Quantcast

Subscribe to:
POZ magazine
E-newsletters
Join POZ: Facebook MySpace Twitter Pinterest
Tumblr Google+ Flickr MySpace
POZ Personals
Sign In / Join
Username:
Password:
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
July 22, 2014, 08:13:13 PM

Login with username, password and session length


Members
Stats
  • Total Posts: 631498
  • Total Topics: 47803
  • Online Today: 279
  • Online Ever: 585
  • (January 07, 2014, 02:31:47 PM)
Users Online

Welcome


Welcome to the POZ/AIDSmeds Community Forums, a round-the-clock discussion area for people with HIV/AIDS, their friends/family/caregivers, and others concerned about HIV/AIDS.  Click on the links below to browse our various forums; scroll down for a glance at the most recent posts; or join in the conversation yourself by registering on the left side of this page.

Privacy Warning:  Please realize that these forums are open to all, and are fully searchable via Google and other search engines. If you are HIV positive and disclose this in our forums, then it is almost the same thing as telling the whole world (or at least the World Wide Web). If this concerns you, then do not use a username or avatar that are self-identifying in any way. We do not allow the deletion of anything you post in these forums, so think before you post.

  • The information shared in these forums, by moderators and members, is designed to complement, not replace, the relationship between an individual and his/her own physician.

  • All members of these forums are, by default, not considered to be licensed medical providers. If otherwise, users must clearly define themselves as such.

  • Forums members must behave at all times with respect and honesty. Posting guidelines, including time-out and banning policies, have been established by the moderators of these forums. Click here for “Am I Infected?” posting guidelines. Click here for posting guidelines pertaining to all other POZ/AIDSmeds community forums.

  • We ask all forums members to provide references for health/medical/scientific information they provide, when it is not a personal experience being discussed. Please provide hyperlinks with full URLs or full citations of published works not available via the Internet. Additionally, all forums members must post information which are true and correct to their knowledge.

  • Product advertisement—including links; banners; editorial content; and clinical trial, study or survey participation—is strictly prohibited by forums members unless permission has been secured from POZ.

To change forums navigation language settings, click here (members only), Register now

Para cambiar sus preferencias de los foros en español, haz clic aquí (sólo miembros), Regístrate ahora

Finished Reading This? You can collapse this or any other box on this page by clicking the symbol in each box.

Author Topic: My Brilliant Career  (Read 5508 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Bucko

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,947
  • You need a shine, missy!
    • The Spin Cycle
My Brilliant Career
« on: July 10, 2007, 03:29:22 PM »
About two years ago, in the old fora, I posted something similar about how HIV has (and has not) changed my career, but there have been some new developments, and many folks here haven't heard it before, so I want to revisit the topic.

In my Junior year of High school three things became very apparent:
1) Despite a lifetime of promises and expectations, my parents were in no place financially or emotionally to help get me in college. 
2) If not fascinated by the subject, I am a lazy and indifferent student.
3) I needed to assert myself as an independent adult, supporting myself and exploring my options in Boston, which was about 15 miles to the north.

I've disclosed a bit about my life in my mother's home: alcoholism, drug addiction, sexual abuse/ritual humiliation under the guise of "discipline". It was all there, and more that I'd rather not get into. Life was pretty intolerable, but I stuck out my senior year because I had two younger sisters who needed me, and i understood that a GED and a diploma were not the same thing. I was able to cherry-pick my classes (no math, no science, lots of art, double the required English, AP French, etc) and finished school with Honors (would have been high honors but for an ill-advised Piano class) and moved out the day after my last day of school.

It became immediately apparent that my schooling had prepared me for nothing that earns money. My first job was as an overnight security guard, which gave me tons of time to read and draw, but as the pay rate was $2.10 per hour necessitated a 70-90 hour schedule to meet my rent and keep food in my mouth, just barely. In six months I'd contracted Mono, which kept me out of work for weeks. My faghag roommate took care of me and I was able to return to the job market just before my 19th birthday in January 1979.

I landed a job at the swingingest disco in Boston as a barback, where I was one of the tastier morsels. I had fun, tons of fun...so much fun that by June I'd contracted Hep B which kept me down for six months. My dad was holed up in a small apartment in Brighton, barely functioning but still employed and was thrilled to take me in. Nothing would have compelled me to return to my mother's. I was down to a very frail 125 lbs, but survived, and by March 1980 was back out on my own again.

All this history is to show where I started from, sorry if it's overlong.

I found a job in a mob-owned liquor store, where I worked from 11:00-11:00 six day a week. Being of hearty constitution, the rest of my time was devoted to partying (doing drugs and getting laid), and i learned some basics of retail there, besides. Taking that experience i got a job in a Department Store, then a Menswear boutique, where I eventually became the assistant manager. By 1983 I landed a job with a major New-England based furniture retail company based on the strength of my personality, communication skills and retail experience.

The focus of my life switched from finding a party to establishing a career, and within five years was the manager of the flagship store of a division of the company on Madison Ave in NYC. I was making tons of money and having a blast exploring all the fun to be had in the Downtown club scene of 1988, but restricting myself to booze, having sworn off drugs.

