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Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Independence Weekend 

Oh goodness! Getting a crown for your tooth isn't cheap. I nearly had a heart attack when I found out how much I had to pay on my part. Right now, I have on a temporary. I will get my permanent next week or so. The whole procedure wasn't so bad. I hate having x-rays of my teeth. Those little black squares, that go into your mouth for x-rays, they're sharp at the edges and can cut into your gums. The technician told me to bite down on the clamp but the x-ray cards were cutting into me. She was like, "I know they hurt but x-rays have to be taken." I thought I could bear with 2 or 3 x-ray shots but turned out that I was having a full package of my mouth, which contained about 20 shots. Arrgghh!

Then, before the dentist worked on my tooth, he inserted some rubbered device in my mouth. I felt like a horse having a bit inserted. This was to have one side of my teeth to bite on while he worked on the other side. At first, it wasn't so bad, except that it interfered with my tongue from swallowing. But, more than 2 hours biting on it, my jaws were throbbing from being opened for a long period of time and I was having a headache. After a few minutes, it went away. But then, when the device was removed, I had a headache again.

After that, I met Cliff at Union Station for dinner and a movie. After dinner and some good chats, we went to see Batman Begins. We went in, purchased our tickets, exchanged ID's for the panel devices (for RWC) and got our junk food. We turned to head to the designated auditorium. The ticket-taker, or whatever you call them, called someone and had that person guide us to the auditorium. We were like, whatever. We told that person that we were fine and can find out way. The guide was adamant to lead us. Duh, duh, duh!
I actually enjoyed this movie, despite the fact that you don't get to see any Batman action until halfway through. Overall, a pretty good movie!

I noticed something lately that when I go to the movies and they show previews of Fantastic Four. I noticed that they show numerous clips of Invisible Girl/Woman, Human Touch, The Thing and Dr. Doom. However, they only show one brief clip of Mr. Fantastic. It must be that his elastic power isn't that impressive or that his character isn't really that great in the film. Now, I'm having second thoughts about all the hype built for the film. However, I'm still gonna check it out but I won't be surprised if I come out unimpressed.


Friday morning, KT and I watched The Gift. It's a documentary about bug chasers and gift givers in the gay communities. For those unfamiliar with the terms, a bug chaser is an HIV- person seeking to seroconvert to be positive. A gift giver is an HIV+ seeking to infect. Everyone, especially gays, whether HIV negative or positive, should watch this documentary. There are some scary facts and stats that people need to be aware of.

As a side note:
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(This biohazard tattoo, especially in the gay communities, is a symbol that one has HIV.)

Simply put, condoms are just useless. People just do not want to practice safe sex. A couple of people in the film commented that from their personal observation, about 80 to 90% of gays bareback. (Barebacking is having sex without protection, i.e., condoms.) Just as D.A.R.E. is ineffective to the war on drugs, passing out condoms or giving HIV prevention tips and such have become ineffective to the war on HIV/AIDS. People are just not listening!

One question raised in the film is why are some gays, especially young gays, seeking HIV? Their excuse is that they're tired of worrying about HIV, STD's and having to have to practice safe sex. They figured that if they get HIV, then they will no longer have to worry and just live life. We need to stop accepting that excuse. Otherwise, we all should worry about getting cancer, heart attacks and other stuff. "Just go ahead and amputate my leg right now. Members of my families are known to get diabetes and sometimes have to have some limbs amputated, due to gangrene. I just hate to worry about gangrene and diabetes. Just go ahead and amputate my right leg so I don't have to worry about it." Stupid, eh? Exactly!

This next point is sticky to talk about but it's something to ponder. Perhaps the rising number of bug-chasing is due to the acceptance of those with HIV. It used to be that those afflicted with HIV or AIDS wouldn't dare disclose their status, even among their close gay friends or accepting families. Nowaways, you'd be considered 'insensitive' for excluding or discriminating those with HIV/AIDS. Somehow, I don't think I'm saying anything right, let's see if I can try it again. These days, when someone gets HIV, we don't say "you dumbfuck, what the hell were you thinking?" or something of that nature. Instead, we offer solace, "it's not the end of the world" or "there are medications these days and people are living longer". These days, we see advertisements for HIV medication. The ads often have men in good health. You can't even tell they even have HIV or anything. They're getting married, or playing sports or traveling. Living with HIV has been glamorized. You don't see ads of those with HIV/AIDS suffering with pain and illnesses.

