TEN

singles

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image credit.. ddmag.. tumblr

In music, a single or record single is a type of release, typically a recording of fewer tracks than an LP record or an album. This can be released for sale to the public in a variety of different formats. In most cases, the single is a song that is released separately from an album, but it usually appears on an album. Often, these are the most popular songs from albums that are released separately for promotional uses such as commercial radio airplay, and in other cases a recording released as a single does not appear on an album….wikipedia

i injured my knee at cardio class about a month ago. i had been working out regularly until that point. i had begun to drop some inches and my clothes had been fitting better. the weight has been coming back on and i find myself eating emotionally. it annoys me, but there it is. i have been immersing myself in the new position at my workplace and have met about 45 new patients this month. i will be working with them fairly regularly and it has been a challenge to try to absorb personal information about them.

the changes continue to manifest themselves in me and around me. i have scheduled myself tightly over the next month. i am working 40 hours at one job, 2 evenings at another job, and then i have 10 parties on the books in december as well. i borrowed some cash to bring “the anonymous people” to denver and i want to get most of that paid back. sadly, i have distanced myself from the organization that i was working with at the time, but the debt is mine.

i am working on re-imaging a support group i facilitate. i haven’t made all the final decisions yet, just mulling them over. i am posting the ideas here- but i have added one more – we’ll see how it goes. i moved the times on the group from late afternoon on friday to a lunchtime thing. i got the idea from a 1990’s chicago magazine by the name of “gab” which i always found entertaining. i did contact malone sizelove (founder of gab) to ask permission to use the name. these are meant to be 4″x4″ cards printed both sides- the 1st image will be on every card and then i am trying to ascertain what to place on the back. i have asked jenna (rocket house design) to try an old cover from “confidential magazine” as well. i would love to know what you think.

RR Gab Card Looks

i have encounter a german man on youtube and found his taste in music to be remarkable. he could easily have classic german minimalist taste, but i have become a huge fan and an idea-snatcher. somehow i stumbled upon his posts and discovered nicolas jaar and clown and sunset, which has honestly revolutionized my concept of music in 2012.

seasons of love – and fear and rage- and change

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vito russo at an actup demonstration

i am starting this post the morning after i saw the film “how to survive a plague”.  it brought back so many remembrances of just how terrifying the 80’s became for us. the uncertainty was palpable and in larger cities the anger was like a cloak that kept the gay community warm.  i am humbly amazed at how synchronicity encircles my life.

i called a friend from sin(strength in numbers) and asked him to go with me. we ended up with 10 people going to see it- many of whom i hadn’t seen really for a year or more.there is a scene in the film where mark carrington on doing a film diary and is making a big deal about lighting a cigarette and looking cool. the filmmaker at the time tells him to forget the cigarette after he blows his line and he seems non-plussed because his cool stogie lighting bit won’t be included. the guys i was with laughed out loud in unison at the vanity of it all. it was even funnier because we all laughed and no one else in the theater did- actually we laughed at several bits in the film without accompaniment.

the shots of aids patients of that time are still haunting and rang in that personal nightmare without fanfare or fuss. actually i found the documentary experience utilitarian and cathartic. it gave me the opportunity to reframe some of my terror and uncertainty into something less fearful and maybe even hopeful. to really experience the effects of high-pitched  fear and anger that were focused and targeted changed my landscape. it is sad that it took 20 years for me to catch up with peter staley, larry kramer, mark carrington, and the rest of the bunch. but i am very grateful i have had the opportunity to understand.

before this, i knew well that the actions of actup coalesced in a change of the systems we live with. the medical system, the research protocol, and the fda approval process. what i didn’t know what how well planned and well executed the strategies for change were by this rogue band of frightened and angry men and women.

and just like these lgbt heroes from the film. maybe the change can be for the good. all our lives have been touched and tweaked by the demands of those brave and angry individuals. patient-centered care, fast tracked new drugs, open nih board meetings, peer representatives are just a few of the improvements we’ve seen in our healthcare world. absolutely nowhere in my mind is there doubt that the actions taken haven’t saved lives. i know they saved mine. just how many they have touched may never really be known.

