Archive for Health and Fitness

Productive Day

// May 31st, 2011 // No Comments » // Animals, beach, Canon, Exercise, health, Health and Fitness, HIV and AIDS

Malibu Logoon State Beach 059Today was the first day that I put myself to the test of being certain to stay focused, stick to my schedule and get things completed and I did awesome. The only area where I slacked was getting up to get things moving along. I missed that window by almost three hours…..I’ll do better tomorrow. Even with missing the window by almost three hours I still got lots done for my organization and even got my exercise time in as well.

I was able to schedule a Dr. for my Unplugging HIV outreach on Skid Row next week, designed a flier and sent out three emails seeking support, advice and guidance from some people who have been in the field of HIV a long time and have told me on many occasions to “reach out” if I ever have questions or need some support with my work. Only time will tell if this was sincere or just more people talking.

I took a look at a website someone suggested to me about this idea I have and I spent some time uploading photos from the weekend. WOW, over 300 photos.  Thank God for the people at Flickr, because there would be no way for me to store over 30,000 pictures on my laptop. Thanks again to my good friend Eric for the Seagate Free Agent external drive. That too is such a huge help.

I had a case management appointment today to turn in my service logs to show where I have gone to the Dr. and doneMalibu Logoon State Beach 150 other things like my community work and other things I do to help me deal with being HIV positive. This meeting is always a breeze and never takes more then 10 minutes because she knows what she is doing and does not want to take up too much of our time. She really gets that she is there to support us, not police or make us. Something that is greatly lacking from other organizations who claim to be doing the same work she does.

Dodger and I went on three walks today which allowed me to get some much needed exercise and even clear my space so I could come back and finish the job at hand. The breaks during the day seem to give me the energy to get back and get things completed. My mind is sharp and my energy level was even all day long.

The big score for me today was getting a Dr. to speak at the very last minute to my Unplugging HIV outreach down on Skid Row. I called her to talk about dates for a workshop in July and as we spoke she offered to come speak next week and even provide the meal for the group.  AWESOME!!!!!

I’ve seen her present before and each time I am so blown away by how she is able to make things basic and clear. She also takes her time, being very careful not to leave anyone behind. She is also someone who is very sensitive to the needs of the people she presents information to. This is key for my outreach on Skid Row. My outreach is mainly minorities which are populations greatly affected by HIV and AIDS, so it if very important to have someone who can present information in a manner that is not judgmental or condescending. They have to feel like they can trust what the presenter is telling them and have been known to test each presenter just to make sure they know what they are talking about.

Malibu Logoon State Beach 160It is going to be such a huge blessing for me to have her present to my residents  through my Unplugging HIV outreach on Skid Row and I am very certain that they will be thankful and appreciative of her effort to supply them with the tools to live a long happy life.

So it’s now 8:59 in 51 seconds on Tuesday night. The goal is to be in bed by 9:30 no later then 10:00 and up at 6:00am for my bike ride and morning news, walk with Dodger, morning calls and then back to the grind to move my organization forward.

The pictures with this blog are from the photos I took on Monday (Memorial Day) You can view them all by clicking on myphotos to the right of this blog entry.

I hope you’ve had a great day

Growth and Change

// May 30th, 2011 // No Comments » // Animals, beach, Canon, diet, Exercise, friends, health, Health and Fitness, HIV and AIDS, Homeless Outreach, Me Time, Pictures

JAZZ & ART @LACMA 046This long holiday weekend  has been awesome. It started with jazz at LACMA and today it ended with an awesome day of picture taking with my friend Franklin, who was just one of my friends who helped me kick my weekend off. All I can say is that I’ve had an amazing, fun filled weekend.

Franklin and I have been spending lots of time together and I must say that it has been simply awesome getting to know him better and spend so time with him. I already blogged about how I met Franklin and already talked about some of the things he deals with in his daily life. It has been so cool to watch him open up and grow, so cool to watch him move from someone who barley spoke a word to someone who talks and smiles, so cool to watch him go from someone who stayed in his dark apartment, to someone who now calls me about going on picture safaris.

It is simply so amazing to watch how the gift of friendship can help to change things for someone. How simply showing up and refusing to allow someone to waste away can mean the world to the life path that someone is on. This is why the word “friendship” means so much to me and why I never just throw the word “friend’ around.

My friends are all straight and all couples,  newly weds with a baby, while another has been married a few years with aJAZZ & ART @LACMA 089baby on the way, another couple planning a wedding and the last couple has been together for a very long time. They are all great people and to be very honest they are great friends, not just supportive of me, but of my community work as well.  At times I feel like a third wheel, even though I know when they ask to hang out they truly want to see me and have some hang time with me.

