Thursday, June 30, 2005

Afternoon Edition - 6/30/05

On Blast
Today we’re putting Freaking Rican On Blast with: Is it just me…when family members call from overseas and you hardly ever hear from them and out of the blue they call you for "A FAVOR" why is it that my stomach gets into knots. I know the next question has got to be about money...Why do they think that because we live and work in New York we can afford to send them money? Don't they realize that the rents, mortgages, food, clothes, etc here in New York is Off-the-hook!

Regardless of where you live, I recognize that families (and sometimes close friends) have a tendency to test and cross PC boundaries. This usually happens in small spurts that go unchecked over time, making the requests more outlandish each time. Recently, upon returning to NYC after living in DC for close to 10 years, I discovered that family began asking for small favors that became more imposing with each request. Finally, I was forced to show an uglier side of me to make my point clear – You will not take advantage of my kindness. This is obviously easier said than done, so here’s how it should work…Keep in mind that these suggestions are merely a framework for how to address family and friends to encourage mutual respect.

  • Barring true emergencies, you MUST make clear to family that as adults any favor needs to be posed/requested with enough time to allow me to consider the request.
  • Second, family need to recognize that your answer to any/every given question or request is not necessarily “Yes.”
  • Favors are deliverable based on need, not wants. That is, if you neglect to anticipate bill payment and spend carelessly, you cannot consider asking to borrow money.
  • Make clear the differences between a true emergency and lack of planning. For example, deciding to take a short vacation necessitating your family to baby sit your rambunctious three-year old without prior approval, is not an emergency, it’s a lack of consideration.
  • Finally, communication is key. In any given relationship (family, friend, romantic involvements) folks will take advantage of you if you do not communicate what is acceptable.

Ultimately, what is required of you by your family is normally determined by (drum roll please!) YOU. Today, my family knows that I am NOT the person to approach for a loan. I am NOT the person to drop-in on unannounced and I am NOT the person to ask to baby sit minutes before you bolt out of your door. You will need to accept that you will not be the most liked family member and that ill words may be spoken of you, but you will live and so will they – much happier I suspect.

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Morning Edition - 6/30/05

Mira Que Bueno; Gay Marriage Legalized in Spain
Spain became the third country to legalize gay marriage today, in a move that has conservative voters and Spain’s traditionally Roman Catholic majority up in arms. The law immediately grants gay couples the ability to marry, adopt children and inherit each others’ property. Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero said, “We were not the first, but I am sure we will not be the last. After us will come many other countries, driven, ladies and gentlemen, by two unstoppable forces: freedom and equality.”

Terry McMillan New Book Amidst Pending Divorce
Terry McMillan, 53, filed for divorce in January stating her husband, Jonathan Plummer, 30, is gay. A judge has ordered McMillan to pay Plummer $2,000 per month and $25,000 in attorney’s fees until the case returns to court in October. McMillan’s new novel, The Interruption of Everything, is scheduled to be released next month. The book has nothing to do with her life and is said to be about a married mother of three who is questioning her comfortable suburban life…. Uh, cool. Ultimately, McMillan says she will not allow this divorce to "detract from the many blessings in her life."

Racial Bias Beat down; Victims Are Admitted Car Thieves
Early Wednesday, three black men ventured into a historically white neighborhood in NYC know as Howard Beach in Queens. The three admit they were scoping out cars and trying to choose an easy target to steal when an SUV driven by Nicholas Minucci, 21, noticed the three men. Minucci is said to have picked up two friends and a baseball bat before returning to beat the three men, fracturing one man’s skull. Minucci is now being charged with first degree assault as a hate crime and criminal possession of a weapon. The hate crime factor guarantees Minucci eight years in prison. His two friends have not been apprehended. Mayor Michael Bloomberg said he would not allow such "an ugly incident" to divide the city.

Please post your Afternoon Edition On Blast questions in this Morning Edition’s Comments section.

REMINDER: Angie/Jeanine: Are we ready to send out a logistics list to the group for the July 16, Watkins Park function? Update please.

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Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Afternoon Edition - 6/29/05

On A Roll; Rapper T.I. Does His Thing
Hip-Hop artist T.I. is making his feature film debut in an untitled comedy set in an Atlanta roller-skating rink. The movie was originally titled Jellybeans and is based on material from Dallas Austin (a music producer) and T-Boz (of TLC fame). T.I. is said to play a character named Rashad, the head of a roller-skating team. Evan Ross Naess, son of Diana Ross, has also been cast in the picture.

Can’t Get Enough; Mexicans Poke More Fun at Blacks
Mexico now has a new stamp that depicts an exaggerated black cartoon character. The character has large lips and wide eyes and is based on a 1940s comic book character, Memin Pinguin, still published in Mexico. Mexican president Vicente Fox recently went under fire for his remarks regarding the type of work Mexicans took in the US. Basically he felt Mexicans were performing jobs, “even American blacks wouldn’t do.” "This is a traditional character that reflects part of Mexico's culture," said Carlos Caballero, assistant marketing director of the Mexican Postal Service. Sidebar: Stupid is as stupid does.

As You Like It; Romance and Shakespeare in the Park
Last night I sat, a slight dew kissing my face, and watched As You Like It as part of the Shakespeare in the Park series in NYC’s Central Park. My date and I – and no, this wasn’t “the one” this was the other one – enjoyed iced lattes and were intrigued and remarkably turned on by the performance. Rather than risk an arrest for lewd conduct in the park, we proceeded to my place to take a cool shower and talk about Shakespeare’s comedic turn at betrayal and gender-ambiguous romance. If nothing else, one thing is clear – a great time is not hard to have when honesty, respect and a healthy dose of lust is in the air.

Freaking Rican will give details for our Friday, July 8, Breathe Bitch NYC Conglomerate gathering. Please see the Comments section of this Afternoon Edition.

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Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Afternoon Edition - 6/28/05

PrideFest Should Change Its Name To (Drum roll please!) The Linguist Ball
The weather cooperated and PrideFest NYC was a HUGE success. A remarkable swarm of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender folks gathered to celebrate their lives. The actual parade and the after parties that followed painted a picture that was slightly disturbing - well, at least from a gay man's perspective. For every one man there had to be at least 10 women (hence the play on words with "linguist") :::Yeah, I know what a linguist is darnit!:::: . The age group of the participants was also shocking, since the majority of the crowd didn't look a day over 25. All in all, it was a gorgeous day with a wide array of people joining together to celebrate their struggle, lives, loves and the fellowship that can only come with celebrating with your own.

Day Eight…We Fall Down, But We Get Up
Today I celebrate eight days of fighting the serious battle to beat my addiction to nicotine. Experts say that nicotine addiction is harder to beat than heroine. I really don't want to find out… I know this is a hard battle and my flesh begs for a cigarette some days. On Sunday I was tempted (and patch less) and forgave myself for almost asking for a drag from someone’s cig. Today, I accept that I'll make mistakes, but my perseverance is key to beating the addiction.

