Sunday, March 29, 2009

Hope You Haven't Eaten

Here's a lovely spacious home on a street called Farm Rd. in the peaceful and bucolic suburb of Chester Township, in New Jersey. Unfortunately, this renter's dream was home to a woman by the name of Wanda Oughton and her 20 year old daughter, as well as 93 cats, half of which were breeding. Police and NJSPCA say the cats and the entire house were covered in feces and urine. Garbage that was not strewn about the floors was stuffed inside ovens and microwaves. The stench was so bad that SPCA workers could only enter the house for 5 minutes at a time, and only with masks on and Vick's VapoRub stuffed in their nostrils. I repeat, two people actually lived there.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Is He A Chaser?

Ran across an interesting blog post from a relatively new "anonymous" blogger. I have no idea if he and his boyfriend "Zach" are real people or not or if he is just posting some particularly lurid fantasies mixed with embellishments. And it doesn't really matter. I'm quite sure if they aren't real, there are plenty of other young (and not so young) people all across the country that are deciding, or rather opting (as I sometimes believe that having unsafe sex is not always so much a decision as it is a rather pronounced lack of any decision at all) to participate in "unsafe" bareback sex. 

So this toxicTWINK (awwwwww, who's a cute boy? You are? Yes you are!) has posted a rumination on his reasons for engaging in raw sex, without any regard for whether the partner is POZ or not, as well as what he believes are some of the changing attitudes of today's gays regarding "safe" sex and HIV. Here's a couple highlites:

Barebacking and risky sexual behavior in general is becoming more and more the norm as the fear of HIV has subsided with people living healthy normal lives with HIV. The new generation of gays (18-25, of which we are a part of) have lived in an age in which HIV has always been around, but are too young to remember all the pain and fear associated with it. We grew up just hearing about it and having the "safe" sex mantra beaten into us since the beginning of sex-ed. Like most young men, barebacking has become a rebellion against this mantra imposed in the same way that the mantras of don't drink or don't do drugs have backfired. Even though we've been talked to death about it, we don't see the negative affects of our actions right away, including high-risk sexual behaviors.


Do I consider myself to be a chaser? Although I think I understand and can sympathize with a chaser, I don't call myself one. The main reason I say this is because I am not trying to become poz. I do not buy into feeling that I would be better off just becoming poz now or that it would be hotter in anyway. I have rather weighed the risks of barebacking and HIV infection against my sexual values and decided that I would rather risk becoming a positive barebacker than to have to inhibit myself by practicing what is considered "safe" sex. (I will go into detail about why I believe "safe" sex is a misnomer in another blog.) I know that even though I may try to only do bareback with negative people, that people either don't know their status or lie about it. Therefore, I have decided that another person's status is not going to be an issue to me and I accept the responsibility for that. Having accepted that, I realized that this is truly liberating and it has allowed me to open the door to being completely uninhibited sexually, which was my main sexual value that I weighed the risks against.

You can read the entire post here.

I don't necessarily agree or disagree with anything "Brendon" wrote. Nor do I endorse "risky" behavior, or bareback sex between HIV+ people and negative sex partners. But judging by this blog and a lot more like it, as well as reading the latest HIV data out of Washington DC and the Maryland suburbs, people are increasingly opting to engage in bareback sex, regardless of the consequences. And until that is acknowledged and discussed openly, nobody will be able to figure out a way to realistically prevent new infections.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Put It In Me, Scott

Hot Scott could put it in me too. Hiiiii-larious.


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Yesterday I ...

Bought a new houseplant at Home Depot and some plant food. I re-potted all the houseplants in my bedroom, added fresh dirt to the kitchen plants and fed and watered them all. I picked off all the dead leaves and unfortunately had to euthanize a plant that was gasping for it's last breath. Riley had knocked over one of the plants on my bedroom windowsill when a mounted policeman on horseback clip-clopped down the street one day last week. He got so freaked out he tried to get out (or get his head out) the window and upended the pot. He also has a habit of lazily chewing on the leaves when he's bored so I will have to be vigilant if I want a little green patch outside my bedroom window this summer. I'm also thinking about growing at least one potted tomato plant this year to have a few weeks of fresh, homegrown tomatoes.

Googled myself, as I was wondering if maybe prospective employers were doing it and maybe it could be an explanation for why I am having no success landing a job. I had a theory that Googling me would lead pretty quickly to this here blog thingy, and once employers were reading my self-descriptive "middle aged, gay, HIV+, recovering alcoholic" confessional that they were running for the exits. I discovered to my relief and then horror that despite my best efforts to live a scandalously transparent life on the intertubes, Googling myself produces almost no information whatsoever. The highest link being a roster of my graduating from high school. Beyond that, there is page after page of nothing about me. I barley exist.

