Posts Tagged ‘LIFE’

Friday August 20th

// August 20th, 2010 // No Comments » // Animals, Me Time

Hello 012Like any other day for me Friday started out with me asking Dodger is he wanted to go for a walk. His answer is always the same. He wags his tail and begins to bark at me as if he is saying yes. So I get up, make some coffee, take a shower and then off we go for our morning walk.

Neither one of us slept very good last night because DEXTER was being filmed down the street from me, which meant there was plenty of noise all day long. Early Thursday morning they began to set up for the film shoot and right away my day started out rough. Like most people I really hate being woke up. Once up and mad I made some coffee only to realize that I did not have any cream. This meant leaving sooner to walk Dodger, so I could get my cream and not worry about him going in the apartment.

Like me Dodger was grumpy, as soon as we were out the front door to the building he began to bark at the people parking trucks and setting up for the film shoot. Since I was way more pissed then he was I didn’t tell him to stop and I gave him just enough slack on his leash to scare the crap out of them. This is when I was told that I could not walk him down the street where I live.

“Sir we are setting up and need for you to walk your dog some place else.” I was told

Now why in the world would this woman speak to me? Her and her fuckin crew just woke me up, it was 6:30AM and I was out of cream for my coffee. I simply looked at her like I did not hear a word she said.

“Sir!!! Did you hear what I just said?” raising her voice like she was agitated.

I turned around and looked at her, by this time she was right behind me and I said “Do you own this street? You only paid for there to be no parking on this street is that correct? So where in the fuck do you get off telling me I can’t walk my dog on the street where I live?”

Before I would allow her to answer, I reminded her that people live in the building where she and her crew had set up shop in the walkway, blocking the residents from exiting and entering the building. I then told her that I did not appreciate being rudely awaken by laughter and cigarette smoke, nor did I like her yelling at me like I was someone on her little staff.

“You dont own this street lady, so do not walk up behind me like your name is Mrs. Hollywood, furthermore stop making al this damn noise.”

Dodger was growling at  her the entire time and as I turned to walk away he barked a few times as if he was telling her “Now shut the hell up talking to us, trick.”

This morning was very different, there was no noise, no film project, no rude lady and I had cream for my coffee. When IHello 004walked outside there was no one to tell me that I could not walk Dodger on my street. In fact Dodger and I saw a few of his little friends and each of talked about how the filming of DEXTER was a complete pain the ass while our dogs played with each other.

After our visit with our friends and after of long walk, Dodger and I sat on the sofa while I read my book and Dodger attacked his new toy until he fell asleep. I was with him in that one. I read about three chapters and took a nap as well.

I was napping very well until my phone rang. It was my friend Natalie wanting to stop by and drop off the recycling she had in her trunk. She saves her plastic bottles for me and I am able to use this for pocket change. To be very honest this pocket changed has paid my gas bill for the past year, so it has been well worth the trouble to bag the plastic bottles up.

Dodger and I went out for another walk shortly after seeing Natalie and this time we were gone for about an hour. We also packed some cold water in my backpack to pass out to homeless people while we were out. Just like always we had the chance to speak to some pretty cool and interesting homeless people and as always we ran out of water before we knew it.

I wanted to get a head start of the work that I need to get done for my outreaches, but for some reason I really knew I needed to be away from my apartment to get this done. So I counted the change that I had in my change jar which was just enough to buy an iced tea and one refill at the local cafe not too far from my apartment.

As soon as I walked in the front door of the cafe, I heard someone call me name. Right away I saw a face I had not seen in such a long time and by long I mean since I graduated from Santa Monica High in 1987. I spent the afternoon sitting with someone I knew from high school and after our little visit I must say that this person is not someone I know now and is not anyone I would want to have in my life. It’s always funny to me how I run into people I knew when I was in high school and I walk away feeling like “wow, you are just like you were in high school………..childish”

Hello 007I moved away over to the window of the cafe to try to get some work done. I was able to complete some things, but after a while I gave up and decided to blog. It’s a beautiful day here, the sun is shinning, warm, but not uncomfortable. My tea was nice and cold and I had a great time being out of the apartment.

I will say that I truly miss living in Santa Monica, there is just something so nice about living near the water. Something cool about being able to just walk down to the beach and sit near the water. Something so nice about being able to walk to internet cafe’s and libraries. Something very cool about the smell of the air. However today after sitting here at the spendy cafe I now know there is something nice about being able to walk just a few blocks away to see all the fancy people rush by in their fancy cars. Something nice about sipping ice tea while listening to people talk about how great their life is, but complain about their relationships or job, something nice about hearing people talk about things that sound like so much fun, but they sound so unhappy or unfulfilled.

There is something so nice about just being able to be happy, simply content with who I am and where my life is. Something so cool about having Dodger waiting for me to come home, something so cool about the little things in my life, something so cool about knowing that there is so much more to life then news, weather, sports and money.

I guess what I am saying is that there is something really cool about having peace, something really cool about living a life of purpose. Something very cool about knowing who you are, something very cool about completing yourself. There is just something very cool about being in love with all aspects of who you are and knowing that at the end of the day all the fancy shit dont matter.

So while I would love to be living in Santa Monica, I am happy with where I am now and I am not going to postpone beingHello 016 happy until…….. My “happy” is right now, it is every single day.

Technology Off

// June 20th, 2010 // 6 Comments » // Me Time, Social Networking

It’s Sunday, a little after 7:00PM and this weekend has been about being disconnected from being so connected. It seems that I spend a great deal of time online doing things for other people and keeping up with online friends which in turn leaves almost no time for me.

