Sunday, September 30, 2007

Disaster is Not a Wake Up Call

Isn't the term "wake up call" a little oxymoronic? Isn't it usually used after the fact? After all the wake up calls?

"Today the world burned up."

"Oh, a jihad."

A global pandemic is not a wake up call. "You have AIDS," is not a wake up call. Not even "You have HIV," is a wake up call.

Katrina was not a wake up call either.

Human beings are human beings because of their amazingly creative abilities (a lot of the time) to adapt to problems after the fact. And we have amazingly complex abilities to discuss them, even often long before they happen. But we didn't survive this long by being creative enough to circumvent need for adaptation in the first place. We are not preventive creatures.

I think it's way past time to quit paying so much of our expansive limited attention to the the wake up calls and just get busy in our sleep.

I don't know where this fits in the ranking, but could someone please pay some sleep action to what HIV is busy doing in New Orleans right now? You want to talk about creative opportunism, look at that tiny virus. It's not talking. It breeds quietly, unconsciously, on lack of preemptive conversation, on poor education, on broken up or lack of social support systems, on lack of and mistrust of medical intervention, on poverty, drug addiction, and desperation.

Don't let's just wait.

Federal funding for AIDS services has just been slashed for New Orleans because there are fewer people there living with "full-blown" AIDS (because there are fewer people living there total since Katrina). No regard was paid to the fact that new HIV infection rates in New Orleans are going up from every angle. And that the needs of people who have it are more extensive.

Please (all y'all) look up and contact your local International AIDS Organizations, and ask them to include New Orleans in their International work. For here, San Franciso: Pangea Global AIDS Foundation and A.S.P.I.R.E. (See links in sidebar). Maybe UNAIDS too? Don't know. I don't know anyone else at all messing with this, and I'm a little newbie blogger, so if you have any ideas for urging organizations who have power to do somth'n, please comment here for posting, and all around. Spread all your little ideas all over the place lots of different ways without having to wake up!

Or if you would rather eat and drink than talk in your sleep, you can support, without thinking about it, the NO/AIDS Task Force, tasking away, by visiting New Orleans and eating and drinking at participating Dining Out For Life bars and restaurants. (See link in sidebar.)

You can also contact CNN and tell 'um ta quit dat.

Sweet Dreams.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Fits and Starting Again

What I said in my first entry, Kiss My Gumbo, that I would do in my second entry, Fits and Starts, that I still did not address in my third entry, Needles, I will do thouroughly...but not quite yet.

Friday, September 28, 2007


There are no telling how many ways in my fearful imagination that the Greta Perry's of the world--although I don't think there are any others--would possibly revel in the repercussions of my various stupidities. (Just as soon as I am smart enough to figure out how to, I will text-section-link my reference here to the enjoyment she expresses in "Kiss My Gumbo" of the legal consequences for the lapses of judgment of two women who to tried to sell their illegal favors on Craigslist.)

But I can think of only one service that I would be brazen enough to advertise publicly online legalized or not--(and I did it in the sidebar of my blog +Positive House)--which is the back alley HIV prevention service of needle exchange. Needle exchange is the on-site service of anonymous exchange of used hypodermic syringes for sterile ones, which promotes or condones (in the eyes of opponents) illegal drug and un-medically-supervised hormone use by addicts and transgenders (who they don't even usually call that). (Needle exchange is currently specifically disparaged in a San Francisco Chronicle series by C.W. Nevius on Mayor Gavin Newsom's current campaign to clean parts of San Francisco of homelessness and its effects.)

In proponents' eyes--nurses, many service providers, and diverse kinds of volunteers that I know of, and researchers that I hear of and will re-learn to site if comments (I hope) warrant--counter that the service of one-to-one needle exchange, besides directly intervening in transmission of HIV and other infections between needle-users, creates an in the field (alley) venue for both direct medical interventions (such as wound care for abscesses caused by repeated use of unsterilized syringes) and also for referral into healthcare, testing, counseling, and addictions treatment services. Bringing controversially compassionate care into alleys sometimes builds bridges of trust with people who would not otherwise seek help or neccessarily trust potential solutions to their problems, resulting in life-sustaining benefits for them and for a lot of the rest of us. Dirty needles get picked up off the streets and turned in as the biohazard that they are, preventing more contaminated intentional use and possible unintended needle sticks by non-users as well.

My free public advertisement of the HIV prevention service of needle exchange is due in no small or impersonal part to the facts that women (and other people) do get infected with HIV (and other things) by boyfriends (and husbands and others) who use without their disillusioned female (and other) partners ever knowing that they (the boyfriends and others) ever used drugs (or recovered)--when they (the women and other partners) never used those kinds of drugs for real and wouldn't even know how to talk about cooking up and hitting a vein themselves. Call me stupid. I got it. And my boyfriend died.

That was a long time ago, before needle exchange was legalized, before it had mobilized at all. I don't know if my boyfriend would have taken advantage of it. There is no time for that conversation.

For this issue, life first. Illegality, carelessness, addiction, life-risking misrepresentation, anger, confusion, grief, fear, shame, resentment, regret, judgement, some order, after.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Kiss My Gumbo

Greta Perry, author of the blog, "Kiss My Gumbo", calls bloggers who link their blogs to bigger blogs "blog beggars", or "bleggers" (because linking to bigger blogs is a way to increase your audience). My referencing "Kiss My Gumbo" ( is not "blegging" because, one--I don't yet know how to post links in my page text, and two--I don't yet understand how linking to bigger blogs would increase your audience unless bigger blogs linked back to you, and how would they even know to if you're the little blog, and why would they want to?

The reason I'm referring to "blegging," besides that I want an excuse to reference "Kiss My Gumbo" because the idea and the words of kissing gumbo cheer me up, and besides that I like how its author, Greta Perry, writes and the many good things she does--although she scares me [check her blog out], is that I want to make it known (to anyone) that the extensive sidebar linking in my blog site +Positive House, (which I put a lot of love and links into, [see sidebar here for +Positive House link]), was not shameless self-promotion. Almost nothing I do is shameless. My links in +Positive House were mostly to non-profit agencies and services, not blogs. (I don't know that if makes any difference.) And I had, and have no understanding of reader-reaching. That is not what that linking was, and is, about, exactly.

This blog here--I'm not even sure what I'm calling it yet--if I were marketing myself I would at least wait to start writing until I had a title that sticks--is, I think, going to be a narrative explication of and interaction with +Positive House, which is a little unusual, and which I care about very much. I'm not even sure I'm going to go through with this blog yet except that I like the template. (Which is similar to +Positive House's template.)

In my next entry I will explain the purposes for all the sidebar links at +Positive House, without referencing it like this, in a linear way. And as soon as I know how to post a link in this page text, Kiss my Gumbo gets it.

Kiss My Gumbo

Plus Yatspeak: a lexicon of New Orleans terminology and speech