i knew that tommy was jumping on the counters after i went to bed, but had only circumstantial evidence. so…i set a trap. you tell me if this is strong enough evidence for a conviction… pic.twitter.com/GgsS2RHwqU
i came out on my 19th birthday. i got the courage to go a secretly-located gay bar and, a year later, worked there as the door person.
weekends were a monster. the line to come in was long and the place was packed. a few months later, not so much. you see…hiv/aids was hitting america and we were just learning about it. not in the news, as much as watching a few friends suddenly get sick and die a very slow, painful, death. then “a few friends” became ten, a hundred, a thousand, and hundreds of thousands.
religious folks, politicians, and society in general, thought it was a “gay plague” and only gay people were affected. almost every church in america spewed their homophobic filth all over the news with “they’re getting what they deserve”, “ye reap, what ye sow”, and other cherry-picked bible quotes to make themselves holier than thou and to demonize us. because religion made or broke elections, the politicians echoed these sentiments in order to win elections.
i will never forget the genocide of hundreds of thousands of people (straight and lgbtq), because of this.
it wasn’t until a little boy got a blood transfusion, and a famous actor (who was thought to be straight), became infected with hiv…that something was finally done for study and prevention. all of a sudden, funding became available and, 7 or so years too late, people learned that anyone could become infected.
during this genocide by the government and churches, i watched a bar filled with hundreds turn into one filled with 50. nobody asked where anyone was, because we all knew they were either sick or dead. i hope you can picture the horror of this void, as well as empathize with the emotional scar this left on the survivors. to this day, i clearly remember all of my lost friends and still feel the incredulous pain from those losses.
when we realized what america truly thought of us, we (yet again) fought back. when you have a second, google “act up” for the desperate measures we had to take to get noticed and treated as human beings.
as lgbtq continues to “trend”, please remember those who fell. trump and his minions want to see us dead again…but we’ve kicked their collective asses before and will do it again as long as we don’t become complacent.
(pictured below is me with my best friend who died a week after this pic was taken. the doctors/nurses said not to touch him so i wouldn’t “catch it”, but i was ahead of the curve on hiv/aids education and knew better. i love and miss you still, jo-joe.)
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the 9th grade, advanced placement, english teacher, was notorious for being a badass ballbuster. the 1st day of class, everyone in the room was scared.
she and i were about to meet.
when the bell rang, she picked up a rolled-up magazine and walked around the room looking at all the students. everyone averted their eyes. then, suddenly, she would slam the magazine on a random kid’s desk and say “so! you think you’re intelligent!??!” and the kid would just tremble and not answer.
she did this 4 times. one of those times the boy wet his pants. not kidding.
then she got near me and slammed MY desk and said “so! you think you’re intelligent?!!?”, to which i looked her in the face and said “i think i’m reasonably intelligent.” then she replied, “are you being truthful or being a smartass?” and i said “yes”. and, just for a nanosecond, i saw a smirk in that cold, mean, face.
she didn’t stop there, though. “what makes you think you’re so smart. do you think you’re smarter than me?” and i said, “no, ma’am, i don’t think i’m smarter than you. but i am smart enough to know that if you continue to harass and intimidate me, instead of actually teaching me to be smarter than you, that i’ll drag your butt in front of the board of education and then you can intimidate and harass the people in line at your mcdonald’s register.” she looked at me for a moment and said, “ok. you’re the teacher’s pet this year.” and went to the chalkboard and began teaching us.
she and i remained friends all year and i visited her when i could after moving to a different school across town. i went to her funeral, but didn’t know anyone there. at the family’s house, they began asking me who i was. i explained i was her student one year and told them the above story. her husband said, “oh my god…YOU’RE allen! my wife loved you so much!” and my heart melted.
rip, mrs. watts. thanks for helping to make me smarter.
i'm a gun owner in *strong* favor of strict gun control laws. i've never used my home protection guns (and hope i never do). if someone breaks in and tries to harm/kill me, i'll empty a clip into him w/o hesitation…but there's not enough therapy in the world to fix me after.
in july 1997, i bought my 1st domain name, designed it, and started selling stuff. credit card processing wasn’t around yet, so it was all mail order. obviously, google won 🙂
i learned programming on my own, mostly via trial and error. first i taught myself html, then cgi/perl, then php/mysql. i’ve always been adept with languages and found programming to be no different than conjugating english, french, etc…plus applying math i’ve learned to round it out.
i’m thinking about teaching myself how to program apps, but i think i might wait until more “apps in a can” come out to make it easier on me to play around with.
i also used to own/run a multi-million dollar corporation that faded after 20 years, but now that i’m broke again…i guess i’m not as smart as i thought i was. lessons learned.
until i think of a new lucrative project worth my time, effort, and energy, i’ll remember that time i was successful 🙂
people always ask me about starting their own website to make money with, but it’s too long of an answer. here’s the very short version:
1. buy your domain
2. hire me to help you (or hire someone, if not me 🙂
3. google and read everything about a newbie, online business.
if you think you have a groovy online business idea, i’m happy to help. my consulting fees are extremely competitive and i can create any type of site that can do anything you want (within reason…like building you a holodeck would be beyond my skill level 🙂