K-Holes on the Dancefloor

Morning. It’s a newer, brighter day and I have four less teeth in my head. (The oral surgeon actually called them wizzies, as in “I know we’re backed up, but I’ve got four wizzies to pull here). They deemed my mouth important enough to call in the star resident, rather than a student (thank God) and actually offered me the option of IV sedation, and despite my desire to be as out-of-it as possible, I chose the laughing gas (no, I didn’t laugh) because the sedation would have required a new appointment, and considering my Mom’s condition, I wanted to get it over with. So I’m home now, with my pain meds, my penicillin, and a few rented DVDs. Workshop or no workshop, I’m gonna give myself a sick day.

I broke down and rented a few episodes of the first season of Queer as Folk. And well, I dunno. It’s neither the best queer show I’ve ever seen (that would probably be Pee-Wee’s Playhouse), nor is it a sign of the Apocalypse. The whitebread characters and the heavy-handed issues made it hard for me to get sucked in, but I’ll give it a couple more episodes. The too gay-friendly Mom prattling on about crusing, while dressed in “Got Lube?” t-shirts and P-Flag buttons rang a bit false, and I winced when Ted had his brush with GHB (has anyone on TV ever taken GHB and not passed out, had a seizure, or been raped?) However, his date’s abandonment was realistic. Nothing like passing out to ruin a gay boy’s party. In my time at the clubs I’ve seen countless poor boys abandoned by friends when the drugs hit too hard. I’ve driven home boys whose friends couldn’t be torn from the club to help. Ah, the heady days of drug abuse and fabulousness.

Anyway, I’ll admit a fascination with Brian’s character because he does all the things I could never do, and gets away with it. He’s the type who can walk through life, damaging all he touches, unconcerned with the repercussions. As I mentioned once before, sometimes I wish I could be that un-selfconscious. But only for a minute or so.

As one site states, the Meyers types like myself (INFJs), “… yearn to live spontaneously; it’s not uncommon for INFJ actors to take on an SP (often ESTP) role.” Not that I’m a devoted “type” ( I don’t place too much emphasis on astrology, either), but when I came across sites like these, they described me perfectly. Anyway, not that you asked. Speaking of that, I sure wouldn’t mind hearing from some readers now and then. Hit the “Mailbox” link above, and tell me about yourself. Or don’t. I’m gonna keep this up, either way.


It’s like 9/11 all over again, except it’s, like, financial, and it’s in Houston, and….oh, nevermind.

The other day as I was channel-surfing, I came across a news interview with a former Enron employee who, having been fortunate enough to land another job as a receptionist, started an “Enron Relief Fund” for other former co-workers. She said the stories she had been hearing about their woes pushed her into action.

“Some of them had to actually, like, go on food stamps, and it was, you know, humiliating.”

Anyway, all disbelief aside, won’t this be an interesting little story to follow?

(Notice me calmly not acknowledging my upcoming surgery today? I am a rock. I am an island.)

Release Me

Due to tension over tomorrow’s surgery (be thankful I’m not presenting it in streaming video on the Internet, a la Carnie Wilson), I’ve decided to treat myself tonight to a 12 step-free evening featuring the decadence of fried chicken and The Anniversary Party. Hey, it’s got Parker Posey and Jennifer Beals in it. It’s a cold and rainy night here in the city, Louie’s on the bed with me, and I’ve already stocked up on pudding and ibuprofen for post-surgery recovery. (Hopefully they’ll give me something stronger, but not “habit forming”) I will absolutely NOT freak out about this. I won’t. I WON’T.

Um, what’s, like, my motivation?

I don’t have an agenda for tonight’s campfire, which may be lucky for you.

I didn’t even know I had an agenda last night until I started writing. But today, I’m just a little quiet, probably out of stress. Mom’s condition at home hovers at that fine line between life and death, and Lee now has friends staying round the clock. I’ve got this oral surgery to get through on Tuesday, and I woke today with some bronchitis. I swear, I get stressed and my body starts to backfire. Plus I have this workshop I’m coordinating at work about to start next week and I don’t even know where I’ll be day to day. Considering the circumstances, I’m finding it hard to be motivated at work. I just want to get through this. Escape, in every sense of the word, is just about all I can dream about. I wish I could convince myself that everything will be okay. I suppose I know it will, but it doesn’t keep me from worrying.


Ah yes, those young, free-spirited l(i)sbians*, naked and dancing. How I miss them so.

Well, however you reached the campfire, I hope you find something to enjoy, especially the l(i)sbian*-seekers from Saudi Arabia. I do it all for you.

