Just moved a bunch of posts over to this page. Feb 06 - present



We had a going away party before leaving Denver for Philly. Mainly the group of friends/coworkers that moved out to Denver together from Boston. It was a fun night, lots of good wine and good music. Toward the end of the night I got the (drunken) idea to pop popcorn, so I pulled out a large stewpot, dropped some olive oil in, poured a thin layer of popcorn kernels on top, and covered the pot. When it began to pop, one of the younger guests came over and asked, astonished, "What are you doing?"

"Making popcorn", I said. "Want some?"

"You can make popcorn on the stove?? In a pot??", he said. He was truly shocked.

"Uh, yeah.", I said, and I took him through the steps.

I could not believe it, but the few people in their early 20s had never, I mean never ever, popped popcorn outside of a microwave. Others had used a specific popcorn popper, but not on the stove. I don't know if popping microwave on the stove is "old timey" or just ghetto, but it tastes better and it's fun. Plus you don't die of popcorn lung.

My kitchen in Denver had a nice new microwave mounted over the stove, but I must say, I hardly ever used it. I had the same set up in Florida, too, so when I moved to Boston, I didn't have a microwave because I couldn't take it with me. I never bought one either and quickly found out I didn't really miss it. If I needed to heat something up I put it in the oven or on the stove. Other than some frozen entrees for work, I didn't buy anything that was specifically microwavable and I try not to purchase things in such bulk that I need to freeze them before I use them. I know this sounds very Bridget Jones of me, but the typical contents of my freezer are: ice, gin, and a few Lean Cuisines.

In any event, people, you don't need a microwave or even a popcorn popper to make popcorn; a pan with a lid will do just fine. Try it sometime.



The other day I started seeing something weird in my right eye - a little wavy shimmery spot every now and then. I thought I was staring at the computer screen too much, but having just had my annual eye exam the week before, I decided to call and ask about it when I followed up on if my new glasses came in.

It's not a good sign when every person you speak with says "oh no" after you describe your symptoms.

The concern was that I might have a detached retina, which apparently has to be surgically reattached in a day or two or else you could go blind. Nice. This was day three. So, off to the eye doctor I go.

The eye doctor dialates my eye and spends forever shining a bright light into it to the point where I can't see anymore and when he instructs me to look up and to the right, I just hope my muscles are responding correctly because I can't see to tell.

The good news is that I don't have a detached retina. However, my body, which can never decide to be normal (low temp, low BP, low iron - I swear I have the metabolism of a lizard) has decided to once again do something unusual: the doctor tells me he believes I have AMPPE (pron. "amp-y") otherwise known as
Acute Posterior Multifocal Placoid Pigment Epitheliopathy. Basically, this means I have lesions on my retina. It's a very rare disorder (Mass Eye and Ear saw 5 cases in 10 years). It fucks up your vision, then goes away - most of the time. It's a vascular inflammation, cause unknown, though sometimes it's preceeded by the flu (not in my case).

The internet is evil as all the message boards related to this (like two) are all full of people (like two) where it hasn't gone away and they have, like, actual holes in their vision. Fabulous.

So I'm seeing a retinal specialist tomorrow to verify that this is actually AMPPE. The flashes I'm seeing now don't bother me, really, but from what I read it typically gets worse before it gets better (weeks/months) and usually hops to the other eye too.

Even as bad as my vision is without glasses or contacts, I've taken for granted that it wouldn't get any worse until I was in my old age. If anyone has heard of this condition or knows of someone that has had it, I'd love to hear more about it. Wish me luck.



It's the missing sentences that say the most.
All color reflected in those small white spaces.
People live their lives in between the ink.


Things to do in Denver when you're dead

When I am completely freaked out by something, I often, at the same time, get a wave of zen-like "whatever" wafting over me. In one second of contemplating an upcoming life change of major proportion, my brain will scream "aaagh!" and at the same time shrug "eh" or calmly say "hush now." I very rarely freak out. Well, I should say, I very rarely go into a prolonged tailspin of freakedoutedness. I'm not someone to break out in hives or hyperventilate at the thought of something unknown, nor do I go into days of panic. I just go "AAAAGH! [pause] OK done." Then I make a decision of some kind. It's like I have a pacemaker for my panic - panic goes off the charts and I get an electric shock of apathy or maternal hugs, or deal with it practicality, depending on the need. In a way I'm jealous of the tailspin people. Do I just not care as much? Should I be freaking out more? Am I repressing something if I just deal with things evenly instead of all bi-polar like?

If you don't know what I mean by OMG!/whatever. thought pattern, try likening it to how most people deal with the concept of death. I read a magazine article years ago about death and this young woman's comment has stuck with me. She said something like when she really thinks about death, it completely freaks her out and she wonders why everyone else isn't screaming and panicking and generally freaking out about it too. But they aren't, so she doesn't either. Sound a bit crazy-girl, but a lot of people must have had that moment: you freak out for a split second, and then you think "what are you going to do about it?" and move on to the next thought.

