Friday, December 31, 2010


by Dylan Thomas

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rage at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

it is unavoidable to become aware of the power of nature at times in our lives. on the plains in colorado, we have been kissed by our first winter storm this season. for several days this week, we had been heralded of its coming with all sorts of snippets as to its magnitude. it arrived yesterday afternoon and slipped in quietly without much fanfare. there were some howling winds, but the attachment to the holiday meant the traffic was down to a minimum as was the disruption.

but this morning as i wake, i look out upon an additional layer of silence as the sky has been quietly shaking down flakes for 14 hours or so. not big wet ones, as in some storms, but a dusting of dryer icier snow that blankets without being too weightbearing.

we sit on the eve of the next adventure amid the quiet of this storm and its impact. introspection, meditation, and pausing are the actions called for. internally, i have felt the stirrings of change in my world. determining whether this is pattern or insight remains to unfold.

i know that the image accompanying this blizzard is one of the spring thaw. the loosening of ice and the flow of new energy. perhaps what i sense is simply the next season. however, i also know that the image and sensations i have are core. evolution is happening in my life, whether it is subtle or it is blatant.

i have found myself severed from some family and some acquaintances. i convince myself there are boundaries involved. i know, however, that avoidance is my safety net and i use it in lieu of growth sometimes. i have had conversations recently with a relative that i haven't really spoken with since i got sober. it has been quietly powerful for me. i realize my feelings have not stopped around our relationship. they have only been blanketed with quiet.

maybe that is part of the spring thaw i am sensing.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

best of you

totally inspired by a song today. best of you by the  foo fighters. absolute nirvanha for me. love love love this band. and dave grohl.

this song has carried me through some challenging times this last decade. both the full boar band rendition and this pared down version they did on the skin and bones tour/album.

are they getting the best of you.. double entendre most definitely. are they getting the best of you? am i giving the best of me? asking these questions can easily put me back on track when i feel stalled. (and that is often enough that i have some bailout plans.)

in this stage of the journey, the unfinished business of growing up continues to rear its head. the oh-so-many things i never wanted to deal with have not disappeared as i had hoped with all those years neglect. no, they have secretly laid in wait until an opportune moment and then appeared again as if a shadow next to me in the mirror when there seems to be no source.

a friend is in hospital in a coma and it is not looking good. he was diagnosed with stage 3 cancer 4 years ago, but with chemo and prayer had pulled through to step into the sunlight of spirit a while longer. subsequently, his wife had died, his  father has passed, and he has remained strong, postively focused, and frankly, an inspiration.

working for the next four days, including xmas eve and xmas. made plans with the intention of not being available. may be poor judgement, may be flawed judgement, but here is where i am- at the confessional. truth though is that people depend on me and it's a good thing. and i need to be there.. as in there..

can't say that i give my best every moment of every day. definitely working on that one. times do come that i forget about "the best". too busy stuck in the drama of the moment. the magic of music is the transcendence it can bring. just one listen to this and i can so easily be back on track, almost seamlessly...

I've got another confession to make
I'm your fool
Everyone's got their chains to break
Holdin' you
Were you born to resist or be abused
Is someone getting the best, the best, the best, the best of you
Is someone getting the best, the best, the best, the best of you
Are you gone and onto someone new
I needed somewhere to hang my head
Without your noose
You gave me something that I didn't have
But had no use
I was too weak to give in
Too strong to lose
My heart is under arrest again
But I break loose
My head is giving me life or death
But I can't choose
I swear I'll never give in
I refuse...... Foo Fighters..

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

aretha's you send me .... a solstice lunar eclipse

Find a place inside where there's joy, and the joy will burn out the pain.”
Joseph Campbell

There are not many days like Tuesday, Dec. 21, 2010. Take it from people who know - astronomers. There was maybe one day like this Tuesday in the past 2,000 years.
On Tuesday morning, astronomers say, there will be - or depending on when this is read, was - a total eclipse of the moon. And on the very same day, the winter solstice arrives.