That summer the company started closing its stores in the DC region in the middle of the night, and within months the 85-store chain imploded like a house of cards. New York was swimming with candidates as qualified as me and my prospects seemed not so brilliant, so I retreated to Boston where I felt I could better survive. I worked as a wholesale rep/showroom manager for a bit, helped a friend open a furniture gallery selling what was then known as "art furniture", and eventually managed a small Danish import store. Everything was all very beautiful and high-end, and I learned a great deal about the design trade.

But my friends were dropping all around me like flies. Two of my exes were already dead. My social life revolved around memorial services, and I began to notice that despite twelve years swimming in the scene in Boston, I recognized fewer and fewer faces in the crowd. I took a three-week vacation in Spain in May, 1990 and fell in love on a beach in Sitges with a glorious little Parisian muscleboy. Within two months I'd sold all my possessions and was on a plane with eight bags full of NYC clothing to live with Jean-Marc, who claimed not to be able to live without me.

It turned out he couldn't live long with me, either, and was dead in two years.

After two years of mourning, drinking and working menial jobs (at one point painting the interiors of a neighbor's closets, bless her), I decided to reactivate my career, applied for and was accepted in a small furniture boutique that sold custom hand-crafted cherry furniture from Vermont. The sales team was composed of management veterans from corporate furniture retailers and it was a perfect fit. But the money was terrible.

At this time I met my now-ex Kenny. He was sweet and funny at first. He grew up in the same town I had escaped in 1978 and in some ways it felt like I was 'going home" after my various adventures in NYC and Europe. The night we met was his first night ever in a gay bar, as he'd lived a very closeted life. He worked construction/carpentry jobs and was very butch (and a total bottom). After six months of casual hook-ups (he was living on Cape Cod) i was trying to cool things down as his lack of polish and a complete lack of interest in the things I really enjoyed made it seem like a fun time but a bad fit. He felt much more for me than i could ever feel for him, and it seemed dishonest to continue seeing each other.

Then a condom broke. I had always presumed that I was poz, but had never been tested. Treatment options were still very limited. HIV was still a death sentence.  I had stopped counting the dead at 60 some years before. Kenny knew my feelings and my history very well. We discussed everything thoroughly and decided to forgo using condoms from that time forward. This decision was entirely mutual. A year later I fell ill, we were both tested, both came back poz.

I was devastated, but Ken showed a great deal of character and did not blame me (at first). I felt like Colin Powell's Pottery Barn Rule was in effect: I'd broken it, so I owned it. But I had excellent health insurance, and in many ways I resembled many of the newly-infected members posting here now. Life was still fine, i took my meds and everything was essentially the same, occasional side effects notwithstanding.

I bounced around, eventually being recruited by various small furniture companies until I had burned through seven jobs in three years. If the money was good, the environments were toxic. I hit a brick wall in 1999 and Kenny and I decided to leave Boston, eventually settling in New Haven, CT after toying with the idea of moving to South Beach (my desire, not his at all). 

The job in New Haven was a chance to put all my career experience to work. I was in charge of merchandising a 30,000 sq foot store full of hand-crafted solid-wood furniture from over 50 small woodworkers and furniture manufacturers from all over the world. I was the design guy, who could equally plan out an entire house or focus on the spec for a custom coffee table. I purchased rugs (beautiful Tibetan carpets) and upholstery. i was the sales manager and organized all the paperwork and trained the staff, hiring professionals. We built the store from an $800,000 plaything to the most exciting furniture retail experience in New England selling over $3,000,000 by 2001.

But Kenny began having troubles. He blew out his back and eventually required a lumbar fusion. His behavior became erratic and he was arrested twice for assault. He was abusing Percocet used to treat his back pain and drinking too much. I talked him into voluntary commitment at a rehab, but it didn't take. He began to accuse me of having infected him, and hinted that i hadn't been as ignorant of my status as I'd been.

The stress of the job and all the heavy lifting took its toll, and I was eventually found to have fairly advanced cervical disc degeneration, with osteophites. I began consulting with a Pain Specialist who told me that my real problem was myelopathy, which he described as an action of HIV on my central nervous system, eventually leading to a total loss of brain function. I spent almost six months in bed, and many more on a cane, convinced that I was degenerating. I was overmedicated on Fentanol, Neurontin and Valium and was hospitalized twice for panic. Eventually all this was disabused by a specialist in New York, but I spent 2002 in a fog of pain and panic.

I was in too much pain to work and went on Workmen's Comp, eventually being declared a percentage disabled (but not enough to go on disability) and getting a nice settlement. As the New England winters were too much to bear with my arthritic neck, I renewed my wish to move to SoFla. Kenny agreed only if we chose Ft Lauderdale instead of South Beach, which he found overly intimidating.

We tore through the money so very quickly. My former employer in New Haven insisted that any reference he would give included my having sued his insurance in a Worker's Comp claim. I also found that the market down here is all about the expedient over the splendid. I had specialized to such a degree that my skills were not looked on as relevant, and without an ASID certificate could not call myself a "designer", only a decorator. As such my experience counted for very little.