Today marks the one-year anniversary of Diane Whipple’s death. The dog mauling case created quite the sensation last year as it dredged up all sorts of lurid stories involving sleazy, unlikable lawyers adopting a white supremacist prison inmate (named “Cornfed”) who helped them run a killer dog breeding operation, and with whom they supposedly were to create a bizarre sexual union. The case also made news when the victim’s lesbian (yes, that’s right, with an “e”) partner won a court ruling to allow same-sex couples to file wrongful death lawsuits. While one of the two dogs was put down immediately after the attack, Hera, the female, has been kept alive in a tiny kennel at the city shelter down the street from my office for the last year. My boss at the animal shelter became the de facto dog behavior expert, called in to evaluate Hera and share her findings with authorities. And while she found the dog to be threatening and unpredictable (and this is a woman who has worked with thousands of dogs), the dog has been kept alive by misguided “animal rights” activists, who are so loony they believe that our society (which we’ve created, remember?) has a big, free, happy place waiting for such animals. These are the same nutcases who sent my boss hate mail because she dared to suggest a dangerous animal be put down. The only humane thing to do with Hera is to put her down, and it should have been done a year ago. Maybe these animal rights activists can focus their efforts away from such catastrophes, and instead concentrate on helping teach people how to raise happy, well-adjusted, social dogs. Cuz God knows, we need the help.

I swear (yeah, I know I’m ranting), it’s the people that drive me absolutely nuts. I don’t know how my dog trainer co-workers do it everyday, patiently counselling potential adopters on how to socialize and integrate a dog into their home comfortably, when really all they intend to do is throw it in the backyard, alone, and call it a good life. And believe me, when it comes to dogs, everyone thinks they’re an expert. Especially if the last time they had a dog was when they were, like, five.

Dogs are highly social animals; their nature is to run in packs, and to deprive them of the company of their family, to be thrown in the backyard or garage alone, is plain and simple torture. And then you wonder why they have behavior problems?

And if you’re intending to get a dog for “protection”, have some extra cash for your new property insurance rates, and put your lawyer on speeddial, because you may just be the next in line for the great American pasttime: the lawsuit (see above).

And don’t get me started on the recent hyped-up theories regarding “alpha” dogs and hierarchy, and how to teach your dog that you’re the alpha in the family. Rolling a 125-lb Rottweiler on its back at a dog park surrounded by dogs (this really happened) is a pretty damn good way to get bit. And then, that’s usually when you decide you’ve done all you can, and you drop Fifi off with us. Let me tell you, I’ve seen it all.

Oh, I don’t know why I’m bothering you with all of this, you’re obviously not the kind of trash I’m talking about, and if you were, you probably ran screaming when you saw the word “l(i)sbian*” at the top. Then again, maybe not.

*no, I don’t particularly want to encourage more l(i)sbian-seekers here. We’re all out.

Brought Before the Blogging Committee

-All right, let’s go through this one more time. You claim to have been “out dancing” on the evening of April 5th, 1971, but we have eyewitness accounts that place you in a hospital in Stillwater, OK, plainly being born.

-I have never set foot in Oklahoma, ever.

-Apparently you were carried. You left before you could walk.

-I did?


-I did. Wait, it’s all coming back now…

-Let’s see here (scanning notes)…various residences in Missouri, Wisconsin, and then finally Minnesota.

-Oh God it was cold.

-Your parents split up.

-I had nothing to do with it.

-Apparently they then both came out of the closet.

-I may have had something to do with that.

-Let’s see…one heterosexual younger brother…

-The Black Sheep.

-And some “step-brothers and sisters”, once your homosexual parents found new, previously-married lovers?

-They were such brats.

-You have resentments?

-They went to private school. Does that count?

-We’ll get to that later. So, good grades…

-Thank you.

-…possibly masking an inferiority complex and a crippling desire to please…

-Well, that’s presumptuous.

-…and a blossoming little booze and drug habit?

-I was 14. We were a little crazy.

-Drunk on wine coolers?

-It was the 80’s.

-You wrote…poetry.

-I was sensitive. Still am. Look, am I gonna get locked up or what? If I end up as someone’s bitch I’m gonna…

-Let’s see…graduated in the top…eleventh percentile of your class?

-Fucking Physics.

-Accepted with scholarship to a little school in Florida no one’s ever heard of?

-It wasn’t Minnesota. Look at my finger…that’s frostbite!

-Lots of personal drama ensued.

-Greatest time of your life, my ass.

-Majored in sociology.

-My third choice.

-Had your heart broken a couple of times, didn’t ya?

-How many damn blue index cards do you have there, anyway?

-Let’s see…undergraduate thesis, a return to Minneapolis…

-I’m a secret masochist. Is that in there?

-Poetry slam champion?

-It was the 90’s.

-Big fish in a little pond.

-Wait, was that a question?

-…hmm, fell in love again…

-Yes…I feel more…deeply than others.

-I won’t touch that one…moved together to San Francisco?

-With nothing but a dance belt and a tube of chapstick.

-Let’s see…rejection from acting school…

-Goddamn primadonnas.

-Leading to a crytal methamphetamine problem?

-I was a little tired.

-Your basic recovery story…

-It seemed to be the thing to do.

-The dissolution of your relationship…


-…hmm, more writing and acting

-Nothing pornographic. Well, maybe once...

-Which brings us to blogging.

-It does?

-There are several issues with your, er…application to blog.

