Wednesday, May 31, 2006

WORD ON THE STREET

Mona has decreed via barbaric yawp, that it is to be I who chooses the word for tomorrow's Poetry Friday. I do not take this power lightly, for as Spiderman himself was told, with great power comes great responsibility. Seriously, it is an honor of sorts for which I'm considering having a plaque made up to hang here in the cubicle. "Word Chooser For June 2, 2006." I tried to do my research to make sure this hasn't been ye olde word of the day, chosen in Poetry Fridays past. So without further ado-do, I give you the word:

SLEEP

And that's what you have to work with tomorrow.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Connectionalism, Homosexuality, and Who's Part of Whose Church.

I've had a productive day, so, after the last few posts, I figure it’s a good time to talk about Jesus. This is a big long post about connectional churches so unless you have a weird interest, as I do, in church history and Christian theology, you might want to skip it. My heart won’t be broken, just go read my other posts on Fleet enemas or Madonna (the pop star not the Mother of God). ;)

Terrence at Republic of T linked to this story about the split among the American Baptist Churches denomination because of views on homosexuality. The Pacific Southwest Region, which does not accept “unrepentant homosexuals”, pulled out of its covenant relationship with the ABC, which in the opinion of the region does not “enforce its 1992 position statement on homosexuality,” that is, that “homosexuality is not compatible with Christian teaching”. Other denominations, like The United Methodist Church for example, have similar statements on their books, but we’ll return to the UMC momentarily.

What has been happening in recent years in many, if not most Christian denominations is a divide between those who think homosexuality should be accepted by their denomination as a legitimate form of human love and those who believe that God views homosexuality as sin. The American Baptists in the Pacific Southwest Region have taken the refusal of the “parent denomination” to explicitly and profoundly reject homosexuality to its logical extreme, which is to leave the denomination altogether. The denomination is not exactly all hugs and kisses towards homos, as illustrated by the aforementioned position statement, but the fact that the denominational leaders won’t get “tougher” on “enforcing” that statement has pissed off more than a few Baptists in the Pacific Southwest.

Baptists (ABC and otherwise) have a tradition of believing in the local autonomy of each Church. For example, the Southern Baptist denomination has its “Southern Baptist Convention”, but each local church is free to do as it pleases, more or less.


According to long-standing Baptist understandings of polity, every Baptist church and organization is independent, and cooperation is voluntary. Each church freely chooses whether to join an association, state convention, or the SBC (or other national body). Similarly, each association and state convention voluntarily chooses to associate with any more comprehensive group.


So, the fact that the Pacific Southwest Region pulled out of its covenant with the ABC is a big deal only insofar as they’ve made a profound statement about how seriously they take the denominations supposed laxity on the acceptance of homosexuals. The SBC withdrew from the Baptist World Alliance for the same reason last year. Like Terrance, I was raised Baptist (Southern Baptist to be precise) and I know that in the vast majority if not every single Southern Baptist congregation, homosexuality is not to be seen as a difference of sexual orientation but as an abomination, something to be cured by the Holy Spirit, and when all else fails cast back out into the world (which supposedly accepts these kinds of things). From my long experience with Baptists and still having a family that is Southern Baptists, I am still surprised when I hear that the unrelated ABC, and the BWA, has been going easy on homos for a few years and, in fact, moving towards some kind of acceptance. By “going easy” I mean not openly accepting and affirming homosexuals as fellow Christians but just not explicitly stating that they are godless heathen sodomites. BUT the fact remains that, in the aforementioned Baptist tradition, each local church is left to its own devices to decide if it’s going to accept homos or not, as well as whether it will be a member of any parent organization that accepts homos or is at least perceived to do so. And each parent organization can decide if the local church or the region should be a member.

Now in other more “connectional” churches, pulling out of the group is not quite as easy. The Holy Roman Catholic Church, for example, is the Big Mama of connectional churches. Every Catholic Church reports to the Vatican, and the money all comes together in a pool, basically. If the Pope says jump, the local churches are to ask how high. Final word on matters goes for every Catholic.