The last time the two celestial events occurred within the same calendar day was long before any of our lifetimes. The year, according to Geoff Chester, public affairs officer at the U.S. Naval Observatory, was 1638. Although the solstice does not always occur on the same date each year, the date in 1638 was the same as Tuesday's - Dec. 21.
Chester said he looked it up, because as the time of the two events drew nearer, people began to make inquiries of him. He said his research took him back to the year A.D. 1. eemed to be reasonably far back. He consulted "a number of well-respected sources." And his finding, essentially was this: "It's a comparatively rare event." Although it does not appear to have any cosmic significance. read the rest of this story here

or visit NASA's eclipse website here

By Martin Weil
Washington Post Staff Writer
T uesday, December 21, 2010

Sunday, December 19, 2010

holiday potpourri

went to see "black swan" yesterday. didn't see the girl on girl soft porn scene comin'. but i did love the way the actual storyline of the ballet came to life in the film. it was dark. it was not expected, but it was thoughtful.  it's good to still be surprised though.

am working a lot this coming week. may not post as often as i have been. had a friend over for dinner and a movie last night. fell asleep 3 or 4 times during the film russel crowe and ben affleck in "state of play" shhh.... i had seen it before.

working a party today in parker. hope it doesn't run terribly long. as i am going along this holiday season, i am posting drag queen photographs on my fb profile and 90's pop songs both here and on fb. i have using a couple of "best" lists including the once delicious face magazine. today's pick is a paul weller cut from 1992. he's seen in this clip performing live in milan..

Friday, December 17, 2010

goodbye 2000's ... hello...

I'm free to be whatever I
Whatever I choose
And I'll sing the blues if I want
I'm free to say whatever I
Whatever I like
If it's wrong or right it's alright.....Oasis

somehow i have begun to get sentimental about the 90's. i am not sure when it started, but it's here. i don't remember them really, maybe because i was pushing so so hard in that decade, what i do recall is drinking so much to blot out the fear of dying from AIDS, and running so fast, afraid to feel what i might feel when i stopped. i kept seeing friends and acquaintance around me pass on, even if i changed cities and social circles.

i was in a mixed chorus for 5 years, singing choral music weekly and pushing sound through my body as a spiritual practice.i met several people who became fast and fantastic friends.  i got 2 DUI's in those years, and worked at the same job. i travelled many times across the globe, although never completely around it, and had hangovers on too many continents. i made friends, influenced no one, and spent more than every dime that came in. i was driven, but mainly uninspired, and i was stayed numb while i lost track of time.

so i have found myself drifting to the music of the 90's. maybe i can piece back some memories through the tracks of those years. i know i loved the garage influence. nirvana, oasis, blur, and i know that hip hop took hold like i had never imagined. so now and again i will  be posting 90's dittys. music is poetry with instruments and words, and it has been there with me, even if i don't recall. so i give a nod to the music that seems underrated in my book. "i know i heard you while i was passing in the hall, but i can't recall your name"

Monday, December 13, 2010

we owe this to ourselves

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,


Sunday, December 12, 2010

holiday welcome

We also often add to our pain and suffering by being overly sensitive, over-reacting to minor things, and sometimes taking things too personally.....Tenzin Gyatso
this is the my second year working at the hospital, but the first year on the main campus. i work 1/2 time each at 2 clinics in 2 separate buildings, with 2 distinct teams. each has its specialty and both work with an extremely large number of persons without insurance, low health literacy, multiple illnesses and conditions, many of whom are homeless. needless to remark that sometimes the work can seem endless.

in one of the clinics, i realized that there was no recognition of the holiday-i.e a potluck or party scheduled. i made a few inquiries, then spent a few hours gathering consensus and planned a get-together for this coming week. i had included as many departments as i could, came upon some compromises, disseminated the info to all teams for collaboration, emailed the team leaders for okay, then sent out an invitation. i felt pretty good about how easily it had gone.