-Nobody ever said I needed a license.

-New restrictions. Inappropriate linkage, navel-gazing, lawsuits; that kind of thing.

-Naturally. When can I expect an answer?

I Wanna Be Sedated

Had my first appointment today at the dental clinic. It’s part of a school, actually, which could make one a little nervous when you’re facing as much work as I am, however everyone treated me well and no one told me that I would go to hell for avoiding the dentist for the last couple of years. Ahem. However, I have to have oral surgery next Tuesday to remove some impacted molars that are causing me the pain. The broken tooth seems to be lower on the totem pole at this point. I think, too, that the grants that fund the clinic will help cover some of the expenses, although I must confess I feel like a bit of an imposter since my numbers are so good, HIV or not. I wish I could have had the surgery today and just gotten it over with. I’ll have a local anesthetic and nitrous oxide, so I’ll have to find someone to drive me home then. I was kind of hoping they’d just sedate me so I could sleep through the whole thing. Oh well. Did I say the dental student told me I had some nice teeth, all things considered?

Enough about me. Aren’t you sorry you asked?

No urgent news on the home front. Mom just gets a little weaker each day, and she’s had some morphine a couple of times today. So she is not uncomfortable, and they are working closely with hospice to make her final days be at home and comfortable. I told Lee about my surgery. Life will not wait for things to get convenient. I must admit, with her getting weaker each day, I wonder if I will even be in town on Tuesday. I guess we’ll just have to see. It seems appropriate that everything has to happen all at once.

I’ve been cancelling plans and staying home all week due to the stress and the pain. My first line of defense is almost always to shut things down and retreat for a bit, gather some information and my thoughts, then deal. I haven’t been getting my usual stress-release at the gym, nor at any AA meetings.

Look, I made his link page!! (um, scroll way down..can you see it…in the fine print…yeah, there) I’d feel like the Prom Queen, except for the fact that there’s so damn many of us. Ah, little did I know, back in those AIM chatting days, that you’d become the linked-stud that you are today. Well, you certainly deserve it.


This morning’s update is that Mom seems less perky today than yesterday, and that she can’t even raise her arm anymore. Lee seems to think she is fading, but slowly; slower than we might have expected. She’s so strong. Have I mentioned that before the ALS, she and Lee had run at least twelve marathons each over the years, had traveled to Indonesia, Alaska, Africa, had climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro? Have I mentioned yet that it angers me that she somehow deserves it less than some couch potato? Nobody deserves this, I know. Still.

It’s uncomfortable being here and waiting for things to get worse. Two years ago, shortly after her diagnosis, I went home for six months, intending to help take care of her. This was before I got sober. It was a truly dark period in my life, drinking alone in my little studio apartment near their house, trying to pull it together enough when she needed me. As it turned out, they didn’t really need my assistance much. Between Lee’s training as a nurse, and their large circle of devoted friends, her care was more than covered. And eventually she told me, after I brought it up, that she wanted me to go back to San Francisco and live my life.

And that was only the beginning. Between then and now I got sober, ended the five+ year relationship, moved out, started a new job, and tested HIV-positive. Have I said here yet that I have not told anyone in my family about the last? In light of my mother’s struggle, and the fact that I am so healthy, it seems inappropriate to raise the issue. I talked to my brother last night, and he told me that he is splitting with his girlfriend who I met over Christmas. As he told me last night, the writing had been on the wall, but he didn’t want to bring it up for the same reasons I’ve kept my silence about the HIV.

The absolute hardest part of her deterioration has been the loss of a family confidante, the woman who I thought of immediately whenever I got good news or enjoyed some success. I lost that almost two years ago when the dementia began, and yet she is still here with us, alive yet profoundly different. In a selfish way, I have struggled so, trying to accept the loss of my mother while acknowledging that she is still alive. I haven’t been the best son all the time. I let weeks go by without calling, because the confidante is gone, and because her inability to communicate made one-sided phone calls painful.

However, in searching within, I know that by now I have told her everything I’ve wanted to. And all the words distill into an essence that spells out “I love you.” There isn’t much more to say beyond that.

Four References to Television, and other important matters…

Not much has changed since last night. Mom’s not worsening, just very very weak. I’m tired, slept poorly last night and spent much of the day full of dread. Work provided some distraction, but there’s some event planning that I can’t bring myself to do. Julie the Cruise Director, I’m not.

So I’m just checking in by phone occassionally to Lee or whichever friend is over at the house. I cancelled plans to stay home in case they need to reach me, which I’m happy I did since I’m pretty much good for nothing at the moment.

Have I said that I can’t cry on my own? I need the catharsis of television to do that for me; i.e. I cried tonight watching an old Annie Lennox performance on SNL, and then later when Jimmy Smitts character died at the hospital in NYPD Blue reruns. Thank God I’m not home when Oprah comes on, I’d lose any semblance of integrity then.

Needless to say, I haven’t composed any words for Mom’s expected service, nor have I come across the perfect poem to read. I just don’t want to.