Until Franklin I had no single friend and with him I get a friend who is not only single, but we also share the common interest of photography, jazz, classical music and so much more. Like me, Franklin is HIV positive, so there is just one more thing we have in common and one more thing we can help to support each other through.

For the past two months, maybe three I’ve been thinking of how I am going to grow and change, not just my organization, but in my personal life too. Just last month I had a great HIV check up and in order for that to continue I need to make certain I am doing everything I can to keep my body healthy and stay off HIV medications.

Purpose 118To address this I have been back on my bike and taking longer walks with Dodger, I am also doing all that I can to address more healthy eating habits, however doing this is a huge challenge on government assistance, but I am doing all that I can. The main thing is that i am making certain in get rest and plenty of exercise.

In addition I am also removing people, places and things from my life that only serve as distractions and yes, even problems or drama. This is going to be key in my overall health and well being. It’s funny to me how once you make your mind to be a better person all the way around, people, places and things start to work against you. All of the sudden people you never hear from are now calling, people, places and things start to do more to show up and be distractions and this is where I need to make certain I am clear in where I am going and what I want to accomplish.

The cool thing is this, with getting rest and more exercise I have seen major changes in my mood, my energy and my Sickle Cell is not given me that much of a problem. My days seem to be more full of energy and my stress level is very low. I seem to be smiling more, if that is possible for someone who smiles all the time.

Now let’s talk about my outreaches because they too are changing and I am adding an addition to my HIV outreach.

Do Something Saturday~that empowers people

This is my oldest and most visible outreach and for the past four years I have run this outreach out of my own pocket orMalibu Logoon State Beach 122 efforts combined with the backing and support of my friends and supporters. It’s been awesome and the people I have been able to reach has been great, but it is time to step it up and take this outreach to the next level.

I dont mind sharing my ideas or even talking with friends about what I want to do or how I can help them. But I must say that my feeling get hurt when I my ideas at work in organizations that do not even respect people like me. My feelings get hurt when I see people collect awards for an idea that was mine, but simply because they have the backing of some non-profit or people with deep pockets.

These past three months I’ve had to really swallow my pride and set my feelings aside and know that my ideas are at work making things better for people battling HIV and AIDS as well as people who are homeless or transitioning from homelessness into having their own place.

I’ve always said I do not so this for someone to call my name or to get some award, however it does not feel good to see other people take credit for my idea or something I’ve worked damn hard at. I simply does not feel good.

So no more will I allow organizations who wont even allow me to volunteer for them, take my ideas and use them for their good only to line their pockets and flip me or even people like me the middle finger.

I will say this as I have said all along, you cant help people if you do not speak with them and seeing what I have seen and reading what I have read from 4 very different mega funded organizations really makes me angry, but not in a bad way, i that makes sense. It makes me angry enough to do more, push harder and raise my voice that much more, so that people who are seen but not heard have their concerns addressed.

Malibu Logoon State Beach 193I am adding a support group for people battling HIV or AIDS to my Skid Row outreach. I am just so sick and tired and hearing the same old tired line from the “community” and even people at “ASO’s” when it comes to addressing the needs of people who are greatly affected by HIV and AIDS.

No longer will I wait for people to return emails after I’v sent several and even had face to face conversations with such people. I will no longer accept “they are out of my SPA area” I will no longer wait while HIV and AIDS continues the path it has always been on unchanged since the start of the HIV and AIDS pandemic.

After reading this you will understand why I need to remove some people, places and things in my life that only take up space and offer up nothing. I can not allow my health to fail me because I am not doing all I can to remain in good health.

Tomorrow is day 1 in the journey of positive growth and change for both me and my organization.

Today I ended my awesome weekend at Malibu Lagoon State Beach. I am uploading the 344 pictures I took and the video of the day is already live on my youtube channel. I will share the other surprise later this week in either a blog or vlog.

I hope you all have had a great holiday weekend.

Changing

// May 27th, 2011 // No Comments » // Animals, diet, Exercise, friends, health, Health and Fitness, HIV and AIDS, Me Time, photos

Purpose 146There has been so much taking place in my life. Like some of my friends I am experiencing a shift in life which requires me to “be still” It is also requiring that I look at people, places and things in my life that no longer serve a purpose….to be honest some of these things never served a purpose, but I just wanted to hold on to them. That is no longer going to happen.

It’s always so funny to me that right as I am about to experience a breakthrough in my life, people, places and things will come around or reappear in my life to only serve as distractions to take my eyes and attention away from where they should be. Now these people, places and things come in many forms, but none the less they are distractions and I can not allow them to trick me off my center.

