Archive for December, 2016

Another Casualty

Earlier this week, a guy messaged me online who was recently diagnosed as HIV+. He was sixty-two. He said he felt alone and didn’t have anyone to talk with about his diagnosis. I met him and gave him HIV 101. I felt a social duty to help this man get on track.

The guy divorced his wife three years ago because she had an affair with his best friend. He said he was always gay but married a woman because he didn’t want to come out and embarrass his family. He only had a few hook ups while he was married because he chose to suppress his desire for men. After the divorce, the man went wild hooking up with men as often as possible. He barebacked without even considering possible consequences. He didn’t think it would happen to him. The man had not started a drug routine yet he continued to hook up with guys without playing safely.

I lectured him on playing safe and the need to get on an HIV drug routine. I also cautioned the man about possible criminal charges for not disclosing his HIV status to sexual partners.

I came away from the meeting with mixed feelings. I felt sorry for the man for hiding his sexuality in order to comply with family expectations. I was also disappointed he’s not practicing safe sex, or on a drug routine to achieve an undetectable status. I also had empathy for the man because I know being HIV+ will change his life forever.

It’s a shame people are still being infected with HIV. Even though research has developed drugs to control the HIV virus, a cure has not been found. Be smart, be educated and play safe. I want to stop teaching HIV 101.

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Dinner Was…..

Sometimes a date is just two people meeting for an activity. In this case, dinner was just dinner. It was not the start of a romantic relationship, but rather, the start of a new friendship. It felt good to have dinner with an interesting man who has made his mark in the world. I have an open invitation to stay in a nice house in River Oaks if I ever make it to Houston.

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Thanks, Santa

Santa brought me a date for Christmas. A man I met at the solstice party asked me to have dinner with him tonight. This could turn into an awkward situation given the man is a house guest from Houston staying with my new next-door neighbors. Why didn’t Santa bring me a job offer?

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After The Party

Sheila and Tom hosted a solstice party last night. It was a lively party. Tom was making Sazeracs. Bottles of cava were placed in ice buckets in strategic places in the house. I only had one glass of cava. I’m dragging today.

I want to take a nap but I have go get on a six-hour video call with my replacement. I’ve been on video calls every day this week teaching my replacement how to do this job. It’s very taxing to explain every aspect of a job while sharing a laptop screen with a person in another city. My replacement does not have any experience with any of systems and has no product knowledge. I feel like she’s been set up for failure. I wish her well and will do my best to teach her as much as possible. Then I get to find a new adventure.

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Good Luck With That

I attended a neighborhood holiday party on Sunday. The hosts live down the street from my house. They have three children in college. Their son is getting his PhD in mathematics at UT Austin, their middle child just graduated from NYU and their youngest is a junior at USC. Needless to say, they spend a fortune on tuition every year.

I was talking to their youngest child at the party. She’s clearly very intelligent. She’s getting a degree in sociology. She went on to explain her specific area of study. I didn’t understand half of what she said. I asked her what type of job one can get based on her studies. She didn’t know. She hadn’t thought about what to do after college because she has been so focused on her studies.

Does anyone see a problem here? Her parents are a lawyer and an accountant. This must be driving them crazy.

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Death Of A Scene

The Navajo Arts District is near death. Rising rents and ruthless developers, who are anxiously waiting to acquire the land for more three-story $800,000 townhouses, are forcing the galleries to move. Edge is planning a move to Concept 2017, the new 11-acre complex being developed by Jeanie Nuances King. It’s located just north of the oil refineries in Commerce City. It’s place most people choose not live. That is, until the artist move in. The good thing is Jeanie owns the land. Jeannie is an artist, former gallery owner and real estate developer. Ice Cube Gallery, currently on hiatus after closing their RiNo location, will reopen at Concept. Pirate and Next are also moving but have not announced their new locations. Zip37 will be the only remaining gallery on Navajo. It’s doubtful Zip37 can survive on its own.

It’s the end of an era for the co-op galleries on Navajo. It’s also the start of a new era. Denver’s loss is Commerce City’s gain. I have many fond memories of art events on Navajo. Pirate’s strong stable of artists and loyal following will automatically make its new location an art destination. I’m looking forward to creating new memories at Concept and the other galleries’ new homes. Artists are survivors and pioneers. They will create new happenings and adventures. One of those destinations will be Concept thanks to Jeanie. Another thanks goes to the artists for being strong and refusing to close their co-ops. They have the same pioneering spirit that the early settlers brought to Denver in 1858.

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Snow Ends The Art Tour

I got a late start on the art tour last night. I left the house at seven at headed to Sync Gallery on Santa Fe for their group show. I had a nice chat with Brenda about botanical photographs she was showing. I hadn’t seen Brenda for few months so it was good to catch up.

