You’d only have known it from the calendar page today, though. Our temperatures climbed up just under 60 today, with sunshine so bright it was once again hard to take a picture of me with my eyes open, when I went down by the bay to try. This one sort of captures the jolly mood I find welling up in me as the calendar page turns.
Even though it didn’t feel like the end of the year, it certainly is and it’s also, as they say, beginning to look a lot like Christmas. That was certainly the focus of my day as I worked toward getting the halls decked at the banquet hall.
I always find the decorating (some of which is really serious work, with wobbly ladders and hammering and fastening) goes down a little easier if I’ve got some holiday music to spur me along, encouraging my deep-seated fezziwigness, for lack of another word. I’m also trying to pull together a few plans for some extracurricular holiday activities, which is sort of exciting, too. Details as things fall into place. (When possible, participants will be notified in advance.)
Meanwhile…some pretty pictures, festive in nature.
And it’s not just here on this planet where things are getting a bit festive: you can see here the solar system provided a bit of a show this evening, though I am certain that someone, somewhere, took a much better photo of it than I was able to capture. Just the same…here’s the new crescent moon, with bright Venus and and fainter Jupiter.
I took this from the beach on the way home this evening. The wind off the bay was pretty brisk and it was hard to stabilize the camera well enough for the shot. Oh, Santa, an inexpensive tripod might be nice, and could telescope down to fit nicely in my stocking. ; )
No matter how merry I am at December’s start, there’s also a reason to be deadly serious today. This is the twentieth December 1st we have commemorated as World AIDS Day, and there are more people infected with HIV and AIDS than ever before. So much for a day to raise awareness.
Twenty years ago…that would’ve been 1988. The Midnight Gardener was 24 and freshly out of the closet the year before. In ’88 there was (eyeroll, shudder) a perm. Whitney Houston was “emotional”. Rick Astley and a guy named Paul were never gonna give me up, never gonna let me down, never gonna run around and hurt me. They did, of course. Well, not Rick. And there were other guys, too. That was the year or two of my wild oat sowing and it ended with a big scare and my first HIV test. You had to wait two weeks for the result then, which seemed like forever. I think during the wait was the whole Olympics reveal of Greg Louganis’ HIV status, which just sort of underscored the theme of my own drama in a weird sort of way. You’ll understand my great relief at my own negative result then…no less than it was this past summer.
I am of a generation younger than the ones on the front lines of the opening days of the AIDS epidemic. I grew up hearing about it, knew the facts and how to prevent it and still in my foolish youth didn’t always think it was something I ought to have to worry about. It wasn’t ’til later that I lost people I knew, appreciated more how quick and brief and temporary life is.
So I suppose it’s easy to understand how a generation younger than mine, who have always known a world with HIV, which has become more treatable and less sure death might take it less seriously than those who watched the people they knew and loved and laughed and cried with disappear from it. I certainly understand how powerful the denial can be…how very much you want to will yourself to just not think about it.
But damn, you gotta take this seriously. Don’t think about it in terms of inconvenience. You have to know. I was tested in August of this year, it took twenty minutes. That’s not too long out of anyone’s day to be sure of their status. So you haven’t done it before. Big deal. Get over the shame, the procrastination, the embarrassment. Just do it. And once you know, whatever that result is, you know what you have to do. From that moment on, use a condom. Every time. Don’t trust anyone else to care about you if you don’t.
Okay? Lecture over. I hope I didn’t slap the Merry out of you. Here, maybe this will help, it’s a favorite of mine.