Saturday, September 29, 2012

Boldly Go

Did you ever notice that a fair number of LGBT people are Star Trek fans?

Not all out groupies of "Trekers" but people who see something special in this series of television shows, movies & books that sounds safe, encouraging and oddly familiar.

"To Boldly Go Where No One Has Gone Before" is how many of us/ I lead our lives. We don't or didn't for YEARS have roll models to follow  as we start dating, setting up homes, etc. Sure,  I'm grateful to have great parents who were loving and accepting and I plan on modeling my eventual marriage to theirs but i admit my growing up was not the norm.

I've met far too many people who've been put off by parents, co workers, politicians and people in pulpits who prefer we go "quietly into the night"

(Thank goodness for the open message of MCC, I know longer hear any person in  pulpit who can put me down).

I do realize ST never had any openly queer people, it's the overall message of a community beyond our boarders, acceptance of new and "odd" societies through a Prime Directive that can mean so much.

Let's you and I go Boldly into a new venture, see life as wonderful, explore new worlds even in our own back yard

While were at it, let's help our kin by donating to the SMART Ride

Thursday, September 27, 2012


“Let your boat of life be light, packed with only what you need - a homely home and simple pleasures, one or two friends, worth the name, someone to love and someone to love you, a cat, a dog, and a pipe or two, enough to eat and enough to wear, and a little more than enough to drink; for thirst is a dangerous thing.”

--Jerome K. Jerome

Wednesday, September 26, 2012


"He's so..." or "I don't like.."   Do those comments  get to you as much as they do me?   By now, good regular reader you know I keep an upbeat attitude and see (or really really try) to see the good in all people.

Those words "We are all created with certain unalienable rights..." hold true to me and my thoughts & actions.

My business card says it for me "Creating Hope & Building Bridges"

Words that put people DOWN don't build HOPE. Let's inspire people not make them perspire in our words!!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Today's the Day

For those who subscribe or otherwise have been following me. you know my home was broken into & robbed. That was two weeks ago.

This evening, I heard four distinct gunshots within one block of my home

I thought about moving after the  break in & then life sort of felt normal

This large two bedroom place is very affordable. I have a large back yard, wonderful neighbor and decent land lord.

Besides that moving itself is stressful.   This is not an easy desicion but one I need to make.  Going back to the "Island City" of Wilton Manors would bring me MUCH closer to work, shopping and going out. Rent will be significantly higher.

This grad student working part time takes all this into account.

Regardless, today is the day I'll make it happen

Friday, September 21, 2012


"I'm neither an optimist or a pessimist but an possiblist"
    - Max Lerner

We can create our  own ISTs as needed.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012


A friend of mine said this at the end of a class tonight & I agree (and  even wrote about it before)

"There's only one person that can  make YOU change... and that person is YOU! or who's the ONE person that can make you change?... YOU

I've found many of my thoughts are like yours: Repetitive. It's in learning I/We grow, change and make changes.

If our repetitive thoughts are "I'm no good" or "I'll never get that new job/promotion/raise" odds are you wont.

Sure I'm going back here but being repetitive about GOOD thoughts, I hope to ingrain them in my mind.

"You is kind
"You is smart
"You is important"

Let's change those words from  The Help to WE/I words
"I am kind, I am  smart, I am important"

A rephrase I heard from Rev. Jesse Jackson at Operation PUSH that never left my memory is

"I AM SOME" and the entire room chanted back "SOME BODY"

As he's want to do and good at, he repeats that three times and between the Rev and the people those two phrases become one


You dear friend and reader, can make the change from "stinkin' thinking" to KNOWING your goodness.

When I moved to Ft Lauderdale, it was (among a few things) a time & place to re create ME. I chose to make a change in how I act & view life.

It seems to be working because I believe it & I believe you can too

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The GOOD Stuff

I'm in a class called "Wresting With God Without Getting Pinned" and am learning more about words, hierarchy, respect & love than I had imagined.

Some people called or revered as "hero's" in the Bible are schmucks.

I won't go into details as I'm still (and always will be a student of scripture) but reading Genesis again in a new way, my feelings of liberation for all oppressed people grows stronger.

It's also why I  support the HIV Stigma Project.  Sure I'm HIV enhanced but not "dirty or unclean"   Heck I shower often, wash dishes like any OCD person would and such.