Among Protestants, The United Methodist Church is deeply connectional, meaning that each local church is connected to every other local church under their General Conference. The General Conference has the final word on all matters of policy and position. So while a specific conference—for example, their Pacific Conference (which I don’t know that conferences leanings, just saying for example) may have a more lax position on homosexuality in the church, the General Conference has still put forth in its Books of Discipline and Resolutions that, yes, “Homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching.” Because the GC has made these pronouncements the controversy has been turned up from other regional conferences that either agree or disagree. There’s even been talk from time to time of an “amicable split” like the ABC has had—but it has not come to fruition, because the UMC is so closely connected—connectionalism was a big deal to John Wesley, founder of Methodism, if I’m not mistaken.

Their connection occurs on many levels, but at the end of the day it is financial. Money from all local church tithes (gifts from church members) goes into a variety of pots to keep things like the mission board, the board of higher education, the general conference, etc, up and running. Connectionalism on the scale of a church the size of the UMC means a lot. It means a great power to influence the world, and I don’t think anyone would deny that the UMC has done a lot of good for the world through its variety of agencies, including its Committee on Relief, community centers, and institutions of higher education.

The UMC as a whole has a great history, right into the present day, of service, and not just handing out Bibles but rather really feeding and clothing “the least of these” to quote Christ. But despite the connection between churches, there is still an amount of autonomy among congregations in the UMC association. And given that United Methodist Churches are in nearly every corner of the world, you can bet that a congregation in Manor, Texas is going to have different theological positions than one in say, Manhattan. Likely homos wouldn’t be given a second thought in New York City, whereas, a UMC in Manor wouldn’t be so crazy about it…and would defiantly back up the General Conference’s position and actively work to keep it from being changed – which is what some people in more liberal conferences are trying to do.

I’ve rambled a good deal, and been working on this post since yesterday a little here and there. So I’ll shut up and invite any churchy or non-churchy types to comment on these matters. The basic question at the end of the day is “Does God approve of homosexual relationships?” which I can’t believe I’m so interested in considering that I’m not even sure of the answer to the question “Does God even exist?” much less “Is the Bible the inspired word of God?”

See also Apostolic Succession at Wikipedia.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Cave

Via Mona via Jeremiah comes the Word for Poetry Friday, "cave". So without further ado-do,

Cave
by Stroll with apologies to E.M. Forster

"He can go where he likes as long as he doesn't come near me. They give me the creeps."

What went on in those caves?
She imagined her own conquest,
herself as India.
She imagined it happened,
entranced by stalactites and stalagmites
sticking up and down, surrounding her
like phalluses excited and driven to violence
by her lovely presence.
Miss Quested freaked the fuck out.
She stumbled out different,
confused by the unpleasant excitement.
She pointed fingers and the rest
became historical fiction.

There are always sharp rocks
puncturing exotic relationships.
"It is impossible here," one said,
to avoid those points
to leave the caves
without the knowledge of good and evil
and even as after the end of the Raj
Miss Quested, old and weathered,
wonders herself what happened--
penetration and conquest abstract.

Working Nerves

I just went to the management office on my way in from work. Cupped them hard, got my lease renewal signed despite their request that both Lito and I make an appearance, stated that "Lito doesn't like to come down here and prefers for me to take care of the apartment related business", and had them all defensive and nervous-acting over fixing the window that doesn't lock.

This doesn't sound like much, but if you knew the kind of operation they're running down there, you'd understand that this is a major accomplishment and a huge weight off my worked-out shoulders.

FLEET WEEK



It’s Fleet Week here in NYC, and you know what that means. Time to break out the Fleet ®…enemas that is!

Because shit stains on those white uniforms is just unacceptable.

Speaking of shit stains, here’s a joke.

Q: How do you make a gay man scream twice?
A: Fuck him in the ass, then wipe your dick on his curtains.

*rimshot*

Okay this is an entirely vulgar and grossly out-of-line post. I get off (of work) at noon today, so I’m a little giddy, forgive me.

Image from Naval Historical Center

Richard Petty: Asshole

Richard Petty doesn't think women belong in racing. Years ago, he made the distinction between women and "ladies". You know, a lady would be at home rather than participating in a MAN'S sport. It takes testicles to press a gas peddle and steer, donchaknow. And what could a woman possibly know about the mechanics and engineering required for the braniac attraction that is NASCAR?

Thursday, May 25, 2006

There will be no mercy, no plea bargains, no pardons.

