On One Hand

October 28, 2007

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October 26, 2007

Can I get AIDS from my dog?

Filed under: Uncategorized — ononehand @ 11:18 pm

On the forums at TheBody.com, an Online HIV/AIDS treatement, testing and prevention resource, a substantial number of reader questions are… well… a bit off in left field. I was on to ask about the potential HIV risk of oral sex when cum drips out your nose (don’t ask), but I had to pass on these other amusing questions asked of Dr. Frascino, found here.

safer oral sex
Jun 10, 2007
LINK

Hey Dr. Bob,

If I were to gargle with blench after oral sex would that help?
jordon

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

“Blench”? What the hell is blench?

Assuming you mean bleach, you are wondering if drinking it would keep you from getting HIV/AIDS??? Well, let’s see . . . . If you drink bleach, it will kill you, so since you’ll be dead, you won’t be able to have unprotected sex and therefore won’t contract the virus.

wrong way (MASTURBATION)
Feb 11, 2007
LINK

Here is a questions

1 can hiv start off for no aparent reason. No one is m family is HIV poz and I hadnt had sex yet do I have a chance of becoming HIV poz.

2. Can you get Aids from masturbating from the wrong way. I put my hand into a cylindrical form and then I do it. Am I in any danger.

3. Does masterbating caouse any STDS or disease.

I had bad education in sex-ed our teacher was horrible.

You are my hero seriously

Response from Dr. Frascino

Questioner retuning to you now, the answer at all your questions is a resounding “no!” For more details about masturbation, STDs and HIV, review the information in the archives.

Bizarre but True
Jun 1, 2007
LINK

Dear Dr. Bob:

A month ago I had a potential exposure receptive vaginal sex without ejaculation. Two weeks later, I got my period (at least Im not pregnant), but, and here comes the bizarre part, my dog got into the garbage can and ate a fairly fresh (approximately hour after changing) sanitary pad. Now, I know dogs cannot contract HIV, but what worries me about this incident is that the dog has a habit of licking my son smack on the mouth, and I am frightened that this may have happened immediately after the pad incident. Would this constitute a risky exposure? Two weeks after this happened, my son came down with a febrile illness. His doctor ran a CBC and feels his illness is bacterial, but I did not tell her of the incident. Am I freaking over nothing, or have I placed my son in danger?

Response from Dr. Frascino

So you are wondering if Fido’s fetish for munching on used Kotex pads and then licking your son on the mouth might have put him at risk for HIV. Nah, it might qualify him for a spot on David Letterman’s “Stupid Pet Tricks” segment, but it’s definitely not an HIV risk.

HIV probability
Aug 9, 2007
LINK

a street walker gave me a blowjob and i am deathly afraid of hiv. there were no cuts on me. her i do not know. i have had stools after eating(that all smell the same), pain in the buttocks and legs, hot flashes, a couple incidences of fever and a headache after day 22. am i at risk. by 11 day proviral pcr dna test was negative. i am awaiting a rna test now. please advise. i also did not know about the pep treatments. i am 26, what are my chances of making 60? thanks

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi,

All your stools smell the same???? Hmmm . . . OK, if you say so. But were you perhaps expecting some of them to smell like gardenias or a nice spicy potpourri?

Your HIV risk is negligible. Your symptoms, including the stools that all smell like poop, are not worrisome for or suggestive of HIV. If you remain worried about HIV, get a single rapid HIV test at the three-month mark.

How close is to close?
Feb 9, 2007
LINK

I was at this party with some of my freinds and the owner of the house was HIV+, the owners son who i was there with was also HIV+; however, i didnt know this at the time. I used this guys bathroom..and since he didnt have any toliet paper i wipped w/his shower curtain..and now i am deathly afaid that i too am HIV+. I dont know whether or not this matters but i was also on my period at the time ,so could it have gotten into my blood streem now?.. When i used this shower curtain it was not wet..but im still afraid that something may have been on it, because i read some where that sperm stays good for atleast 5 days.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

You “wipped w/ his shower curtain,” because he was out of toilet paper??? And you were on your period, so you’re worried HIV could have gotten into your blood “streem????” Hmmm . . . I can’t believe you used the dude’s shower curtain!!! Your HIV risk is nonexistent. So is your chance of ever being invited back to that dude’s home!

Dr. Bob

October 20, 2007

I Hate Cilantro

Filed under: Uncategorized — ononehand @ 1:30 am
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The first time I tasted cilantro, I thought I was licking the dust from ground pennies. The flavor was overwhelmingly metalic, and so strong that even in in a few tiny green fragments it ruined the the rice dish I was eating. I’m not a picky eater, and if it weren’t for cilantro, there wouldn’t be a single food I don’t like. But while a majority of people don’t mind cilantro in anything, saying it tastes “lemony” or fresh, I still think it tastes like rusty nails.