July 16 Around the Corner
Marcia R. checked with Watkins Park regarding our need for reservations for a gathering there. Turns out their actual reservations are booked, but spots - such as the one we held several years back are open and fair game to the visiting public. We will be holding one of these spots by the tennis courts that Saturday. The NYC "delegation" has made their reservations at a nearby hotel (thanks Angie!) and we will be arriving Friday night. We are also exploring venues to party Saturday night… this is planned to be a night to get our dance on and have a good time with each other, so whether you don't normally party or you're dance skills were featured in the hit TV show Fame, we ask that you join us Saturday night as well. Jeanine and Angie are presently devising a list of things to bring for our gathering at the park and will e-mail the crew. Suggestions are always welcome!

Long Story Short…
My foray into dating, coupled with my newfound sense of elated bliss (euphoria, really) has positively affected my dating situation and the folks I meet. Recently, I told you about the incredible guy that is now in the dating pool and I have to say I’m still flush with excitement with how we make each other feel – keep it clean J’Moo... Latisha F., formerly of ABA, turned 21 (uh, right) on June 25. Happy B-Day Tish! Philippe… I haven’t forgotten you, but you know how we roll. Caspar bought a fab-u, new, Toyota Camry SE… Congrats girl! Caught a short on a new film called Shook on Showtime last night. The movie, written by a black woman, tells the story of a woman who finds out her man is on the down-low when she decides to surprise him at the office to tell him she’s pregnant. Talk about high DRAMA. Definitely one to check out. Reis Park on the 4th fellow New Yorkers?!

Today, we’re putting Anonymous On Blast with: What is love?
Thank goodness, a simple question. I’ll give the dictionary definition and let my fellow bloggers retell their TRUE love experiences. Yeah, a brotha is busy and NEEDS a break today. Here goes…Love is a deep, tender, ineffable feeling of affection and solicitude toward a person, such as that arising from kinship, recognition of attractive qualities, or a sense of underlying oneness. Love is also a feeling of intense desire and attraction toward a person with whom one is disposed to make a pair; the emotion of sex and romance. Sidebar: Krissy honey... go ahead and take those purple pills the doctor prescribed. I saw your comments this morning.

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Morning Edition - 6/28/05

Flo-Jo Mornin'
I was out on Annual Leave yesterday - my apologies on no Morning Edition - and have returned to a ton of e-mail, requests and demands... you'd think a brotha was runnin' the place! At any rate, we'll work on having an Afternoon Edition filled with a Pride weekend wrap-up and July 16 catch-up....along with some other juicy tid-bits. Miss ya' all!

Don't forget to post an On Blast question for our Afternoon Edition on this Morning Edition's Comments.

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Friday, June 24, 2005

Afternoon Edition - 6/24/05

On Blast
Today we’re putting Freaking Rican On Blast with: Why does our society view a man having many sex partners as "He's the Man" and when a woman has two of three men she dating or doing or whatever and she is consider "A HOE"?

Although, as Toy mentioned, views on sexuality and gender roles have changed, they still have not changed enough to affect world views (or even US views) on what is acceptable in males and females. Males have always been given the go-ahead to express their sexuality, while females are taught to repress overt sexual expression. While men are almost encouraged to play the field, sow their wild oats and score, women are encouraged to maintain chastity and enter marriage chaste. As I explored in our Morning Edition Comments, the issue even appears to have spilled over from just female scrutiny, to that of “passive” homosexual men as well. That is, the passive gay man is frowned upon for being a more promiscuous person. I’ll need to research that last issue a little further before addressing it, but we’ll put it out there now. Ultimately, women must understand that although it is NOT fair that men are held to a different standard than their female counterparts, IT IS WHAT IT IS. You cannot change Rome in a day; women who try to play by the same rules as their male counterparts and act as “players,” sort-of speak, are perceived as “loose” and not worthy of investing time in as a quality perspective partner. The key appears to be in the “do-it-but-don’t-talk-about-it.” Women should not attempt to be boisterous about promiscuity, since this will only perpetuate the societal belief that a woman with several partners is a whore. Men… carry on!

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Morning Edition - 6/24/05

Oprah’s New Project A Huge Hop, I Mean Hit
Oprah Winfrey is set to narrate a story about a young man who rides a bicycle 360 miles across Ghana; this with ONE leg, in Emmanuel’s Gift. The film is intended to stomp out negative views of the disabled. The U.S. theatrical release is set for September.

Praise God and “Cut!”
The Rev. Bill Graham will celebrate his FINAL crusade today at Flushing Meadows Corona Park in New York. The scene is one where Graham celebrated his first televised appearance in 1957. Graham, now 86, plans to retire from his role as televangelist.

NYC Gay Pride 2005 This Weekend
Unlike cities like DC and Atlanta that hold two very distinctively separate Gay Pride festivities for the Black and White gay communities, NYC has always enjoyed one Pride Fest. The Black Pride organizers have tried to make some weekend in August their NYC date, but it has NEVER caught on. This weekend close to one million gay, lesbian, transgender folks and their supporters will take to the streets of downtown NYC to celebrate the event. In addition to a parade that runs from 57th Street and Fifth Avenue to Christopher Street in the West Village, PrideFest is a street fair touted as having something for everyone. The parade is set to begin at 11 a.m. Yours truly has taken Monday off to really “enjoy” the event.

Today we’re putting Freaking Rican On Blast with: Why does our society view a man having many sex partners as "He's the Man" and when a woman has two of three men she dating or doing or whatever and she is consider "A HOE"? Please feel free to respond to her question on this Morning Edition Comments and we will officially put FR On Blast in our Afternoon Edition.

Day 5; No patch; Going strong.

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Thursday, June 23, 2005

Morning Edition - 6/23/05

Mr. Telephone Man There’s Something Wrong With YOUR Line
Longtime ABA telephone technician and nemesis to yours truly, Scottie D., was terminated from his cushy position at the banking association giant last week. One insider said Scottie D. was terminated after years of abuse of company time. Another inside source said the termination occurred via telephone making it all the more shocking. Recently Scottie struggled with the illness of his dad and a curious condition that affected the size, shape and color of his nose – don’t ask! Sidebar: Sometimes we’re shoved into pursuing something new, different and life altering. All jokes aside, good luck SD.

Religion & Politics; Who Agrees?
Religion and politics are always subjects that stir different emotions in folks and will lead to discussions that are heated and sometimes endless – since there is no clear right or wrong in a religious or political discussion. That said, these discussions do help bring about viewpoints we don’t normally hear during our own worship services. Recently Catholicism was under the microscope and the issue of sexual abuse and priests was discussed. In addition, the debate as to the Catholic Church’s vilification of condom use was brought to light. All these issues stir different emotions in each of us, but I wanted to send a special thank you to Kris, DrkMn and a certain Anonymous for your insightful and candid views. Your thoughts help to make the blog a more interesting spot.

