teach the nation to hate and fear us. The fact remains that nobody—“Christian” or otherwise—has yet to articulate a plausible or even fact-based justification for denying us marriage equality. “Sacred institution,” “threat,” “redefine” and their ilk are nothing but a lazy, artless code for “religious extremists are consumed by a pathological loathing for gay people.” And whether or not they choose to own up to it, they know in their cold, black hearts that it’s the truth.

And while these cretins spent a staggering $73 million in California alone to scare voters into passing Proposition Hate, the domestic partner and I struggle to pay exorbitant dental bills to undo decades of damage wrought by Thomas’ parents’ neglect. And after 13 months, we’re still searching to find someone who will provide him basic health insurance and a social services caseworker who isn’t too overwhelmed to return our calls and help us understand how to care for him and help him build a network of peers beyond the adult gay men who come to our house for the occasional movie or game night.

This grotesque juxtaposition of robustly funded propaganda vs. cash-strapped social services is the perverse, inexcusable legacy of Proposition Hate and the so-called “Defense of Marriage Act” and every related money-wasting act of gay-hostile social, political and emotional terrorism wrought by the American Taliban.

If you have ever used words like “sacred institution” or “redefine marriage” or “threat to family values” without irony or—worse yet—harbored thoughts or cast votes against marriage equality, you are not my friend. You are not welcome in my life. I honestly see you as intellectually compromised. And I don’t care what you think your god tells you to believe. Your mythology does not trump my reality. And if you try to defend your indefensible thoughts or words or actions to me, be prepared to have your vile, repellant opinions reduced to the vile, repellant garbage that they are.

And when I’m done with you, the domestic partner and I will calmly go back to caring for Thomas and working to repair the decades of damage caused by the celebrated heterosexuals who are apparently free to marry and divorce and have affairs and abuse and ignore their own children without generating interest a single constitutional amendment, television ad, campaign platform or even a godfuckingdamned T-shirt by the American Taliban.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

You Know Urine New York When ...

So as much as I try to remain politically apathetic of course I took the time to vote today.

I do think it's remarkable that for once, the rest of the country is broke right along with me. I'm usually woefully out of step with the nation's economy, and when Wall Street is booming and everyone is making money hand over fist, I'm typically treading water in a financial morass trying to keep ahead of the bill collectors. When everyone is losing their shirts and crying poor is when inexplicably I am usually making some headway. Now it seems that every other person I meet has lost big money or has just been forced out of a job. At every one of my Gay-A meetings someone is talking about dealing with getting let go unexpectedly. I guess I'm fortunate that such is my career that sudden job losses become less stressful after a while.

And it seems I am going back to work in some capacity sooner rather than later, I met with the owners this afternoon and it appears the venue will be re-launching with new investors and a new concept sometime next year. For now, they want to re-open on a limited basis for events and private parties and they want me to help with staffing, management etc. We talked details, and by sometime tomorrow they should be making me an offer along with an idea of how much time they expect me to put in and what they will be paying. I have to say, if I can get in on this concept on the ground floor it's incredibly exciting and almost sure to lead to other/better/bigger jobs so I'm pretty stoked.

But back to my vote.

My polling place is in an elementary school right around the corner from my apartment on E 19th St. Typically, I vote in the afternoon to avoid the morning rush and beat the after work crowd. I have never had to wait more than five or ten minutes to get in and out. Because I had an 11 am meeting and I was unsure how long I might be tied up with work from that, I decided to leave early and headed to vote around 10 am. The wait in line this year was almost 40 minutes. Which I guess signals a pretty huge voter turnout.

While I do vote in every big election, I can never remember my district from one election to the next. It's one of those pieces of non-essential information I don't even give a single brain cell over to. Why should I when there is someone there to look it up for me every two years? So I found myself making my way over to the card table set-up with two election volunteers sitting with a list of names and districts.