but then 3 days later, a co-worker came up to me and asked why we were having the party in the location decided. i retorted that a consensus had been reached. she responded with the notion that they were always in a different location and would be much better there. she then asked if i had started a sign-up sheet. i replied with a no- that people could just bring what they wanted. again, she offered that this strategy would never work and that people needed a sign up sheet. i guess i got a little miffed, but her tone was direct and felt intrusive. i asked her if she would like to take the thing over. she said she would.

i found myself angry, not because i wasn't in charge, but because i felt ignored really. i didn't (and still don't) have any real jones to take charge here. i just wanted people to get-together and have a few smiles during what will no doubt be a very tough week for us. but here i found myself, feeling slighted because someone disagreed with me. so i went to work the following day, after i found my head and heart spinning in the shower about the whole situation, complete with the intention of making an amends to her.

that morning at the other clinic, my supervisor shared with me that she would be taking time off work during this clinic's holiday pot-luck and was putting me in charge of organizing this one. of course, she asked if i would mind. but really, how else am i supposed to respond besides- of course.

so imagine my humility when i go to the afternoon clinic to make my amends, i have been validated by my morning supervisor and given a voice, and now i was set to eat some humble pie. and i felt good about it. so i asked my afternoon co-worker if we could talk. we stepped away and i asked her to understand that i regretted getting upset about her criticism. i didn't have an emotional investment about the party, i had just felt that i had covered my bases and then she burst that bubble.

she kindly informed me that she had been fired from the committee that morning. our supervisor had informed her that she overstepped her role as assistant and took it over. she then said that she has a habit of doing this in her life. this was just another example. she liked me and she said she didn't want any animosity between us. she also laughingly said that when she told her sister she was fired from the committee and that it was a 1st for her, her sister replied that my co-worker had been kicked out of bars and out of family members homes before, so this was completely in line.

her grace and humility and welcoming reception of our conversation punctuated my week. i am very thankful that i feel accepted here. i realize once again that a first glance, a first look a first encounter is not indicative of the whole enchilada. a relationship, a painting, a any work of  art worth its salt, is comprised of many, many such instants, glances, and brushstrokes in order to get the final product. i am reminded that not over-reacting is my first order of business- always.

Friday, December 10, 2010

thinking of you....

Prayer does not change God, but it changes him who prays. ~Søren Kierkegaard
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Soul singer Aretha Franklin is "recovering and her spirits are high" after surgery for an undisclosed health issue, according to U.S. civil rights leader Jesse Jackson.

"She's doing very well. She's very prayerful. She's a woman full of deep religious faith," Jackson was quoted as telling the Detroit News after a private visit with Franklin at an undisclosed location in the city on Friday.

Franklin's publicist, Tracey Jordan, confirmed on Saturday the Jackson visit. Neither said what was ailing the 68-year-old singer, who last month canceled all her appearances until May 2011.

Franklin said in a statement on Thursday that she had undergone "highly successful surgery" but no one has disclosed the nature of her illness..... reprinted from

Monday, December 6, 2010

ernestine anderson..... a new love

below is the wiki....(and i have completely gone mad for her)...
Anderson was born in Houston, Texas,[2] the daughter of a construction worker. At age three, she could sing along with the raw tunes of the legendary Bessie Smith; she soon moved on to the more refined environs of her local church, singing solos in its gospel choir.
Anderson tells of her early life in the book, The Jazz Scene (1998):
"My parents used to play blues records all the time," Ernestine Anderson told me. "John Lee Hooker, Muddy Waters, all the blues greats. In Houston, where I grew up, you turned on the radio and what you got was country and western and gospel. I don't even remember what my first experience with music was. I sort of grew into it. My father sang in a gospel quartet and I used to follow him around, and both my grandparents sang in the Baptist church choir. And they had big bands coming through Houston like Jimmie Lunceford, Billy Eckstine, Erskine Hawkins, and Count Basie." Ernestine's godmother entered her in a local talent contest when she was twelve years old. "I only knew two songs," she admitted, "On the Sunny Side of the Street" and "So Long". The piano player asked me what key did I do these songs in and I just said "C" for some reason and it was the wrong key. In order to save face I sang around the melody, improvised among the melody, and when I finished one of the musicians told me I was a jazz singer."