Please post your afternoon On Blast questions in the Comments area for this Morning Edition.

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Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Afternoon Edition - 6/22/05

Shut Up! It’s Hard To See You
Researchers at John Hopkins University in Baltimore have found that the brain cannot effectively activate visual and auditory input simultaneously. The research was done to measure the benefits of drivers who operate a cell phone with a headset. Professor Steven Yantis, a professor in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, led the study and said, “Our research helps explain why talking on a cell phone can impair driving performance, even when the driver is using a hands-free device.”

Mama Cruz Would’ve Beat You Back Into The Woods
The 11-year old Boy Scout, Brennan Hawkins, who spent four days lost in the mountains of Utah, was found alive yesterday. Apparently the youngster climbed up the mountain (about 5 miles) rather than following the path of least resistance and heading down. Although Hawkins saw a search party on horse-back days earlier, he says he became afraid and avoided them. Sidebar: Mama Cruz would’ve been elated to find me, and then beat my behind back up into the woods.

Let the MF Burn! Burn, MF Burn!
In 1998 the Supreme Court ruled that the burning of the flag was protected under free-speech laws. Now, there’s a chance Congress will overturn that decision and make the burning of the flag a crime. The amendment would read, “The Congress shall have power to prohibit the physical desecration of the flag of the United States." Although this amendment has come to Congress six times in the past and failed, many believe it has a chance of making it through this time.

Day 3; No Patch; Clear the Area!

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Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Afternoon Edition - 6/21/05

Unrealistic Approach From The Most High?
Although Pope Benedict XVI feels the AIDS crisis in Africa is a “cruel epidemic,” he still says that following the traditional Catholic values of abstinence and fidelity are still the best forms of HIV and AIDS prevention. The Pope also went on to tell African bishops at the Vatican that contraception (including condoms) is one of several trends that contribute to a “breakdown in sexual morality.” Sidebar: Here’s an idea Benny, we address (in current terms) a raging epidemic and we advocate condom use AND we set-out to stamp-out pedophilia and sexual abuse among Catholic priests. What say you?

A little Salt for Your Wounds
Michael Schiavo, husband of Terri Schiavo, who died after having her feeding tube removed in March, poured some more salt in Bob and Mary Schindler’s wounds. The Schindler’s lost the battle to have their daughter remain on a feeding tube, following 15 years in a vegetative state. After Terri’s death, Michael had her cremated and took possession of her remains. Now, Schiavo has really sent the Schindler’s over-the-edge by inscribing “I Kept My Promise” on a bronze grave marker at his late wife’s tomb. To seal the deal, Schiavo went on to include “February 25, 1990” as the date his wife “Departed this Earth.” The Schindler’s are enraged and their attorney David Gibbs has said, “Obviously, that's a real shot and another unkind act toward a grieving mom and dad.”

I Want To Turn You Out; But Can You Wait Until December?
The Automotive Business Review reported a boycott said to start on May 31 by the American Family Association against Ford Motor Company. Apparently, the AFA felt that Ford’s advertising in gay publications and donating, what it reported as, thousands of dollars to groups such as the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force and the International Gay & Lesbian Human Rights Campaign, made Ford a strong supporter of gay rights – including gay marriage. The Automotive Business Review warned the AFA that their boycott may generate additional business for Ford from gay customers and gay rights supporters. Now the AFA has said they will resume talks with Ford and make a decision on boycotting by December. Sidebar: Get a real cause.

There were no On Blast questions this session.

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Morning Edition - 6/21/05

The War On Cancer; A Soldier’s Story
Former ABAer, Debbie Fulton (Lavonne) recently visited ABA in Washington DC. When she returned home to southern Virginia she discovered she has breast cancer. The ever effervescent Fulton is undergoing breast cancer treatment in the DC area and is staying with her sister in Landover, Md. A true soldier, who proved a mother’s strength and persevering love during the loss of a son to cancer in the late nineties, Fulton now faces another personal battle – one we’re sure she’ll show the same resolute peace and resolve in. Robert Beatty, a former ABA colleague who broke the story and has been in contact with Fulton said, “Please lift Debbie up in your prayers or thoughts for we all know how devastating the treatment of this disease can be emotionally and physically.”

Well wishes can be sent to:
Debbie LaVonne
c/o Kim Fullwood
509 Nalley Road
Landover MD 20785-4634

Captain’s Log, Star Date 06-21-05; Day 2
Well, I’m officially in day two of being smoke-free and the mood changes are in full swing. My workout yesterday was incredible – thanks Freaking Rican. I’m on the patch, but managed to rip yesterday’s off while working out, leaving me (or rather, those around me) vulnerable. Today it’s a new ball game – and a new patch! I’m drinking lots of water, have eaten my Total Raisin Bran for breakfast and am rearing to go. I’ll keep everyone posted on fatalities along the way. Average physical withdrawal time is approximately 3-7 days.

July 16 Coming Along; See You At Watkins Regional Park
Our plans to gather at Watkins Regional Park in Largo, Md. appear to be shaping up. So far over five of our new NYC NotShady bloggers plan to join me on the road to attend the event. Thank you to Angie M. who has managed to help us secure hotel accommodations. Jeanine/Angie: Are you still working on releasing a list to the group on what will be needed for the function? Marcia: We’ll need you to swing by Watkins and access whether we will need to secure/reserve a location. Freaking Rican: What do you think about driving one car – yours? It’s the largest vehicle and we can share the expense. I have no problem driving my own vehicle though. J’Moo: Are you coming? ABAers: What’s the story on your attendance? Will we be graced with your presence?

Please post questions for our On Blast segment on the Comments section of this Morning Edition.
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Monday, June 20, 2005

Morning Edition - 6/20/05

Old Friend; I Quit
After close to 20 years of smoking, I quit today. I’ve always been afraid to make such an announcement, since soon after making such an assertion, I rush down to the drug store to buy another pack of smokes. So what makes me so sure that I can stay “clean” this time? Mainly, I’ve had enough. Enough of the, close to $7 a pack, the sucking-on-a-quarter feeling in the mouth, the dreaded ashtray aroma that lingers long after my last puff and the disapproving looks of surprise from everyone who catches me sneaking one at different intervals in the day. I won’t lie and say that I’m not afraid of the mood swings, the cravings or even missing an old friend that has been a stand-by through most of my adult life. Truth is, this has been a year to release many “old friends” that were simply a negative influence and detriment in my life. So, don’t wish me luck; it’s simply too early, but keep me in your prayers (for those that pray) and know that when I’m a bit on edge in the next couple of weeks, it’s the nicotine release running its course.

