Tag Archives: AIDS

Warning! Solicitation for a good cause forthcoming:

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Warning! Solicitation for a good cause forthcoming:

I am participating again in the Cascade AIDS Project: AIDS Walk Portland on September 23, 2012. This year I am organizing my school’s team of walkers, something I am very proud to be able to do!

Personally, I walk because it gives me a chance to feel as though I am actually making a difference, even if it is only in one life, in one day. I personally love being able to fill the gaps in knowledge for teens and adults for that matter, in what HIV/AIDS is, how it is and IS NOT transmitted, that anyone can be affected and how it’s no longer a death sentence. Sharing that knowledge with people has given me more intrinsic rewards than anything I have ever done in my career.

I walk for my children. Working with HIV/AIDS populations have provided me an opportunity to model respect and the power of being informed to my children while also providing them the opportunity to be exposed to such a diverse group of individuals. My children have been set on a path of health and personal responsibility and that is something I can never replace.

I walk for my best friend, my friends and others like them living with HIV or AIDS. I can’t walk in their shoes, but I can damn sure walk for them.

Today, you can sponsor me here: http://www.aidswalkportland.org/cap/participantpage.asp?uid=7311&fundid=3069

If all of my followers donated just one dollar to sponsor me, I would meet my goal. If you donate more than a dollar, you are a rock star. Anything helps! The Cascade AIDS Project does amazing things.

And for this one dollar, I didn’t show you any starving children or mistreated animals. That is worth a dollar isn’t it?

Don’t make me break out the Sarah McLachlan….I’ll do it.

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Roger Waters: The Wall……YOU MUST GO

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Roger Waters: The Wall……YOU MUST GO

Yesterday was just an ordinary day of trying to get my car to pass emissions. You know just spending money on BS. Then someone texted me and offered me a FREE ticket to Roger Waters last night. Of course, I went. It was a once in a life time opportunity.

I wasn’t sure what to expect, the wall is one of my most nostalgic albums. The movie, was once my absolute favorite movie…I was sure the secret to life was held in it somehow….I watched it once as an adult and didn’t quite get it. But last night the small pieces that were intertwined in it made me want to see it again.

I’m not going to be able to encapsulate all that it was, but I will mention some highlights and share some pictures.

The way that Roger Waters juxtaposed and paralleled 1984esque Big Brother mentality, our current government/police state, the ongoing war on “terrorism,” drugs, capitalism, WWII, Iraq, Afghanistan, the London bombings, genocide, shell, BP, Apple, Iphone, Ieverything, Mercedes Benz, banks, bailouts, &(^(@#^$)^_*^&@#$(^#%)( was freaking BRILLIANT.

The light show/projectors, smoke and mirrors, planes, puppets, flying pigs, graffiti and the ACTUAL WALL was amazing.

There is one section of my pics wherein my camera wasnt fast enough. It is a set of pictures that reveal a quote:

“Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.” Dwight D. Eisenhower

There was some beautiful breasts in there too 😉

The individual bricks were amazing.

Roger himself looks like Richard Gere these days. And he sounds the same today as he did 30 years ago. It’s just mind-blowing.

It was a cerebral, audio, visual energy pill for my soul.

If you have a chance to go, you would be a fool to pass it up. I am so thankful I didn’t.

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Little Art/Big Cause Pieces

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Little Art/Big Cause Pieces

This year I am participating in Scandals annual Little Wood/Big Cause

According to Munro Rost, “A portion of the money raised for all 8 x 8 pieces of art sold, help to benefit our featured Non – profit organization for the “PRIDE” season. Scandals has raised enough to help keep HIV/AIDS testing free to the public through Cascade AIDS Project, for the past six years! We were only able to that with the help of YOU, and our community, through events such as (LA/BC), and our three day “PRIDE” Block Party!”
As you may or may not know about me, the LGBTQ community and raising HIV/AIDS awareness, knowledge and education is one of the most near and dear causes to my heart. I am so excited for my first Portland Pride participation! So for a little shameless self promotion and to get you some of you edumacated on what you could possible be missing in Portland’s beautiful pink triangle….I offer my 5 pieces for preview 🙂
Now mind you, there will be hopefully hundreds of pieces to choose from, my meager five will probably be lost in the mix….BUT if you happen to find all five, they make one smashing statement together and a smaller one individually 🙂

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I would like to add, there are things here you cannot see in the light….My paintings have a lot of texture and 3 separate layers of phosphorescent deliciousness…. For example… The white you see now will be nearly clear when totally dry and that glows in the dark as well….
Hazaah!

Vision Board, check.

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Vision Board, check.

I have a vision board. It is about 2 years old. I have been reevaluating it and taking stock of what it meant, what it means and what is coming to fruition. I am more than pleased with my progress.