One thing I know for sure about God is that he does not need to announce himself to me. He does not need anyone to tell me that he has sent them. You see I am his child and I will know if God has sent something for me. It’s always funny to me how people invoke God into their mess and then act as if you are not supposed to know it.

This week I’ve spent more time being present and listening to things around me. I spent time making sure that where IPurpose 210spend my time and energy is something that is fruitful. There is no point in me toiling in a field that will never bear any good fruit. Now I know this will go far over the heads of many, but for those of you who fully walk in love and light you know full well what I am talking about.

I’ve also been making certain I take more time out for me and not spending my time worrying about things I have no control over. I’ve been making certain that I am getting proper rest, doing my best to eat better and get far my exercise in so that I am able to move forward with the work I am doing.

It has been awesome to simply go to bed and get some rest. I can’t even begin to tell you just how much this has changed my mood, my spirit and this I can carry with me throughout my day. I realize that not everyone is going to understand and even care about what I have to say or what it is I am doing and that is ok. As long as God understands then I have nothing else to concern myself with. See with God I can do all things and with God I am the majority. I do not need to seek any other permissions or ask anyone else but God.

I’ve been enjoying the rich friendships I have in my life, I am taking the time to smile a bit longer, hug a bit stronger and live my life a bit better.

I am making no time for confluma (confusion and drama), I am not entertaining people, places or things that do not set well with my soul and I am not apologizing for it. I am not making time for people, places or things that only seek to distract me and I know what distractions look like, how they sound and yes I even know they will come bearing gifts and even say they are from God.

Purpose 401I am staying on my center and my center is God and I will not be shaken off, rocked off, pushed off, shoved off or tricked off my center.

Each day I pray from a hedge of protection around me and I know that there are people who pray the very same prayer as well. I ask God to bless me when I am in the city and while I am in the field. I ask him to be a fence all around. I ask him to protect me and guide my foot steps.

As I move to embark on my new journey in the outreach work I do for people battling HIV and AIDS, I know I will need to be rested, I know I will need to be on top of my game, but I also know I must ask God to bless the work and me.

If you are watching my Flickr page then you see I am spending more time with my camera in hand. I also working on creating a photography book and hoping to put together a photography show of my work as well.

Blessings

Relaxing

// May 14th, 2011 // No Comments » // Canon, friends, health, Health and Fitness, HIV and AIDS, Me Time

Friday Photo Safari 004Since my last trip to the hospital I have followed the instructions of my doctors to the letter. I was told to rest, take it easy and try to reduce stress and also to find a way to relax. I have done just that.

I dont recall if I blogged out my last HIV check up or not, I’m pretty sure I did, the results were awesome and I was so pleased to hear this. Everything that was of some concern when my blood was taken for the labs was laid to rest with the results. So the past two weeks I have done my best to continue this trend of great health.

It’s funny how certain people who say they are close to me have not even picked up the phone to call or check on me, while others have gone far and above to visit, hang out and all else. However I did not allow myself to get worked up or even worry about it. It is what it is or as Ma use to tell me “sometimes people don’t want to be bothered with all that may be going on with you.”

I recall getting a message from someone who hinted at me needing depression meds, this person happens to be on them as well. Now this is not the first time someone has said something like this, but each time this has come from someone who takes such meds and after making such a statement they vanish into thin air never to be heard from again.

However this time I did have a heart to heart with a good very good friend of mine and after that conversation I didFriday Photo Safari 020speak with my doctor about the possibility of me being so depressed that I need meds for it. In defense of my dear friend, she did not hint or imply this at all, however the other person did because she felt I was crying far too much. Apparently crying is a sign that someone is depressed and in needs of drugs to control them.

Just as I told the people who have made this suggestion in the past, my doctor once again confirmed the fact that I do not need any signs of depression that requires me to seek out meds. However just as I have always said I do get depressed from situations, but this always passes once the situation works itself out. Anyone who has gone through anything and certainly anyone who has been through what I have is bound to have some situational depression. This is not cause to go sounding the trumpet or alarm that the person needs meds to help them deal with things in there life.

My great grandmother “Nana” as we called her use to say that misery not only loves company, it also demands it. I have to say that each time I have had someone already on meds to control them suggest that I need them as well, they also tell me which meds to ask for. As if this is some sort of recruitment or celebration that someone else is taking meds just like them. Which brings me to my final point on this topic. There are certainly people who have a chemical imbalance in their brain that would require them to take such meds, but there are also those who simply just need to learn some basic life skills instead of depending on a pill or several pills to correct something they can correct themselves.