His Most Holy On CBS
CBS is in the works to produce a four-hour mini-series featuring his Most Holy Pope John Paul II. Karol Wojtyla, a.k.a. Pope JPII, will have his life story told from his early beginnings in Poland, through his 26-year reign as Pope. The Vatican supervised all writing for the miniseries and has even allowed footage of areas in St. Peter’s Square to be filmed. No actors have been chosen yet, but my choice to play JPII would be Brad Pitt… hey, a man can dream, right?

Enter Edwin
This weekend marked a wonderful twist in my dating debacle. After turning down several engagements this Saturday night, I set out to enjoy a night, without commitments, to hit the town and do “my own thing.” Proof positive that the most incredible things happen when you DON’T plan for them; I met one of the most gorgeous, intelligent and interesting men I’ve met in quite some time. After some verbal foreplay we set a date for last night where we enjoyed matching salads and shot the breeze and had some humorous conversation. His hazel eyes penetrated my soul – dramatic right? – but true. His beautiful pink lips parted to reveal model teeth – a perfect mouth to compliment perfect skin. I was won over by his beauty, but his sense of humor sealed the deal. After laughing and sharing like we’d known each other for years, we agreed to meet Wednesday for a night of Batman Begins. So, not unlike a giggling school girl, I’m excited – exhilarated even – at the thought of dating someone who makes my jaded, hardened heart warm with anticipation.

Life Has A Way Of Moving On
The case of the missing U.S. teen that disappeared during a visit to Aruba a month ago, has not deterred tourists from visiting the tiny island. With only 97,000 citizens, it’s amazing that Aruba welcomes 728,000 visitors and more than 500,000 cruise ship passengers yearly. In 1996 a U.S. woman was killed by two robbers, marking the only documented case of violence against a tourist to date. Tourism experts say the island has seen an increase in visitors this year.

Please post your On Blast questions in the Comments area of this Morning Edition.

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Friday, June 17, 2005

Afternoon Edition - 6/17/05 - On Blast

On Blast
Today we’re putting Lady Long Legs On Blast with: Do you think women who were raised with a father in the household are more stable and have better relationships than women who were raised by a single mother? And when I say father, I mean a positive role model (working, paying the bills, respecting the mother, etc.)?

It stands to reason that more is learned through experiencing healthy relationships first hand, than being told what they’re suppose to function as. Unfortunately, the reality is that 28% of all children in the U.S. live with one parent. That’s 20 million American kids who do not experience a two-parent household. Of those one-parent households, 84% live with their mother. In 1997 alone, 32% of all American births were from single mothers. With numbers like these, it’s no surprise that most adults enter relationships with no constructive experiences to draw upon. Just think, if you are raised around a household where the parent teaches you to cook and you watch their technique, it is more likely that you will be a good cook. The same applies in relationships. Adults who were raised in two-parent households that had loving parents in a healthy relationship, can likely determine what behaviors are inappropriate or unacceptable in their own relationships. Additionally, folks will normally seek out a partner with qualities with those possessed by their parents. However, this isn’t to say that adults raised in single-parent households can’t/won’t experience healthy relationships. With adequate coaching and mentoring a single parent can help nurture healthy relationship qualities in their impressionable children. Ultimately LLL, the short and sweet (and it never is) is that folks that grow up in two-parent households, where parents are in a healthy relationship, have more to draw on when attempting to mirror those behaviors.

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Morning Edition - 6/17/05

The Mirror Has Two Faces; And So Does The Kitty
Gemini, a newborn kitten in Oregon was born with two faces. That means the bundle of joy has two mouths, two noses and four eyes – this, without glasses! Although the kitten was only given a 10% chance of survival by area veterinarians, she is still holding on. Experts say that tissue between Gemini’s mouths will have to be removed if she survives to her second month. Gemini was born to a new breed of cats this breeder says are miniature cats – they only grow to be 4 lb. adults. The mother is a miniature cat, while the dad is a normal sized cat. To date, this is the only report of a mutation of this kind in cats.

Some Like It Hot
Recently, temperatures in the northeast reached into the 90s with humidity making the sticky heat feel like 100 degrees, but folks in India are experiencing REAL heat; we’re talking 122 ACTUAL degrees! Preliminary reports show that over 130 people have died since the heat wave began over a week ago.

My Heart Belongs To Daddy
This Sunday, June 19, is Father’s Day. My own dad visited me last month and I had the honor of spending quality time with him – something we didn’t do very often (or comfortably) when I was growing up (I know, TMI). Now that I’m older, I’ve learned to appreciate my dad and his efforts to give his all to his family – albeit a very conservative and stern effort. My dad turned 62 this year and I can see a man who loves his wife, adores his children and has proven to be everything I hope to become. Happy Father’s Day Daddy!

Please post your questions for our afternoon On Blast in this Morning Edition’s Comments.

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Thursday, June 16, 2005

Afternoon Edition - 6/16/05

We Are Family…Networks Aren’t Buying It Though
Michael Jackson’s child molestation trial ended, but a reality show focusing on his ordeal and how the Jackson family rallied together was presented to several networks. The show would consist of six episodes of MJ and his family during months of legal pressures. So far ABC, A&E and Fox have declined to pick up the show. Sidebar: Somebody has to come away with some cash from all of this.

ADD or ADHD; Rabbit or Hare
Most of us didn’t know there was a difference between ADD and ADHD. ADD is Attention Deficit Disorder; ADHD, which is similar, adds the component of hyperactivity or impulsive behavior. Eli Lilly makes Strattera; a drug said to help treat ADD, but the FDA felt that Lilly’s 60-second advertisements depicted folks who have ADHD and asked Lilly to pull the ads immediately. Lilly has complied, but said their Strattera ads do not make false claims.

Deep Throat About To Have Deep Pockets
Mark Felt, the man who admitted to being “Deep Throat” has signed a lucrative book and movie deal. Felt was the mastermind and voice behind the impeachment of President Nixon and the Watergate scandal. The book is tentatively titled, “A G-man's Life: The FBI, Being 'Deep Throat' And the Struggle for Honor in Washington.” Sidebar: Maybe it’s me, but what’s with all the sexual references to such a non-sexual issue. For all we know this could’ve been Monica Lewinsky’s book deal.

There were no questions raised for our On Blast segment today.

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Morning Edition - 6/16/05

NAACP Search Team Recommends New Head
With Kwesi Mfume stepping down as President and CEO of the NAACP, the search has been underway for his successor. The NAACP search committee has recommended Bruce Gordon, a former Verizon executive for the post. The full NAACP board will vote on his appointment when they meet in Atlanta on June 25. Gordon retired in December 2003 after 35 years at Verizon. Insiders say Gordon was chosen by the committee for his extensive business background.

