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Saturday, December 7, 2002

these are just too cute. found them in a store a few weeks ago, and now i'm seeing them everywhere.


Christmas ornaments made of S'mores™! they ski, they snowboard, they toast things at campfires! and they are just way too cute. i may have to get one.


:: scribbled at 9:11 PM ... ... o





too funny.


while checking out dave's tale of an evening out, i had to follow the link to see how the babysitting adventures went. i'd suggest you do so, as well. ;)


:: scribbled at 8:46 PM ... ... o





i feel like i'm in a Beckett play.


'do i go to the mall? do i not go to the mall?'
'i don't want to go to the mall.'
'do i go to the mall? do i not go to the mall?'
*sigh*
'i'll go to the mall.'


:: scribbled at 4:20 PM ... ... o





i love good stories. and fred often has 'em.


the latest is Like a Dog. :) (on an unrelated note, glad everyone is home safe and warm, fred. hope you have a lovely quiet few days.)


:: scribbled at 2:29 PM ... ... o



Friday, December 6, 2002

these will become fully fledged journal entries at some point, but right now? i need to get this shit out of my head.


one: i had a dream about stanzi last night. i'm waiting to get her ashes back. and i worry about the process. how do i know that they're her ashes? in my dream, it all made sense. and i felt better about the whole cremation process.

two: i fucking hate pedestrians. i also hate people who don't know how to drive. sadly, i met both on the way home tonight. they all jumped when i dropped Penny into neutral and revved the engine.

three: *sigh* i know that relationships are hard. we're all human, which means we're less than perfect. and i've become more accepting of that, with myself and others, as i age. but. there are days (like today, surprisingly) when i wish it were all easier.

four: i made the mistake of reading the local paper tonight. and i was not even blown away, but completely destroyed by the latest stories on the 'revelations' from the Catholic church. to wit: a local priest fathered two children with a woman who had had a lobotomy (this was in the 60s, and this was how they dealt with some mental patients). and then? let her die of a drug overdose in his house without calling anyone. then *pleaded his case* with the Church, and said that the 'scandal' wouldn't come to light, so he should still be allowed to serve. and. he. was. allowed.

...the hell?

and i'm listening to GBH. the cut on now? 'bad love is killing me.' how appropriate.

five: i love my friends. Chica - thank you so much for listening to me rant, when i know you had stories of your own to tell. i know i heard some of them today. and the next time we get together? it's all about you. :) because i want to hear how you're doing, and how plans are going with the house, and how the dog is doing... and all of that.


:: scribbled at 10:56 PM ... ... o





heeeee! oh.... *giggle* *snort*


*deep breath* *giggle* okay, you really should try this out. it's a Dear Santa letter generator... the grown up version. the one it wrote for me was very amusing (for about three people in my life, including me). think of it as a seasonal Mad Lib for adults. ;)


:: scribbled at 5:21 PM ... ... o





Charlie's friend had called and told him, "Look out the window and say good-bye. It's a good day for sailing."


i went back to reread the stories at day without {fray}. the variety of experiences, and the stories that people choose to share, continues to blow me away. it's humbling.


:: scribbled at 5:06 PM ... ... o





i've seen the name DiIulio pop up a bit recently, but didn't really know why.


and frankly, if he'd had a less interesting name, i might not have looked any further. but the name kept appearing, and i got curious.

i'm still digesting the letter DiIulio wrote to Esquire correspondent Ron Suskind, so i don't have much in the way of comment, except to say that it's apparently a bit of a political hot potato these days, and worth reading for one person's educated take on Karl Rove and the current administration.


:: scribbled at 4:27 PM ... ... o





right.


(funnier, i suppose, if you have a passing familiarity with those involved. which i do. does that mean i'm a geek?)


:: scribbled at 12:34 PM ... ... o





need some geeky, immature humor to lighten your day?


well, if so, you can thank mike. i was browsing thru his newly reconfig'd archives for the Dashboard Samurai, and found QDB. there's some funny stuff in there.