Friday Photo Safari 035It’s been awesome hanging out with friends, going to lunch, dinner and even on picture safaris. This week alone I have already gone on three and tomorrow I am planning to go on one alone. I must say that several people have asked me to hang out tomorrow, but none of them have confirmed if in fact they truly want to do this. The old me would check in and make sure, but this new me is no longer begging people to come hang out or follow through on things they set into motion.

It is always so funny to me how people say things only to not mean a damn word of what they have said. They simply wanted to say something and they could care less if what they say will be taken to heart by the person they have said it to. For example; “please call me if you need anything” or “I will be there for you when you need me most” and then the one I really hate, “please let me help”

So today was yet another day filled with pictures and the company of a friend. I’ve truly embraced and enjoyed theDowntown Los Angeles 218peace in my life and the coolness of the real people in my life. From my awesome friends I’ve made through YOUTUBE, this blog to the crazy, sexy, cool friends in my daily life. My life is rich and truly blessed.

Praise God

Escape with Me

// March 1st, 2011 // No Comments » // Animals, beach, Canon, Exercise, health, Health and Fitness, Me Time, photos, Pictures, video, work

Explore 060Today was a day for me to unwind and remove all stress. It was something that I have not done in a very long time and believe me when I say it was long overdue.

It’s amazing how much time we spend doing things that have nothing to do with our overall well being. Shocking how much stress we allow to build up in our lives and many time we don’t realize it until something like a stroke or heart attack happens, even worse death.

About a month ago someone said to me “your Sickle Cell has given you so much problems since you started working this job.” Last month I went to the funeral of a cousin who lost his battle with Sickle Cell and after talking with his wife, she too feels that if he only spent more time removing stressful people and things from his life, he would still be here. The last time I spoke with her, she asked me to take better care of my overall health and well being.

It goes without saying that my last job was very stressful and more the 95% of the stress was caused by a director who knew went out of her way to cause chaos and confusion among the staff. Constant changes to schedules, job requirements, emails, voicemails, pictures and even threats that she would fire us were just some of the ways she caused so much stress.

Today after my first round of housing inspections and my trip to the doctors, I did something for me. Something I have not done in a very long time, but as I said before, it was long overdue.

I came home grabbed my cameras and headed to the beach to escape for a day. I know to many this was not much of an escape, but for me it was all I needed. Since I grew up in Santa Monica and I love being near the water, this is where I headed and I am so glad that I did.

it was a cook day today so I needed to make sure I was dressed right. I didn’t want my day of relaxation to turn into a night of fighting off a cold. I dressed in layers and topped it all off with my USC hoodie.

I spent the day with no real plans other then just taking it slow and not spending a bunch of time online or in contact. What I mean by this is, I had my cell phone with me, but if was off for more the 90% of my day. I did not return calls unless they were something that could not wait until the next day or at least until I was heading home later in the evening.

Being near the water was so calming and cool. it was like all day therapy for me. I walked from the top of the Santa Monica Pier all the way down to Venice Beach, just south of the new skater park. Taking pictures every step of the way.

I finished my day with dinner at the Santa Monica Place Mall and a sunset at the Santa Monica Beach. I had spent my most of my day relaxing and clearing my space. I did such a good job at it, that the crowded bus ride home filled with people who were loud and some of them rude, didn’t even bother me.

I was welcomed home by my dog Dodger and I spent the night on the sofa talking of the phone with my friend Christina. I picked up a scented candle on my way home and that has been burning for sometime now. It smells awesome.

I took over 450 pictures today. They are currently uploading to my Flickr page. I had a great day and I am so glad I took most of it for me.

Red Flags

// January 26th, 2011 // 1 Comment » // Chef, Cooking, health, Health and Fitness

When I interviewed for this job there were plenty of red flags and warning signs which were reasons why I should have said “no” to taking this job. However I had been on over 90 job interviews with no job offer, I was sick of being dependent on friends and having to beg DPSS each month to please give me my benefits, so I ignored them.

The first red flag was how she spoke very poorly of her former employer over at USC, even speaking very poorly of members of her current employer. She even spoke of how I would have a hard time with the dishwasher because he could not read and his English was very poor. I could go on and on, but the fact still remains that I ignored all of this because I needed a job.

Things have only gotten worse since I’ve been hired and I’ve blogged about it and I have even spoken to some of the members about it and nothing has been done to correct it. My co-worker has cried in the kitchen at least three times after the director has spoken to her and made her feel like she is a complete screw up. She even places blame on us for things she has done wrong.