I am instituting some new rules and regulations that must be followed at all times, lest consequences be suffered. I do not want to be the only one enforcing these new rules, so I urge you to enforce them as well. This is not about “vigilante justice”, this is about what’s right. I think that these are easy to follow, and that the punishments fit their respective crimes, so if you find yourself on the receiving end of the punishment you have no one to blame but yourself. I encourage you to make suggestions as well.


Offenses and Punishments

Bitchy cashiers who do not smile or speak, especially ones who mumble your total or do not speak aloud total at all: Grabbed by tuft of neck; forced to state total purchase cost as well as “thank you” and “have a nice day”; face spit upon.

People who do not pick up their dogs shit from the sidewalk and dispose of it properly: Forced to eat dog’s shit on site; dog removed from owner’s custody.

People who litter: Forced to consume their trash; stuffed head first into nearest metal garbage can.

People who stand in the middle of busy pedestrian traffic, oblivious: Pushed to the ground; trampled by stampeding crowd.

People who sway from their strait lined path, oblivious to the other pedestrian traffic that is around them, as you are trying to pass them: See punishment for previous offense.

Idiots who do not understand the “let them off first principle” of subways and elevators, including people who stand with their noses right in the crack of the elevator doors and then act startled and/or surprised when people come flying out when the doors open, especially people who have likely taken subways and elevators several hundred thousand times in their lives: Punched in the face, kicked in the stomach, slammed into the wall, and stomped to a bloody pulp. (After three offenses, shot and killed.)

People who run in crowded subway stations: Tripped; thrown on tracks.

Men who sit with legs spread as wide as possible on the subway, taking up as much seating as they can, because their balls are obviously soooo enormous that they can’t close their fucking legs and make room for actual civilized human beings: Testicles stomped on site.

There are more forthcoming, but let’s start with these for now.

Testing, Testing...

1. Program Language Inventor or Serial Killer?

2. Chinese, Japanese, or Korean?

Monday, May 22, 2006

A Parody Come to Life?

Ole Madge Ritchie has always, but especially in the Like a Prayer phase of her career, mixed religious iconography with sex. There were lots of crosses hanging around necks, in the backdrops and sewn into costumes along with bowing at alters and such, as she sang through "Like a Prayer", "Live to Tell", "Oh Father", etc. in her Blond Ambition tour.

Julie Brown (not to be confused with Downtown Julie Brown) did a parody of Madonna's Blond Ambition tour "documentary" Truth or Dare entitled Medusa: Dare to Be Truthful. In her spoof of the tour and the docudrama, Julie Brown as "Medusa" does capture a lot of the shocking-for-shocking's sakeness of Blond Ambition and takes the ideas of Madonna's tours and exagerrates them so much to mock them while at the same time exposing them as publicity stunts that keep her in the news. I loved Blond Ambition and Truth or Dare, but I also loved Medusa: Dare to Be Truthful -- as much as I love Madonna, Julie Brown's critique was fucking hilarious and often right on the mark.

You've likely seen the pictures from the Confessions Tour, which just started, of Madonna hanging on a cross wearing a crown of thorns. This instantly reminded me of a performance from Dare to Be Truthful wherein the dancers behind Medusa are all crucified, wearing crowns of thorns. Mind you, this was over a decade ago that Julie Brown spoofed the religious/sexual content of Blond Ambition. So I guess in some ways you could say Madonna has become a parody of herself.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

The Confessions Tour Starts Tomorrow


Madonna on TRL
Originally uploaded by butch stroll.
I've got tickets for June 28th at Madison Square Garden. Those are simply the back up if I can't find better seats. For the shows of hers I've seen I've always at least been on the floor for at least one night. Unfortch, it looks like this time I might be in the 100's. It doesn't bother me too bad, but I'm afraid that the angle at which we're going to be might prevent us from fully seeing the screens. And the screens are key at homegirl's shows. We'll see. I'm excited nonetheless. Been having a steady buildup with the classics as well as the currents.

Image is one I took at her last visit to TRL. I was the only person old enough to have pubic hair in the crowd.

Let It Will Be

Cleaning Party at Stroll's! BYOR (Bring your own rag.)

Seriously, I have such big ambitions for this weekend. First and foremost I must start cleaning this apartment. This City is nasty and it is truly hard to fight the funk, even within one's own living space. But today I am going to put on my Michael Jackson mask and rubber gloves and clean the hell out of this bitch. Someone once told me that a clean house is a sign of a clean pussy, and, well. I think that might be the truth.