Mexican First Lady’s Dad Bites The Big Enchilada
Dr. Alberto Sahagun de la Parra, father of Mexican first lady Marta Sahagun, died of cancer this morning. Mexican President Vicente Fox (who you will remember made that little comment about Mexicans taking jobs in America even blacks wouldn’t take) is flying to be by his wife’s side this evening. Dr. Sahagun practiced medicine from 1947 to 1986 in Zamora, Mexico and founded his own local hospital there.

Logistics In The Works
Angela M. has kindly forwarded a mock-up list to organize our July 16 gathering in Maryland. I will review the list over the weekend and share it with the group on Monday. The object of the logistical planning will be to determine an effective way to purchase food items, paper goods, entertainment items (such as games, etc.) and coordinate who will bring items such as utensils and the grill itself. Please be sure to hold Saturday, July 16 on your calendar. In addition, we are also attempting to make that Saturday night a party night. A few of us are planning to go out dancing at an area club. Angela M. is researching some venues. I’ll get my shorts ready for the barbecue and my dancing shoes ready for our club night - hope I don't get them mixed up!

Your Blog…. Turn It Out
This blog, like the United Nations, is comprised of folks of all races. For that reason, you’ll notice that our opinions and viewpoints will be fairly different and add to a broad discussion of any/all of the topics that are posted. It stands to reason that we want your opinion, but we also ask that you be mindful of the opinions of others. This isn’t to say that we won’t have instances when the blog heats up – we all remember when my business was put on front street a short while ago – but overall, let’s strive to speak in general terms, rather than focusing on any one person. I value your opinion and the blog is enriched by each person’s take on issues. Please speak freely. No one is above anyone here and one opinion is no more important than another. Sit back, write what you feel, keep it real and enjoy the blog!

Please feel free to post your afternoon On Blast questions on the Comments area at the end of this edition.

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Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Morning Edition - 6/15/05

Please use our Morning Edition “Comments” area to give your take on one or all of the following questions.

The race issue appears to be a recurring topic in legal cases involving celebrities like Michael Jackson, Kobe Bryant and OJ Simpson. What do you feel is the strongest argument for black men (men of color) interacting with other people of color in matters relating to sex, family and investments? Why do women of color and white men appear to be the groups taking the greatest issue with race intermingling? What are some of the benefits/drawbacks of dating outside of your race? Would you/have you dated someone of another race and what was your experience?

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Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Afternoon Edition - 6/14/05

Minority the Majority; Not Good
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) made a stunning declaration at the 2005 National HIV Prevention Conference in Atlanta. Although African Americans only account for 12% of the population, they make up 47% of all HIV cases. With more than 74% of all HIV+ Americans being male, and 45% of new cases reported from gay and bisexual men, it’s time to take a stand and make a difference. An estimated 17% of Latino men were reported in comparison. Age also played a big factor with 14% of those infected in the 18-24 year group, while 30% of men in their 30s showed infection. Gary English, executive director of the People of Color in Crisis in Brooklyn, NY said, “The CDC — if it was white gay men back in the '80s with these types of numbers — you would see a different response, so I would urge this country to really take this issue very seriously."
Sidebar: At a recent gathering a few African American acquaintances discussed the issue of “raw” sex (sex without a condom). Many of the gay men present argued the point that they preferred sex this way even though the threat of HIV was real. I was taken aback, but I accept that this is a reality. With new life-saving drugs, some people are not afraid of contracting this disease. For the record, HIV still kills and there are forms of this disease that are not treatable.

MJ Not Guilty; Many Not Convinced
When the verdict was announced many breathed a sigh of relief while some cringed in disgust. Michael Jackson was found Not Guilty on all charges. Jackson narrowly escaped an extensive prison term after being charged with child molestation, among other charges. There is a saying that “where there’s smoke there’s fire.” I don’t necessarily think that we should believe the press or the detractors all the time, but when you begin to feel EVERYONE is lying on you, it’s time to take a step back and look at the scene through their eyes. Since his first foray into battling accusations of child molestation in the early 1990s, Jackson appeared to believe that behavior that was not suitable to other adults would be condoned from him. Newsflash: You’re black, you’re acting koo-koo and you’re taunting the justice system to help you remember life without a perm. Folks, I’m not accusing Jackson of sleeping with children – I wasn’t there and I don’t have first hand knowledge of such an atrocity, but I am asking Jackson to consider what message his actions send to the public. After having his hand scalded in the burning flames of child molestation accusations in 1993, I would think that Jackson would not place his hee-hee-hand over that blazing inferno of a stove again. Saying #2: First time shame on you, second time shame on me. Come on Mikey, this trial was a true “Shame on you!” situation. You knew better. In the 80s DeBarge had a song called, “Time Will Reveal.” Well Hallelujah! For the Atheist folks – Praise your own spirit! … Time always reveals. If he is ill (and pedophilia is a true illness) then we can expect he will not be able to come away from it very easily. If in fact he’s being framed, then it’s time to recognize that he can’t save the world – Leave “dem” children alone Mike! …but seriously folks, there were some of you who mentioned your take on Mike, the wonderful job you’re doing with your own children and the triumph of surviving sexual abuse. Thank you – honestly – for sharing such personal and powerful stories. It takes the dedication of family, friends and our legal system to make the world a better place…time will reveal.

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Morning Edition - 6/14/05

Please use the "Comments" area of this Morning Edition for your response...

Today, rather than post a Morning Edition we would like you to participate in a discussion.

Topic: Michael Jackson was found Not Guilty on all charges brought against him. Has a pedophile been released into the general public OR has an innocent man been vindicated? What is your opinion of the parents of the accuser and their role in this drama?

Please answer honestly and remember that we're here to exchange opinions/viewpoints.


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Monday, June 13, 2005

Afternoon Edition - 6/13/05 - On Blast

On Blast
Today we’re putting Freaking Rican On Blast with: You know me, I am vivacious, funny, volup2us and damn sexy, why is it that men find women like me unapproachable? Damn do I have to act desperate for a man to even walk up to me and say "Hello". What's up with that? I am an old fashion girl and strongly believe a guy should ask a girl out...Where are these brothers?