Asked someone from Gay-A if he would be interested in being my sponsor. I have been sponsor-less for most of the last two years. He turned me down, which of course made me feel even lower on the crap-meter than I already did. What's  interesting about this particular tale of woe is that instead of going home,  eating a pint of ice cream and replaying the conversation over and over in my head until I felt like a complete asshole and hated everyone I had ever met in the bargain, I opted to ignore the instincts that got me to need Gay-A in the first place and marched back in to the meeting and had a chat with the sponsorship chairman for the group. I gave him my contact information and let him know that I was actively needing a sponsor and I hope to hear from him in a day or two.

This is an amazing development in my recovery for two reasons. Obviously, I have learned a thing or two about my behavior and how I tend to make choices that are least beneficial to my own well-being, and second I seem to be moving in to a more active phase of my recovery. I've been feeling like I've reached a plateau where I am not making significant progress in my recovery. I feel stagnated, and I think the best way out of that is to get more committed to the process by working with another alcoholic on the program and what it means to me. This would have been impossible two years ago, as it would involve taking a chance and exposing my inner workings to what amounts to a total stranger. It took everything I had to try it with a therapist a couple of years ago, and I ended up lying (mostly by omission) about most of what I was doing and feeling. Rigorous honesty, with yourself and others, is a cornerstone of Gay-A and recovery, and it's a step I feel (more or less) ready to start taking.

Am I Too Old To Get Hired?

As my job search enters the middle part of what seems to be another fruitless week, I find myself grasping at straws to try and explain away the sobering and frightening reality that may be to come. The one where I run out of unemployment insurance checks and still haven't found a job and need to seriously consider giving up my apartment of 20 years and moving back to Buffalo with my dog and my clothes to live with my now elderly parents.

I am also starting to wonder what exactly I am doing or not doing or what energy I am not creating or blocking that is preventing me from not only landing a job, but even getting interview calls. Which is not to say there haven't been any, just that they have been few and far between. 

I certainly feel like my age has something to do with it. While nobody has outright mentioned that as a factor, and indeed it would be illegal to do so, I did have one interviewer express surprise upon meeting me, expecting someone "out of college". I never bothered to ask how he inferred that from my resume, but it made me self-conscious for the rest of the interview.

On the one hand, I'm 47 years old, and I know I have at least 20 years if not more before I would be retirement age. Somewhere between 70 and 80 is more realistic, assuming I live that long. But to be honest and equally realistic, many people that work in bars and restaurants are younger, if not much younger than I am these days. I have interviewed with people obviously 20 years younger than I am. My last boss was 20 years younger. In that case, his complete lack of competence in running a business ultimately led me to my current unemployment. But that may have been because he is an idiot, not because he's young.

On the other, 47 is not particularly old to be in restuarant management. Unfortunately, that's only true of the "higher end" restaurants. Where age and experience count for something. Like it or not, I have most of my experience in high volume, turn and burn, slap the burger and the check on the table and move 'em up and out type venues. I work at music and live entertainment clubs with high tech computers and plasma screens and loud music and so my experience isn't "real". I supposedly can't do fine dining. Like I eat at home with my feet and don't know the first thing about what a nice meal or good service entails. But that's the perception I work against these days. And most of the people in my field are much younger. They stay up late and still do drungs and drink until dawn. I don't really fit in that world anymore either.

What's a not as young as he used to be recovering alcoholic supposed to do to earn a living in this town?

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Hoooray Spring!

The exact moment that spring sprang here in the New York City, we were experiencing an early morning snow. Fortunately it didn't last more than a few hours and nothing really stuck to the ground. The late afternoon was partly sunny and warm-ish. And it still doesn't negate the fact that I spent part of the day before wandering around the park taking pictures of the first crocuses to poke their heads up and greet the neighborhood with a very welcome presentation on some beautiful shades of purple.

Friday, March 20, 2009

To Boldly Go Where No Bat Has Gone Before

I'm sure you all read about the courageously tragic flight of the Space Bat. If not, you can get up to speed here. Words fail me in my desire to immortalize Space Bat and his dream of exploring the universe. So instead, I will re-post this moving YouTube tribute to this brave little mammal.
"That's one small step for bats, one giant leap for bat-kind."