It all came to a head for me on Friday when I was handed what I thought was my forms for filing my taxes. I had already spoken to the director three times about this, but she always had the same answer. “I am told they dont list it”  She is also refusing to pay an employee a check that has been lost. Her answer for this is “I am doing all I can” or “she doesn’t speak clear English and what I say to her is lost in translation”

After opening the envelope I discover what I already knew, the director was wrong and had done nothing to correct her mistake. There have been no taxes taken out of my check, furthermore I am not even an employee of the organization. When i took these papers to her office, she acted as if she had no idea what was going on. She asked me if she could keep the papers until she corrected it and I told her “no” you may have a copy, but you can not keep. She then asked if she could give them to me at the end of my shift and again I told her “no” make your copy now or never. I also want to speak to someone about this issue ASAP and I don’t want the run around.” She looks at me and says “I am not the enemy here.” Something she always like to say when she is caught. She made her copies and I went back to the kitchen.

Later I was called into her office for my review which was all bad, she scored me 2’s and 3′ and even said most of it was her “personal opinion” After she finished her interview she asked if she could have a hug. I asked if she looked into the matter about my taxes and being a an employee and she replied with “I have not had time to deal with that right now” Need less to say I did not hug her. I don’t trust her one bit.

Please dont get me wrong, I love my job, the work is so much fun and the members are awesome, however the director is very hard to deal with, she is rude and to be honest at times she comes off as being racist, but we are told “that’s just who she is” There is no one for us to speak to about what goes on. She blames the kitchen for a budget we have never been given, she changes vendors and then acts like it is our fault that she has made choices that have resulted in shortages of food, ppor food quality or food not showing up at all.

At the end of the day she comes into the kitchen to tell me that she is cutting the hours of the other chef, but did not want me to tell her, just like she changed food suppliers but didn’t want to tell the other company. Everything she does is sneaky and done in dark. At then of the year of or before I would not be surprised if all kitchen staff is not fired.

Can you say STRESS? We never know how she is going to come into the kitchen or what she will take pictures of to later show us what we’ve done wrong. She looks for things to be wrong, she looks for reason to complain or tell us that the members are not happy. However what we hear from the members is that things are fine, but the very same day we will hear other things from the director.

I need this job, but the stress of it can be too much. I go in wondering if I will be fired or spoken to like I am some house slave…house nigger. If I treated my co-workers the way she treats us the answer would not be “that’s just who he is” The answer would be”you’re fired” but I guess the rules are different for certain people.

There are times when I dont get sleep because I am up worrying about if she is in the kitchen making things up and taking pictures or if she is going to email or text me demanding something. I have never been fired and I have never worked in an environment like this and it is very stressful.

She can do whatever she wants, give me a bad review and there is no one for me to dispute it with, no one for me to discuss it with. She can treat the staff like slaves and there is nothing we can do about it.

I took this job because I needed it, my back was against the wall and now I have a job that causes so much stress I want to put my head through a wall. My sleeping patterns are so screwed up, I have a headache that I cant seem to shake.

I had a death in my family over the weekend, so I have called out and she is acting like I have asked her to move heaven and hell, so I know she will give me such a hard time when I return next week and because I need this job I will keep my mouth shut and “deal with it” because that “is who she is”

So if you wanna know why I am keeping to myself then here is the answer, if you wanna know why I dont seem like myself well its because I dont want to be homeless again, if you want to know why I eat and eat and eat and eat and eat, its because I am stressed. Since she found out I was once homeless she has treated me even worse, so I know when she finds out about HIV she will fire me. I know this because she speaks very poorly of gay people.

There are times when I dont even leave the house on weekends other then to walk Dodger because I just want to sit inside and be left alone.

I recall when the other chef was crying telling me how she has gotten into her head and made her feel like she does not know what she is doing, how she now questions her ability and how she makes her feel worthless.

When she told me this my soul was shaking because I know those feelings very well. Being homeless for 29 months I felt all those feelings and many more, not because they were try, but because of how I was treated by people and places who are supposed to help.

“Worthless and stupid” is how I feel now working for this woman. Even though I know it’s not true and even though I know the members say everything is great, they dont seem to understand what we have to put up with.

DAY 3

// January 20th, 2011 // No Comments » // diet, Exercise, health, Health and Fitness, HIV and AIDS, Me Time

My last trip to the doctor was a great one, however there was a possibility that I had glass in foot. Since I was going in to meet with one of the medical advisors I also thought I would try to see my doctor as well. As soon as I saw her, she left her seat and came to give me a hug. It is always so cool to go to the doctor. Having my doctor hug me, much less know who I was or what we last talked about was not something I ever experienced at USC. Hell they never even knew my name, it was always “what’s your patient number” This has never been the case with my current doctor and as I have said before the staff is always so awesome and I am so happy that I am in their care.