In fact, one man, who seroconverted, said that he was more afraid of getting lung cancer from smoking or Hep C than getting HIV. There was a clip of a televised ad about smoking. I can't remember what the lines were but at the end, a woman was shown to bring a cigarette to a hole at the base of her neck to inhale. Another ad was shown about Hep C. Imprinted on a torso was a list of illnesses and symptoms associated with Hep C, including jaundiced eyes.

Now, before you get all upset about what I'm saying about those with HIV, keep in mind that these words were uttered by HIV positive men in a support group. In fact, they also asked...where is the glamorization of those who are HIV negative? They viewed any gays who are 30 and older and remained negative as feats.

Repeatedly, throughout the film, you just would not believe what you will see. This one guy, in San Diego (or maybe it was San Francisco), wanted to seroconvert. So, he invited 10 to 15 poz guys. They were to deposit their loads in him and leave. However, he didn't get what he wanted. So, he sent out another one and converted. Anyways, he had been doing these conversion/barebacking parties. He said that even those who had jobs as HIV prevention specialists and such, were there and barebacking. Ok, preaching to us to do the right thing but they're not doing the right thing either. WTF!

There was a time when HIV, AIDS and STD's scared people that sex drives actually diminished. These days, sex drives are just out of control, despite the consequences. I'm gonna close on this top with some stats. If these stats don't scare or alarm you, then I'm afraid that nothing else will. I could go on and on but then I'll be telling you everything in the documentary. Just go and watch it!

One out of every 3 Black gays is HIV positive.

Every hour, at least 2 teenagers become HIV positive.

I wish I remember the number of those who participated in a study in California. However, there was a group of 16 to 22 year olds in this study. Turned out that 91% Blacks, 75% Hispanics and 74% Whites were tested positive. That's not the worst part. The worst part was that they didn't know they were positive.

These stats are UNACCEPTABLE! So, what is the solution?!?!


Went over to Cindy and Dane's, along with other Deafies and had a game night. We had such a good time that we didn't get home til 5 in the morning. I cannot recall the last time I stayed up that late!

Saturday night, KT and I had a dinner date with another couple. Made dinner at home. Afterwards, we all watched Surviving Christmas, starring Ben Affleck and Christina Applegate. Cute movie.

Sunday, we had a small BBQ at our house with Manny and Kekua. Cliff was stuck at work over the holiday weekend. After the BBQ, we played a game of Hand & Foot. Afterwards, watched The Gift. Manny loaned me his book, Tweakers. I cannot wait to read it, once I've finished a book I'm currently reading. Then, Manny told us about Taint. I had never heard of it. Taint occurs once a month at DC9 as night for queers.

So, we headed over to his place to meet up with other people. Then, we all drove over to DC9. Whooo, I don't think I'll go back again. Sooooo crowded! I was just sweating like a pig! Ugh! However, it was good to see Ridor and Don.

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Jonelle & Jill, at Manny's place.

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Manny and his beloved LED belt.

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KT and me. Note to self: don't have pictures taken of me, turning my head to the side, very unflattering.

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Manny and Lee.

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The Brothers: Kekua, Ridor, Don and me.


Sunday, we headed over to a friend's house, somewhere past Baltimore. Had a great time with some friends and met some new people. Came home and just relaxed.

Come Monday morning and I was sooo tired from the busy weekend. Just wanted to stay home and veg. So, KT and I stayed home from work and just watched movies/shows all day. It was nice to just be at home.

The Hanging Garden was an interesting movie. It's about a gay man returning home after 10 years for his sister's wedding. He discovered that his family is still dysfunctional as before, along with a couple of surprises.

For the first time, I watched The Neverending Story. Yes, I know, how could I have not seen it before?!?! My parents didn't feel that it was appropriate for me to watch it when I was a kid. Well, now, I've seen it and thought it was a cute movie.

Maryjane was an interesting movie. Of course, there were just some erroneous portrayal of pot, such as you end up killing people on the road if you drive while stoned. Anyways, interesting movie from 1968 and actually had a surprise in the plot.

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind was an interesting movie. It could've been shorter. Very similar to The Butterfly Effect and that it was a better movie than Eternal Sunshine. I would not recommend this movie to other people. Blah!

I love The Joy Luck Club. It was KT's first time to see it. I could watch this movie again and again. I just love watching the stories of each mother's background and their respective daughters' as well as their expectations and struggles.

Well, this was a pretty long entry. Hope you enjoyed reading. Ta ta for now...