I took jobs that paid some (if not most) of the bills. I had a new Mini Cooper that was expensive. Kenny was slow to find work, and consistently berated my jobs as beneath me and was resentful of the time I invested in them. I had him involuntarily committed twice down here in about 18 months, as his addition to pills got ever worse. He resented being in Florida, where he'd never felt at home, and was acting out in many ways.

It was in the nature of our relationship that I earned most of the money, but Kenny managed it. I know this sounds odd, but he had always been very good at it, where I possess no money-management skills whatsoever. I'd always presumed that he would perceive our success as mutually advantageous, and always had. In a furious attempt at passive aggressiveness, he "neglected" to pay my HIPPA insurance premium and my insurance was cut off. He figured that without health insurance, I'd return to Massachusetts where care is better provided than Florida.

There were several straws that eventually broke the camel's back, and I walked out on our nine-year study in dysfunction. As might be expected, ken reacted poorly to my action, hid my meds and threatened to kill me. I needed police escorts to return to our rented townhouse, which I did only twice. I was managing a small, quiet contemporary furniture store in Boca and slept there for several nights as I had nowhere else to turn.

My finances were a shambles by this time, with tens of thousands of dollars in consumer debt. I can only blame myself for not taking a greater interest in Ken's (mis)management of our affairs. But as I had no health insurance, I was obliged to live under the income restrictions imposed by Florida's Ryan White and ADAP administrators, earning about 1/3 of what I had in CT. Paying anything beyond immediate expenses was out of the question. When the owners of the sore (which was failing horribly) returned to Denmark I was unemployed again.

I hid in my apartment and cried for about a month. Depression, which had always been a issue with me took over. My one ray of light was finding AIDSmeds, meeting new friends (most especially Matty, with whom I share the strongest relationship I've ever had whom I love beyond words). Focusing my creative energies on writing, we founded The Spin Cycle, and although I should publish more often, it remains an enormous accomplishment for me at this time in my life.

I got a job working nights in a small art gallery downtown, but it wasn't enough to keep my car, so I let it go in October of 2005. When the gallery closed in Jan of 2006, I started working at a boutique up the street, selling very expensive jeans and T-shirts. The boutique was named Best Menswear store in Ft Lauderdale last year and eventually became the night manager there. I worked very hard for an incredibly demanding boss, who saw fit to be open on Thanksgiving and Christmas. That was the first time I'd ever worked such holidays and resented it terribly.

Likewise the owner never really "got" me. I was not her image of an employee there, twenty years too old and the wrong gender. I have worked for entrepreneurs since leaving NYC in 1988, so i was used to unusual characters for employers, but I've never worked so hard for someone who respected or trusted me less. I did myself no favors by disclosing my status (which made her very uneasy), or by telling her that I needed my job so badly that I was "one paycheck away from being homeless".

When I came down with the Shingles last month, she saw fit to keep me off the schedule for a week beyond doctor's recommendations, and whatever was left of my pride caused me to quit, in pain and with no obvious options. Some friends bailed me out, so this month's rent was on-time.

About three months ago I was going to start a thread titled "Apron Green or Orange?" discussing my job prospects. My first consideration, beyond keeping a roof over my head, is to obtain health insurance again. The most likely candidates for such a job seem to me to be either Starbucks or Home Depot, though neither is very appealing. I am still enough of a diva to see either option as, at the very least, lamentable. But the same pride that got me here typing this all out rebels even more at the thought of being bailed out by friends, which makes me extraordinarily uncomfortable.

I always have a place on my sister's futon, and I know that option's a possibility. We love each other unconditionally. But I see that, or any move away from SoFla as abdicating whatever's left of my dignity, however battered it may be right this second.

I have an extraordinary friend down here who pulled some strings last week and last night I started training as a barback at The Ramrod, which is a 10-minute walk from my home. I have no expectations of permanence and know that I'll never get health insurance there. Starbucks still seems the likeliest possibility. But my ego likes the work (even as my neck hates the beer cooler) and I have been warmly received by the staff. 

In the vast circles life makes, I've back around again.

Brent
(Who needs to learn to edit, because this is way too much to read)

   
Blessed with brains, talent and gorgeous tits.

The revolutionary smart set reads The Spin Cycle at least once every day.

Blathering on AIDSmeds since 2005, provocative from birth

Offline Dachshund

  • Member
  • Posts: 5,941
Re: My Brilliant Career
« Reply #1 on: July 10, 2007, 03:41:34 PM »
Matty and I plan to be there for Fetish Friday...say hello to Jose and Mike.

AD ;)

Offline Bucko

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,947
  • You need a shine, missy!
    • The Spin Cycle
Re: My Brilliant Career
« Reply #2 on: July 10, 2007, 04:29:26 PM »
Matty and I plan to be there for Fetish Friday...say hello to Jose and Mike.

AD ;)

I understand that MtD & AD (for whom this is not news) spent many minutes exploring the Ramrod website all attiter.  ;D

Last night was "Paddle on the Patio" Monday. Let's just say that the bartender was impressed with my swing.