Also I must fit in the gym as Summer is right around the corner and I plan on being naked for the majority of it. I truly want to avoid having to wear a one piece woman's bathing suit due to being a lard ass, and I sure don't want to have to wear a two-piece because my A cups have become B's or C's. I'm thinking it might have to be an every day thing until I am thin and gorgeous.

Yesterday I had a pedicure so at least my feet are pretty. ;)

It's supposed to be Spring out there, but it's really been cold, windy, and rainy off and on for as long as I can remember. Last night there was one gust of wind that sounded like a siren that scared the bejesus out of me.

It gets a little creepy here alone, sometimes, not that I'm complaining about having the apartment to myself. My roommates left last week for a long, long visit to the Motherland and they took Nina G with them, of course. So it's just me and Meow Kitty up in here, and I think part of her misses the dog. While she has drawn blood from the dumbass dog's face on several occassions (Nina would have disappointed Pavlov because she does not learn from past mistakes), it is always done in the spirit of playfullness and love. Now she just sits forlornly on the sofa, occassionally trying to get up in my face or sit on my lap, knowing damn good and well that I'm not having any of that. So in an act of defiance and rebellion she has destroyed her little food and litter box area, and she gives me these suspicious looks as if she's ready to start on other rooms.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Lady Tattoos "Do Not Resuscitate" on Her Chest

I love this old lady!

It's creepy how the lawyers say it probably wouldn't even work, though.

[via bioethics.net]

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

File under TMI

Betty Butterfield tells the story of how sometimes when she's taking a shit, she'll peer over the top of her magazine and there'll be a cat sitting there just staring at her. Well just now I experienced the same thing. Meow Kitty was looking right at me with grave concern, worried, perhaps, whether everything was going to come out okay.

More Cocodorm

Regarding the ongoing and unfolding scandals of Flavaworks aka Cocodorm/Cocoboyz.com, the Chicago Free Press had a new story up entitled "Cocodorm owner charged with charity con" that is no longer on the website? I know they take down the stories as a new issue comes out, but that one was removed before the issue changed. I wonder why?

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

fulsome \FUL-sum\, adjective:

I hate when you speak to people in customer service, or whatever, and they repeatedly call you "sir" after every sentence they speak, and sometimes in the middle. It seems so insincere to me and it's highly irritating. "Yes, sir, that is what we can do, and you know, sir, it happens like this, sir..." Do you know this behavior? It seems to happen to me a lot. I wonder if this is what is described by the word of the day?

Monday, May 15, 2006

I'll say to her, "Liberia is so meta".

Sometimes I'm one of those crazy people who doesn't really like the U.N., and there's no denying there is a level of corruption within, but like the good ole U.S. of A. it's not all bad. I like the idea of their list of forgotten stories, and I like that the Washington Post picked one up (somewhat) in order to report on the list itself.

In my first semester of graduate school I took a course on "international relations" which wound up being more about history than anything. I really enjoyed it and got an A. I wrote one of my papers that had a lot of Liberia mentions, and through the mild researching I had to do for a ten pager, I really felt protective and close to Liberia for some reason. Liberians are the decendents of Americans who were the decendents of African slaves, so historically the U.S. has had close ties with them. They were the original Back to Africa movement, along with Sierra Leone which is, like, the British version of Liberia. But some Liberians aren't descended from the American line and the two groups make up two caste-like bodies [correct me if I'm wrong]. They have major "whose land is it anyway?" issues which is, basically, the cause of most of the military conflict in the world. They also had a murderous dictator who was ran out and is now being tried for war crimes.

Things lately seem to be looking up for them with their new president (the first female president of any African nation) and their democracy. I will possibly have a chance to meet her in June at my place of employment.

I have ARRIVED.

After six years of putting it off, I am now a licensed driver in the State of New York. It was a level of committment to this state that I was not yet ready to make, but in my heart I will always be a slow driving, non-honking NC DMV registrant.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Is this somehow related to City of God?

What's going on in Brazil? There is very little information about what's actually happening in the news reports of the prison overthrows/street violence against police.