Dear Dateless-In-The-Apple:
With your list of attributes you would think that guys would be drop-kicking each other to get to you, but obviously they’re not and here may be some reasons why. First, understand that men have the same batch of insecurities and fear of rejection issues as women. The very thought of having my face cracked by someone at a club or bar will keep me from going over to introduce myself. Getting around this is somewhat simple – be receptive, without conveying the I’m-a-hooker-lay-me vibe. This means you should make eye contact with parties you are interested in, smile coyly – don’t overdo it - and repeat the steps until the message is read. Second, visit venues that cater to the type of man you’re interested in. If you don’t like a club-goer or drinker, then bars and clubs may not be the best place to cast your net. Gyms, smaller house parties and even church services tend to be great places to meet decent men. Don’t appear easy. Though you may think you’re the bell-of-the-ball, the truth is men don’t want what everyone else has – or could potentially have – for themselves. A man always believes the true catch is one that doesn’t appear easy to land. Hey, easy comes-easy goes and we prefer thinking our woman (or man) will not be easily distracted by another potential date. Finally, courting (dating) is a sinuous dance. A man wants a woman who appears interested, but not one who is selling the farm on the first night. You should give him attention, but not be the lady with the telephone ear-piece pasted to the side of your head waiting for his call. Before arriving at the dating-dance-hall you should ask yourself: What do I want from a man? What qualities MUST I have to be happy in a relationship? What issues are completely unacceptable in a potential mate? Be realistic… you’re not Angelina Jolie and he won’t be Brad Pitt… learn to compromise. Never think you’ll change anyone and certainly don’t give them the impression that you will change key elements of yourself to make them happy either. Most importantly, loosen up. If you’re uptight about dating you will give verbal and physical cues that will set-off red flags to the men who engage you. Be confident, remain cool, be yourself and know that the best partners show up when we least expect them. Well, at least that’s what I’m experiencing…. Rufus Sidebar: When we want an easy lay, we’ll hit the easy-going person who doesn’t ask too much of us. This is usually the person who’s been stroking our egos all night – and probably everything else – and has our testosterone at a boil. Also, the pool of pooty being thrown at us lately by desperate women who don’t mind sharing a man and don’t ask questions is ridiculous. Women have undermined their own situation by playing against each other and making it a cake-walk for men who want to run y’all ragged. Stick to your guns, get a nice ugly man to tie-your-over until the right one arrives and know that in the end you get more flies with honey than you do with vinegar.

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Morning Edition - 6/13/05

Mr. & Mrs. Smith; Get Real
There I was, front-and-center for opening night of Mr. & Mrs. Smith, starring Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. Admittedly the starring actors are amazing to look at and their acting abilities are also top notch, but I’ll be the first to tell you that the story line is far from believable. Now, if believability is not an issue for you – it wasn’t for me – then you’ll find this flick quite enjoyable. The premise is simple, two assassins working for competing assassination firms (is there such a thing?) meet while on an assignment. They become involved and quickly marry. Since they live duplicitous lives to conceal their actual professions from each other, the Smiths quickly become bored with each other and decide to see a marriage counselor. It is during one of their subsequent assignments that the couple realizes that they are working for the competing assassination firms. The industry calls for no loose strings, so annihilating the competition – in this case, your spouse – becomes the most exciting assignment ever. It gets juicy when they begin asking themselves whether they can save their marriage while attempting to kill their spouse? Jolie is stunning, agile and brilliant. She oozes sexuality and her dominatrix style plays well with Pitts boy-next-door appeal. The action keeps the heart racing and the comedic punches are, at least, smile inducing. If you’re into the strong, take-no-prisoner type girls (I know I am) this movie is sure to keep you at attention.

Puerto Rican Day Parade A Scorcher
With temperatures reaching over 92 degrees and the sun burning a hole in anything standing still, yesterday’s Puerto Rican Day Parade in NYC delivered on everything HOT. The men - HOT, the women – HOT, my pressed-a$$ in a bathing suit and matching Puerto Rico t-shirt – BLAZING! I’ll admit that I had a ball, but two hours after the first baton twirlers passed me by, I realized that my penis was plastered to the inside of my leg and my feet felt like I was traversing hot coals. Outside the obvious heat issues, the parade delivered the goods – pride, unity and three million Boricuas and Boricua admirers! Happy PR Pride! Sidebar: Tego Calderon (a Puerto Rican Latin urban artist) has signed with Atlantic Records to release his second album – The Underdog – in October.

Please feel free to post questions for our afternoon On Blast segment in our Morning Edition “Comments” area.

Keep passin’ the open windows...

Friday, June 10, 2005

Morning Edition - 6/10/05

A Reason; A Season; A Lifetime
A brief telephone conversation with one of our blog members left me thinking. So many folks cross our paths throughout our lifetime. People come into our lives in three different capacities; a reason, a season or a lifetime. A poignant statement, since in our effort to force some individuals into a specific category we sometimes cause ourselves enormous heartache. You see, not everyone is intended to be with you for a lifetime. Without getting religious on anyone - whether you're an atheist or a Christian - know that what you may consider a chance meeting with someone was always in your life's plan. The danger is when we alter the course of an interaction by attempting to make someone that was placed in our life's path for a reason, into someone who is a lifelong participant. Without getting into the details of why they were placed there - there are millions of them - know that after that reason, they were intended to be gone. Those that are placed in our life's path for a season are those that are there for a slightly longer time. They are there to either teach us a lesson, get us through a difficult period or simply to enrich our lives. Following that purpose, you'll notice that life has a way of pushing them out. It is when we try to force them into a lifelong participant role that we see a deteriorating relationship (relationship is used in a general sense here). Lifetime players in our lives are remarkable in that they fit into all three categories and they continually serve a purpose in our lives. Your lives grow together and you learn each other's strengths and weaknesses. There are times when you don't speak to the lifetime participant for extended periods of time, but when you reconnect, it's like they've always been there. You know their idiosyncrasies and the effort to maintain an interaction with them never compromises who you are. Well, I won't pretend to know it all - I don't even know enough to always decipher what role is intended for all the folks that cross my path, but knowing what signs to look for and finding peace within myself to trust my gut instinct without forcing anyone into one of these categories is a healthy start. Wish me luck….

July 16 at Watkins Park; Largo, MD
We're almost one month out from our get together at Watkins Regional Park in Largo, Maryland. It's about that time to begin fleshing out (I hate when my boss uses that word) the details for our event. Previous BBQs have been fun, but I'd like to tackle some of the coordinating issues. The three categories that should be addressed: 1. Food/Beverages 2. Paper products/Condiments 3. Entertainment/Games/Decor. I'm opening the forum to ideas of how we can insure that each category is headed-up and covered. We don't want to overwhelm any one person, yet we need a point of contact for each category. Finally, we should designate a time (ie. Noon) to all be there. This should be an actual time and not CP Time arrivals. So let's have great time, meet new family additions, bring new folks into the group and really make this one of Summer 2005's best functions.

Long Story Short…
Caspar celebrated a birthday this week - happy birthday sunshine! Soul wifey (Marcia) held an exciting event that included Morris Chestnut - girl, we need details! Daylen celebrated two months on earth - we have new pics to share! J'Moo was overheard to be buying bands for him and his sweetie - uh, yeah, we believe you when you say they're "friendship" rings. Bottom Feeder… it's time to stop pushing up on your "friends" pieces - for real! No need to discuss that one further. Sean, Adam and Raymond, welcome aboard. Where are my ABA customer service ladies? I was thinkin' about y'all the other day! Hit me up… we want your wisdom on many of our issues too. Busta turned 6. That's right, my baby is all grown up!