Brent
(Who knows all the techniques)
Blessed with brains, talent and gorgeous tits.

The revolutionary smart set reads The Spin Cycle at least once every day.

Blathering on AIDSmeds since 2005, provocative from birth

Offline aupointillimite

  • Member
  • Posts: 3,229
  • FUS DO RAH!
Re: My Brilliant Career
« Reply #3 on: July 10, 2007, 05:24:14 PM »
When things start to go bad, they'll keep going badly for quite a while... but once they begin improving, things usually get better and better.

I am glad that you found something... it's not much, but it beats the ever living Hell out of nothing. 

Your diplomacy is astounding.  Tu sais ce que j'veux dire.

And I, like you, must be fascinated by a subject for me to work on it.  I'm an auto-didact but a horrendous student.

I wish to speak with you soon, good sir.  Perhaps when our anal-babies are aborted from my face? 
Your tastebuds can't repel flavor of this magnitude!

Offline keyite

  • Member
  • Posts: 514
Re: My Brilliant Career
« Reply #4 on: July 10, 2007, 06:19:37 PM »
What a whirlwind tour - it was breathless but absolutely compelling reading. Hope you attain insurance again soon.

Offline Matty the Damned

  • Member
  • Posts: 12,198
  • Ninja Please
Re: My Brilliant Career
« Reply #5 on: July 10, 2007, 07:21:42 PM »
Honey,

If taking care of uppity aging bartenders doesn't pan out you can always get a job cleaning robo-toilets for Jim Naugle.

:-*

Love you most,

MtD

Offline RapidRod

  • Member
  • Posts: 15,273
Re: My Brilliant Career
« Reply #6 on: July 10, 2007, 07:26:53 PM »
Thanks for sharing Brent.

Offline red_Dragon888

  • Member
  • Posts: 2,811
  • Love and Be Love in Return
Re: My Brilliant Career
« Reply #7 on: July 10, 2007, 07:53:16 PM »
dude....,  you wrote a book,
« Last Edit: July 10, 2007, 08:09:27 PM by red_Dragon888 »
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=I3ba3lnFHik

ďNeither look forward where there is doubt nor backward where there is regret. Look inward and ask not if there is anything o

Offline Matty the Damned

  • Member
  • Posts: 12,198
  • Ninja Please
Re: My Brilliant Career
« Reply #8 on: July 10, 2007, 08:06:51 PM »
Did you even bother to read what Bucko wrote?

MtD

Offline Miss Philicia

  • Member
  • Posts: 23,872
  • celebrity poster, faker & poser
Re: My Brilliant Career
« Reply #9 on: July 10, 2007, 08:29:17 PM »
obviously not
"Iíve slept with enough men to know that Iím not gay"

Offline RICKY77531

  • Member
  • Posts: 104
  • just Chill
Re: My Brilliant Career
« Reply #10 on: July 10, 2007, 08:43:20 PM »
That was intersting. it makes you realize , when you stop and take a look back at your life ...how it was so ...don't know the words...umm ...something like all the lessons you learned ..how very intersting your life sounds.....good luck with getting new health insurance...
06/2007   CD4 266  Vl 62000
06/2007   CD4 200  Vl 13495
07/2007   ATRIPLA
09/2007   CD4 323  VL Undetectable
11/2007   CD4 428  VL Undetectable
01/2008   CD4 357  VL Undetectable
04/2008   CD4 357  VL UNDETECTABLE
08/2008   CD4 402  VL UNDETECTABLE
11/2008   CD4 421  79 DETECTABLE..
2/2009     CD4 450  VL UNDETECTABLE

Offline Queen Tokelove

  • Member
  • Posts: 6,033
  • Smokey the Smurf
Re: My Brilliant Career
« Reply #11 on: July 10, 2007, 08:59:03 PM »
Wow, definitely a good read...As I like to say, walk a mile in someone's shoes. But I also agree with Benj, something is definitely better than nothing...Keep ya head up!!!!!
Started Atripla/Ziagen on 9/13/07.
10/31/07 CD4-265 VL- undetectable
2/6/08 CD4- 401 VL- undetectable
5/7/08 CD4- 705 VL- undetectable
6/4/08 CD4- 775 VL- undetectable
8/6/08 CD4- 805 VL- undetectable
11/13/08 CD4- 774 VL--undetectable
2/4/09  CD4- 484  VL- 18,000 (2 months off meds)
3/3/09---Starting Back on Meds---
4/27/09 CD4- 664 VL-- undetectable
6/17/09 CD4- 438 VL- 439
8/09 CD4- 404 VL- 1,600
01-22-10-- CD4- 525 VL- 59,000
Cherish the simple things life has to offer

The Royal Blog

Offline dtwpuck

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,013
  • дано мне тело, что мне делать с ним?
Re: My Brilliant Career
« Reply #12 on: July 10, 2007, 09:08:44 PM »
Brent... I'm sorry to hear about your loss of job.

The great thing about Starbucks, btw, is that they are very gay friendly and offer health insurance pretty much unconditionally.  I almost went to work for their MIS department a couple years ago. 