One of them was in a wheelchair. And he was the one that became free to look up my district. As I gave him my street address and patiently waited, I glanced down at the man as he thumbed through his book. It was then that I noticed the wet trail down both legs of his pants. My brain tried to make a series of mental gymnastics to make me think he had spilled some water or was perhaps sweating profusely. But the location of the wetness and the volume could really only be one thing. My helpful election volunteer had pissed his pants. And apparently, no one was going to say anything about it, because there was no way it just happened right before I walked up. It was clear to me in the tradition of true New Yorkers that "we" had decided as a collective that we would mind our own business, and if this poor man was willing to sit in his own pee and volunteer with the election than by god, we were all going to pretend it wasn't so.

And so that's what I did. And I assume that's what all the leathery elderly Jewish women who apparently vote around 10 am opted for as well, for I was eavesdropping on a number of conversations as I waited to cast my vote. And while surgeries and skin cancer and weight loss and arthritis were all fair game as topics, the wheelchair bound volunteer sitting in a puddle of piss clearly was not.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Back To Work

I got a phone call yesterday from the owner of my "former" place of employment. It seems they are on the verge of re-opening, at least in a limited capacity, and want me to come in and manage that for them. Of course, I am so horribly broke that I will do just that. I don't have all the details yet, beyond the fact that they have an event for MTV booked for the second week of November. No idea what else they have coming up, nor how many hours they want me to put in etc. All of that will impact how much I will need them to compensate me. Also, I plan on making sure that I am paid for any new work that I do immediately. I have a formal meeting with the owner on Tuesday morning and I'm assuming we'll hash all this out to everyone's satisfaction.

I also got an email response from a job listing on Craigslist wanting me to haul my ass out to Stamford, Ct. for a job interview. That is so not going to happen. It's over an hour away, so whatever job they are offering, unless it's a blow job, I don't want it.

I have no plans for Halloween this year. As I was scrubbing the living room this morning I found a Rock and Roll thermal shirt I had cut that I made Jet wear on a couple of cold days last year. I put it on Riley to see if it would fit and he really seemed aggravated by it. I swear, he looked at me like "WTF?" Then he put it in his mouth to try and get it off. When that didn't work he sat on the couch with the collar in his mouth just staring at me until I came and removed it. Then he tried to rip it up. Big surprise.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

The Whole Tooth

I did in fact get my ambitious list of "Things To Do" yesterday all completed. You can also add in a trip to the pharmacy and a visit to the Petco in a desperate attempt to find things, besides everything I own, for Riley to chew on. I bought him two large compressed (long-lasting) rawhide bones and he finished the first one in one sitting. Took over an hour though.

I'm thrilled to report that I finally got the entire root canal procedure finished. Finally! In a relatively quick visit, he took off the temporary crown and popped in the permanent replacement. It looks just like all the other teeth in my mouth, but I have to say it feels funny. That tooth was broken and sheared off many many years ago and it feels odd to have a whole tooth there. (Remind me to tell you about the night I broke that tooth off.) I'm also surprised how big and smooth it is when I run my tongue behind it. We also talked about filing down a couple of my front teeth, as I've been obsessing that they are uneven, but my dentist pointed out that I was making something out of nothing and besides, filing down my teeth would leave them sensitive (according to my dentist) to heat and cold for a long time and I hate that. So I will learn to live with my "slightly" uneven teeth. It turns out the root canal procedure took so long that I had to make an appointment for next month to have my 2X a year check-up and cleaning. But then I should be good to go. Had you told me two years ago that I would make/keep my dental appointments as casually as I buy shoes I would have laughed in your face.

Today's schedule is decidedly less ambitious, and there's a much bigger domestic agenda. I have a yoga class to take at 1:15, and the laundry will need to get done. Besides that I've been wanting to empty out the living room and scrub the floors. And Riley is about due for his first bath. That should be an experience.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Busy Day

I went to my first meeting of the Community Advisory Board at the Health Center last night. It was everything I hoped it would be. Frustrating, as people tend to have trouble staying on topic and/or expressing themselves understandably, but I already learned a ton about how things will work and more than I ever thought I could fathom about Medicaid and health insurance and medical administrative terminology. I loved it.

Now I best get showered and changed. As you can see, I'm a real gal about town today.