Keeping "The GOOD stuff" foremost in all things means more than reading with understanding, being faithful and aware.  It's knowing that we all have something in us that is GOOD.

I see that in the comments people make about my messages, in acts of kindness around us.

I see your goodness by you being YOU

Sunday, September 16, 2012

I Can

‎"There is something within us that says 'I can' - and at this point, the moment you say, 'I can,' something begins to change." 
                          - Frank Richelieu (courtesy of Durrell Watkins)


Can we talk here? After it's just between you & me, right?  I messed up. More than once I made an error.

Hey it's how I became HIV positive:  Some of the guys I dated; two business I started that didn't "bizz"

As an addictions counselor, I know in the "12 Steps"  I've been able to apply a few to my life

#5: Admitting to my self and another person my wrong

By applying #10: Continue to take personal inventory and when wrong, promptly admit it

But there's A LOT more to redeeming my mistakes: My ownership and admittance alone wont work

For me, it's seeing what went wrong and  making a wise choice.

I must process the event, see where I could have done better and seek an apolgy

Emotionally, guilt and shame can start to eat away at our inner core: It's when I/We can see the error and move on that I/We can feel redeemed.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Super Duper

Those words "Super Duper" sound so corny but hey, ever heard my jokes?

It's simple yet corny words that lead to simple but cherry thoughts

Just listing to Taco's Puttin' on the Ritz does make me feel Super Duper

What does it for you or is there some thing or someone who Super Duper's you?

Friday, September 14, 2012

Upbeat Always?

I got a few messages about how I seem to stay upbeat both through this blog and in real life.

Simple, I CHOOSE happiness. As in my previous post "I'm Still Here"  I pointed out some hardships yet I CHOOSE happiness.  Debby Downer doesn't fit how I live my life.

By reading affirming messages like "‎"There is something within us that says 'I can' - and at this point, the moment you say, 'I can,' something begins to change." Frank Richelieu makes all the difference.

Let's find ways to support each other, see the good and affirm it then LIVE it too

Thursday, September 13, 2012

It Still Works

A client came in and while talking about risk behaviors, he said the last guy not only stomped on his heart but crumpled it up, tossed it to the curb and poured hot grease on it.

I know the feeling, trust me.

Who hasn't had his/her share of heart breaks? People lie, change expectations, believe in a fairy tale (though I DO believe a fairy tale can come true)

Still, we move on. One thing I'll preach about though is loosing a "true love" is NO reason to loose reason.

Your worth so much more: have so much to both offer & give so do it.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012


For those who subscribe, you know that my home was broken into last week. 

Monday we had new windows installed. No more of the traditional Flordia louver windows but a full double pain "traditional" window.

Not only does the house look so much better, but we can see much more clearly now

What a perfect metaphor? 

A new window and a new look/outlook!!

How easy it is to keep seeing the same view from the same window
I know looking into a bleak winter got me to move to the "land of endless summer"

Let's put a new window into our out look and see something fresh, let in some air.
I'm doing that in my home & LIFE

"When you're through changing, you're through" David Bartin

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

In the Air

September 11, 2001: I know right were I was when the  Twin Towers fell - in the air having JUST left Montreal, Canada en route to my home in Chicago.

Two days before I completed a 375 mile bicycle ride from Montreal to Portland Maine on what was called
The Canada > US AIDS Vaccine ride.  Just like many other rides like this and the ALASKA AIDS Vaccine ride in 2000 (Fairbanks to Anchorage) my team mates from Team Canticle rode together.

We palled around Montreal together the few days before the ride, did the touristy things too.

Three long days later we pulled into Portland for a simple welcome & congratulations event then I jumped on a Greyhound bus back to Montreal since it was less expensive to fly in/out of one airport

On Sept 11, my ORD bound flight was in the air for 20 minutes when the captain told us "Some accident in New York closed off all USA air space & our flight was to return to Montreal."

We circled for what seems like three hours then rolled into one of the farthest gates.

An other wise bustling airport was void of noise & people save a few near the exit doors where a dozen airport employees were in a bar blankly staring at a TV: on it the coverage of  that "accident"

In the crowded lobby I wondered what to do. I planned & budgeted for the few days I had.

To my great joy and since I was wearing my  Canada >US AIDS Vaccine "Victory" shirt a woman rushed up to me and called me by name. We met on the ride when one of us had a flat tire & the other stopped to help.