In any case, I wish you the best.  And, if you need help writing a resume.... well, I have many years of experience reading them.

Scott
Floating through the void in the caress of two giant pink lobsters named Esmerelda and Keith.

Offline Buckmark

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,520
  • Would you like to tie me up with your ties, Ty?
    • Henry's Home Page
Re: My Brilliant Career
« Reply #13 on: July 10, 2007, 09:43:04 PM »
Brent,

I think you have quite eloquently (as usual) portrayed a significant way in which HIV has
affected your job and career.   I can understand your lamenting a decision to take a
job you really don't feel is interesting or fulfilling, just to get health insurance.  But I think
that is a decision many folks in the US must face, as the US healthcare system is generally
accessed via employers -- the government only assists if you are destitute.

Perhaps you could view a job at Starbucks or Home Depot as something which could
eventually enable you to pursue other career interests.  You certainly have a depth of experience
in merchandising, and from what you have written I can see the beginnings of a resume.

Also, IMHO, I think you may find Starbucks more appealing than Home Depot.  I had
a roommate who worked for HD for several years.  They are notoriously reluctant to
hire full-timers, and their health insurance for part-timers stinks.  Plus, he felt the work
environment and their committment to customer service was lousy.  (With apologies
to any HD employees, who I would invite to respond with their own opinions.)

Regards,

Henry
"Life in Lubbock, Texas, taught me two things:
     One is that God loves you and you're going to burn in hell.
     The other is that sex is the most awful, filthy thing on earth and you should save it for someone you love."
- Butch Hancock, Musician, The Flatlanders

Offline RapidRod

  • Member
  • Posts: 15,273
Re: My Brilliant Career
« Reply #14 on: July 10, 2007, 09:49:51 PM »
Can we sue if the door opens to quick and we get humiliated? Damn, I see the bulbs flashing now from paparazzi standing there waiting for a glimpse.

Offline Robert

  • Member
  • Posts: 2,643
Re: My Brilliant Career
« Reply #15 on: July 10, 2007, 09:51:45 PM »
Brent.

I read this the first time around a couple of years ago and it is just as powerful now as it was then.  And I'm still at a loss of words.  Sort of makes you wonder, doesn't it, just what key are you holding?  Whatever is behind that door has got to be magical...or at least better be for all the grief you've endured.

robert
..........

Offline Jody

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,814
Re: My Brilliant Career
« Reply #16 on: July 10, 2007, 10:10:10 PM »
Hi Brent...Your story certainly shows that indeed life does have its ups and downs, better days than others and better periods of time than others.  Here's hoping you get what you are looking for when all is said and done and you find the happiness you deserve.  Keep on truckin'

Jody
"Wake up to find out that you are the eyes of the world".
 "Try to discover that you are the song that the morning brings."

Grateful Dead

Offline Carolann

  • Member
  • Posts: 233
Re: My Brilliant Career
« Reply #17 on: July 10, 2007, 10:42:51 PM »
Dear Brent,

My heart goes out to you, and I hope you can get your insurance soon. You are a talented writer, and I enjoyed your story.  I admire your sense of adventure and appreciate that you have packed so much into your life, wow you have guts. I know life will get better for you as you are a fighter.

CA

Offline aztecan

  • Member
  • Posts: 5,382
  • 29 years positive, 56 years a pain in the butt
Re: My Brilliant Career
« Reply #18 on: July 11, 2007, 12:30:08 AM »
Brent,

I remember some of what you wrote here today from the earlier thread. You still inspire me.

Homo Depot could be fun, but not with your back. Were I you, I would probably have fun at the Ramrod for a time and then investigate Starbucks.

But, that's just me.

HUGS

Mark

(Who thinks a great deal of his Bucko.)
"May your life preach more loudly than your lips."
~ William Ellery Channing (Unitarian Minister)

Offline Jnm594

  • Member
  • Posts: 111
  • Fight! Fight! Fight the Good Fight!
Re: My Brilliant Career
« Reply #19 on: July 11, 2007, 12:42:01 AM »
I didn't see a brilliant "career" I saw a brilliant life.
When it gets hard I always listen to my favorite song of all time..........

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qJEYu3KgWCE

Offline ndrew

  • Member
  • Posts: 695
  • ....-.-.-.-.-.....
Re: My Brilliant Career
« Reply #20 on: July 11, 2007, 12:45:46 AM »
Brentish,

Hearing your story, however difficult is heart warming.  It's good to know your tale.

Wishing you the best for the future!

Drew

Offline woodshere

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,477
  • ain't no shame in my game
Re: My Brilliant Career
« Reply #21 on: July 11, 2007, 09:09:55 AM »
One never knows the journey our lives will take.  Some travel a road that is as smooth as fresh pavement while others have a journey over a road with a winter's worth of pot holes.  In the end it is not what your road was like, but who you are when you arrive.  Brent, your journey has left you a person of character, resilience and most of all a survivor.  Thanks for sharing your story!!

