I've taken about 150 or so photos of the parade and the Pride festival. Some of them are for the new issue of the newsletter I'm putting together for Callen-Lorde. A few of them I've edited and sent out to a couple of on-line publications in the hope I'll get another photo credit under my belt. Some of them suck and won't be seeing the light of day anywhere. And because you, my tens of readers, have remained faithful for the last 7 years or so that this here blog thingy has been in existence, you get the first, and in some cases exclusive look, at the hottest guys and the greatest photos before they go on to my Facebook page and before I put them in a Flickr album. Enjoy.
Just got back from a hot (in more ways than one), humid Gay Pride parade. I joined the group marching from Callen-Lorde at around 11:30 this morning and we were penned in to our holding area until we joined the parade close to 2 hours later. I snapped some pictures of the parade as it moved past our barricaded side street, and the police, who couldn't have been nicer, offered to let me move in to the street to get closer, but I decided to go snap some shots of other groups waiting their turn. In case you can't tell from the pictures I post, I prefer more candid, "in the moment" photography. More voyeuristic, which appeals to me on many levels. I marched with my group until around 14th street and then decided I was missing too much and broke off running ahead. Considering it was about 1 million degrees on the street I was a sweaty mess in no time.
I ended up "setting up camp" as it were on a stretch of Christopher Street between 6th and 7th Ave, were I got some great shots. As I finally started to wilt in the afternoon heat and the parade appeared to be winding down I moved over to the Pride festival, which seemed bigger and better organized this year. I refueled with a sausage and pepper sandwich, free ice cream courtesy of Ben & Jerry (thanks guys) and free hydration courtesy of Fuze. It's good to be gay.
I've already started editing pictures, but I literally have upwards of 150 to look at. So this could take a while. But I had to show you the sign under the awning at the brand new Friday's that opened in Union Square. As I walked by this morning on my way to the parade they had set up a big round table outside and a staff meeting was going on. I overheard something about "getting ready" and "shirts off" (I swear!), so apparently that's one more corporation that has decided a little pandering goes a long way. And who am I to argue with shirtless wait staff?
Real pictures throughout the next day or so as they are finished.
Went to an "interactive" screening of Mommie Dearest in honor of Gay Pride week. Interactive meaning the film was cut with sound effects (farting), boring exposition scenes were fast forwarded, and all the fighting and classic lines, the good stuff, was re-wound and repeated for maximum camp. Two slaps became 10, and the living room fight scene came with ringside commentary. It was a blast. There are two more showings tomorrow and Saturday if you're so inclined.
It's been a week since I posted about it and a full week since my eye surgery. In case you've just dropped by, I had decided to have LASIK (laser) eye surgery after thinking about it for over 20 years and secretly saving for it for months. But at the last moment, two days before my surgery, my pre-operative appointment revealed a scar on my cornea. My eye surgeon claimed that LASIK was not a good option for me and recommended PRK. What I was told, and what I remember, is that there was a certain amount of post-operative pain with PRK, and the recovery was slower. What I hadn't counted on was just how slow.
I won't re-create the actual procedure in detail, just Google PRK and you will be taken to a host of blogs and web sites that will describe it. It involves burning off or (in my case) scraping the membrane over the eye to clear away a spot for the laser to shoot through and re-shape your lens. Sort of a mini-Hubble repair job. I was in to the Dr. in the afternoon and on my way home by 4:30.
The discomfort they warn you about after PRK is just that. Very uncomfortable. I ended up the first night sitting in my bedroom in the dark, with the TV on in the next room. I couldn't keep my eyes open to watch it, just listen. Fortunately I had some Ambien friends about and slept. First for 5 hours. Then I ate, then slept another 7 hours. By Saturday morning I could open my eyes but my vision was horribly blurry. I could see objects, certainly buildings, rooms, my dog. I could walk around the apartment and even the block but I wasn't comfortable enough to go further. I popped some Percocet, nothing stronger, and dozed all day and ate periodically. By Sunday my eyes felt much better, as advertised, and on Monday I went in for a follow-up.
It was at the Monday visit that I started to get disappointed. I assumed since I was in no pain, that the blurriness I was still experiencing was due mostly to the contact lens bandages they put on your eye for protection. Right before the surgeon removed them, he told me my vision wouldn't improve much as a result. It was then, for the first time, he talked about the weeks, even months, of recovery I was likely to be facing. What the hell? Nowhere in the discussions we had about the procedure or the literature I was given did anyone mention this lengthy recovery. I had no idea my vision would be impaired for this long.
I went home feeling a little dejected and with a serious case of buyer's remorse. Unfortunately, there was no option to return my eyes. I waited another day or two and then began to seek out other information about PRK, I guess it would be pertinent to mention that I was finally able to see and focus enough to actually read the pages I brought up. It was then I was confronted with the reality of the situation. PRK is a legitimate procedure, and an alternative to LASIK. There is, and was for me, a more uncomfortable post-operative result. Although I am happy to report my discomfort was really quite mild. One day really. There are first-hand accounts that have people feeling pain and irritation for up to a week, and then extremely dry eyes for weeks after. I feel completely normal and have since Monday.