:: scribbled at 11:54 AM ... ... o





my bro pointed this one out to me when we were on the phone this morning.


seems a local tech company has been raided as part of a terrorist investigation. the story goes on to point out that noone was answering the phone at the office. gee, i wonder why.

and if you follow the link on one version of the AP story (not the one i linked... grumble mutter fucking frames grumble) to the company's web site, you're greeted with their slogan. 'Strategic planning means NOTHING if you can't execute.' means one thing to a software geek, whole 'nother thing when you've been raided by Customs agents.


:: scribbled at 10:31 AM ... ... o



Thursday, December 5, 2002

Chica and i have decided that we need to do crazy things, things like this once in a while.


things like going to the World Bar in NYC and order an obscenely expensive drink.

With grand flourishes, one waiter introduces himself and proceeds to hold up each bottle and announce its contents before pouring tiny amounts into the silver cocktail shaker.

hell, it'd be worth it just for the performance, not to mention the chance to drink liquid gold. how many times do you get a chance to do that?

there are too few truly crazygood moments in this life. she and i have decided to create more. :)


:: scribbled at 5:08 PM ... ... o





in case you've already started worrying about New Year's, here's a little help.


Rosencrans has put together the uber-helpful guide, 26 Days to a Better New Year.

By now you should be able to drink two bottles of champagne without burping, annihilate black beans, and smoke a pack of cigarettes in less than an hour with the concave abs to prove it.


:: scribbled at 4:31 PM ... ... o





courtesy of donna, this article, with some lovely ideas that i think i'll be using:

40 Ways to Put the Giving Back Into the Holiday Season.


:: scribbled at 11:03 AM ... ... o





more apropos for the season than the last quiz:


O Come All Ye Faithful
What Christmas Carol are you?
brought to you by Quizilla



:: scribbled at 10:56 AM ... ... o





haven't checked in on some of my regular (semi-regular?) reads in a while, so i'm treating myself today.


and it's always a treat, because i find things like drinks after class over at jen's.

The whole class is here in this bar, and we love each other, and we love each other as writers. We are writers, in a bar, drinking. We are all of us Hemingway.

or, digging back thru sachertorte's entries, and rereading her thoughts just before her daughter's birth:

Years from now, when you read all of this - and I hope you will, because it is for you and those who will come after you that I write - you may wonder why, if I was so caught up in the possible loss of my own identity, in the possible changes in my relationship with your father, I was so eager to bring you into my life in the first place. Remember, though, that I'm thinking over all these things before I've touched your hand or seen your face or dried your tears or heard your laugh or made you a place at the very center of my heart.

and the ever lovely fred, writing about one of his first Southern snow experiences:

But something was wrong as my first Frosty took shape. As the big lumpy snowman parts rolled over and over and began to gain the proper mass, the snow also picked up grass, leaves and twigs, even acorns. I was appalled. I had never seen such skin flaws in any of the pictures of a snowman.



:: scribbled at 10:24 AM ... ... o



Wednesday, December 4, 2002

oh, it's been a while. how about a random quiz?


horse
What is Your Native American Totem?

brought to you by Quizilla


:: scribbled at 9:10 PM ... ... o





courtesy of bigpinkcookie, by way of Name That Blog:


leslie has a lovely online advent calendar, filled with lovely stories, treats and links. i'll be bookmarking this one and checking back each day for Christmas goodness. thanks, leslie!


:: scribbled at 5:27 PM ... ... o





okay, okay. how about a little pure silliness to lighten the afternoon?


this site, LEGODEATH: A Museum of Horrors, is a hoot. the occupational hazards section is particularly amusing. :)


:: scribbled at 4:21 PM ... ... o





i don't even know what to say about this.


an article in today's Boston Globe details more clergy abuse and the shroud of secrecy around those cases. and just when we thought (hoped, prayed) we'd heard the worst comes this.

The priest encouraged them to be ''brides of Christ'' and described himself as ''the second coming of Christ,'' according to the files. The women said that Meffan, now retired, regularly invited them to his bedroom where he encouraged them to ''link spiritual stages with sexual acts,'' including the fondling and kissing of genitals.

that just blows my mind. he initiated sexual acts with teenagers preparing to become nuns by encouraging them to believe they were making love to Jesus Christ himself. **blink** **blink** what the fuck? (and if you can hear that last comment in a Lewis Black sort of rant, you'll get the gist of my fury and horror.)

there are not words large enough to encompass my anger. and i cannot even begin to imagine the pain of those directly involved. my heart hurts for them.