Woods
(who is sitting here thinking that after Brent finds his job with insurance, should persue a writing career!!!)
"Let us give pubicity to HV/AIDS and not hide it..." "One of the things destroying people with AIDS is the stigma we attach to it."   Nelson Mandela

Offline MoltenStorm

  • Member
  • Posts: 477
  • Poz & Fabulous
Re: My Brilliant Career
« Reply #22 on: July 11, 2007, 10:13:42 AM »
I think I just fell in love. :)


Molten
(who will admit that a writer has the express lane to his heart)
"Love is always patient and kind. It is never jealous. Love is never boastful nor conceited. It is never rude or selfish. It does not take offense and is not resentful. Love takes no pleasure in other people's sins, but delights in the truth. It is always ready to excuse, to trust, to hope, and to endure whatever comes." - 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, adaptation in A Walk To Remember

CD4: 555 / 29% / Undetectable - 7 Nov 2006
CD4: 555 / 29% / Undetectable - 5 Feb 2007

Offline northernguy

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,347
Re: My Brilliant Career
« Reply #23 on: July 11, 2007, 11:07:23 AM »
Whew, what a ride Brent!  Lately I've been contemplating Starbucks (seriously).  Instead of being stuck commuting to a job I don't like, I could walk down the street, do my job and come home and forget about it.  Luckily the health insurance part is taken out of the equation up here.
Apr 28/06 cd4 600 vl 10,600 cd% 25
Nov 8/09 cd4 510 vl 49,5000 cd% 16
Jan 16/10 cd4 660 vl 54,309 cd% 16
Feb 17/10 Started Atripla
Mar 7/10 cd4 710 vl 1,076 cd% 21
Apr 18/10 cd4 920 vl 268 cd% 28
Jun 19/10 cd4 450 vl 60 cd% 25
Aug 15/10 cd4 680 vl 205 cd% 27
Apr 3/11 cd4 780 vl <40 cd% 30
Jul 17/11 cd4 960 vl <40 cd%33
April 15/12 cd4 1,010 vl <40 cd% 39
April 20/12 Switched to Viramune + Truvada
Aug 2/12 cd4 1040, vl <40, cd% 38
Oct 19 cd4 1,110 vl <40 cd% 41

Offline dixieman

  • Member
  • Posts: 889
Re: My Brilliant Career
« Reply #24 on: July 11, 2007, 11:37:02 AM »
Brent, Thank you for sharing your triumps and your obstacles explaining your circumstances.... sometimes I feel overwhelmed but, my problems are soooo small considering yours and others. I've never been without money, insurance or a roof over my head... and again thank you... for showing how I am so fortunate for all I have...

Offline Bucko

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,947
  • You need a shine, missy!
    • The Spin Cycle
Re: My Brilliant Career
« Reply #25 on: July 11, 2007, 01:59:16 PM »
Thank you to all who have responded. i think Mark (Atecan) summed it up best. I'm gonna lick my wounds at The Ramrod for a short while and then pursue something at Starbucks. They are rated one of Fortune's top 100 employers in the US, the benefits are great, and I'll hardly be alone. Just about every Starbucks I've been to down here has its token hollow-cheeked middle-aged man in it for the insurance.

My Diva complex sometimes gets the upper hand on my pragmaticism, but never for long. I'll be applying in about a week, I guess.

The work at The Ramrod has definite social advantages and so far everybody there seems to be on the same team. Day two went well. Perhaps I can settle into a regular schedule of a shift or two per week. The manager, in particular, has been amazing in trying to keep my head above water.

Brent
(Who needs to lighten up sometimes)

Blessed with brains, talent and gorgeous tits.

The revolutionary smart set reads The Spin Cycle at least once every day.

Blathering on AIDSmeds since 2005, provocative from birth

Offline pozattitude

  • Member
  • Posts: 909
  • Enjoy
    • to find out more about me....
Re: My Brilliant Career
« Reply #26 on: July 11, 2007, 02:39:40 PM »
Brent,

I am a big fan of The Spin Cycle.  I love your writing, you have so much talent!
I think you have an incredible life story, and the more I read your posts here and on The Spin Cycle, the more I fall in love with you :-*
I can't wait to go visit my family so I can stop by the Ramrod and give you a BIG HUG.
R sure sure you can't make it to AMG this year?   :-\

Rich
(who is developing a infatuation for Brent)  ;)


POSITIVE PEDALERS... We are a group of people living with HIV/AIDS, eliminating stigma through our positive public example.

Offline LatinAlexander

  • Member
  • Posts: 599
  • Bogota, Colombia
Re: My Brilliant Career
« Reply #27 on: July 11, 2007, 02:58:51 PM »
Brent:

wow.... Dunno what to say.. Except that you DO have balls. THAT is A life.

I would consider starbucks. But having a one shift per week at the Bar is not bad at all. Nice mix, just to release tension.

