Friday, May 30, 2008

No Like!

Va. man claims TGI Friday’s fired him over HIV status

Friday, May 23, 2008 - via Washington Blade

An HIV-positive gay man is alleging discrimination and wrongful termination against the company that owns TGI Friday’s restaurants, prompting the Office of Human Rights in Alexandria, Va., to schedule an open hearing May 31. James McCray, a Woodbridge, Va., resident, says he was fired from his position as general manager on July 28, 2006, after he disclosed he is HIV positive to Robert D’Anna, the newly appointed director of operations for the TGI Friday’s restaurants in the Washington area. McCray filed a complaint against Carlson Restaurants with the Office of Human Rights on Nov. 16, 2006.The Office of Human Rights, a contracted agency for the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, already issued a determination in August 2007 stating that there was reasonable cause for discrimination. The office is holding the May 31 hearing because Carlson Restaurants wants to present new evidence in the case. The commission reviewing the case is required to make another determination within 30 days after the hearing.McCray writes in his complaint that D’Anna (known as Robert Rocher at the time of the firing) acted strangely after learning about McCray’s diagnosis.“His facial expression changed from inviting to a hard expressionless look then he drew back from me,” McCray writes.The next day, D’Anna summoned McCray to the TGI Friday’s in Washington Reagan National Airport and terminated him.McCray argues that his termination violated the Human Rights Code for Alexandria and the Americans with Disabilities Act, which protect people who are HIV positive.In response to the accusations, Carlson Restaurants says McCray was fired because of concerns with restaurant operations and his integrity.The restaurant chain claims McCray lied to D’Anna on July 28, 2006 — the same day McCray says he acknowledged he is HIV positive — about an unrelated matter.And on the same day, Carlson Restaurants says McCray arrived at work at 9:15 a.m., leaving an hourly employee with the charge of opening the restaurant. Company policy requires that a manger show up to open the restaurant at 7 a.m. and be on the premises when hourly workers are there. In response, McCray says that an hourly employee had been opening the restaurant without a manager for many years and that this practice continued after his termination.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Weekend Wrap-up

Well, I did wash a window.

Backtracking, the Memorial Eve event wasn't the crush I was led to believe. I estimate the crowd was around 700 people, and my crowd estimates are notoriously accurate. I have an ability to look at how many bodies are on each floor and give a pretty educated guess as to how many people are in the building. It's a pretty valuable skill if you are trying to avoid being shut down by the FDNY for over-crowding. So even though the crowd was smaller than expected, I still ended up working at the front door for a couple of hours. Apparently, another one of my skills seems to be in crowd control and managing a waiting line. I assume because I'm so bossy. And seeing as how our security was late getting to the event, I had to step in and manage the outside line. We got a couple hundred people through a ticket line and ID check and in to the club spending money in about 1/2 an hour so, well done me. I left the club in capable hands and set on cruise control around 1am.

Memorial Day was absolutely beautiful. Sunny, breezy, hot in the sun and cool in the shade. But I woke up exhausted, and as the day progressed I developed a splitting headache. But after lolling around the apartment in the afternoon, I found the day running away and I was determined to make something of it, so after washing the dirtiest window in the building, the one facing the alley in the kitchen, I decided to finally take the bike out. I hadn't had the chance to tighten all the screws and size it for my comfort. So I rolled it down to the front steps and tweaked the brakes, tightened the pedals and raised the handlebars. Thinking it was ready to roll I set off for the East side waterfront and then down towards lower Manhattan. It was then the vibrations of the ride started to take their toll. The handlebars weren't tight enough and started to shift and come loose. The ultra heavy lock I attached shifted weight and started hitting me in the heel. The seat lock was obviously not set correctly and began to incrementally lower, and then tilt forward and back as I shifted my weight. By the time I turned around and headed for home it seemed as if the whole bike was about to fly apart under me before I made it back. It was a wobbly, clanking comedy of bad bike maintenance. The minute I got home I re-adjusted the handlebars and completely removed the plastic tire flaps that kept dropping down and dragging on the tires. I didn't take it back out for another ride as my headache was no better and quite frankly, that short ride only highlighted how pathetically out of shape I've become. I was beat.

