Sunday, May 30, 2010

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

No Lucy, You Can't Be In The Show

So I decided to try and cross a few things off my bucket list, and I've always wanted to be on a game show. But not just any game show. I have no interest in any show where I have to jump up and down, mindlessly applaud myself or fall on the floor when I'm offered a car. I want to be a contestant and hopefully win some money, but escape with my dignity, or the illusion that I have some, intact.

So I arranged for an audition to be a contestant on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire. By arranged, I mean you go to the Millionaire website and find the link for contestant auditions. Basically , since I live in NYC where the show is taped, all I had to do was request a couple of days for an audition when I was available and they answered within 24 hrs via e-mail.

So Monday evening at 6:30 was my audition date and time. And I got lost. In NYC. Where I've lived for 20+ years.

The ABC studios are located on W 66th street. And I've absolutely walked by there on many occasions. But I didn't really "know" know where the studio was located? Y'know? So when I got on the subway I was planning on getting out at 57th and 7th, which would have put me about 9 blocks and 15 minutes away from where and when my audition was. But at the last minute I second-guessed and stayed on the train until 59th & 5th. And when I got off the train I was outside Central Park. Somehow I ended up heading west instead of north, and when I started to panic at the thought of being late, I tried to cut through the park and found myself completely opposite where I needed to be, on the east side of Central Park. I finally had my bearings but realized I was screwed.

So I ended up running and walking up 5th avenue to 66th street and then across the park to the west side. By the time I arrived at the ABC studios I was sweating like a pig, gasping for breath ... and late for my audition time. I was put 1st in line for standby at the 7:00 audition. Which was actually a blessing as it took the full 1/2 hour before I stopped sweating buckets and my shirt was reasonably dried out.

I got in with the 7:00 group of auditioners, about 30 people in all. And the audition is actually a test. You are handed a souvenir magnet, a manila envelope with the test inside, and a scan-able answer card with a No. 2 pencil. The test is 30 multiple choice questions, and you have 10 minutes to answer them. It goes by fast.

I thought I did well on the test, which is a mix of pop culture questions just like on the show. I only struggled with about 7 or so out of the 30. By my reckoning, I got about 22-23 out of 30 questions correct. But I guess that's not good enough, as right after the time is up they collect the scan cards and feed them in to a computer. About 2 minutes later they are announcing by number who has passed and will go on to a taped interview with a producer, and who has failed. About 3 minutes later you are out on the sidewalk where you started.

Or rather, I was.

You are, of course free to take the test another day, and as many times as you like. I overheard one gentleman talking on the phone that this was his fourth attempt, And his fourth failure. I suppose I might someday, as I abhor being told I can't do something. I at least would like to pass the test, even if I get rejected at the interview. I don't like feeling too dumb to be on Millionaire. It makes watching the show and screaming out the answers infuriating instead of fun.

I threw out the souvenir magnet.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Sunday, May 23, 2010

What Dreams May Come

I had an amazing night's sleep, and this morning I had the most vivid, creative, powerful dreams I've had in a long time. Full of ghosts and characters and imagination, hidden doors and secret rooms. I loved it. As I started to wake but found myself in that twilight in between slumber and waking, I had the profoundly good manners to tell all the people and animals I had gathered in one room, "I had a great time. Thank you, this was so much fun."

Manners, even in dreams, count for something. Learn it.

Sunday, May 16, 2010


No idea how it happened, but it appears I've scratched my eye. It's pretty painful, and my eye is irritated. I'm incredibly sensitive to bright light and sunlight makes my eye watery cause it burns. Last night even the PC monitor hurt if it was on a white page. It was worse last night, but it still hurts and it's making me tired. All I want to do is take a nap.

No contact lenses until it heals. Staying indoors until it's time for work.

How was your Sunday?

UPDATE: The eye is better. Still feels funky in the morning and I can't stand bright sunlight. Healing though and not in any pain.

Have some posts prepared but no time no time. Working. So far, I'm off on Saturday AND Sunday which will be heaven if it holds up.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Dreams Can Come True

NEW YORK, May 11, 2010—Placing the search for a cure for HIV/AIDS firmly at the center of its research efforts, amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research, on Tuesday announced the first round of grants to a consortium of leading researchers to develop strategies for eradicating HIV infection.

“amfAR has a long history of funding breakthrough research, and developing this consortium gives me great hope that we will catalyze the research for a cure for HIV/AIDS,” said amfAR CEO Kevin Robert Frost. “We believe that a collaborative research effort has the potential to dramatically accelerate the search for a cure.”