So the bad news with my visit was the fact that my sugar was high, not that high, but it was something that I needed to be made aware of. There was also the issue with the weight that I have been packing on. I knew I could take care of both issues, all I had to do was get off my ass and do it. Well I guess i should really say that I need to make certain I am putting my health and well being first. So the very first thing I have done is stop eating so late at night and then going to bed after. I have also started watching my sugar intake. I’ve also started eating more whole grains, veggies and fruits. I am so loving oatmeal in the mornings at work.

The biggest things I have done is getting my butt back in the gym and going out for longer walks with Dodger at least three times a day. Today was day 3 at the gym and I must say I feel great. The biggest thing I have noticed is my energy level is way up and I am sleeping better at night.

So I am back in the gym and this weekend I will be back on my bike as well. I can’t  even tell you how long it has been since I’ve been on my bike, but I can tell you that the air is nearly out of both tires. I can also tell you that I know I have been on it at least once or twice, may three times since I’ve had Dodger. So I guess it is safe to say that I have not been on my bike in a good 9 months. WOW, 9 months, now that is a damn shame.

The good thing is that I am in good health and I know the next time I head to the doctor my sugar will be back in check and I will have lost a few pounds, maybe more. My main goal to not to make excuses for not taking care of myself, because the reality of things is that in not taking care of myself I am going down a dead end road that will lead to death.

I am taking my time with this, because this is about anyone else but me, it’s not a race, but it’s about my health and well being. It is about preserving my good health and not going down the road to high blood pressure and problems with my sugar. It’s about making sure I am around to enjoy an awesome life, my cool friends and to continue the amazing work I have created. It’s about my amazing life.

So here’s to my awesome health!!!

Quiet Thursday

// January 6th, 2011 // No Comments » // Health and Fitness, HIV and AIDS

Thursday, January 6, 2011 001It’s Thursday the 6th of January and for the most part it has been a very quiet and peaceful day for me. I took the day off from work so that I could could make the long trek to the East Valley in order to get my right foot x-rayed, I also wanted to take some time to do laundry, clean my apartment as well as walk and spend time with Dodger.

My day started with what I thought would be a pretty smooth trip to the East Valley, but when you’re dealing with METRO, nothing is ever smooth. They use to have a slogan that said “travel smart, take metro” Sounds pretty catchy I know, but unlike the public transportation system in cites like New York or even San Francisco where everyone rides public transportation, LA’s system riders are mostly poor and have no other choice. MERTO knows this all too well and takes full advantage of it.

Buses and trains are always late and many of the buses do not have working air and all sorts of other things wrong. Calling METRO to ask why buses or trains are late as always greeted with the next scheduled time. Never an explanation as to why the bus you’ve been waiting for is over 10 minutes late. The drivers are rude and many times will simply pass stops in order to try to get back on schedule. Don’t even think to ask a questions about making connections, because most drivers will pretend not to know, many more will fully ignore you or tell you to call the office. Transfers are also a thing of the past as METRO does not offer METRO to METRO transfers. You also must purchase the TAP card as well as add money to it

The one thing METRO seems to do very well is make sure issue plenty of tickets to people who ride the train without a ticket, but making the system run on time, making sure it is safe or that their drivers do not abuse the very people who keep them in business is not a major concern to METRO. I would even go so far as to say it is not a concern at all.

I’ve only been to the this location once and that was by car, so i had no idea how to get there by bus. I called METRO and afterThursday, January 6, 2011 004holding for about 10 minutes I was finally able to speak with someone. However they had no clue which way north, west, east or south was. However he was able to give me the bus numbers and times.

Going was pretty simple, but coming home I would have had to wait over 40 minutes for the return trip, so i decided to take the rapid bus that was headed to Downtown Los Angeles. It wasn’t going to get me near Union Station where I could get the Red Line train home to Hollywood, but I was able to make the connection at the Civic Center station.

Right away there was a problem with this bus, we sat at the stop where i got on for over 8 minutes because the back door would not remain closed. There was also this loud knocking sound under the bus. At one point this woman asked if it was safe to ride this bus. The driver told her she was welcome to get off. The doors finally stayed closed and we were on our way, but the doors were a problem the entire trip.