But I can't see good. And all of the accounts of real people that have had the procedure as well as medical pages confirm that my vision won't stabilize, I won't have a real result, for a month to 3 months. As it stands now I have good and bad periods. When I first wake up, I see quite well. The blurriness returns very quickly and then gets progressively worse. Eye drops help. Occasionally my vision will just sharpen up to the point where i feel it's almost comparable to what my contacts were, but it doesn't last and I'm not sure I'm not just projecting.
I'm definitely doing more that I was after the weekend. This entire post was fairly easy to put up. Not nearly as time consuming or as tiring as the one right after the surgery. I'm reading the paper in the morning, watching TV at night, and this afternoon I read a magazine in bright sunlight pretty comfortably. So there's progress. But walking down the street my distance vision is still awful, and it gets worse at night. I can't make out anyone's face unless they are a few feet away.
But at this point, what's my alternative? I'm "seeing" this (HAR) as an exercise in patience. A quality I don't posses in abundance.
Interesting article and great pictures from a property nearby on 14st. For years the top floors had been vacant while the bottom housed a grimy check-cashing joint. Several years ago the space was gutted and re-done. The street level facade was interesting and mysterious. I always wondered what was behind it. Turns out it was a ridiculously cool brownstone project where the entire second floor wall facing the street opens up. I'm assuming you need to at least wear clean undies at all times. I would. Probably. Here's a shot of the outside and the gorgeous living room. I love that couch!
An HIV positive Denver man has been preliminarily charged with attempted second-degree assault with a deadly weapon by the Denver district attorney’s office for allegedly spitting on another man during a dispute. A spokesperson for the DA’s office said staffers are currently examining the case to determine whether the charge is appropriate. Read more
I had my laser eye surgery yesterday afternoon. Every indication is that it was a success, but it will be at least another day or two before I have a follow-up and know for sure.
I ended up having to have another procedure rather than LASIK, basically am older version known as PRK. This was due to the discovery of a scar on the cornea of my right eye. How it got there is a mystery.
Although I'm feeling no pain and very little discomfort, my vision is still pretty blurry, so I need to cut this short. Will update a full report as soon as I can see better.
For eight years, new infections have been stuck in the mid-300s in the state’s gay community. That’s one every day.
Why? It’s partly lousy sex education, and public health policy that’s still unaccountably squeamish about condoms.
It’s partly that younger gay men didn’t see the most horrific stage of the epidemic, when legions died awful, visible deaths that scared others into better protecting themselves. And treatments over the last 15 years have made HIV seem more like a chronic disease than a deadly one. It’s also harder to reach gay men with prevention messages now that many socialize online rather than in the bars where condoms and counseling were plentiful.
But (he) says none of that mattered to him. The only thing that did came into his life outside a theater district dance club two Octobers ago: Crystal meth -via The Boston Globe
I don't know that it's is self esteem. I think it's psylogical fatigue. Most young gay men have known about this disease for their entire lives. They have never lived in a time where HIV wasn't a possibility. It seems logical that some, albeit not terribly bright, people would say "fuck it" to the condom after hearing the same message and feeling so scared for so long.
Of course the whole "HIV doesn't look so bad anymore" issue plays into it too. I guess my point is that Its a myriad of issues not just one and will take more than just scare tactics (not that scare tactics can't be useful, they just are not the only answer).
The fact of the matter is it's not the 80s anymore and we are not dealing with the same instant death sentence we were, nor are we dealing with the same people. We are going to have to deal with this generation in the now, not with what is in the past and not with what might happen in the future, but with the reality of the aituation today. -Brandon H.
It's something I've been thinking about for years. Almost as long as when they first announced the procedure. For the longest time I was too invested in my drinking career to give it any serious thought. Then I was always too broke.
But,as they say, a whole new world has opened up to me with sobriety. And with it, comes new opportunities to do some things I always wanted to do. Like fix my eyes.
I started wearing glasses in the second grade, and my vision has gotten progressively worse over the years. I switched to contact lenses sometime in junior high or high school. So long ago that there were no soft or gas permeable options. Just hunks of brick you had to develop a callous under your eyelid to tolerate.
My last eye exam resulted in new glasses, new contacts, as well as the addition of reading glasses over my contacts to fix the fact that I could no longer read in dim lighting. Too labor intensive and I was always forgetting the readers when I needed them. Also, Riley ate the first pair of new glasses, so I had to immediately replace them with a cheaper pair. Hundreds of dollars out the window plus the cost of new contact lenses twice a year.
I've been squirreling away money whenever I had a particularly lucrative shift or some unexpected cash was available. It added up. Enough for me to seriously consider, and then schedule, laser (LASIK) eye surgery for the end of next week. I may still end up needing reading glasses. Maybe not. But if it works out well the prescription eyeglasses and the contact lenses will be history.
Will keep you posted, as next week promises to be nuts!