Please post your questions for this afternoon's On Blast in the Morning Edition comments.

Keep passin' the open windows…

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Afternoon Edition - 6/9/05 - On Blast

On Blast
Today we’re putting Yo-Yo On Blast with: What do u think determines a person success, self worth & sense of completion? Meaning I personally am noticing (& I know this maybe silly & at some level wrong, but nevertheless it's true for me that although I have unconditional love from my daughter & family there is still something missing where I don't feel complete unless I have (duh, what I think is love from a man). In other words I am discovering (and I don't like admitting it) that I don't feel complete, unless I have a man that loves me in my life. I feel alone, abandoned, unwanted and yet FOR THOSE THAT KNOW ME I AM TRULY BLESSED WITH MY DAUGHTER, FAMILY AND UNLIMITED AMOUNT OF GREAT FRIENDS I HAVE. YET TO BE HONEST TO MYSELF & PUT IT OUT THERE HONESTLY I STILL FEEL ALONE.

Well Yo, this subject is very relative. That is, an individual’s idea of success, self-worth and feeling that he/she is whole (or what you term, “sense of completion”) is affected by many different factors. One factor would be the nurture issue raised during yesterday’s On Blast confidence discussion. If you are raised to feel good about yourself, you will more-than-likely strive to reach levels of success that make you feel fulfilled and whole. From that point forward this issue gets a bit muddy because levels of success and a feeling of being complete change based on simple things like geography or culture. In one culture, merely finishing school and working a “decent” blue collar jobs that has benefits, can be considered an enormous accomplishment and a sign of success, while other cultures view higher education, white collar professional positions and material wealth as signs of success. Also, in the Latino culture, for example, women were taught that every “complete” woman has a man by her side. A woman is encouraged to meet her man and marry him before she is in her mid-thirties or she is labeled an old maid. While in White American culture women virtually reach 40 before considering marriage.

So here’s the skinny on this issue… recognize that you set the bar for how successful, fulfilled and complete you feel. Know that unless you are a conjoined twin sharing vital organs, you don’t NEED anyone to survive or be complete. Allow yourself to experience the highs-and-lows of life and stop using others as your personal Zoloft prescription – no one can make you feel great about you 24/7 – not even you! Unconditional love from family and friends – and excuse me, but I don’t believe human love is ever completely unconditional – still needs to be respected. Your family and friends aren’t the “but” and “yet” of all your “…TRULY BLESSED WITH MY DAUGHTER, FAMILY AND UNLIMITED AMOUNT OF GREAT FRIENDS I HAVE YET TO BE HONEST TO MYSELF…” Your family and friends are what’s good. They are what comforts you and supports you when you need someone there. Learn that your mate should always be the icing on the cake. They should make your life sweeter, but without the substance of a good cake, the icing would be just plain sugary gook that will eventually rot your teeth out – or in your case, rot your life!

Note to Freaking Rican: Please feel free to pick up where I left off honey.. I'm having contractions :)

Enough said… I mean, keep passin’ the open windows…

Sidebar: Cuca/Yo-Yo…no more Spanish food during lunch. This On Blast is late because I’ve been too busy sounding like I was playing the soundtrack to Drumline in the men’s room – sorry folks, I just had to keep it real!

Morning Edition - 6/9/05

I Want My Hair To Be Hot
Although you dream of your hair being hot, you don’t consider the dangers in processing the hair care products you use. The issue came to a head in Rantoul, IL, where a fatal explosion at a Conair plant killed one employee and injured another. It seems that chemicals (alcohol specifically) used to process the hair care products exploded. Fifty-eight employees were present at the time of the fire Wednesday night.

Class, Please Light The Smoke Stack; Now Send Your Message
Philadelphia will be the first city in the nation to require ALL public high school students to take a class in African and African American history to graduate. The high school student body in Philadelphia is 2/3 black. The classes will cover African civilizations, black nationalism and the civil rights movement. Other cities presently offer African American studies as an elective course. Miriam Foltz, a white city official, has expressed her disdain saying, “There are other cultures that will be very offended by this. How can you just mandate a course like this?” Sidebar: I’m glad she said it because other cultures have been offended by being forced to learn only Anglo history in our American History courses.

Sticks and Stones May Break My Bones; But Jury Awards Excite Me
Two California students at Poway High School recently rubbed their bruises while standing on the bank line when juries awarded Joseph Ramelli $175,000 and Megan Donovan $125,000 after they reported being harassed to school officials who only looked the other way. Ramelli and Donovan were said to be spit on, punched, kicked and had their vehicles vandalized during the reported incidents. School officials “took minimal or no action,” said J. Wilson, the students’ attorney.
Sidebar: Go on and get a new house and car with your new MAD money kids.

Please post your questions for our afternoon On Blast segment on our Morning Edition "Comments" area.

Keep passin’ the open window…

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Afternoon Edition - 6/8/05

On Blast
Today, we’re putting anonymous On Blast with: What makes some confident and others not that is a question to ask and entertain. Childhood issues, mean people, ETC. how do u go above that. HOW DO WE DEVELOP THE ATTITUDE I MEAN I KNOW IT'S 90% ATTITUDE AND 10% WHAT U KNOW BUT HOW DO WE DEVELOP THE MUSCLES OF CONFIDENCE?

KrisAlmighty said it best in his Morning Edition comments - true confidence begins with solid home nurturing. STAGE 1: If you are raised in an environment where folks tell you you’re attractive, intelligent, etc., there is a good probability that these views of yourself will continue throughout your life. There is a period during our school years where the perception of our peers plays an intricate role in questioning what we’ve been told at home, but youngsters who have had a positive upbringing tend to be better equipped to deal with outside negative attacks.

STAGE 2: Relationships (and sometimes the lack thereof) also play an enormous role in confidence. More often than not, we believe that folks we’re in a relationship with have our best interest at heart. This would mean that if my partner begins mentioning that I’m getting a little “thick” around the middle, I’ll take it as an honest assessment to work at staying in shape. Unfortunately, as many of you have experienced, some partners do not have our best interest at heart and operate on envy, insecurity, etc. In their effort to deflate your confidence they will basically point out flaws that either don’t exist or exist only in their eyes. Building on stage 1, we must know ourselves. Know what you’re attributes are and recognize that confidence carries its own lure. A confident ugly brother is easily more attractive than a “looker” with low self esteem. Project confidence (even when you don’t feel so hot) and others will step in to co-sign your confidence bill.