[note: should you want to read further, the Globe has a good archive of the whole sorry saga.]


:: scribbled at 2:47 PM ... ... o





everyone's sense of humor is different.


but brian and i share a very twisted sense of humor, as apparently does someone over at The Onion. U.S. Deploys Very Special Forces To Iraq - complete with very special plane.


:: scribbled at 2:11 PM ... ... o





i just got the latest newsletter from Powell's Books.

the intro had me giggling.

This special introduction to today's newsletter broadcast represents traffic, parking hassles, shoes accidentally drenched in puddles, crowds, well-meaning but overburdened seasonal help, checkout lines, cold winds, and more traffic. Help yourself to as much virtual aggravation and fatigue as you like before continuing.

ah, yes. the joys (and i use the term loosely) of holiday shopping. how thoughtful of them to provide a little ambience for the virtual version. ;)


:: scribbled at 10:13 AM ... ... o



Monday, December 2, 2002

okay. kinda sorta wanted to know, but not this much.

i had the Best Turkey Ever this Thankgiving Day. and Chef made the single best turkey i've ever had. maple hickory smoked turkey, melt in your mouth goodness. every bite i took? sang the the Happy Food Song. and she used Liquid Smoke.

really? didn't want to know that much about the Liquid Smoke. i was just happy to have turkey that good. :)


:: scribbled at 10:46 PM ... ... o





i complain about a lot of things. but these days, i feel blessed.


*shakes head* i'm not really sure how all this happened. and i don't want to question it, because the gifts i've been given are great.

how is it that i've found someone who not only gets me, but cares about me? The Dane is my kind of person. and i'd be happy to be friends with him. but somehow, he and i click. i mean, really click. and that is one of the greatest gifts of all.

the best thing is that even since we've started seeing each other (what a dated phrase), we're still friends.

i think, as we all get older (mind you, i'm 35. old is relative. and i feel OLD these days.), we appreciate our friends more. it's a rare thing to find someone whom you can talk with, or to. and if they're willing to listen to your life? oh. mi. goddess. rare find.

yeah. :) so. i'm stupidly happy these days. and i'm also very grateful for that, on many levels.


:: scribbled at 10:30 PM ... ... o





oh, see, this is what i needed to read. makes me feel better about the backlog. ;)


NotWriting.com: Stuff one writer does when he should be writing. his mission statement?

NotWriting.com is all about making lazy-ass writers feel better about procrastinating. Let's face it, writing is hard work and it isn't any easier when we're made to feel guilty about not doing it.

Here at NotWriting.com you'll read daily or weekly commentary (really whenever the author feels like it) on one writer's plight with not writing. Through this series, you'll gain tremendous insight into the things writers do when they really should be writing like watching traffic stops out the window, making ice cubes, and sorting paper clips. Welcome.


:: scribbled at 4:41 PM ... ... o





i signed up to be part of Link and Think to help highlight World AIDS Day.


and i'm glad i did. the collective impact of so many people going 'look. here. pay attention.' is pretty impressive.

but as another journaller pointed out, this is the sort of thing that should get a lot more discussion, and not just on that one day. true. so rather than cram all the other links in today, i think i'll just scatter them in here and there. it's something i need to educate myself about, and be more involved, so it's a good thing all around to keep following this thread, i think.

in that vein, a few more resources.

AVERT is a UK based international HIV and AIDS charity. there's a ton of information here, and the site is very easy to navigate. i like the sections specifically for younger people; the quiz is also educational. perhaps the best section (of the ones i read) is the one on how to use condoms. it's very commonsense, answers a number of basic questions on different types, pros and cons, etc., and at the end, gives a number of suggestions on how to talk to a partner who may be reluctant to 'ruin the moment' by using a condom.

for those of you in the Boston area, The Boston Living Center looks to be a good local resource. i'm not personally familiar with them, but the types of programs they offer are quite diverse. they have a meals program, an umbrella program called My Friend David's House offering a variety of services for parents and children coping with HIV and AIDS, and information on holistic therapies, something i strongly advocate for everyone.