Happy Mother Fucker's Day



Happy Mother's Day! Here are some words of wisdom from your Mommie.

~~~
"Maybe I'm just thinkin' that the rooms are all on fire, every time that you walk in the room..."

Last night I had a "date" with a Gentleman Caller and as we were finishing we discovered we are both from Greensbourough, NC. While I was there, I received a call from Scatty Arbuckle informing me that our apartment building was apparantly burning down to a crisp, to quote Blurty Thompson. Well luckily we were spared, and I'm sure the crazy bitch downstairs just nodded out with a cig in her hand after snorting a long line of the White Pony, but why is our Superintendent going to give S.D.A. a hard time about calling the fire department when the building smells like chestnuts roasting on an open fire? I've been dealing a lot with the management down there lately as it is lease renewal time, and if the owner refers to this as "his" building one more time, while refusing to complete any repairs such as ensuring that our bathtub does not cave through the floor or that our windows do not further fall out of the hole, I just might lose it. YES we know you own the building. But we make it fabulous, so live up to your obligations you slumlord.

In other news, someone from The Dash has been reading this blog and that truly disturbs me.

I called my mother today to leave a message on the machine telling her to call me, as it is Sunday and they will be hard to reach, so that I can wish her a happy Mother's Day. She answered, surprisingly, and informed me that she was playing hooky from church. SCANDAL! Today they're going to go to Applebee's with my Grandmother but I suggested they live real high on the hog and hit the Ruby Tuesdays by Hanes Mall. I have to say that I love that woman and I love my Grandmother. If it weren't entirely innappropriate I would compare them to the big tittied bitches of rock n' roll, though they would never understand what that's supposed to mean.

On a final note, and speaking of the White Pony, Nina G has grown large and is like a small pony herself.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Temp to PERM

Latest Courtney Love pics here, while shopping in Beverly Hills.

Paparazzi

BU_Shoot_5_7_06_002

I had a rule about not posting pictures of myself on here, but I have broken it a time or two. Anyway, I make this exception because I love the picture so much. Not because I'm in it looking my normal brokedown self in jogging pants no less, but something about the wall and the contrast. I had no idea this picture was being taken. Lito has a natural eye for photography and for an amatuer he's really very good.

Friday, May 12, 2006

High on Fumes



They are putting new carpet in here at the World Church, so I've been using someone else's office for most of the day, but I had some things I needed to do here at my own desk (read: blog) so I'm back here in my corner dreaming of being outside as it is suddenly nice out and trying to get through the last 45 minutes of my day before I make a mad dash for the bus in a desperate bid to get back to Astoria and make all my dreams come true.

One of the carpet guys saw me wearing my Michael Jackson mask (pictured) and asked if it's the dust or the glue?

It's definatley the glue. I'm high on fumes and on top of that, I'm starving. The lunch special at the Indian place was thought to be a good deal until you see the portion size, which, as a co-worker said, "is just enough to piss you off."

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Model Goes Splat

When riding in the RV of life, do you ever feel like you've confused the bathroom door with the exit?

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Smoking in Astoria and David Blaine Doesn't Die

Residents of Queens have known since the Smoking Prohibition of Mayor Bloomberg took effect that Queens, and Astoria especially, has “smokeasys”, where the smoking ban is overlooked after hours, usually beginning around midnight. These bars will even provide you with plastic cups to use as ashtrays. Well, thanks NY Post, for blowing their cover! In all honesty, even as a smoker, the smoking ban doesn’t bother me, but I think the sensationalized story in the Post about Ash-storia is comical. “When a reporter walked in, two young boys were playing at the pool table. Smokers were all around them.” NOT THE CHILDREN!