As I left Sync, I noticed the wind had picked up and there were a few snow flakes falling. I drove over to Navajo the check out the other co-ops. It’s only a ten minute drive but by the time I arrived the snow had picked up. The storm was moving in fast so I decided to give the galleries a quick look and head home.

All of the galleries were having group shows. Pirate had the best presentation. I chatted briefly with a few friends before deciding to call it a night. When I left the galleries a blanket of snow was covering everything. The fierce wind was blowing the snow parallel with the ground. I took the highway home. The traffic was heavy but was moving. I passed a number of accidents and a car in a ditch. The wind was causing white out conditions at times. The road conditions improved dramatically as I drove south. I managed to make it home safe and sound.

It’s morning now and I have about eight inches of snow to shovel. It’s still 0°. I’ll be spending the day inside.

Here are a few art selections from the galleries.

Pirate: Tsogo Mijid, Dream Cather, crylic on canvas $1,200

Pirate: Charles Livingston, Altered Stated 1, postcards and lightbox, $1,200

Pirate: Craig Robb, Remnants, palate wood and acrylic, $700

Edge: Dania Pettus, Treads, Print from altered negative, $250

Pirate: Brennen Turner, Handled, bronze, $750

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Holiday Hell

I’ve been in holiday hell since that swell party last weekend. Here are few updates.

Perry’s car was totaled on Monday by woman who ran a red light. She’s a little banged up but no serious injuries. Pain pills and white wine have taken the edge off. Her car was old and worthless so she’ll get next to nothing for a settlement. She has no money for a new car. I’m expecting her ex-husband to rescue her once again.

Paddy is in hospital. I don’t why. One of his assistants texted this morning with the news but she didn’t have any details. His phone goes directly to voice mail.

Double A is signing bonus checks for the employees at his place of employment. He declined to cut one for me as he prefers employment over jail.

Cindi is MIA. I’m sure she’s busy with holiday party décor.

Mack is enjoying employment at the architectural firm but is sick of the holiday shoppers at Crate & Barrel. I told him income is good. He’s working on a plan to pay back the money he borrowed while unemployed. Half the town is on the list.

I’m suffering from significant indifference. I’m training my replacement over multi-media video calls for hours each day. It’s really taxing. I finally found health insurance but most of my doctors are not on the new plan. I should be updating my résumé and talking to a head hunter but I’m just not in the mood. I’m hoping for a good dividend season so I can enjoy unemployment for a few months. All I want for Christmas is a big fat dividend check (I bet you thought that sentence would end with dick).

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A Crowd From Central Casting

Mack and I attended a holiday party hosted by an artist friend and his wife on Saturday night. It was great time. The food was good, the drinks were strong and the conversation was lively. The crowd was mostly younger and professional. It look like they called central casting for handsome men and beautiful women. I was struck by number of good looking men in attendance. There were a handful of gay men there too. I had met two of them years ago through Mike. It was fun to catch up and rehash our younger years.

Also in attendance was the beloved Kevin, without his wife or wedding ring. Everyone loves the sweet and kind Kevin. I’ve run into Kevin several times in the last six months. Each time he’s been at the galleries without his wife. The universal opinion is Kevin is gay. He just hasn’t come out. At times he seems like a lost little boy in spite of the fact he is strikingly handsome with a beard. He’s always friendly. He reads gay (gay guys can relate to this while others may have trouble understanding). Mack predicted Kevin will have a boyfriend at next year’s party.

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I’d Rather Cut Out My Tounge

Last year, the company I retired from was purchased by another global telecom company. This year, the company announced they would not provide retiree health benefits after 2016. I’ve been shopping for new health care coverage. My existing provider is exiting the Colorado market for individual plans. I talked to an agent in a call center set up by my current provider to assist in finding new coverage with other carriers. The call was a complete waste of time. The agent couldn’t answer most of my questions. Double A, being the HR director of a large local cultural facility, had a contact for an insurance broker. The woman, who was my age, was wonderful. She knew all the answers. She found several health plans that met my needs. She told me about a new company that entered the Colorado market that was offer below market rates in order to gain market share. I felt great when I ended the call.

I called the new carrier and was surprised to find my HIV drug co-pay would drop from $550 every quarter to $150. My monthly premium would also drop almost $200. It sounded too good to be true. It was. Although, the drug co-pay and the premium is cheaper, none of my exiting doctors are in their network. I would have to find new doctors. The only in-network doctor specializing in infectious disease was in the far western suburbs. The plan only covered 60% of most expenses such as hospital visits and laboratory test. I decided to look at other providers.

I’ve been researching other carriers. I’ve been on countless websites reviewing plans. It’s overwhelming. Why do I have to pay co-insurance if I pay a premium and a co-pay? I’d rather cut out my tongue than find new health insurance. I’m just going to have to settle for paying at least $900 a month for decent coverage and still have the quarterly $550 drug co-pay.

Do a google search for health care CEO pay and you’ll find a group of people who profit on the misfortune of others.

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