So I locked the bike up in the stairwell and fetched Jet. I still intended to give him his bath, but after taking him to the dog park and shopping for some dinner, I couldn't keep my eyes open another second and literally plopped down on the couch and napped sitting up for about 45 minutes. After that I made a late dinner and cleaned out the fridge, as I had set the freezer to defrost from the night before. I watched a little of the Top Chef and Enterprise marathons and then climbed in to bed full of aches and groans, before settling in and falling in to a well deserved and very deep sleep. My dirty dog was right next to me.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Calm Before The Storm

I came in to work over an hour early as we have a big Memorial Day concert tonight for 1500 or so people. I needed an hour of quiet to plan out security and how the door should be run to get people in as quickly and safely as possible. I also wanted to review and clean out my e-mail regarding the event so I didn't get hit with any last minute surprises. The music is supposed to be mostly Latin Freestyle and very "old school" so I expect a well behaved and slightly older crowd. The only foreseeable problem is that we can't hold anywhere near 1500 people so there may be some very disappointed and potentially irritated people stuck out on the sidewalk.

The bartenders are due to arrive any minute so my quiet time is about to be shattered. My intent is to get everyone in and get the event up and running and then slip out the back door and finally start my own two day weekend. My plans so far include giving Jet a bath and washing my windows. Such a glamorous life!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Cancel My Room At The Gambia Hilton

Gambian President Yahya Jammeh says he will “cut off the head” of any homosexual caught in his country.

Monday 19 May 2008

Addressing supporters at the end of his meet the farmers tour here Sunday,
Jammeh also ordered any hotel or motel housing homosexuals to close down, adding that owners of such facilities would also be in trouble.
He said the Gambia was a country of believers, indicating that no sinful and immoral act as homosexual would be tolerated in the country.
He warned all homosexuals in the country to leave, noting that a legislation “stricter than those in Iran ” concerning the vice would be introduced soon.
President Jammeh said he was bent on making the Gambia one of the best countries to live in, adding that his government had spent over US$ 100 million towards the development of the country since 1994.
He said, however, that almost 98 per cent of the amount had gone to foreigners.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


I bought an absolutely gorgeous overstuffed bedspread from the Housing Works Design On A Dime benefit I attended two weeks ago. I wanted to buy something to support the effort and at first I found the cutest ceramic dog bowl with a golden bone at the bottom that I was going to buy for Jet even though he has a perfectly fine and pretty handsome blue and white bowl now. Unfortunately I forgot the first rule of thrift shopping in that if you see something you may or may not want to buy, it's best to pick it up and carry it until you decide, lest some other less deserving shopper snatch it from you before you return. Which is just what happenend. So I circled around again and realized I had overlooked this bedspread that matched most of the sheets I own as they are all various shades of blue, purple, yellow and gold. I don't know if the picture does it justice, but the stitching and detail work on this are quite beautiful. And if you notice in this picture, even though Jet didn't get a new food bowl, he apparently is quite content with my second selection.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

America Votes - The Important One

Aside from how gosh-darn fun it is to say Yamaguchi (try it, you'll see!), and aside from how much I want to throw a serious bone into Mark Ballas' hot dancer ass, you have to admit after tonight's final dances that the Yamagooch was far and away the superior dancer in every respect. It was so outrageously lopsided that I decided I couldn't take the chance that America would bungle yet another important vote and signed up at to cast three consecutive votes for Yamagooch and her partner, Hot-Ass. And you should too.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Well, This Basically Sucks


Sunday, May 18th 2008

HIV infection among New York City teens has risen to its highest level since 2001, a new data analysis shows.

The number of young people ages 13 to 19 infected with the AIDS virus rose 29% between 2004 and 2006, despite efforts to curb the spread.

The number of teenagers contracting HIV dropped after 2001 but has increased steadily since 2004. The increase among teens has outpaced the increase in HIV infection among gay men.

In 2004, there were 130 new infections among teens. That jumped to 168 new cases two years later.

The figures were culled from city Department of Health data by Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-Brooklyn-Queens), who has proposed a four-step approach to tackling the problem, including more funding for sex education and linking HIV-prevention and substance-abuse programs.

"There is a false notion that HIV has now been managed and controlled," Weiner said Saturday. "We need to stop treating this like yesterday's problem, and like a challenge we need to face today."