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Words, Words, Words

I was perusing jobs on Craigslist the other day, and I came across several listings seeking the services of a copyeditor. Actually, I came across listings for a copyeditor, a copy editor, and someone to do copy-editing. Thinking something was amiss I discovered in some brief research that they were all correct usages. Go figure!

But my travels along the interwebs eventually had me wondering a) what does a copyeditor actually, really do? and b) can I get a job as a copyeditor? The answer to "b" appears to be no, but in searching for the answer to "a" I came across the AP Stylebook, which as the name implies is a reference book, answering all sorts of grammar, spelling and AP approved usages for newspapers.

You can order a copy of the AP Stylebook, and subscribers can submit questions to the editor, some of which were reprinted on the web page. I should probably be worried that I love shit like this, but in case you do as well, here's a few questions to the editor. Answers in tiny type below.

1. I've seen the term website listed various ways including: Website, website and Web site. Are these all acceptable? Can you explain your decision?

2. Does the term Farmers Market use an apostrophe after the s? Or should we not use one at all?

3. I know quotation marks always go on the outside of periods, does the same rule apply to question marks? Ex. How do you define “appropriately address”? Are quotes correct or should they be on outside?

4. e-mail or email

5. What was the rationale for dropping the parentheses from area codes in telephone numbers?


1. AP uses Web site as two words. We decided early on that Web site was a component or part of the World Wide Web, not a compound noun based on it (as, say, webcam).

2. AP style, based on information from the Washington State Farmers Market Association and the USDA, is "farmers market" with no apostrophe. (Generally, the farmers do not own the market.)

3. The placement of the question mark with quotation marks depends on the meaning. In the case you cite, the question mark would go outside (as in: Who wrote "Gone With the Wind"?) (See the Punctuation Guide section of the AP Stylebook.)

4. AP style is the hyphenated e-mail.

5. Since area codes are required in virtually all phone calls, there is no longer anything parenthetical about them. They are part of the phone number; no reason for the parentheses.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Up Early, Your Honor

Ouch. Awake and showered by 7:45 this morning. About to walk Riley and then head downtown to court. Believe it or not, I am still answering summonses from the Mayor's Task Force raid of the restaurant I used to work for. This was back in August right after the murder. If you're new here and have no idea what I'm blabbering about I will link it up later. Suffice it to say I no longer work there and they are no longer open for business so I would like to get these summonses resolved and be on my way. I will let you know the outcome.

UPDATE: Case dismissed! Or rather, an adjournment in contemplation of dismissal. I showed up and as expected, the former owner of Spotlight Live and the lawyer that was representing them/me were nowhere to be found. I guess since the venue is well and truly closed and since the summonses were in my name, the owner opted to not show up and dump the problem back in my lap. Fortunately I had anticipated this would happen, and I ended up throwing myself on the mercy of the court. More specifically, I met with a lawyer for the city and stated that I no longer worked there and I was only a lowly manager, with no real say when it came to licenses, permits and sprinkler systems. And I pointed out that answering summonses for a business that closed was a little pointless.

Fortunately, they agreed and decided to offer to dismiss the summonses assuming I don't get any more for the next 6 months. Hence the contemplation of dismissal. This is a good thing, considering at least one of the violations was a misdemeanor and would have gone on my record. Not that I worry about such things, and getting arrested for something interesting is on my list of things to do before I die, but this scenario most definitely didn't qualify. I was thinking it would be more along the lines of sucking off a foreign naval officer in a public park. You know, "interesting".

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Washington, D.C. (Damn Contagious)

HIV/AIDS Rate in D.C. Hits 3%

At least 3 percent of District residents have HIV or AIDS, a total that far surpasses the 1 percent threshold that constitutes a "generalized and severe" epidemic, according to a report scheduled to be released by health officials tomorrow.

"Our rates are higher than West Africa," said Shannon L. Hader, director of the District's HIV/AIDS Administration, who once led the Federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's work in Zimbabwe. "They're on par with Uganda and some parts of Kenya."

read more ...

Friday, March 13, 2009

Ban On Gay Parents Fails In Kentucky

A Senate bill that would have banned gay couples from adopting or fostering children in Kentucky appears to be dead this legislative session.

The measure's sponsor, Republican Sen. Gary Tapp of Shelbyville*, said Senate leaders will not bring Senate Bill 68 to a vote in the final four days of the legislative session. Tapp said Wednesday that he plans to file the bill again next year.

The bill would restrict future foster and adoptive parents to people who are married under Kentucky law, which would eliminate gay couples or unmarried couples from adopting or becoming foster parents. -via Queerty.