Recently I stumbled upon some articles that say a possible human genetic variability gives some people a strong aversion to cilantro; those who have the trait say it tastes like metal or soap, and will find the flavor extremely overpowering even in small amounts. Researchers came across the idea when they realized that most people like cilantro, but some people absolutely hate it, and there is little middle ground. Haters have banded together at I Hate Cilantro.com, where members can fill out polls to decide what foul-smelling substance cilantro tastes like for them.

Remember those experiments from Middle School biology when we tasted a strange substance called PTC? In paper or powder form, students would nibble it in small quantities to see if they had an gene that gave the substance an awful bitter taste, or rather, a gene that gives them functioning taste receptors for phenylthiocarbamide. (Nowadays it’s probably a reaction to a similar chemical called 6-n-propylthiouracil, since PTC has been found to be potentially dangerous and isn’t often used.) Some would be so disgusted by the taste test that they had to spit or immediately rinse their mouths, while others tasted absolutely nothing. It all has to do with whether or not you have a certain enzyme in your saliva.

It isn’t the chemical PTC that gives cilantro its love-it-or-hate-it properties; I didn’t taste anything in the strip of paper in biology class, but I do have the aversion to cilantro. It’s an entirely different chemical or enzyme, but it functions in a similar way.

Cilantro is the herbal name for the leaf of Coriandrum sativum, a plant in the carrot family that looks similar to parsley. The seeds of the plant are called corriander, which look like little round balls and taste like a cross between leamons and dill. They aren’t as metallic as cilantro to those who have the aversion (though I still taste a mild soapy flavor in corriander). All parts of the cilantro/corriander plant are edible, and used in a wide variety of Mexican, Indian and Thai foods.

I’ve adapted to not liking cilantro and can deal with it in small quantities, but I can recognize it in anything, and would almost always prefer it not be there. It’s too bad, because Mexican food has more of it than anything else and Mexican is my favorite.

It’s also too bad because, like many herbs, cilantro has some unique benefits. There is strong evidence that cilantro leaves help remove heavy metals such as mercury from the brain and nerves. It’s ironic that the herb that tastes like metal is the one most effective at cleaning lead, aluminum and other heavy metals from the body.

October 19, 2007

Father Steve, Dave the Devout and the sexually-ambiguous youth group mentor

Filed under: Uncategorized — ononehand @ 10:14 pm
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This started as a comment in another blog, but I decided to expand and post it here.

When I was growing up, a very effeminate priest served for several years at the Catholic church I went to. During my weekend Confirmation retreat the two other 14-year-old boys I bunked with were telling each other, “I bet it’s hard for Father Steve to be a priest since he’s gay.”

I was like, uh… he’s taken a vow of celibacy, so he is either 1) following that vow and it’s no different for him than it is for any heterosexual priest who follows the rules, or he is 2) hooking up secretly with other gay priests or random men, in which case it’s no different for him than it is for any other gay men who are single and closeted.

Less than a year later, Father Steve got kicked out of the priesthood. Not for hooking up, but for stealing money from the church. At least that’s what they told us. Since we were Catholic, we decided to respond in a Catholic-ly way, and about half of the adult congregants in the church wrote Steve “Forgiveness letters” in the weeks following the announcement.

In the youth group, every now and then a guy would announce that he’s “thinking about becoming a priest.” For me and other closeted Catholic teenagers, that was code for gay. You don’t choose to be a priest, God “calls” you, so if you weren’t attracted to women you could wonder if that was God’s way of telling you that “marriage and family life” isn’t for you. The first guy to do such a thing was Dave (who may have actually been straight), a dangerously sexy religious fanatic, and I was instantly in love. When I went through my religious crisis in high school, ocilating between ultra-devout Catholocism and complete disillusionment, he transfered from the nearby Catholic school to my own high school. One day he asked me if I was a “Cafeteria Catholic,” which means you take some Catholic teachings to heart but reject others. I told him no. I was either in or out; leaning towards in then, but I left Catholocism soon after.

Years later I got an email from one of the guys who had been “called to the priesthood” saying he saw my profile Online somewhere. He was the guy who used to play racquetball with the archbishop. Kris had been a 21-year-old CORE TEAM leader of the group and I was 15, and I had a desperate crush on him. His younger sister was still leading the group, just as my own younger sister was still a member. Now Kris was no longer Catholic either, and we ended up quasi-dating for a very short time. Dating…sort of. We were really only hanging out in my mind, but once when I stayed at his house and slept in his bed, he told me “I totally… like you.”

I said I think of him as more of a mentor than anything else. It was too awkward, trying to be on equal terms with someone who I thought of as an authority. I think he was hurt by my answer, because he never wanted to hang out again.