My not for profit is becoming more and more shaped in my head and on paper, due to my using it as fodder for my MSW assignments.

My advanced placement practicum is going to be at my first choice org. which I have been salivating at getting to work at, to the point that I have put off my volunteerism in order to not engage in a conflict of interest.

Yay for me at the Cascade AIDS Project!

I have missed my intrinsic rewards….a.l.p.h.a. had me at “Hello.”

Also, I have a couple leads on summer jobs!

I am pretty much just excited in general about life, right now.

There is still much work to be done, but I am getting there.

Where, I do not know. But it is closer.

Cheers!

In the next 10 years, I want to:

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In the next 10 years, I want to:

Do lots of things. Duh.

But specifically, the things I want to do and the places I want to go are as follows….Anyone wanna come with?

  1. Put a down payment on my land and buy atleast 5 of these tumbleweed houses to put in a circle.
  2. Build a labyrinth:                                                                                              
  3. Start my garden.                                                                                      
  4. Buy a couple of these:                                                                              
  5. And these:                                                                                                       
  6. And these:                                                                                                          
  7. And some of those:                                                                                          
  8. And these:                                                                                                          
  9. these:                                                                                                      
  10. these:                                                                                                      
  11. Oh yeah these:                                                                                        
  12. and those:                                                                                                            
  13. Start paying on these and get the rest forgiven magically:                            
  14. Swim here:                                                                                                    
  15. And here:                                                                                                              
  16. And here:                                                                                                              
  17. See this:                                                                                                  
  18. Do this:                                                                                                                
  19. Change this:                                                                                            
  20. Look like this (only different of course):                                                     
  21. Look like this (only different of course):                                                             
  22. Figure out what its like to be an adult without minor children.
  23. Go here:                                                                                                  
  24. Go here:                                                                                                  
  25. Go here:                                                                                                  
  26. Write a book.
  27. Have a gallery show.
  28. Advocate for this:                                                                                      
  29. Do this:                                                                                                            
  30. Possibly move here:                                                                                           
  31. Survive this:                                                                                                
  32. Get this:                                                                                                    

That’ll do pig, that’ll do.

Yeah. I think that is all for now….But I reserve the right to add more. Cheers, interweb friends.

Burlesque Freakshow

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Went to a pretty magical Burlesque last night.

Acrobatics, cellos, crossdressers, traditional tattooed ladies with stripteases, bearded women, little people, bears, etc.

Scariest and most attractive bellydancer ever.

Magic.

Till the end.

Then they started soliciting for people to staple money to the little person.

“When ever in your life will you again have the chance to staple 20s to a DWARF!”

WTF

seriously?

Did they see this on Jackass or some bullshit? It can’t be real.

I only watched for a few minutes, thinking there must be a catch or a trick to it. Plus I was waiting for the raffle.

Nope. It was real. Somehow, they decided wiping down the bills with alcohol swabs made it sanitary. Even though there was blood on the stapler. His back, side, head, everywhere that they stapled him. i do not even want to go into the Blood-borne Pathogens talk. 10 dollars, he picks where you staple it; for 20, you pick. Anything but face and genitals. Wow. So sad. I am sure this is only the beginning of the kind of depraved things marginalized people in freak shows did 100 years ago. But this is now. Are we really this fucked up?

My date left, disgusted.

I felt guilty for staying.

But an observation: the only ones that actually wanted to staple him, were 25-35 year old drunk white guys.

He got more money though, from women of all ages that patted him and apologized, as they put money in his g-string.

I won the $100 tattoo gift certificate.

But I think it cost me more from my soul to stay for the drawing.

😦

 

Oh, the places you will go!~Dr. Seuss

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Oh, the places you will go!~Dr. Seuss

So I went to the placement fair to try and figure out some of the potential places for my clinical practicum…I narrowed it down to 6 places and they all make my heart glow:

Check them out:

Mission: To prevent HIV infections, support and empower people affected and infected by HIV/AIDS, and eliminate HIV/AIDS-related stigma.

http://cascadeaids.org/

Mission:

Our mission is to help homeless youth and other marginalized people move towards improved health and self-sufficiency. We are…

  • Service providers and advocates.
  • Experts in understanding adolescents.
  • A Federally Qualified Health Center.
  • A licensed Mental Health Agency.
  • Leaders in serving GLBTQ youth.

We believe…

  • In dignity, hope, and resiliency.
  • In innovation.
  • Our clients can get through current challenges.
  • Young people need trusting adults to thrive.
  • In meeting people where they are.
  • In a strengths-based approach.

http://www.outsidein.org/

Mission: The Bradley Angle mission is to offer survivors of domestic and sexual violence options for safety, empowerment, healing and hope, while collaborating with our communities to create social change.