Alex
Poz since Jul 19 2006
Initial numbers : CD4-250 VL 3500
First labs after HAART (Dec 04-2006) : CD4-432 VL-<40 (Undetectable)  cd4%=25.11%
Started HAART: Combivir+Efavirenz Aug 26 7:38 pm
Feb 08 2007 - Gradually stopping HAART cause of Myalgia. Protecting Efavirenz. Stopped Efavirenz, ahead with Combivir....
February 17 Combivir stopped.
April 3 -07 : Started ddi+3tc+efavirenz...
Gay and positive (What a lack of Identity...:) )
Looking for my Ben....

Offline Florida69

  • Member
  • Posts: 428
Re: My Brilliant Career
« Reply #28 on: July 11, 2007, 04:21:49 PM »
After reading all of that I am totally hot for you right now.  By the time I drive to Ft. Lauderdale I am sure that feeling would be gone.  Thank you for putting yourself out there like that, it was an amazing ride.   I don't have much to add, but I have mucho respect for you, to find yourself down and to pick yourself back up over and over again.  That says a lot about your character, which is one of the things I am most attracted to in hot older men.  I live on the other side of the state; I have heard of Ramrod's but unfortunately have never been there.  Next time I make it over to your coast I am sure to visit and ask for the hot bar back.    Anyway, it sounds like you are getting yourself back up again. I hope that the ASO has been helpful; I know insurance in Florida sucks (the firm that I work for does not even offer it).  I was lucky to have bought private insurance many years ago, because now it is paying for itself, but the premiums suck.  I work for an attorney and part time at a local restaurant and honestly some months I have no idea how I make it, but I do.   I have been trying to get a job with a larger law firm for the benefits, but most do not want to pay me, but that is a story for a different time.  Thanks again for the kick in the pants, it should make all of us realize that no matter how rough life is, someone out there has it rougher.  I of course like it a little rough.  Take care, and good luck at Ramrod's and Starbucks, would you consider doing both. Maybe part time gig at Ramrod's and full time at Starbucks, I am sure you will rise within the confines of the company in no time.  If you ever make it to the west coast be sure to look me up.  Take care, D



[attachment deleted by admin]
Nothing in the world can take the place of Persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan 'Press On' has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.
Calvin Coolidge

Offline Cerrid

  • Member
  • Posts: 499
  • only as good as your last haircut
Re: My Brilliant Career
« Reply #29 on: July 12, 2007, 06:14:16 AM »
Bucks,

thanks for sharing your story. Life has thrown gifts and hurdles into your way but it seems as if every step made you stronger. You're a true fighter and an admirable person. And you have many friends who know and appreciate it. I hope your job plans turn out successfully, I'm crossing my thumbs for you.

Good luck & take care! :-*
"Boredom is always counterrevolutionary. Always." (Guy Debord)

Offline rkeat25

  • Member
  • Posts: 32
Re: My Brilliant Career
« Reply #30 on: July 12, 2007, 07:55:35 AM »
Hey Brent - I knew bits and pieces of that from when we were friends before.  But, one thing rings true - it seems like no matter what gets thrown at you, eventually your able to work something out and make the best out of the situation.  That type of resilience is an asset that few can claim.

You have quite a way with words, "Just about every Starbucks I've been to down here has its token hollow-cheeked middle-aged man in it for the insurance." -- love it. 

ronnie (who wishes he was friends with the cool kids again)

Offline Bucko

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,947
  • You need a shine, missy!
    • The Spin Cycle
Re: My Brilliant Career
« Reply #31 on: July 12, 2007, 02:46:37 PM »
Hey Brent - I knew bits and pieces of that from when we were friends before.  But, one thing rings true - it seems like no matter what gets thrown at you, eventually your able to work something out and make the best out of the situation.  That type of resilience is an asset that few can claim.

You have quite a way with words, "Just about every Starbucks I've been to down here has its token hollow-cheeked middle-aged man in it for the insurance." -- love it. 

ronnie (who wishes he was friends with the cool kids again)

Ronnita-

We're still friends, doll. We all take some time away just so we can come back with all-new tales of adventure.

Maybe it's time to start an introductory thread of your own for everyone who hasn't met you yet. I'm quite certain you've been a very busy boy.

Kissies-
Brent
(Who hasn't so many friends that he can lose one)
Blessed with brains, talent and gorgeous tits.

The revolutionary smart set reads The Spin Cycle at least once every day.

Blathering on AIDSmeds since 2005, provocative from birth

Offline sweetasmeli

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,052
  • Love what you are...
Re: My Brilliant Career
« Reply #32 on: July 12, 2007, 04:22:05 PM »
I understand that MtD & AD (for whom this is not news) spent many minutes exploring the Ramrod website all attiter.  ;D

As did Miss Melia the Minx the other day (who was also all atitter) :D

Mon cheri Brent, wishing you bonne chance with whatever avenue of travail you choose. Whichever way you go, I'm sure you will be simply fabulous, as you are simply fabulous. By the by, if you stay at The Ramrod, I'll be keeping my eyes peeled for an appearance from you in the website gallery...sans t-shirt. ;)

Love & hugs
Miss Melia :-*
/\___/\       /\__/\
(=' . '=)    (=' . '=)
(,,,_ ,,,)/   (,,,_ ,,,)/ Cats rule!