Now I’m a youth group mentor too. It’s different in many ways; first, it’s a Unitarian Universalist church and I am out of the closet there. Second, I don’t think I’d ever consider dating any of my kids, even years from now, because like I said to Kris, it would be too weird.

October 18, 2007

Top Ten: Dogs

Filed under: Uncategorized — ononehand @ 12:59 pm
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Whenver I see a shih tzu, it breaks my heart. It’s not that I like or do not like shih tsus, or have any notions about the type of people who get them, (ok, maybe I have a few notions about people who would own a shih tzu). But when I see a shih tsu, no matter how lively, perky or yip-yappy it is, all I’m thinking is aww, who the fuck bred you to look like THAT!?

Shih Tzus are victims. The decendants of hunting wolves were never meant to resemble long-haired rabbits, prissy and overgroomed, with gunky eyes bulging. A true dog has its own kind of spirit, a Platonistic perfect-form that hides behind the exterior, an altruistic man’s-best-friend aura that is noble, humble and dignified. Not shih tzus. I can’t see any of them as belonging to the same species that can run and fetch. The class of breeds it belogs to is called toy breeds, and its a wonder, then, how with such a bizarre melding of concepts between living beings and inanimate objects, that more animal-rights advocates aren’t up in arms that we allow such creatures to even continue to reproduce.

Shih tzus aren’t the only bizarre form of dog, though; there are pugs and bulldogs and afghans and all sorts of mixed-up misconceptions of the original wolf with pinched-up faces, dwarfed legs, or painfully crinked tails. They all exist at varying degrees of man’s inhumanity to pets, so here are my Top Ten Most Fucked Up/Horrifying “Dog” Breeds:

10. Puli. Is this a dog, or some failed gene-splicing lab experiment in which pieces of a mop got mixed with the DNA sample? I can’t imagine that this poor creature gets pleasure from not being able to see or from getting its fur caught on anything that sticks up more than half an inch above the ground. At least your kitchen floor would be clean all the time if you got one of these. The upside? If you worked it right, you could get a Rastafarian out of this sad befuddlement, which, in that case, would be pretty damn cool. Or a Muppet; those are cool too. In the end, I guess this dog is alright, which is why it’s only the tenth worst breed I’m listing.

9. Cocker Spaniel. Cocker spaniels are popular, but they’re the bitches of the dog world. If I met a cocker spaniel that didn’t look like it it wanted to rip my leg off, maybe I’d feel a little better about the most personality-defunct member of the kanine family. Then again, I would be pretty pissed off too if I’d been bred with nearly guaranteed obesity, awful teeth and eyes so weird and buggy that it’s impossible to blink.

8. Shar Pei. They’re not the most pathetic looking dogs, but it still seems it would be painful to be one. There’s always some part of a shar pei that is rotting or falling off, probably because even in healthy form their skin is as krinkly and folded as Barbara Bush’s 91-year-old vagina.

7. Scottish Terrier. Speaking of the Bush family, its littlest member Barney is apparently listed under the second-to-last tier in the ranking of dog intelligence, organized by psychologists in a British Columbia university before 1994. Scottish terriers remind me of burritos, except that they’re black. Maybe blue-corn tamales are better to fit the part, but in any case, these dogs are some kind of mexican food, and I wouldn’t be surprised to find terrier chunks in whatever makes up the meat foods at Taco Bell.

6. Sealyham Terrier. Is that a living thing or a statue? Just follow the link and look at Wikipedia’s picture for this poor guy. It’s E.T. meets the Trojan Horse. Just add the wheels and send it to Canada.

5. Yorkshire Terrier. This wraps up my series on terriers, with the most bizarre (yet common) of them all. Yorkshires are almost certainly the most likely breed of dog to be fitted with buttons, berets, or miniature sweaters. With heads bubbling up through a winding bed of fur, they look like feminine sea nymphs emerging from an underwater forest.

4. Poodle. Poodles are mankind’s cruel joke on the animal kingdom. If it’s not enough bad enough to give you an unkeepable dog-‘fro and pose like a coffeetable ornament, we’ll also make you into moving topiaries by shaving your calves and midsection. Poodles are the virtual bonzai-dog, not to be confused with the more controversial Bonzai Kitten.

3. Maltese. Follow the link and see – oh! – such an adorable puppy! Actually these teddy-bear dogs are a little less than cute when you consider that an actual living creature is trapped within that diminuitive (4 to six pound) frame. Meanwhile, teeth that start falling out at about halfway through the dog’s lifespan. The main reason I picked this breed is for how ridiculous a maltese looks when its fur is allowed to grow into its fuller Cher-meets-Santa Claus glory, trailing behind like the train of a gawdy wedding gown.