Weiner also warned of the possible link between methamphetamine use and behavior leading to HIV infections among gay men.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Urine My Life

Jet's antibiotics finally kicked in yesterday. I was pretty pleased to come home from work last night (after another 15 hr. shift) and find no wet spots soaked in to the couch or bed. I took the opportunity today to strip the bed and couch cover and bring down two big bags of laundry. Everything has been laundered and vacuumed, and I'm looking forward to getting in to bed tonight with a set of freshly laundered sheets. And hopefully the living room will stop smelling like dog pee.

As a variation on a theme, Friday night found me getting on a downtown subway train around 12:30am to head for home. I usually travel an hour or two later so there were quite a few people in the subway at that time with me. In due time a train pulled in and everyone got on. A women entered the same car as I did. There were several people at the other end and only one homeless guy sprawled across three seats on our end. I took a quick whiff of the air to make sure that everyone hadn't abandoned that end of the car because he threw up or shit himself. Detecting nothing noxious in the air I sat down. As the door closed, and the train headed for 42nd St. I heard a sound. I looked over to see a very impressive stream of pee arcing over from where the homeless man was laying down right in to the middle of the car. I was shocked. As was the women who was sitting closest to him. She quickly got up and moved to the far end of the car. All the while, the homeless dude continued to pee, and pee and pee. Without ever sitting up or moving noticeably. In his defense, considering the sheer volume, he must have really had to go. I seriously began to wonder if he would finish before we reached the next station. As if on cue, the stream stopped just as we were pulling in to 42nd St. leaving only a massive puddle of piss in the middle of the car. As Times Square is one of the busiest stops in New York City, the doors opened and about 10-12 people got on. And they all walked right through the puddle of pee. Nobody made much of an effort to avoid it, and only one man speculated aloud to his girlfriend that it "might be piss". I only considered leaving the car when our next couple of stops caused the car to angle up enough that it was possible the pee would snake backwards towards my currently dry island of non-pee. It turned out not to be, and three stops later I left them all to their now sleeping and infinitely more comfortable homeless companion.

Thursday, May 15, 2008


Nothing says not enough sleep like a 5AM (mostly water, thank god) on-the-bed barf by everyone's favorite dog. That was followed by two more in the living room (hurrah for hardwood floors!). Which is why I was up till almost 5:40 cleaning up watery puke and changing sheets. I shudder to think what would have happened if I had actually been asleep and been woken up to him blorching water all over me and the bed.

In other boring dog news, I finally brought Jet for a much overdue visit to the vet. He had begun leaking pee on the bed and furniture wherever he laid down for any length of time. He had this problem when I first adopted him but I had read it could be the result of being neutered, and after a few months he stopped leaking so I assumed that was it. But about three weeks ago he started up again, and was leaving stinky wet spots on my bed and couch cover. Another bit of Googling symptoms led me to believe that he may actually have a urinary infection. So I finally broke down and made an appointment for him this past Monday.

What can I say, my boy was a model patient. After some initial barking in the waiting room he allowed the vet to check his glands and touch his face and even stick a thermometer up his butt. Although he didn't enjoy that part very much. No accounting for taste. All of this without being muzzled and not a growl or a grimace from my brave little soldier. Of course, it helped I think that the exam table was really slippery and he spent most of his efforts trying not to let his feet slide out from under. He even let the vet open his mouth and check his teeth.

The result was that except for possibly confirming the infection and giving Jet a shot and 'script for antibiotics, the vet confirmed I have a very well behaved, reasonably healthy four year old boy. No word on whether or not he really is a Jew. And in a few days, hopefully, the leak will dry up.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Staying Put For Now

I met with my supervisor on Monday. He gave me the details of my promotion and while the substance of my job is not expected to change, the fact that I'm replacing a very capable manager and still doing my own job means the reality will probably mean that I will be putting in more hours, at least immediately after the transition. I also gratefully received a generous salary increase and a new "title" (still not officially Duchess) that takes effect next week. We took a couple of minutes and talked about the direction the venue is likely to take. While he could offer no guarantees about the future, and really who can, if things play out as the powers that be intend, it will either be an exciting accomplishment or a colossal flop. And I'm OK with that.