In other news of the variety that makes me a horrible person, I laughed a little when I learned that David Blaine didn’t beat the breath-holding record. The other day I saw Mr. Blaine as I was taking the bus home. He was on the sidewalk outside of the Grant Projects in Harlem, cameraman in tow, talking to some kids and doing some kind of magic trick that involved his shoe, though I couldn’t see exactly what he was doing. The kids were laughing and I’m sure that he’s a really nice person, but I can’t keep myself from feeling that I wanted him to die in that fishbowl. Or at least get a little bit of permanent nerve damage. I’d still hit it, though, as the kids say. ;)

Monday, May 08, 2006

My boss just called me at home. That's a first. Let's hope this is not the start of a new trend.

Didn't sleep a wink last night, and was so destroyed in the morning that I took a half day, so now I'm going to go to bed for the night. It's 7:35. Hopefully I'll sleep strait through...

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Fair Theater, Astoria Boulevard, Queens, NY

The Fair Theater was built in 1937 and named after the World's Fair, which was in Queens at the time. Much like the remains of the World's Fair, the Fair Theater is run down and the shadow of the respectable business it may have once been. It's now a porn theater and gay cruise spot. Nonetheless, it is a landmark of sorts, and there is a wonderful discussion about the place by old theater buffs at the Cinema Treasures site. It also shows strait movies (no pun intended) and is said to have its original projector, which his apparantly a big deal for people into the details of these old theaters. I also got pictures of the signage and posters advertising their "new" movies, and the mirrored front doors.

Ironically, there is a church (in the same building) next door named simply "Evangelistic Church" which I imagine is a hollering-in-tounges, foot-stomping sing-a-long type house of worship. I hear they pressure the Fair to stop showing porn, imagining that the worship next door is of penis and not the Lord.

Note the scarecrow on the right behind the high-rising part of the building.

The man in the shot kept looking back at me and Lito as if we were trying to photograph him until I finally hollered, "NOT YOU."

Living My Life Like It's A Dull Bronze

I basically dropped my ass to the floor this weekend and dragged it up one side the East Side and down the other, leaving a snail-like trail of slime behind me. Yesterday I found myself in Forest Hills where there are many Europeans speaking their foreign languages. S.D.A. is always curious as to which of the Eastern European and Eurasian languages is being spoken when we hear the ong-plong-kerplinky-plong around us, and while I am not always sure I am certain that it is un-Christian and un-American! COMMUNISTS!

When we were walking home last night a man was standing between two cars, facing the sidewalk, mind, urinating. I did not see this happening until we were right up on him and he looked me in the face and smiled. While he was at a safe distance I couldn’t help but feel some of it had splattered on me.

The man at the gym that signed me up, impressed by my TOTAL DEDICATION AND COMMITMENT TO PHYSICAL FITNESS, keeps asking me “when are we going to set you up with a trainer”. Clearly this is a desire to collect coins for said services, but I can’t help but believe that a little bit of it has to do with the fact that he sees I haven’t yet given up, though I still look like a frail, 3-months pregnant elderly person after all this time. And as Camel Lights are an important part of my regimine, the exassperated gasps for air before I even get started are a clear sign that I'm fucking trying, okay?

I decline the trainer not only because I can't afford to have my own personal drill seargent, but also because I don’t do authority. The minute some fucking trainer “pushes” me to do my “best”, or insists that I keep going for “five more” whatevers...that is the same minute that someone calls the police because of blood on the dance floor, or gym floor as it were.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

McDonald's TOWN HOUSE, bitches!




In the illustrious Forest Hills, Queens, a simple McDonald's is blasé .

Friday, May 05, 2006

Trich as an Aphrodisiac?

I'm in love with my new Shirley Q. Liquor CD, courtesy of S.D. Arbuckle. Shirley, as much of a stereotype as she is, does have moments of profound realization and wisdom. For example, how true is it that, after a battle with rude and unhelpful sales associates at K-Mark, "You might as well just go home and enjoy your toiletries. There ain't nothin' else you can do." Or, if you are going to pray, why not pray that the Lord "Pleeeeease help thangs not be so ignunt. Amen." Amen, indeed.