My foot X-Ray took about 10 minutes, but the bus trip took over 4 hours because the bus ride home was plagued with issues. At one point we changed drivers and the exiting driver didn’t even other to inform the new driver of the problem. Twice I head the new driver call for a new bus or someone to help repair the issue. As I got off the bus at Civic Center the driver had just finished another call for help, this time I think he was going to get some help, but knowing what I know about METRO I don’t think help was ever going to come. METRO simply does not care about the people who ride their buses.

Thursday, January 6, 2011 040I needed to get the foot X-Ray because there is the possibility that glass may be in my foot. Yes, I said glass. I broke a glass in my kitchen over my winter break vacation and apparently didn’t get it all up. I was sure i got the glass out of my foot, but Monday when I went back to work from vacation, my foot began to really bother me and then the leg began to swell. Tuesday I called to see if I could see my Dr, When I saw her that same day, she ordered the foot X-Ray.

She told me my labs were great, but warned me about my sugar. it was high bu about 3 points, so she suggested watching my diet and making sure I get some exercise. Something I was really on top of, but have slacked off ever since I started this new job.  After speaking with her and listening to her tell me that she knows I can fix this and knowing in my heart and mind that I can fix it as well, I had my wake up call. My body is doing an awesome job battling HIV on its own with no meds, My T-Cells is very high and my viral load is very low, but not taking care on myself by not watching my diet and getting proper exercise can change all this and can even lead to me being a diabetic.

I refuse to go down that road, so already I have made changes to prevent me from being a diabetic and to protect my healthyThursday, January 6, 2011 025immune system. Instead of ordering things like pizza, eating junk food or even a ton of fried food, I am going to make healthy choices. Since I pay for a gym membership, I am going to start using it at least 3 days a week for at least 30 minutes. I need to make certain that I am fully paying attention to and taking great care of myself at all times.

I am doing my last load of laundry and gearing up to return to work on Friday. This weekend, provided there is no rain I will return to my ceramics class and i will be walking to and from that class which is about 3 miles each way. Someone who reads my blog has also offered to let me start YOGA for free and I will be doing that as well.

My day out finished with a trip to the drug store to get my multivitamin, baby aspirin and some cleaning supplies. I then spent a good part of my afternoon cleaning my apartment. Dodger has such fine hair so many times I do not see it, but after my first load came from the drier I could see his hair on the vent and after sweeping the hallway and kitchen in my apartment which is tile there was piles of his hair. The goal for me is to buy a new vacuum next month. the cool thing is that two of my friends who have very bad allergies from animal hair have never had a problem when they come to my place. Plus everyone always tells me that my apartment is so clean and it never smells like I have a dog.

Thursday, January 6, 2011 046I just got off the phone with the other chef who was asked to cover my shift today and she told me that things went well. She also asked if I was going to take another day to rest and I told her no. I missed seeing the girls today and I missed laughing with George. I really missed cooking as well, but I did not miss the rude director.

Well it is time to get my load of whites from the laundry room, fold them, put them away and take Dodger out for his evening walk. I’ve had a really good day and the time off has allowed me to take care of some very important things for myself.

Week In Review

// September 19th, 2010 // No Comments » // Animals, Cooking, Health and Fitness, Me Time

Thursday 019This week I took some much needed time out for me. More then 90% of my week was spent on what I like to call “ME TIME”

There was some time spent on making certain I keep up with things for my outreaches as well with a peer support outreach that included a large size Life Kit and a brand new cell phone from T-Mobile. This was thanks to a phone call requesting support from my friend Michelle. With the help of friends and supporters I was able to put together two large Life Kits, purchase a cell phone and even place 400 minutes on the phone. AWESOME.

In addition I was able to take some awesome clothes to Common Ground in Santa Monica. It has been a while since I have been able to get things to over to Common Ground, but thanks in huge part to my friend Natalie, was also helped with the peer support outreach, I was able to get the clothes to Common Ground in Santa Monica.

I took a trip to the Grammy Museum and The Farm of Beverly Hills at LA LIVE with my friend Natlie. I am a huge museumThursday 005 goer, but when I think of the Grammy’s,  museum is the last thing that comes to mind. Just like I thought, it was simply ok and not something I ever want to do again. We were there for a couple of hours and that was really far longer then it should have been.

After the boring Grammy Museum we walked around LA LIVE for a bit and then we ate at The Farm of Beverly Hills. I have never even heard of this place and I can honestly say I will never go back. The food was over priced and below average. The waiter was sexy and very nice, so that was nice.

Oh Yeah 001I’ve  been back in the gym, it was an effort, but I did get there three days last week. AWESOME!!!! I’ve also been spending more time walking Dodger on longer walks which allows him to meet other dogs and get me some much needed exercise. There is a cool park that Dodger seems to like really well and he has some little friends that he is now pretty much use to.