I also had a first interview with the organization looking to hire me away. To say that I was less than impressed with the experience would be an understatement. It was a phone interview, and the woman conducting it couldn't have been more inept and boring. It was 1/2 hour of the most basic questions: "Tell me about this job", and "Why did you leave?". Over and over, with out any kind of follow-up question or even an acknowledgement that I was speaking. I literally bored myself. I was fishing about for any sense of where she wanted the conversation to go or what she was looking to hear about and got absolutely nothing back. I finally gave up and tried to extricate myself from the interview as fast as possible. And to think, the headhunter that was "sponsoring" me called in advance to tell me to "bring some enthusiasm" to the interview. I could get a better reaction from a lamp. At this point, even if they decide to pursue the interview process I'm planning on calling it quits.

Best to dance with the devil you know.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

As Seen On TV!

Sitting around Sunday afternoon with a half-hour to kill. This is what I end up ordering. I don't deserve to have money, I have serious impulse control issues.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Greetings From The Catbird Seat

In an interesting turn of events, I find my services suddenly very much in demand. It seems through 100% reliable sources that I am about to be given a promotion and a raise. This was confirmed from a "private" courtesy call from my boss yesterday. I have a face to face scheduled with him on Monday in which specifics will be discussed. This is great news. What's also quite interesting is I'm currently in talks with another corporation that feels they may want to pay me to drag my increasingly saggy white ass a few blocks south and come work for them. The exact position hasn't been offered but they have already assured me they can "easily beat" my current (pre-raise) salary. And then words like "incentive bonuses" and "opening new stores" and "travel" where bandied about. I love to bandy.

Several meetings are in order with both parties before I come to any final decision. Believe it or not, money will not be the entire deal breaker. Between my new sobriety and my ongoing love affair with HIV (and Ben & Jerry's), it's the quality of my life that is and always will be my main focus. I will find a quiet spot on a walk with Jet and try to get in touch with my "higher power" and hopefully come to a peaceful decision that feels right for me right now. The future will out. And you can quote me on that.

If You're Stalking Me ... (2)

This is where I'll be on Sunday evening. I'll be putting in a rare totally civilian appearance at my workplace as I just plan on letting the other managers run the show as I sit sipping a cranberry/club soda and hopefully, occasionally shouting "BINGO!" to score some Broadway show tickets or a nice dinner somewhere. It's for a good cause, Broadway Cares is one of my favorite charitites because as a side bonus it usually attracts cute boyfriend material. Dancer butt is good.

This will be a monthly event so if you can't come tonight do drop by in June.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

If You're Stalking Me ...

This is where I'll be Friday morning. If you're in NYC, you should drop by. Good cause, gorgeous furniture and great bargains.

Good News!: My new bike arrived this morning. Also, I don't have tuberculosis.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Ooooooooo, Girrrrrrrrrlllllll!!!!!! It's ON.

“It is a sad day when an icon like Barbara Walters, in the sunset of her life, is reduced to publicly branding herself as an adulterer, humiliating an innocent family with accounts of her illicit affair and speaking negatively against me all for the sake of selling a book. It speaks to her true character.” --Star Jones to Us Magazine about Walters' memoir.

Damn! Miss Star learned a thing or two about being a cunty queen while she was married to that fag.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Doctor Visit

Not a whole lot to report if you don't count my fat ass. I waddled on to the scale at 167lbs. That's 7 more pounds than the last time and not the 10lbs. less I was hoping for. Free advice from me, if you're an active alcoholic it's probably best not to quit. You get fat. You stop wanting to die a slow and lonely death, but you get fat.

Blood sugar and kidneys and liver are all cooking with gas. Also, I frequently have gas, but that's another story. I'm also still kind of anemic. OK not kind of, just anemic. And I have been skipping my vitamins as well as my iron supplemenents so I came up even more anemic-y than usual. Back on the pills and some red meat just for fun. I'm going to try and take a supply of vitamins to work as I frequently remember I forgot halfway through my day. Cholesterol is still too high for my taste, but again the HDL mitigates it a bit. Not sure what I could stop eating since I'm not big on the bread and donuts. Ice cream has nothing to do with that, right? Maybe my about to arrive bike will improve those numbers.