~~~

There is this man that whose face I know from our frequent ride in the same car on the same train after work. He is an older man, as indicated by his salt-and-pepper hair, but not ancient. He's well built and somehow naturally tan year round (as opposed to sunbathing tan, he's just a dark fellow for a white person) and he's usually in his less-casual-than-business-casual business casual. I find him absolutely hot. We exchange glances, but I still feel like even though he's an older man, he's waaaay out of my league. Today he was holding the bar and his muscle was flexed so that if a person's head were between the forarm and the bicep the brains would be squeezed from it like puss from a pimple.

Let me interject here that I have a neurosis. It is called trichotillomania and people constantly pester me about it without the realization that I put all of my frustration and anxiety into one little spot of hair on the front of my head that manifests itself into an uncontrollable compulsion to twist that spot until it becomes a perfect curl. Often when I'm walking around I pass a mirror and realize that I'm either twirling the curl, or that I've stopped, but the ridiculous curl has remained in place.

Back to Big Daddy from the subway. So today he is, more than usual, giving me little smiles and glances. Feeling particularly cute today, despite my shaggy ass Wolfman/homeless person beard, my ego was further elevated because apparantly, I thought, Big Daddy sees me getting hotter through mastery of the shoulder press machine and leg raises.

So I changed at 42nd Street, leaving Big Daddy, and while I was walking through the corridor and into the mainway where I could connect with the N train, I saw my reflection in the coming shuttle train's shiney metal side. There was that curl.

Homeboy was getting a kick out of the curl. *sigh*

The Grandmother who warned me in my high school years of all the homosexuals at North Carolina School of the Arts before I attended Summer Sessions.

I just talked to my 83 year old grandmother for an hour about everything from the family tree to her pacemaker to cataract surgery.

Grandma, referring to an officer at the DMV who was giving her an eye test to renew her drivers license: "Well, she had to come out of the thing first, the thing. What do you call it?"

Me: "The closet?"

*pause*

Grandma: "What?"

Me: "Nothing. What were you saying?"

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

TAKE A PICTURE, IT'LL LAST LONGER.

There are people who are searching for Cocoboyz, Cocodorm, Flavamen, etc, and the related HIV story, and winding up here in the previous post. I wish you would put your thoughts about that story--your opinion, what you believe and what you know--in the comments. I'm very interested in what people gay and otherwise think about the whole mess. Don't be shy.

****

I have mad work to do today. I might sneak out and go get my New York license (after over six years without bothering to change it). I hear the Express DMV on 34th Street is really express. We’ll see.

But first, an update on the goings on at my gym since my TOTAL DEDICATION AND COMMITMENT TO PHYSICAL FITNESS began. Being robbed has not stopped me from moving towards my ultimate goal of PHYSICAL PERFECTION.

I kid. But seriously I have been going at least every other day since October now, and I still have not noticed much change and I’m still not even comfortable with all the machines. I need to diversify my weight lifting routine because there are only a few machines (shoulders, chest, arms are the main ones) that I approach and I haven’t even touched the free weights in quite a while. However I have improved in my “technique” and have the elliptical machine down to a science. But I digress.

***

I know the regulars in el gymnasio, and there is this one guy who is muscled-up but in no way is he or would he ever be attractive to me, because he is just disgusting looking on a number of levels that only I can truly see through my well-trained eyes that can determine odor levels and grooming skills with a simple glance. Anyway, I don’t pay him or anyone for that matter any mind, as I am usually struggling so hard to keep from having Sudden Cardiac Death on the elliptical or trying to force the weights over my head without blowing out an artery or something. But this asshole is up in there, lifting weights—granted, huge amounts of weight—and making THE MOST HEINOUS NOISES I’VE EVER HEARD FROM A HUMAN BEING. We’re talking about “UUUUUNNGGGFFFFRRAAAAAA!” at ear-piercing volumes. I have heard people taking twelve inches of beer-can thick penis in their virgin butt holes and not make noises like this. I hear this jackass through my house-music blaring headphones and the gyms own loud music over top of that. OBNOXIOUSLY loud, he is. I mean, I understand you gotta grunt and huff a little bit when you’re on The Butch Stroll of work-outs, but really if you have to make noise like that, then just take it down five pounds or so, you know?

Whatever though, it doesn’t really bother me. It frankly embarrasses me for him (and I know you should never be embarrassed for other people, but I can’t help it, I do get embarrassed for other people, and usually people who should be embarrassed for themselves but are not). But I still digress.

So this jackass guy marches around the gym between his anal-rape hollering, and acts like running around the gym on damn cocaine. Which could in fact be the case. He has that co-co look in his eyes as well as that coo-coo look, and he’s all on edge, acting like he could just lose his shit, and have an Incredible Hulk moment of turning green and busting through his tabby clothes.

Now, the machine with which I struggle the most is the one where you’re sitting down and pushing the handles above your head to work your shoulders. I have problems with my shoulders and in fact I should really focus on that machine to strengthen them. It would just so happen that that is the machine that offers the least privacy, as it faces the entire rest of the gym so from any point in the gym you are visible—whether you’re on the little balcony on the cardio machines or on the ground floor on other weight machines. That makes me uncomfortable, but I deal with it.