The difference between cats and dogs is that dogs come when called, whereas cats take a message and get back to you.

Yeia kai hara (health and happiness) to everyone!

Offline rick21007

  • Member
  • Posts: 286
Re: My Brilliant Career
« Reply #33 on: July 12, 2007, 06:27:13 PM »
       

                                   " NANA KOROBI YA OKI"

                                                           japanese proverb

                            (fall down seven times, get up eight)



Offline BT65

  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • Posts: 9,836
  • Vegas baby!
Re: My Brilliant Career
« Reply #34 on: July 12, 2007, 09:19:37 PM »
Brent-
  What a great synopsis of your life thus far.  It kept my attention and was very fascinating.  I know you'll come out of this funk, because you seemed to have come out of worse situations.  Good luck to you-
 Betty
I've never killed anyone, but I frequently get satisfaction reading the obituary notices.-Clarence Darrow

Offline mjmel

  • Member
  • Posts: 2,069
Re: My Brilliant Career
« Reply #35 on: July 13, 2007, 03:36:01 PM »
Bucko is the MAN.
I really admire you, Brent. Shine On, Baby, Shine On.
xxx,
Mike

Offline Bucko

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,947
  • You need a shine, missy!
    • The Spin Cycle
Re: My Brilliant Career
« Reply #36 on: July 13, 2007, 05:46:49 PM »
As did Miss Melia the Minx the other day (who was also all atitter) :D

Mon cheri Brent, wishing you bonne chance with whatever avenue of travail you choose. Whichever way you go, I'm sure you will be simply fabulous, as you are simply fabulous. By the by, if you stay at The Ramrod, I'll be keeping my eyes peeled for an appearance from you in the website gallery...sans t-shirt. ;)

Love & hugs
Miss Melia :-*

Actually, Mellie-

I have a far greater chance in being a calendar man in the sleazy rag published by employees of The Ramrod. It's called The Rimmer, and I've posted a link below. But may the wary be warned, It's an adult-content website.

http://therimmer.com/

Brent
(Who needs to learn enough HTML to post links correctly)
Blessed with brains, talent and gorgeous tits.

The revolutionary smart set reads The Spin Cycle at least once every day.

Blathering on AIDSmeds since 2005, provocative from birth

Offline Queen Tokelove

  • Member
  • Posts: 6,033
  • Smokey the Smurf
Re: My Brilliant Career
« Reply #37 on: July 13, 2007, 10:00:50 PM »
I already said your life was a good read, Bucko. But I must admit, it is the first time that I have seen so many men throw themselves at you...Which is a good thing.
Started Atripla/Ziagen on 9/13/07.
10/31/07 CD4-265 VL- undetectable
2/6/08 CD4- 401 VL- undetectable
5/7/08 CD4- 705 VL- undetectable
6/4/08 CD4- 775 VL- undetectable
8/6/08 CD4- 805 VL- undetectable
11/13/08 CD4- 774 VL--undetectable
2/4/09  CD4- 484  VL- 18,000 (2 months off meds)
3/3/09---Starting Back on Meds---
4/27/09 CD4- 664 VL-- undetectable
6/17/09 CD4- 438 VL- 439
8/09 CD4- 404 VL- 1,600
01-22-10-- CD4- 525 VL- 59,000
Cherish the simple things life has to offer

The Royal Blog

Offline stpetecoyote

  • Member
  • Posts: 25
  • me
    • QueerCoyote.com
Re: My Brilliant Career
« Reply #38 on: July 19, 2007, 04:04:56 PM »
Wow,  sounds like quite a ride Bucko,  thanks for sharing.  Have fun at the Ramrod...and best of luck

--Kris

(Who thinks it is a good thing Ramrod is a several hours away ;D)
When we killed what we were to become what we are, what did we do with the bodies? We did what most people do; buried them under the floorboards and got used to the smell - Jeannette Winterson


02/05/07 CD4 264  24.0% VL ??.?
03/05/07 CD4 ???   ??.?%  VL 825  
03/22/07 CD4 355  27%    VL 1232
04/24/07 CD4 490  28%    VL 3785
07/26/07 CD4 368  23%    VL 8900
08/31/07 CD4 454  23%    VL 2200
10/29/07 CD4 474  24%    Vl  18800
Started Atripla...been VL Undetectable and CD4 around 400 Ever Since

Offline Bucko

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,947
  • You need a shine, missy!
    • The Spin Cycle
Re: My Brilliant Career
« Reply #39 on: July 20, 2007, 05:24:45 AM »
I'm in week two at the Ramrod, and have been trained as both barback and security (!!!!!).

Thanks to all for your warm support (and tossed hankies, too). Sometimes it's good to know that we are all part of a larger community.

Brent
(Who is very popular at work these days)
Blessed with brains, talent and gorgeous tits.

The revolutionary smart set reads The Spin Cycle at least once every day.

Blathering on AIDSmeds since 2005, provocative from birth

 


Terms of Membership for these forums
 

© 2014 Smart + Strong. All Rights Reserved.   terms of use and your privacy
Smart + Strong® is a registered trademark of CDM Publishing, LLC.