2. Pekingese. I think the conspiracy here is that Pekingese are actually bred from guinea pigs, not wolves like other dogs are. More yappy and agressive than any other breed I’ve encountered, I’ll say that they still aren’t very terrifying when the highest they can reach on your body is a big toe, not even an ankle. They were developed as companions for concubines in ancient Chinese courts, and forbidden for anyone else to own until the empire collapsed in 1860.

1. Shih Tzu. Shih tzus are the reincarnated souls of discheveled children. Once I passed a futon where an elderly shih tzu was sleeping, wondering, who left that ugly jacket lying on the couch. As I drew near, the “jacket” suddenly lifted its head, showing two beady eyes beneath a concealing lock of matted fur. I have to admit that somehow, on some level, it was cute, like one of the Lost Boys from a Peter Pan movie. But there’s something about these dogs that makes them so damn creepy at the same time. Rumor has it, the Ewoks from Star Wars: Return of the Jedi are modeled after shih tsus, which might explain how the fictional puppet-creatures so wholisticly resemble the shih tzu character: cuddly, small, and strikingly bitchy.

The Wikipedia entry for shih tzus says it all. The main photo is a black and white bundle of fur, face tilted gracefully to the left, long hair waving downward in luxurious arcs, tied up above the head with a rubber band. Wait, WHAT!? A plea to all dog owners: don’t give your dog a ponytail. Never give your dog a ponytail! It isn’t “cute.” It’s humiliating, not only for the dog (since who knows what the dog is thinking), but even for me, looking at it, as a human being who has human empathy for things that are alive. It isn’t your first-grade stepdaughter or little sister who has been begging to try on makeup, isn’t a barbie doll or project, it’s a dog. A goddamned DOG!

Seriously, just don’t.

October 16, 2007

Protected: Fairy Rings

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October 13, 2007

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October 12, 2007

Updates

Filed under: Uncategorized — ononehand @ 3:32 pm

I got a job as the teen program coordinator at Boulder Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship. That means I organize and lead the youth group activities on Sundays and go to occaasional staff meetings or retreats. I am excited about it.

I got an HIV test. I do not have HIV.

HIV tests are more like going to confession than anything else I have experienced. At the clinic I went to, testing works like this: you schedule an appointment in advance, then arrive and go to a private room to tell a person what you did that you are worried about. As this goes on, the drop of blood you gave is slowly soaking across a mounted strip of paper that resembles a pregnancy test, which will decide if you have the virus or not by testing for its antibodies. You are asked if you have had unprotected anal sex with a man or unprotected vaginal sex with a woman, if you have had unprotected oral sex with a man or with a woman, if you have shared needles or used needles to inject drugs, if you have gotten a tattoo, if you have been paid to have sex, or paid someone for sex, and so forth. You answer yes or no to each question, or if the answer is yes, you say when or how many times you have done it. The timer beeps after ten minutes; if the test is negative, it doesn’t matter what you did. You may as well have never done any risky thing at all, because your HIV status is if as though the risk was never there. You are absolved.

I brought my plants inside so that they do not freeze. That included an avocado seed I planted into the soil this spring, that had to be dug up. I need to buy some flower pots. I will get them from the grocery store later.

I still don’t know what my relationship status is. I know for sure I’m not in a committed relationship but I don’t know if I’m single or something else.

I lost my student card so I haven’t been able to go to the gym for a week. I think I lost some weight by not going and am down to about 150.

I am considering becoming vegan. I started wondering if I should do it after learning a little bit more about where milk and eggs come from I don’t know how I can possibly continue to benefit from so much suffering. Egg-laying chickens are de-beaked because they will peck each other to death at such close quarters (even “cage free” eggs are de-beaked because they are packed so closely together in a warehouse) and all milk, even if if it is “organic,” comes from farms where male calves are sold to make veal. I found out that labels like “free range” and “organic” and “cage free” mean absolutely nothing when it comes to animal products.

I started smoking cigarettes and then quit.

I decided I want to have a farm someday, where I will have my own chickens and let them wander through the garden to eat the bugs, and I will not de-beak them, and I will not kill them when they are “too old” at age 3, and then I will be able to eat eggs without guilt. I would also like to have a cow for milk but I don’t know what I could do with the male babies. I also don’t know where I am going to fit the farm when I live in New York City.

I decided I would like to bring some element of HIV activism into my church because someone needs to change the culture in Colorado. A third of all gay guys talk shit about people with HIV, until they get it, and then they are secretive about it. Nobody comes out. Nobody cares for compassion. I have a problem with that.

I need to go to the grocery store later today and I haven’t decided if I will buy eggs or milk. I don’t know what I’ll buy if not eggs or milk.

October 1, 2007

On the Importance of Vertebra

Filed under: Uncategorized — ononehand @ 1:43 pm

The spine is pretty much the backbone of your body. Without a spine, you wouldn’t have good posture at all.

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