She rode with me and her mom was on the support crew.  I SO WISH I could recall her name but we had some things in common.  We both worked at a zoo!! Me it was in Brookfield Illinois and she with the LA zoo.  Of course the next four days of calling our respective airlines, hanging out on the water front were filled with the stories only zoo employees can tell.

2001, that for me was ride number 10 ( from riding or crewing) and thousands of dollars raised

2012, as I have said before may just be my last ride for a while.

Help me end it with the joy of new friends, keeping sane in a weird time

Monday, September 10, 2012

Worth Repeating

In my line of work both as my vocation and avocation(s) I come across the words that generate negativity.

Words DO bring action and actions are the outward appearance we show others (and thus our selves)

Someone asked "R.J. you've been through a rough spell this past week and looking back, a lot of your life has some major downturns (HIV/AIDS, broken bones, addiction, loosing money on start up businesses, relationship failures) HOW DO YOU KEEP an upbeat attitude and life?

For me, it's mind over matter or better said, what matters more is what I mind!!

One of the top 10 Buddha quotes is this
 “We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts, we make the world"

My real life hero, Troy Perry has said and says often "Keep the main thing the main thing"

Today, my main thing is keeping a good out look, focusing on being happy and upbeat and hoping that you can & will too

Please, help me help others

This November I'm riding from Miami to Key West to raise money for agencies that help people with HIV/AIDS
SMART Ride 9  Rider #223

Sunday, September 9, 2012


It seems like FOREVER since the break in and lap tops were stolen.
I mentioned my dilemma on Facebook to my SMART Ride team: not to ask for help but to vent with friends

Here's the upside of my vent: two people stepped up and one will give me a flat screen TV this week and today, another team mate brought a brand new laptop to the fundraiser we had.

She said "You do so much for our team and the Center, it's yours"

If you've been keeping up, I'm in grad school while working part time: meaning cash is a precious commodity  so these two acts of kindness sure do help

Oh, I almost forgot: For my Monday class, the professor said about the class fee this time is GRATIS

I do feel as if angels are watching over me and there is that rainbow following a storm

Thursday, September 6, 2012


I've missed posting for a few days due to a break in at my home. Oddly two days before a renters insurance took affect But That's OK

My large screen TV, both laptops and assorted small items were taken But That's OK

Being both a grad student and working part time, money is TIGHT but it's OK

Greatfully  a new friend offered a smaller yet working TV and others are looking at laptops

My dear friend and room mate is scared beyond all get out and thats NOT OK

But we'll make it. Today the window repair person came to measure for the fix that will be in place this weekend.

Sure I live in a "not so savory neigbhorhood but this isn't the first time. Overall I'm happy here with a lot of room for guests and a nice back yard. That's all OK

I'll admit it's been a frustrating few days & that too will change.  Tough way to learn a lesson though But That's OK

Monday, September 3, 2012

What, Me Worry?

Alfred E. Neuman made the line "What, me worry" extra famous.

I'll add to it.  I've found that I can't change a thing  with worry. I've lost my car keys, bike keys (those are worse for ME) health insurance, etc. and worried  for just a moment.

Now I'm not pulling a Bobby Mc Ferrin here: just that worry only creates an non balanced life.

I can and do have concern, and that is done with thinking things, problems through and NOT worrying

Look at the previous blog "Freshly Squeezed" to see that what I put into my thoughts is what will come out

While your at it, look around you; some one may be having the same difficulty or worse.

Look at the good things you (and I) do have and live off of those,

"The past is the past & the future has infinite possiblitities"

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Fresh Squeezed

"If you squeeze an orange, orange juice comes out"

That's so much like our thinking.  When I expect bad things to happen, odds are I'll see the bad or non productive/non positive outlooks, hopes & plans

As Dr. Bailes writes "If we build an awareness of our own true worth, Power flowing through that thought about ourselves will manifest it in our experience."

Today I'll think of what can be, how I can make my own thinking be upbeat and share those feelings

I am the thinker of my own thoughts

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Take Me As I Am

I might not be someone's first choice, but I am a great choice.
I may not be rich but I am valuable. 
I don't pretend to be someone I'm not, because I'm good at being me. 
I might not be proud of some of the things I've done in the past, but I am proud of who I am today. I may not be perfect but I don't need to be. 

Take me as I am, or watch me as I walk away!!!