The initial round of funding for the newly constituted amfAR Research Consortium on HIV Eradication (ARCHE) includes projects in each of three areas that are widely considered central to HIV eradication:

The search for a sterilizing cure that would eliminate all HIV from the body;
The search for a functional cure that would achieve permanent viral suppression without therapy; and
The characterization of viral reservoirs, the barrier that must be overcome to achieve a cure."

amfAR Consortium To Speed Search for HIV/AIDS Cure

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Trouble On W. 24th

Gay Men's Health Crisis co-founder Larry Kramer posts a lengthy and scathing letter regarding the impending relocation of GMHC from it's long-time home on W24th to a new location. Reportedly without some vital services many of their clients need and most certainly want. I've linked to the entire page as it also contains a companion reaction from Famous Lesbian Urvashi Vaid, as well as a call to protest and an open letter from the GMHC Community Advisory Board (CAB).

Somehow a building was eventually located that GMHC's leadership felt they could afford. It is in the Associated Press building on 33rd Street and Tenth Avenue. For people with AIDS it will be an awful and unsatisfactory home. It is an indication of the board's desperation that it has been willing to accept terms and restrictions that are out of another era.

Here are only some of them:

No kitchen or cooking facilities will be allowed. GMHC is famous for its daily hot meals, which, for many clients, is the only food they get. I repeat: for many of their clients this is the only food that they get.

Clients will be forced to enter through a specal entrance and use a special elevator,lest the regular tenants see them. Staff will be allowed to use the regular entrance and elevator. This represents an institutionalized apartheid that past leaders of GMHC would have denounced and refused to countenance.

No medical facilities or activities will be allowed. This could literally be a real killer. Most clients come to GMHC for regular testing, counseling, clinical trials, to see their doctors, and to receive related services, all under one roof. The medical and testing facilities are located on the ground floor of their current West 24th building. These services, which provide grant funding for GMHC, are financed by generous contributions by the David Geffen Foundation and the Michael Palm Foundation, and are administered by New York Hospital/Weill Medical Center. Without these facilities located in the same place as their daily hot meals, (which they will now also not be getting) what reason would clients have to come to GMHC at all?"

Monday, May 10, 2010


I confess. I am cheating on you. I have been focusing all my free writing time on my new relationship with my Facebook friends.

What I intend to do is use this blog to continue to update all the significant (to me) HIV news and treatment issues that I find. I also find Facebook far too limiting when I want to post something that requires a little depth or I need space to put something down in writing to better clarify what's going on in my head.

And I plan on returning this blog to it's semi-dirty, frequently NSFW, roots in the coming months. Not X-rated, but certainly a solid R.

Plus, I've been working pretty much every day for the last two or three weeks, so I really only have time to dash off the quick quip rather than the witty and thoughtful remarks I prefer to put here.

But the bottom line is I have been unfaithful. I apologize. Do I have to sleep on the couch?

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Madonna On "Milk"

"But you know, what the movie triggered for me was all my early days in New York and the scene that I came up in-you know, with Andy Warhol and Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat and Kenny Scharf. It was just so alive with art and politics and this wonderful spirit. So many of those people are dead now. I think that's one of the reasons I cried. In fact, the character that Richard E. Grant plays in the film I directed, Filth and Wisdom [2008], is this blind professor who was based on my ballet teacher, Christopher Flynn. Growing up in Michigan, I didn't really know what a gay man was. He was the first man-the first human being-who made me feel good about myself and special. He was the first person who told me that I was beautiful or that I had something to offer the world, and he encouraged me to believe in my dreams, to go to New York. He was such an important person in my life. He died of AIDS, but he went blind toward the end of his life. He was such a lover of art, classical music, literature, opera. You know, I grew up in the Midwest, and it was really because of him that I was exposed to so many of those things. He brought me to my first gay club-it was this club in Detroit. I always felt like I was a freak when I was growing up and that there was something wrong with me because I couldn't fit in anywhere. But when he took me to that club, he brought me to a place where I finally felt at home. So that character in Filth and Wisdom was dedicated to him and inspired by him. I don't know why I'm bringing all this up, but I guess it's just coming from that world in Michigan and the trajectory of my life: after going to New York and being a dancer when the whole AIDS epidemic started and nobody knew what it was. And then suddenly, all these beautiful men around me, people who I loved so dearly, were dying-just one after the next. It was just such a crazy time. And watching the world freak out-the gay community was so ostracized. But it was also when I was beginning my career. . . . I don't know. Your movie really struck a chord for me and made me remember all that. It's a time I don't think many people have captured on film. It's a time that people don't talk about much. And even though there was so much death, for me, New York was so alive." -via Interview magazine

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Here's a photo I lifted off of Facebook that shows the recent demolition of my old elementary school. Brighton Elementary School will one day be known as Brighton Square Senior Citizen Apartments. If I really wanted to come full circle I could wait about another 15 years and move in to one of god's waiting rooms. Although the cold air I'm sure acts as a preservative, I have no desire to spend my retirement years living back in the place I started. Gives me the willies just to think about it.