Oh and my viral load is still woefully supressed. Poor, poor viral load.
What's that you say? T-Cells? 1009. I said, 1009.
Don't hate ....

Monday, May 05, 2008

A Check On My Package

Courtesy of the fine folks at FedEx, reveals that my bike has begun it's riderless journey across the country. It was picked up in Ventura, California on May 2nd and as of 6 AM this morning it was cooling it's wheels in Henderson, Colorado. If this seems like a blog post of dubious import you are absolutely correct, but yesterday's 15 hr. shift left me completely drained and almost mute. I will say this without elaborating, people, that is the public, pretty much suck.
Also, I tried to see Iron Man tonight and both of the late shows were sold out on a Sunday. Which means the opening box office numbers will be pretty huge. Instead I dialed up I Am Legend on PPV. NO LIKE! And yes, that's my official complete review.

Friday, May 02, 2008

I Want To Ride My Bicycle

But I can't. It seems I picked a bike that has proven to be exceedingly popular. So much so that the re-seller and the original company I found it on both are sold out. A fact I didn't find out about until they had already charged my Amex. And they wouldn't even put a back order in for me because they are unsure of when or if they will be getting a delivery. All hail E-Bay, as a 10 minute search not only found another seller for me, but at a price with shipping that was $13 dollars cheaper. Unfortunately, I had to wait several days for the credit to show up on my Amex. My financial picture has improved but there's not a lot of wiggle room. I finally sent the payment in Tuesday and received shipping info this afternoon. Delayed gratification until next Wednesday, so the earliest I will be pedal-powered will be a week from Sunday. Still plenty of spring left considering we're stuck in the rainy 50's lately.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

The Story Behind The Picture

So Deborah had left the building for the night and our karaoke singers were getting ready to wrap things up. We were about 1/2 hour from closing. I was in the office doing my closing paperwork and puttering around by the copy machine when one of the other managers walked through and casually mentioned that "that guy from Dancing With The Stars, Mario something, had just come in with a group". I swear, it was like that movie shot where the camera pans in as I look up and stare with a retarded look on my face. Everything around me went all fuzzy and out of focus. I realized later that was because all the blood rushed from my head to various parts of my body that suddenly required my complete attention. I think I heard a chorus of angels off in the distance. I grabbed on to some furniture to steady myself as someone else inquired "Mario Lopez?" I immediately flashed to his Nip/Tuck shower scene. I think my mouth watered a little.

Of course, I dropped what I was doing to go see immediately. And of course, there he was, looking fine as hell. Some people commented later that they thought he was taller, but I never imagined he was anything other than exactly my height. The better to get lost in those cute brown eyes. The funniest part of this story is I only found out the next day that supposedly Carrie Ann was also part of the group of 6 or so people he came in with, and while that would usually prompt me to at least check out what she was wearing, I totally failed to even notice she was there.

Now normally, I have a pretty strict no picture policy with our celebrity guests. I absolutely abhor people who fawn all over celebrities when they should be working, and I try to remain professional in most of my dealings. We also have a "no bother" policy for the staff when dealing with celebrities, so I try to lead by example and not act like an idiot everytime some B-lister wanders by. Obviously, that rule didn't apply to the former President of the United States. I mean, it was the President for christ sake! And I suddenly and inpulsively decided it didn't apply to Mario Lopez either.

I also think the rules can be broken when the guy has been giving you a hard-on ever since he was AC Slater in a locker room scene. New rule of thumb: If my enjoyment of your career has ever caused me to want to rub one out, my no picture rule is officially out the window. So I grabbed my camera and worked my way over to the bar where our entertainers had intermingled with his group. I have to say as an aside that the man stopped and posed for countless pictures, often getting inturrupted in the middle of sentences. He was incredibly patient. So I quickly slid in next to him while simultaneously shoving a camera in one of my employee's hands. "Would you mind?" Like he had a choice. As you can see from the picture I made sure we were standing right next to each other as opposed to just snapped in the same room. Almost like we were on a date. Except not. And here's one more fun fact I doubt anyone but me would think to tell you. I could feel his body from where we were standing next to one another. His skin is hot. I knew it would be.