While I’m trying to use this machine, that jackass coke snorting weirdo keeps walking by and GETTING IN MY GRILL as the kids say, just STARING at me as he walks by with this look on his face that I cannot even describe. Feeling his eyes on me, I instinctively LOCK EYES with him, and make a face of my own (in addition to the strained face of lifting weights over one’s head). He keeps walking back and forth doing this and it begins to skeev me out on multiple levels. I’m thinking to myself, what would happen if I just dropped the bars jumped up, and said to Wierdo McCrazyass, “WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU STARING AT?”

I wonder what would happen in that situation. Would he immediately rare back and nock my teeth out of my face? Or would it take him aback so much that he would wimper off away from my scrawny yet angry ass?

I did not conduct the experiment to see.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Cocodorm, Flavaworks, and Consequences

The gay pornographic website Cocodorm.com is being accused of spreading HIV, via the bareback content it produces, among its performers and among people outside the porn industry who solicited them as "escorts" (aka prostitutes).

The company that produces Cocodorm and other sites that feature young black men, Flavaworks, denies that they have any HIV+ person in the "dorm" and contends that they test each performer for HIV and other STDs. That's better than nothing, but of course an HIV test only tells you your HIV status three months ago. I have heard many people in the industry say that the safest place to have sex is in the porn industry because everyone is regularly tested and there are "measures in place". That may be true for the more "respectable" companies but there are virtually NO condoms in use in heterosexual porn and the rapidly growing trend in gay porn is also to do away with the condoms. I guess people don't want rubbers in their fantasies, which is fine and good, but when you are a participant in creating the videos it's not a fantasy -- it's reality. Sadly many of these young men might have thought that surely they couldn't get a disease while doing business. Surely there must be "measures in place". They might have not considered that even in porn people can get zapped. Film rolling does not prevent transmission. I wonder how many times someone having their ass pumped full of HIV has been caught on tape?

I have spoken with a former "model" at the "dorm" who describes the dorm as a slave house. (He also claims that he was 17 years old when he was a performer there.) He says he never got a cent for his work in the dorm, where young men are recruited from all over the country with the promise of $1500 after 30 days on the site. There have been others who have complained of being unpaid as well. Several of the performers complain of abuse and demands in the house that were hard to meet, such as "performing" numerous times in sequence, and ejaculating multiple times within hours. The most hateful thing, though, is that the webmaster, Phillip Bleicher, flies these boys out to Chicago, puts them up in the house, doesn't pay them, and then refuses to fly them back to where they came from, as promised. Contracts, as the Chicago Free Press article states, are allegedly slave-like indentured servitude arrangements. While this "model" says he never performed without a condom, condoms were not encouraged, and he was never asked his HIV or STD status much less made to take a test.

It is also been brought to my attention that one of the past models, stage-named "Pimp", is Taron Webb, an HIV+ AIDS activist. Are they one in the same? They look like each other, for sure. Supposedly Webb quit/was fired once his article originally appeared on Ebonymale.com. Other claims from comments from Keith Boykin, and Sexandthe2ndCity, to a post made at What I See say that HIV and Cocoboyz, Cocodorm, and FlavaWorks are, to use an expression, in bed together.

The moral of this story is that even in an industry like porn, you have to take care of yourself. Money is the bottom line and no one in an exploitative industry like pornography is going to take care of you or necessarily come through on their promises. HIV is still out there, and it's definatly in pornography. No matter the money to be made, you have to wrap it before you tap it--and even that is no guarantee against disease, which is something gay people do not like to hear.

****
In other news, today is "The Day Without Immigrants" with protests and boycotts and not-showing-up-to-work happening all over the country. Honestly, I didn't notice if in fact there were many people not going to work today here in NY, however, I hear in LA it made quite an impact. A few days ago there was a rumor spreading through the Miami immigrant community that there was to be a "crackdown" which made thousands of immigrants stay home which had an impact itself, outside of any intentional demonstration. I did see a protest along Broadway uptown today, and while on my lunchbreak I stopped to watch for a minute to show solidarity with them, mostly kids to my eyes (18 to 21). Lito and Sergio went to an Immigration Rally at Union Square, while Nina and I are having a silent protest here at home. Sergio said that Nina is an illegal immigrant because she doesn't have her papers. But she was born in the US of A so she is a citizen in my book. More on all this later. Now I fully awaken from my nap and go to the gym.