:: scribbled at 4:03 PM ... ... o





*giggle*


now i can dress him up any way i want. or not. *eg*

Jon Stewart Virtual Paper Doll


:: scribbled at 3:42 PM ... ... o





volunteering for Community Servings recently got me to thinking about nutrition and HIV/AIDS.


while i hadn't put two and two together, it's pretty common sense. the body needs good, clean fuel, particularly when you're sick. and if you're battling something that compromises your immune system and/or makes it harder for you to eat or want to eat, every bite becomes that much more important.

AIDS Nutrition Services Alliance provides a nice capsule of nutrition-related events, findings, and how communities have responded, starting back in 1981.

the title on that particular page, 'Entering the Third Decade of AIDS', made me stop and think. i can remember Life Before AIDS, altho i certainly wasn't old enough to be worried at that point. but there are people who have grown up with this as part of their landscape. they've never known any other kind of world. and i wonder how they see the virus. it scares the shit out of me, because things seemed relatively innocent before that. everything we knew about was more or less treatable. this? did anyone ever tell you 'stop doing that or you'll go blind?' kind of takes on new meaning.

but if it's always been there, if it's always been a part of the landscape, is it less threatening? is it just another thing on the checklist? are kids (yes, i can call them kids) more careful because of it? or does the euphoria of immortality that we all seem to feel at that age make them feel like they can handle that, too?

kind of a big segue. what i really wanted to say was that i had never really thought about the importance of a good meal to someone with HIV/AIDS.


:: scribbled at 3:28 PM ... ... o



Sunday, December 1, 2002

i do have a lot more for World AIDS Day - local resources, ways to help over the 'net - and i think i'll share them tomorrow.


in typical fashion, i only did half the research before the project was due. :) collected all the links, had an idea of the flow, and then promptly forgot to take notes. rather than rush it, i think i'll put them together properly and post the next batch in the morning.

the fact that it's late, i'm still kinda sick, the house is warm, i have a pretty Christmas tree (and froze my ass off getting it), and the flannel sheets are beckoning have nothing to do with it. nope. not a thing at all. ;)


:: scribbled at 11:03 PM ... ... o





i had to wangle this one out of Reuters, as AP wasn't cooperating.

according to the World Bank, Russia may face huge bill to treat AIDS in the near future. i find it hard to believe that only 800 people, in a nation the size of Russia, have been diagnosed with AIDS. but that is apparently about to change, and rapidly, as many more are infected with HIV. intravenous drug use is the most likely culprit for the rapid spread.

depending on the cost per person per month, the projected cost of health care in the next ten years could eat up more than 80 percent of Russia's current annual federal budget. of course, if you go with the more conservative numbers, it may only cost 3 percent of the budget. but i don't think $30 per person per month is realistic. not unless the drug companies make some breakthroughs, and change their mode of business, and real soon.


:: scribbled at 5:25 PM ... ... o





i've been exploring the AIDS Quilt Project over the past week.


there are two stories in particular that stuck with me: Jimmy Brumbaugh and Joseph G. Del Ponte. i'm not sure why these two, of all the stories, other than the clear love in the stories told about them by others.


:: scribbled at 5:08 PM ... ... o





courtesy of ::: wood s lot ::: -

an article from openDemocracy that offers some sobering facts and a glimmer of hope.

How a once-progressing, yet small economy meets the spiralling demands of a nationwide, long-term health epidemic may offer lessons for many other AIDS-affected societies.


:: scribbled at 4:59 PM ... ... o





many of the blogs i read are participating in Link and Think.


jennifer is among them, and she has some good and thoughtful things to say about living, specifically living in a conscious way.


:: scribbled at 4:25 PM ... ... o





of course, the stigma and persecution aren't new ideas.


the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum has a good online version of their exhibit on Nazi Persecution of Homosexuals 1933-1945.

In the racist practice of Nazi eugenics, women were valued primarily for their ability to bear children. The state presumed that women homosexuals were still capable of reproducing. Lesbians were not systematically persecuted under Nazi rule, but they nonetheless did suffer the loss of their own gathering places and associations.