Her family moved to Seattle, Washington in 1944, when she was sixteen. Anderson graduated from Garfield High School. When she was eighteen, she left Seattle, to tour for a year with the Johnny Otis band. In 1952, she went on tour with Lionel Hampton's orchestra. After a year with the legendary band, she settled in New York, determined to make her way as a singer. Her appearance on Gigi Gryce's 1955 album Nica's Tempo (Savoy)[4] led to a partnership with trumpeter Rolf Ericson for a three-month Scandinavian tour. Ernestine's first album in the United States was made after her debut album, recorded in Sweden and released here by Mercury Records under the title Hot Cargo (1958), which created a huge sensation. In 1959 Anderson won the Down Beat "New Star" Award and recorded for Mercury to more acclaim, before dividing her time from the mid-60's between America and Europe.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Season's Greetings

Wrap Yourself In All The Holidays Have To Offer This Year. Here is the image on this year's cards and the letter included.              Defnitely SWAK!!!!

I continue to work with private chefs at small dinner functions throughout the year as well. This pays well, and gives me a peek into a world that is both fantastic and ordinary. I am allowed to be around great food and some amazing ambiance, and find that much of this seems to come quite naturally.

After all these years living in Denver, this summer I started taking road trips around Colorado this year. Places like Salida, Buena Vista, Estes Park, Grand Lake, Trinidad, even Taos and Santa Fe, and the family-famous Idaho Springs have provided the backdrop for an incredibly beautiful summer in what so many refer to as God’s country. I hope to continue this trend in the coming years. Feel free to plan a trip with me in the spring, summer, or fall.

I  visited Chicago once again this autumn. Blue and I had dinner with Laura at a fantastic tapas restaurant in the newly remodeled Blackstone Hotel. Good call, Laura. She reports getting a delicious promotion at her workplace and seems more content and at peace with each year. I still love that city and get a warm and fuzzy feeling when there. I was able to catch up with about 15 or so cronies and definitely had a hoot. The new wing at Art Institute is amazing and is recommended for your next visit there.

I was introduced to a book this year written by a Canadian physician named Gabor Mate called " In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts." Since I work in the field of addiction, both this read and his philosophy have had a profound impact on my approach. I am reminded that our behaviors do not define us as human. Our souls do. People always have a reason for doing what they do- we just don’t always agree or like the reason. But that’s why we need to walk a mile in their shoes so to speak. This change of perspective is a work in progress for me. Every day I practice letting go of my judgments. Some days work better than others.

Many of the LGBT issues in the news this year have stirred some echoes in my heart and mind and I would ask you to indulge some thoughts I have around some of those. When I think of DADT, Gay marriage, Teen suicide, and Bullying, I feel very close to these issues. Growing up and feeling different can be extremely challenging, especially for young people. I don’t remember hearing so much that my “behaviors” were unacceptable, but more that I was less than acceptable. And growing up feeling that way causes a lot of invisible destruction. I find that I am still working through this internalized self- judgment started so many years ago, even after 6 years of being substance free.

Mind you, I am not complaining. 25 years of living with HIV, I know I am lucky to be here. 2010 was never part of my plan. 52 was never an age I expected to walk around. Yet here I find myself undeniably happy, inspired, and full of life. I write this in hopes that you will feast on just as much from your life’s banquet this holiday season. May joy be abundant and keep you warm. It's the giving , not the getting that matters.
Happy Holidays….

Thursday, December 2, 2010

self-soothing... songs from the mothership

Soothe: –verb
1. to tranquilize or calm, as a person or the feelings; relieve, comfort, or refresh
2. to mitigate, assuage, or allay, as pain, sorrow, or doubt exert a soothing influence; bring tranquility, calm, ease, or comfort.
Read more:

i find myself midweek already a bit pooped from the many ups and not-so-ups. sometimes working with people who are not well can hurt. yesterday was one of those days for me. luckily my hurt heals. here's one (or two) things that helped.