*This legislation would in no way impact marrying attractive cousins or the theft of neighboring lemon trees.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Um ... Sorry To Tell You But ...

Your kid is gay.

GQ ran a piece on Arlo Weiner, 8 year old son of Mad Men creator Matt Weiner. Precocious gayby Arlo reportedly asked his parents for a top hat at age three, and Missy has never looked back.

"This is my Valentine’s Day outfit. The jacket and the pants are velvet. I love the tie because it’s really two ties stacked on top of each other. (My dad had to tie it for me.) The pink tie matched the pink shirt. I wore brown-and-white argyle socks for a random pattern."

Welcome to the family, girrrrrl!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

This N That

Just got back from a walk with Riley and noticed that the daffodils have begun to break out from their nap. No actual flowers but the plants seemingly burst out over night. This makes me quite happy.

I spent part of the weekend cleaning the apartment. One room a day got a thorough scrubbing. Furniture moved, floors swept and mopped, appliances wiped down. My bedroom was particularly grubby. I suppose because it's pretty much a no man's land, meaning no man has been in there in well over a year.

Haven't heard anything regarding the two good interviews I had last week, but I wasn't expecting to until at least today. I'm waiting on a phone call from some recruiter I sent my info to that contacted me this morning. I swear, if it's for a management job at that damn Bubba Gump's again I may hurt someone. They've already contacted me twice and then turned me down both times. I don't want to be one of 83 managers it seems to take to run a restaurant, and I don't want to sell your damn scrimps.

Of course, since I have no sex, no life, and no sex life, I watched Dancing With The Stars as they kicked off a new season last night. My reactions:

Poor Woz.

And say goodbye to the rodeo cowboy. While a case could be made that the "Teletubby gone mad" was equally inept, the legions of Mac Heads will save their god at least for the first week, meaning Ty Murray will be the first to go. And Li'l Kim giving a shout out to the friends she made in prison was classic.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Dog Friday

Don't people usually post pics of their aminals on Friday? Or is that Monday? Anyway, here's my pooter and his ginormous tongue from September and another shot from last weekend's snowstorm. There is a huge basketball court across the street from my apartment and we go there to play sometimes.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Teenage Trannie Muggers

How's that for a title? You know the economy is rough when packs of transvestite youth are forced to knock down and mug "white bitches" for wig money.

"It was Destiny that told me to rob the white bitch." is now officially my catch-all excuse for anything I get caught doing wrong.

In other news ...

I had two really great job interviews yesterday and this afternoon. I will be really shocked if one or both of them doesn't result in a job offer.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

American Idol - Adam Lambert Is Gay As A Picnic!

Just want to get this down before the show airs. My prediction for tonight:

Lil Rounds- Done deal.
Jorge Nunez- When he cried at the end of his number, I almost called. Well played, my friend. But please, I need to whisper two words to you ... eyebrow threading. For the love of god.

(And this has nothing to do with my well-documented partiality to Black girls and Puerto Rican men)

Wild Card:
Scott The Blind Guy- Will make America feel good about themselves.

More later ...


Ha! SUCK IT, JESUS! What did I tell you?
So, needless to say I've gotten a little invested in this season of Idol. I really, really need to get a job. I'm sure you have seen the pictures rocketing around the interwebs of Idol contestant Adam Lambert. As it turns out, he couldn't be gayer if his name was Gay Gayerson. That's not a criticism. I'm excited that he seems like a total freak.

If the published photo's don't show it, perhaps this You Tube video of Missy Lambert going all Freddy Mercury at The Avalon in Los Angeles will illustrate the point.

At first I was thinking that Adam would be hiding his extreme gayosity under a bushel until he got further in the competition, but now I'm afeerd he will stick with this Emo/Goth drag he's got going on (and is almost too old to pull off) and try to play it "straight" (AS IF!). Pointless if you ask me, as his Gay-O-Vac battery is fully charged and simply should not be contained.

And while I wanted to predict that we had seen the last of young headband horror, drive-by piercing victim (below the lip? really?) Nathaniel before tonight's show, every time he appeared on camera the same phrase kept popping in to my head: Dirty Little Pig Bottom. I don't necessarily think we've seen the last of him. I think there's at least one video yet to surface with dirty little Nate tied up, shaved and getting peed on. Or there soon will be.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Pretty *#@*&*(: Snow

Fine, it's beautiful. And I couldn't resist snapping a few pictures. But let's make with the spring already!