I had to cancel my book club meeting last Sunday, but I have finished the book and am off to reading another book. It was so cool to re-read the Invisible Life by E. Lynn Harris and this time have an entirely different understanding and appreciation for the book. I guess one would call this growth or life experience would probably be a better way to describe it.

Oh Yeah 005Saturday I spent some time over at the ceramic studio and this time I wasn’t there very long like I normally am. There was all this guff about things being broken or not getting fired and the facilitator quit. I was told that things are much better, not that I thought anything was really wrong, but when I went on Saturday not one of my items had been fired. Some have been waiting for final firing for over 5 months now. I have other things that I have created, so I hoping that they all will be done by the end of the year, but I wont count on it. My things are not as nice as other people, so they tend to not get the same attention or respect as others. This is just my opinion. Plus after a few nasty messages from a certain member I no longer feel like this is a cool, safe or supportive. Which is really too bad because I have really come to enjoy creating things there. But it is what it is. I will always have fond memories of the studio and I have enjoyed my time there.

The highlight of my week was a phone call I received from am apartment in Santa Monica. This was the first waiting list I was placedThursday 044 on well over two years ago, so to get the call that I am now being interviewed for an apartment there is so awesome to me.  As you know, I was born and raised in Santa Monica, this is also the place where I created my Do Something Saturday outreach for homeless people. Santa Monica holds so many memories for me and it has been my families home for over 80 years. The chance to move back to Santa Monica would be so sweet.

I am spending my Sunday with Dodger and my friend who is in town from the Bay Area. We have no real plans other then to just enjoy our Sunday and take Dodger out for long walks. I will also spend some time working on my panel for the quilt project I’ve started.

Oh Yeah 008In all it has been a great week for me where I’ve been able to spend time with friends, some much needed ME TIME, spend time working on getting exercise and even getting rid of things from my diet such as sodas, juices filled with sugar and processed food. On top of this being able to help some people was simply awesome.

Wednesday

// September 15th, 2010 // No Comments » // Animals, Health and Fitness, Me Time

WEDNESDAY

So far this week has been all about me. I decided that I needed to take some time out just to focus in on myself. I spend so muchWednesday 003 time doing for others that before I know if all my energy has been zapped out of me by showing up, being present and listening to the people I try my very best to serve. After the three day Treatment Education Training I did last week and spending so much needed time to laugh at myself, more then 90% of this week has all been about me.

There have been so long walks with Dodger which have been so much fun for the both of us and much needed exercise for me. Before leaving for AIDSWatch in DC back in April I lost almost 60 pounds and since I’ve been back I have put 50 of it back on. So the extra time I am spending walking Dodger is awesome for me.

There is a park about two miles from home where Dodger seems to do much better with the other dogs, this is not a dog park, he doesn’t like those very much. The people are also very friendly as well and the other day  was able to speak with two people who just started watching my YOUTUBE channel. They really enjoyed the PENIS video I did. In fact when they walked up to me they said “We wont whip out our penis cause we know you dont like when people do this.” I will say that at first I was taken back a bit, but then I caught the joke.

I also been doing lots of reading. I finished the book for my book club and I am well into another book I decided to read. I’ve made some time to hang out with friends and even talk with a long lost cousin who found me on FACEBOOK. One of the coolest things is that I also spoke with someone that I have known since I was in 5th grade. We talked on the phone for over two hours and her sister even got into the call as well. It was so cool to just sit and laugh, talk and catch up on how things have been going for each other. Over the weekend I also had time to talk with my friend Travis and like always there was plenty of laughs and one amazing conversation.

Wednesday 002The coolest thing I’ve been able to do this week is getting back into the gym. I will say that this time around has been rather hard for a very small reason which I am dealing with. Before I would simply walk right across the street to the YMCA, but since getting hurt there, having major problems with the staff and my membership in general I have since joined another gym that is about 8 blocks from home. It was simple when all I had to do was look out my window and see the sign for the YMCA and then go. So now I have to find a new motivation for getting my big butt back to the gym daily. As i type this blog I am eating my dinner and will leave for the gym at 9:00PM.

HOWEVER, what has been the high point of my day and my week was the fact that I had the chance to send off two of my ceramic pieces to some pretty awesome people whom I admire, love and respect so much. I was sad to see them go, but very happy to know that they  will be in homes where people will really appreciate them.

WOW, this is a pretty short blog entry. I guess this leaves me some time to read the new blog of my friend Christina. Check for the link off to the right under MYFAVBlog.

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