As we work to bring an end to domestic violence, Bradley Angle embraces the following values:

  • We empower individuals and communities to take action and eliminate domestic violence from their lives.
  • We are committed to demystifying domestic violence and to giving voice to those touched by it.
  • We offer a safe, non-judgmental and welcoming environment for all domestic violence survivors, offering individualized services that meet a wide range of cultural and personal needs.
  • We believe all people, regardless of race, age, gender identity, background, sexual orientation or religion, deserve to live in a world where physical, emotional, and sexual abuse are not tolerated.

http://bradleyangle.org/

Mission: The mission of NARA, NW is to provide education, physical and mental health services and substance abuse treatment that is culturally appropriate to American Indians, Alaska Natives and other vulnerable populations.

http://www.naranorthwest.org/

Mission: In partnership with the communities we serve, the Health Department assures, promotes and protects the health of the people of Multnomah County.

  • We believe that health is a “state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being, not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” (World Health Organization, 1978)
  • We honor the diversity of the individuals and communities we serve and value their differing approaches to health and well-being.
  • We believe in partnerships to improve the health of our communities.
  • We believe the department’s actions should assist our communities in addressing underlying factors that affect good health.
  • We value effective leadership as a fundamental tool to improve the health of our communities.
  • We believe in being responsible stewards of the public trust and resources.
  • We value a diverse staff and believe our staff should be selected with care, treated with respect, held accountable for their performance and encouraged in their personal growth.
  • We believe in continuously improving the quality of our work.
  • We believe in balancing scientific knowledge and practical experience with the wisdom and beliefs of those we serve to improve the health of our communities.
  • We emphasize prevention, health promotion and early intervention.

http://web.multco.us/health

Mission: Honor America’s veterans by providing exceptional health care that improves their health and well-being.

http://www.portland.va.gov/vancouver.asp

I love that some places are beginning to transition and recognize different populations than they have traditionally, i.e. domestic violence shelters are beginning to recognize, anticipate and serve men and LGBTQ2S populations.

I am so excited to be able to do this part of my education out of Idaho.

No news yet on whether the VA will have any LGBTQ2S services but eventually they have to. I hope 🙂

2011 in Rearview:

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I have noticed that many of the blogs that I read have had something like a “year in review” wrap up blog in the last week. I used to do something similar back in the days of Myspace; I would post “Things I learned this summer or winter or fall or spring or year or whatever” and I have not done anything like that recently. So in homage to the yester-me and fellow bloggers, I offer my *2011 in Rearview.”

1) I never realized how much I would miss my old cohort in grad school. Even the ones I didn’t like, I liked. Who’d a thunk it? I am hoping to have as great a group of peeps to be around at my new school, but the bar is set high Vikings, the bar is set high.

2) I always thought that I hated to be alone and that was part of the reason that I was never single long; after spending nearly 3 months absolutely alone in a new town without even a dog or tv, I realized that I enjoy being alone but prefer it to be a choice. When I am forced to be alone and have absolutely nothing to do, ie: no job, I try to die from pneumonia.

3) Pneumonia is no effing joke and I have never been more scared about my health in my life. There is nothing like laying in bed alone with a fever, not being able to breathe or even get up, scared to sleep contemplating how long it would be before people realized you died. It was also the first time I experienced fever dreams. Not cool. You can keep them. It did however give me perspective on a lot of situations that I had not thought of, such as the couple this year that had the government deport one of them even though the one had complications of AIDS and needed his husband to help take care of him. It also made me want to pray for George Michael because Pneumonia is the effing devil. I can commiserate. Luckily, I was youngish and healthyish.

4) Quitting smoking in June was much easier with no one around to torment or tempt me.

5) Ironically, I think that part of my getting pneumonia was related to letting go of my dear dear friend tobacco. Sniff. I still miss him.

6) The illusion of your favorite place to visit certainly fades away when you have to live there.

7) Living in a place with a huge population of homeless makes me feel like a fat American, helpless, selfish and unsure of my ability to wear a social worker hat.

8) Concurrently, it impassions me to wear my social worker hat.

9) I don’t know if I should have used empassions or impassions in #8.

10) Everything about my life that I have absolutely hated in the last few years has absolutely prepared me for the current job that I have.

11) I really, really miss the NFP I worked at in Idaho. If you guys want to be part of an excellent group of people in Idaho, check it out: http://www.alphaidaho.org/

12) I miss my friends and took them forgranted when I lived near them.

13) I miss my family and took them forgranted when I lived near them.

14) Emotional affairs are a very real thing and not just a story to fill up a slot on the Today show. No pun intended. 🙂

15) I have worked with or for some pretty financially comfortable people in the last year and must say that I am much more emotionally, physically, and parentially? capable than most of them. That makes me feel better about the things that I feel my kids have missed out on because I am not rich and makes me feel better about the things I feel like I miss out on because I am not rich. If I could choose between being part of the 99% vs 1%, I honestly think I might pick 99%. Last year, I wouldn’t have said that.