 i continue to be completely mad for peter staley. it is an unrequited crush that i will carry to my end of days. he did all that was documented in this film, plus he shape shifted the consciousness of nyc gay culture around crystal meth in the early 21 century. he grappled with the drug himself, which was no doubt a side effect of living with the terror of looming death for so long. it was mentioned that there were/are issues for many of the long-term survivors. this is part of my experience, too, and is a blessing (albeit very mixed). to survive is a gift even if it has a costly price tag.

currently i have found myself very angry in my life. my sponsor/friend has passed and  i spent many hours volunteering for a friends organization and have walked away feeling empty and burnt. i have removed myself from the fray which has turned down the heat abundantly, but i still have work to do in this arena. this film has lovingly reminded me that my anger can be of good use to me if i allow it to do so. i share in a meeting today that anger is really a signal that something needs work and i might look at anger as an opportunity to change. change takes time and almost everything changes with time. or so i pray.

on the ten- winter 2011

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wow…
publishing this issue really has me thinking..
we are winding up our 4th year of putting this little periodical together. i remember when i started it..
i was just taking on the facilitator role for a social networking organization in denver. i had come to realize that living in colorado meant living alongside hiv stigma. it was very real and often painful for many of my neighbors. i wanted to visibly assure others that indeed there were hiv positive individuals, living in colorado, who were doing well, were not ashamed, and were finding success and happiness.
and here is the current incarnation- colorful and hiv very much in your face…

peace and happy new year.

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we owe this to ourselves

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the following is the article for the winter newsletter. this completes our 3rd year. it’s definitely had its challenges. mostly my stamina. but i have heard from one or two unexpected people that they have found strength in the pages we produce. i honestly never expected that.

As the 1st decade of the 21st century recedes into the background, I am humbled by the myriad of events that have transpired. The toppling of the twin towers. Americans elected an African American president. A national discussion on gay marriage as well as a thoughtful and long-overdue mentoring campaign for struggling lgbt youth was started by Dan Savage. Sobriety and recovery entered my life after it had become a grassroots national movement. And the conversation around HIV shifted from what’s not working to what does work including the challenges of aging with the virus.

Hopefully, this issue will illustrate several local examples of these home- grown best- case scenarios (out of the thousands here in Colorado). Pozlings who were, once newly-diagnosed and devastated souls have confronted their fears, taken some punches, taken their meds, and found a way to let their inner lights shine. This remains the story of the decade in my eyes. There is recovery from alcohol and drugs and then there is this recovery from the depths of diagnosis.

Story after story, issue after issue, TEN highlights local examples of a how-to guide to personal success. If you find yourself reading this, take note- it is completely possible to be healthy, to contribute, to overcome -even to surpass. And it can be done on your own terms.

I dare say (following the lead of sage Pat Gourley) that a cure could readily be in sight this coming decade. Until that time, TEN hopes to continue to bring to light these individual stories of strength and triumph. Courage is rampant among our poz community, but not often recognized. I believe not only that we were once heroes, as Mark S King so lovingly states, but that there are still many, many more heroes among us. Certainly this includes you, doesn’t it?

Since when did bullets stop to sing?
(It didn’t have to end like this
Is this the end of everything?
(It didn’t have to end like this)
I feel, I feel, we can’t stop here,
I feel, I feel, we won’t stop here,
It didn’t have to end like this,
We owe this to ourselves,
We owe this to ourselves,
We can’t just let this go,


Anberlin

notes from the equinox

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Autumnal Equinox Special Nonetheless