Nazi Germany did not seek to kill all homosexuals. Nevertheless, the Nazi state, through active persecution, attempted to terrorize German homosexuals into sexual and social conformity, leaving thousands dead and shattering the lives of many more.


the 'active persecution' included sending some to camps, others to mental institutions and prisons, and castrating others. in re-reading coverage of the early years of AIDS, it seems that we didn't behave any better. stigmatized in the media as plague carriers, villified for being themselves (and i defy you to tell me that sexual persuasion is a choice), and in many cases denied health care... were we any different? are we now? dear goddess, i hope so.


:: scribbled at 12:25 PM ... ... o





i suppose i really should have posted this a bit earlier... ;)


but if you're in Boston, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health is sponsoring a World AIDS Day event - A Public Dialogue On Stigma and HIV/AIDS.

their site also has links to a number of good local resources; some of them really click for me (no pun intended), and i'll be highlighting them later.


:: scribbled at 12:02 PM ... ... o





the web community is an interesting thing. we're all more connected than we think.


to wit: day without {fray}, a site that's a regular read for me, and to which several people i also read contribute.

please stop by there, read their stories, and share yours if you choose.


:: scribbled at 10:59 AM ... ... o





when i started poking around to do research, this site stopped me in my tracks.

<< p w a >> is a British site that started with Oscar Moore's columns and has become a multilayered resource for those who want to learn, or for those living with HIV and AIDS.

given the frame setup, i can't point you at particular pages. here's what i'd suggest: click thru, where it says 'click here to continue'. on the next page, take a minute to roll your mouse over the map. (you'll need Shockwave installed for this one.) for each area you highlight (no need to click), the rollover text will give you statistics for that part of the world.

the statistics are horrifying. there's a lot of talk in Western press about how serious things are, blah blah blah, and how Africa is being hit even harder. but when's the last time you saw numbers associated with that statement?

look at the stats for southern Africa. 24.5 million people are infected. 1 million of them are children. 1 million. and the children who aren't infected are losing parents, siblings, teachers, doctors, farmers, bus drivers, and friends every day.

i'd also strongly recommend clicking thru the link 'oscar moore' and reading his final Guardian column. it is intensely personal. it is also a very thoughtful look at the hows and whys. i'm blown away that this was his final gift as he was dying. here are some of his observations on the hows, using Gaetan Dugas, the nominal Patient Zero, as the leaping off point. note: this quote, and the article itself, contain sexual material.

The role of Skytrain in the spread of Aids is a socio-economic document yet to be written, but for 20-year-old students like myself, looking at low-budget options for a long vacation, the downward plunge in transatlantic fares triggered by Freddie Laker was the mechanical catalyst required to take me from London to New York for my date with the bug.

But whatever mode of transport it chose for that first transatlantic crossing, the history of a virus, which had lain dormant in its host species in central Africa for possible millennia, is intimately involved with the changes in human movement. While the occasional missionary, doctor and aid worker went down in an isolated and still mysterious case, often returning to home and baffled hospital staff to die, and while one of the first supposed cases was reported (although at that stage neither named nor understood) in a merchant seaman who died in Manchester in 1959, the virus at that stage was still travelling by slow boat and landing on stony ground.

What it needed was jet travel and a hot tub at the other end, although the spread of the disease in central Africa and now in Brazil has depended on another transport conduit: the highways used by truckers and the prostitutes who service them. What it also needed was gay men who said fuck fate, let's fuck. And we did.



:: scribbled at 10:52 AM ... ... o





today is World AIDS Day.


as my way of observing, i've chosen to be involved in the Link and Think project, as have hundreds of other bloggers/journallers.

while i don't have any direct personal experience with HIV/AIDS, millions of people around the world do. and today is a good day to educate myself. when something doesn't touch you directly, it's easy to become passive.

HIV/AIDS doesn't allow us to be passive. the impact of this disease is staggering.

so. i've done a little research, found some statistics, some stories and some resources. i'm hoping that you'll pull up a chair, settle back with a mug of tea, and explore with me, or with some of the other participants. and thanks.


:: scribbled at 10:19 AM ... ... o



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