It’s almost been a month since I placed a video on my YOUTUBE channel and at first I was logging on every other day to approve channel comments and what not, but that stopped the very first week. I figured if people really wanted to keep up with me, see how I am doing or just shoot the shit, they would do a few things, call, read my blog or message me on FACEBOOK. The first week there were about 10 people who checked in to say hello and as of last week there were only 7 and this past days it has gone down to 4. I guess you can call this out of sight out of mind friendships, but it is what it is and life will go on.

Friday I took a break from FACEBOOK and closed my TWITTER account, I am not even sure why I had a TWITTER account and to be honest I am starting to question why I have a FACEBOOK account as well. It seems society has become people who only exist online. Social networking has made it easy for us to create friends that only exist online. God forbid there is some strange sort of events and no one is able to get online, text or any of this for months. What would people do?

The other day I sat down and I wrote a hand written letter to a friend who lives in Chicago. He received it and was blown away that I had taken the time to write him and then put in in an envelope and mailed it to him. He joked saying he couldn’t recall the last time a friend wrote him instead of emailing. There was once a time when you got a letter from a friend or family member and this meant so much, but now we just email each other or meet up online. There are people we even have dated online, family reunions online……everything online.

So my weekend was about being old fashioned, actually calling my friends to talk, making time to hang out and see each other face to face. Other then the news, the TV was off and more the 90% of my weekend was spent away from home, away from the computer and my cell phone was off. The world didn’t end and I had a great time just being in the real world with real people doing real life things TOGETHER!!!.

Now I am not saying that social networking is bad and should be done away with. Nope not at all. I have made some really cool friends using social networks, friends that I know are solid and in my life for the right reasons. My time away from YOUTUBE and even this weekend away from FACEBOOK has shown me this. Social networking is great and you can meet some really cool people, but ask yourself this. When was the last time you had dinner with friends from where you live? When was the last time you went on a date with someone from where you live? When is the last time you went to the beach, went bike riding and besides sleeping and the time you’re at work, when is the last time you were not online? Some people can even be online at work, so they are never offline.

I spent my weekend hanging out with Dodger, being outside, walking, making ceramics, making plans for my “living quilt” as well as a few other projects I want to work on. I was able to make some solid contacts with people right here where I live to help me reach my goal of making 600 hygiene kits for people who are homeless and people with HIV or AIDS.

I had a great weekend and social networks were not at all a part of it. Real life people in my real life were and it was awesome. So I am making some changes to my “online” presence to one that requires me to be present in the real world more then 95% of the time. Again, if people are truly my friends they know how to reach me, but if they are only “online” friends then I will see them when I am online.

You can’t see a laugh, feel an embrace from a friend or loved one, you can’t watch an awesome sunset, walk on the beach, or really enjoy the awesomeness that all this world has to offer by always being online. You have to get out and live life to the fullest and make being online something that you do when you want to, not something you do when you want to see your friends, family or loved ones.

“Technology Off” is something I am going to be doing a lot more of.

Life Goes On

// June 11th, 2010 // 1 Comment » // HIV and AIDS, Me Time

I’ve been busy with LIVING and making sure I am surrounding myself with people who are all about LIVING instead of people who have allowed the fact that they have HIV or AIDS change the path of their life.

So many times I read blogs from people with HIV or AIDS there is always this “poor me” or “victim” tone to them. I must also say that more then 99.9% of the time this only comes from gay men. When I read the blogs of others (heterosexuals) I dont get this at all.

In the time that I have been on this site I have seen some pretty mean and nasty people here who go out of their way to make people feel bad. It’s funny to me how this is done with the mask of “let me help you”

The one thing I have never lost sight of since I was diagnosed with HIV is the clear and undeniable fact that I still have a life to live. Unlike most, I was already battling so much when I was diagnosed….Sickle Cell, Cancer and I was already over a year into homelessness, but I refused to allow any of this, including HIV turn me into one the people I see so much in support groups both on and offline.

I learned right away that the support I would get from so called “support” groups both online and off was not going to work for me. So I needed to do what I have always done…..LIVE and keep LIVING no matter what was going on in my life.

It’s always funny to me how I hear all this crap about stigma surround HIV and AIDS, but the most stigma I’ve faced have come from the gay “community”

I guess what I am saying is this, why does life have to stop when you’re diagnosed HIV positive? Why do we make things harder then they actually are? How are we ever going to move forward past our diagnoses when we refuse to LIVE the amazing lives we still very have? Maybe all that seems to be going wrong in our lives has nothing to do with HIV or AIDS and more far more to do with the fact that we were unhappy, crappy, mean and disconnected people to begin with, but now we can blame it all on HIV or AIDS.

Since my birth over 41 years ago, I made the choice to live against all the odds. Sickle Cell was not going to control my life. When cancer came along, I fought harder and made up in my mind that cancer was not going to win either and now here I stand with 5 battles behind me. Homelessness tried very hard to defeat me and I will be the first to admit that there were times when I was so beat down that I felt like giving up, but I didn’t. Homelessness then got some help from HIV, poor access to care, lousy services and much more, but once again my will to live and get through the storm in my life was far greater then anything any of these things could throw at me.

In a little more then two weeks I will celebrate one year of living in my own apartment. One year of no longer being homeless, one more year of refusing to give up on me, one more year of an amazing life for which I am so humbled, blessed and grateful to have.

So instead of moaning and groaning about how bad your life is since your diagnoses, why not look for the awesome things that are in your life? Why not tell HIV and AIDS to kick rocks and start LIVING your amazing life?

Don’t let another day go by that you forget to LIVE, because LIFE GOES ON!!!!