The length of day and night may not be equal on the equinox, but that doesn’t make the first day of fall any less special.
(Related blog: “Saturn Equinox Arrives.”)
The spring and autumnal equinoxes, for starters, are the only two times during the year when the sun rises due east and sets due west, according to MacRobert.
The autumnal equinox and vernal—or spring—equinox are also the only days of the year when a person standing on the Equator can see the sun passing directly overhead.
On the Northern Hemisphere’s autumnal equinox day, a person at the North Pole would see the sun skimming across the horizon, signaling the start of six months of darkness.
On the same day, a person at the South Pole would also see the sun skim the horizon, beginning six months of uninterrupted daylight…. from nationalgeographic.com



the thing about autumn in colorado is that it comes a couple of weeks earlier than the rest of the nation. because of the altitude, the aspens are already changing color and will probably be done by the beginning of october. native coloradans always make their fall treks to the hills in september because that’ when nature’s paintbursh is in high tide.
on the drive up highway 40 on thursday evening, i almost cried as the sunset was so amazing as i was about to enter winter park. a distinct yet pale pink orange sky was the backdrop for the gold and rust hues of the aspen leaves that speckled the hills on the westward drive.  as is usually the case, words can’t seem to even echo nature’s wonder.





grand lake is a beautiful setting. we are staying at shadowcliff lodge which overlooks grand lake and and pays homage to shadow mountain. there are 14 of us here this year. i know about half and not quite sure where the other half hail from. i keep forgetting that denver is a larger city than i think it is. not huge, but humbling none-the-less, because i certainly don’t know everyone. i have been taking photos of texture and color this time around. i don’t consider myself a photographer at all, but i want to extend my activities and put more of myself on here. i actually love photography and have been hijacking photos found on gayya kuyusu.  the soul who shephards that blog has an incredible eye and a vast outreach. i am consistently amazed at the images i see.  but mine do not and most likely will not measure up to the offerings there. taking photographs is an art and i am not even in the infancy.

autumn is always a powerful time for my heart. i have come to realize that major changes happen in me at this time of the year. it’s as if some hard shell on my exterior cracks and out from the inside comes the beginning of a stronger creature. i feel as if my heart is opening to a level i have never really known. i am allowing myself to feel anger when i used to deny it. and in this allowing comes a grace i never knew existed. because the receding of anger brings with it a calm and a release. something that stifling that feeling never revealed. and just as the tide uncovers new patterns and artifacts left on the sand as it rolls back to its ocean home, so does the absence of anger reveal so much in its wake. this is a true gift for me this september.

i don’t remember if i mentioned watching irina bettencourt on oprah this week. she had been held captive in the mountains of ecuador for 6 1/2 years, but managed to stay alive. the interview was compelling to me as she didn’t come across angry or bitter, even after all her trials and tribulations. she somehow had gotten to a place of acceptance and forgiveness. some of her fellow captives had even done interviews vehemently claiming that she was the worst person on the earth and yet she was blanketed in kindness and warmth. for me, it was remarkable and inspirational. i believe that i want to live in this light. many miles left to travel, but i know there is a direction in which to go. gratitude, peace, love, and light.

i have finished the autumn issue of the TEN newsletter. You can read it on the “On The Ten” blog. Each edition seems to evolve and even get perhaps more grown up- definitely  more inclusive. i do find myself feeling pride with regard to how far it has come in the last 3 years. if you are interested, you can see the history of the issues at OnTheTen 

a friend from work burned a copy of the new santana cd “guitar heaven” for me. i love, love, love it.. this is definitely one of the standouts for me…. high school, led zeppelin, and head banging… baby…



pinch me

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the most amazing thing happened to me earlier in august. i was at a gathering and i was introduced to this woman who had just had some recent notoriety with an article about her in our local paper. she had been the subject of a story of a woman with HIV and how she is dealing with it. I could really relate as I had a similar experience with a different paper and it really started me down a whole new path.

anyway, as she and i talked a bit , it became apparent that she was becoming a bit of an advocate and was interested in pursuing this path a bit more. i then asked her if she was interested in contributing to the newsletter I publish. She indicated she might be interested and we should exchange information before we left. as she was going, she did seek me out. I gave her the latest copy of the publication and she shrieked- yes shrieked- and said “I love this”. It has been my bible since I got my diagnosis. I have 3 or 4 issues with items circled and things I still plan to check out.

i was quietly gobsmacked. frankly, this doesn’t happen to me often. i don’t even know if it ever has. but i know that when it did happen, i felt a shift in my world. i could instantly sense that i really wasn’t doing this for myself. i couldn’t have hoped for anything more.

and still don’t.