16) I really learned a lot about myself, my relationships, and my kids in the last year.

17) I learn best by getting lost and finding my way home. Figuratively and physically.

I think that is all the introspection I have for myself and the world today.

Skip to 1:05 and enjoy the tunes from my estimated 8th ex-husband and his band:

Rearview Mirror

Time on my hands….

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So the kids are gone and hubby is of course working. I have all this time on my hands the next two weeks and while I will be working too, my sporadic part-time hours are not nearly as fulfilling when there is nothing but a neurotic dog to come home to…In another life I would be volunteering at a.l.p.h.a. and going to Christmas parties, but I can’t do that here because I have to wait for the Cascade AIDS Project volunteering until I start my practicum. Sigh. So I have decided to make a list of the things I could but more than likely won’t get around to doing with all my free time before I go into full on working student mom wife mode in January:

1. Use the really expensive gym membership we pay for that I have used 4 times since June and hubby has used 0. Yay for wasted resources!

2. Alphabetize the 8947504750340534 books on my shelves that when I unpacked I put into subjects and genres and swore I’d alphabetize later.

3. Write poetry (haven’t done that in like a year)

4. Play my guitar (haven’t done that in like a year)

5. Finish my Sookie Stackhouse novels, that just really aren’t as good now that I have seen the bastardized tv show (comparatively speaking, however last night I was watching “How to make an american quilt” which I haven’t seen in 15 years and realized Sophia, the mermaid character is GRAN! She has ALWAYS been old and looked exactly the same. Magic.)

I digress.

6. Clean out my son’s closet. I may need a hazmat team to do that.

7. Reorganize my clothes….I really have too many and find myself wearing the same 6 things constantly.

8. Start using my yoga dvds again.

9. Go ride the train and people watch.

10. Go to a show in Portland.

11. Take the books back to the library that are a good month overdue. Oops.

12. Sleep. Alot.

13. Finish the project I have for my 1st anniversary. Meh. Maybe this one might get done. Maybe.

14. Take the dry cleaner bag to the dry cleaner *GASP*

15. Take the large blankets from the garage to the laundry mat.

16. Go walk around and look in store front windows and create my fantasy wardrobe and house with home furnishings….

17. Actually go to one of the things the Mormon missionaries keep inviting me too, I just would feel like such a fraud and if I am theologically wrong, by going the church may fall on my head.

18. Go Christmas caroling. Ironically.

19. Get drunk.

20. Get drunk and go Christmas caroling…Drunkenly.

Hmmm. I bet there are lots more things I could do…..Most likely I will just end up at Starbucks, the dog park and here in the inter-webs….I’m so lame. LOL

George Michael, AIDS and World AIDS Day…

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I am coming up on a year of being actively involved in LGBTQ, AIDS, HIV, DADT, and related advocacy topics; oddly enough it coincides with World AIDS Day, this Thursday. As I read the news and reflect upon my year I have come to the conclusion that there is NO WAY I am done. Article after article that I read is about George Michael and his current bout with Community Acquired Pneumonia and his PR team SCREAMING “It’s not AIDS!”

George Michael was the first man I ever wanted to marry (besides Michael Jackson, but that’s a whole other article….) I remember singing in the bathroom, curling my hair with my Aunt Susie singing, “Wake me up before you go go” and “Careless Whisper.” I remember GUSHING over the cover of Faith. I bought that single 3 times and the album twice. When he finally came out, I thought “Of course he is! That’s why I love him!” It all made so much sense. I have shared him and his wonderful Greek cheeks with my own daughter age 11, via “Last Christmas” and youtube. I hadn’t really thought about how I had let my happy place, my “volunteerism” fall to the wayside as I adjust to a new town and school, culture and routine. I have gotten lazy about what makes me purr, what makes me happiest. That little voice inside of me that SCREAMS make it right for everyone, COMBAT ignorance!

I digress 😉

Given George Michael’s past, his lover’s deaths at the hands of AIDS, and his refusal to be tested, I say irresponsible. Maybe it is AIDS. Maybe it isn’t. Regardless, it brings to my attention the fact that there is still so much stereotype, misinformation, and stigma attached to having AIDS or HIV that I can’t stop now. More must be done. The media can’t win. Ignorance and fear can’t win! No one should be scared to know their status because of what may be thought of them, because AIDS is not a death sentence, unless you ignore it.

So, it is perfectly circular and fantastic in its own tragic way that George, his current illness and World AIDS Day should come about and reinvigorate my spirit and need to educate and advocate.

Thanks George, I just needed to have faith. Get well soon. ❤