"What if I don't find someone?" "What if I can't get it up?" "What if I get cancer?" "What if I can't have kids?" "What if I don't get that job?" "What if I DO find someone but then he can't get it up and it's like that Charlotte and Troy on Sex and the City, finding out the goods don't work the day before the wedding but you're in the Vera Wang and that dude from Twin Peaks is in a kilt and there's no way you're going to stop it, you'll just have to paste your face over all his porno and make out with the hot gardener for kicks. And what if I can't have kids like the subsequent Charlotte-Harry storyline? Do I have to get a Cavalier King Charles spaniel and name it Elizabeth Taylor while my husband surfs Chinese adoption agencies? But then what if he does get it up and we do have kids and things are "normal" but then I get punished with cancer for having a perfectly normal life and die? Who's going to feed Elizabeth Taylor and how am I going to finish that video to my kids on how to bake a lasagna and put on makeup? Where's the Martha Stewart book on that? I mean who the hell really does that? I can't get it together to organize my photos when I'm healthy let alone create some self-absorbed time capsule out of hand made paper and creepy from the grave mother guilt while going through chemo. Why does Hollywood have to make me feel bad even in my final days because I didn't finish my death lasagna video?"

So the whatever is a survival mechanism. Without it, your mind explodes or you become terribly depressed or you pull an embarassing "This world is bullshit" Fiona Apple moment.

I'm moving to Denver and it will be OK. AAAGH! whatever.


Other than being felt up by a flower-wielding Filipino, Paris was great

It was Saturday and I was in Paris. You'd think that would be special enough, but no, without knowing it I had picked the coolest Saturday possible to be in Paris. First reason: twice a year, and only twice a year, every fashion shop in Paris slashes prices to clear out inventory for the new season, and this was the first weekend of Les Soldes. Second reason: as if in direct reaction to the fashion steals, that Saturday was also the day of the Pride parade. Purely coincidential, I'm sure, but half off LaCroix certainly makes me want to dance in the street.

I found out about Les Soldes and Les Gays from a CL poster who was an American looking for someone to attend Pride with her. It being the only sane post, I took a chance and emailed her. It turned out to be a great connection and we became instant friends. She was relieved to have an English-speaking pal to walk with her since her gf was out of town, and I was pleased to have someone show me around some of the less touristy parts of Paris. We poked in and out of the shops in the Marais, went to a cafe, and then caught up with the parade, which, apparently, was a lot mellower than the year before but still a blast. Every kind of person was out in the street, marching or watching; this was not a gay parade so much as it was a parade celebrating choice. Every kind of Parisian was there: gay couples, straight couples, children, eldery. I was impressed with the complete diversity of the population that came out that day, whether to march or watch, it was an amazingly inclusive and positive experience.

And what a party! Each float had a DJ and everyone danced alongside, and when the DJ built up the music and finally dropped the beat, the entire parade stopped and exploded in dance before moving on. The parade finished in the gigantic roundabout at the Bastille and the monument was covered in people as well as every other available inch of the square. The local gay radio station hosted more prominent DJs that played into the night.

So the day was a success. I had made a new friend, found a gorgeous bag at half off, got some great photos of the quirky French, and tromped down Saint Germain with ten thousand Parisians dancing and celebrating life.

Then on my way back to my hotel, a Filipino flower seller felt me up. I never thought I'd have to kick the ass of a drunk man smaller than myself but it almost came to that. He got an elbow and me shouting in two languages and I got groped. Paris is a relatively safe city, but it is a big city with plenty of crazies. And while some stodgy people might think the pervs were at the Bastille waving rainbow flags and dancing to the mixes of Boy George, I can affirm that, actually, the pervs were on the other side of the Seine posing as meager flower sellers.


Deal Breakers and Warning Signs

Everyone has their list of deal breakers and warning signs when it comes to dating. For some it's the CD collection. A sense of humor. Proper table manners. There's the ongoing one about a single woman with a cat. That's so worn out, it should be followed with a cymbal shot and a take my wife, please chaser.

Well, I have my version of the cat lady, and that is guy with fishtank. There's something about a person trolling P.J.'s Pets on a Saturday afternoon to fill his 150 gallon fishtank with a bunch of cool as shit tetra fish that just puts me off. I question the psychological makeup of that person. Maybe this goes along with my earlier blog on how certain people build their lives around all things "badass". Giant fishtanks fall into the badass realm, I think. Regardless, they scare the shit out of me.

Maybe it's a matter of taste, or more likely, of smell. I think they fall in the same category as dusty dreamcatchers and molester vans. Like, if you see one of these babies sitting on a dresser or a TV console, there will definitely be collectible plates of American Indians and "them babies with the big eyes" on the other wall.

Sometimes they fall into another category containing guys who walk down the beach with their pet snake wrapped around their neck, and people who buy license plate holders that mimic chain link.

However you classify it, giant fish tank guy is someone to avoid. Don't say nobody every told you.