STAGE 3: Being booty. This is when you’re not a looker, you’re not in shape and you’re intelligence quotient (IQ) challenged. In these cases, it’s important to focus on other aspects of your person that can make you attractive and charming – ie. A sense of humor, a God-given talent (come on, he can’t be that cruel) or a go-getter attitude. Many women have “sense of humor” as one of their top wants in a man. Take note – being funny can get your more in life than being brilliant.

STAGE 4: Failure. When all else has failed and you just don’t have any confidence it’s important to seek some professional help. All jokes aside, having extremely low confidence makes you a sitting duck for yesterday’s On Blast topic (opportunistic folks). Like someone who cuts herself / himself and then decides to jump in shark infested waters, let me be the first to say, bandage that thing first. The life you save may be your own.

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Morning Edition - 6/8/07

Crack Whore Confidence Course
Last night I had the pleasure of dancing the night away at the Lenox Lounge in Harlem with J’Moo and Bottom Feeder. No, these aren’t their real names, rather their NotShady blog names. One of the funniest events of the evening was when J’Moo and I decided to step out to have a quick smoke (no, J’Moo doesn’t indulge, but I needed to look like the magic dragon). At any rate, an 80 pound crack whore (well, 80 lbs. with a scud missile on her back) approached us and began flirting. J’Moo immediately pointed out that we were gay as fruit baskets and that she should move on. She then smile and showed her remaining four pearly whites – two of which were molars – and exclaimed that she could change us both, lickity-split…and I do mean lickity-split! After reiterating that we’d rather tongue-kiss Satan and back-stroke in a lake of vomit, she walked off as happy as Paris Hilton at a red carpet event. J’Moo and I looked and each other and laughed – hard, but then J’Moo said something very interesting that I could not stop thinking about. He remarked that crack whores have extreme self confidence and could stand to use those skills on the body healthy females that are so withdrawn from approaching situations with bravado. Here was this woman, the final seconds of life-force in her, and she felt confident enough to roll-up on two brothers (well, close enough) and make her move. So I’m writing my congressman and asking that my tax dollars be used to apply teaching skills to the now-confident CWs and devise a course they can teach the rest of you. Sidebar: I’ll brace myself for your responses.

Caspar0608 a.k.a. My Photo Negative, Celebrates Birthday

Today, Caspar0608 celebrates a birthday. The vivacious six-foot-blonde- bombshell and I met at the tender age of 6 and we’ve been fast-friends ever since. From endless days of roller skating to our days as community veterinarians, Caspar and I have had fulfilling lives together and I feel blessed to sit back and grow old with someone who has always known me – really known me. So join me in wishing Caspar an amazing birthday. Girl, you deserve every bit of a happy day and if I had anything to say about it – an amazing life. Happy birthday!!

Lattimore-Moore Calabo Coming in 2006 – Again?
Washington DC native Kenny Lattimore and wife Chante Moore will be releasing, yet another, duet album. The duo released, Things That Lovers Do, to a dismal response from fans. Some would say it was more like, things that lovers should never do. Resident blogger critics, Nesie and Kim disagreed on early takes of the upcoming album, with Nesie feeling it was time for Lattimore to strike out on his own again.

Post your On Blast questions in today's Morning Edition "Comments" section for an Afternoon Edition response.

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Afternoon Edition - 6/7/05 - On Blast

On Blast
Today we’re putting anonymous On Blast with: Why do men in this day and age think it’s alright to have a woman support them? And why do women allow it?

This is an issue that is very close to my heart, since one of the folks I care about, almost more than my life, appears to be living it. If you’ll notice, I used the word “appears.” This is important, since many times we are simply judging or analyzing someone’s life and are not privy to all the details that may make their relationship work. That said, there are a slew of reasons why men in this day and age are comfortable with being supported. Not the least of which, is THEY CAN. An opportunist will not miss his chance to allow a willing target to provide for them. As to the “why” they would feel so comfortable – well that can come from a few different sources. They could have been raised by someone (probably a woman) who provided everything for them and required nothing in return. Mothers, remember you are only doing yourself and future women a disservice to not properly train the “future men” of the world to take responsibility and contribute. Also, children learn most things by example. If you are a parent who flagrantly shows your child how you “gets yours,” your child will inevitably attempt to “get theirs” when they’re old enough. Teach your children how to support themselves and prepare for the roles they will undoubtedly play in the future. Now, there are men who were raised right, but are lazy, incompetent or simply see a free ride for what it is – a free ride. In these cases, it is a conscious choice (not nurturing) that brings these men to the conclusion that a free meal is easier than earning your keep. Finally, there are men who are encouraged by their women to chill. In an effort to maintain the most control over the situation, some women reason that if you keep him at home, keep him fed, sexed, etc. he’ll do right and ultimately be a better partner. Sadly, this is also a catch-22, since a power-less man soon seeks to attain power OR loses all character traits that attracted you to him in the first place.

The bigger question however is, “Why do women allow it?” Mainly because some women believe that if the only character flaw they’ll have to contend with is that their man is a kept man, it’s not such a bad fault after all.

In the end, as I have painfully surmised, it’s best to not interfere in friends/family that are undergoing this situation, since you will be perceived as the bad guy who wants to keep a happy and loving couple apart. The best advice: Mind your business and only give your opinion when it is specifically asked of you. Some women will learn through trial and error, but as I am witnessing, some women NEVER learn. In which case, enjoy your friend or family member, ignore the details of their relationship (unless it directly affects you and your finances) and let the chips fall where they may. As painful as a train wreck to watch, but as effective as one of those wildlife photographers that does not disturb or interfere with nature when the lion begins to devour the gazelle – makes for a hell of a good shot though.

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Morning Edition - 6/7/05

With a record 52 responses, yesterday's Morning Edition proved that the mark of a true man is one who can recognize his shortcomings, accept responsibility and apologize for his mistakes. Second, that when we inflict pain on others - consciously or unconsciously - the affects can be long lasting, if not life-long. Finally, that your true friends are your true friends regardless of what your imperfections may be. Thank you to everyone who felt compelled to respond to our emotionally distressed blog member. The truth is, he proved that out of negative things, positive things could be born. Though I don't discount the anonymous person's comments, I do feel he brought about an outpouring of affection that warmed my heart. Conversely, I was saddened to know that I had hurt someone so deeply that years after the events, they still felt so strongly about their pain. To that anonymous person, I can only reiterate that wrong is wrong - past, present and future. The lessons those experiences taught me have made me a better friend, mate and human being. I hope our anonymous reader will stop pulling off the scab and allow that wound to scar over. I say scar over because you will always remember - heck, I do; but remembering and ensuring that the memory prevents the event's recurrence are two different things. Making mistakes isn't where we go wrong; it's repeating them that make us fools. That said, the "Comments" section will not change - certainly not for my benefit. The Blog will stand for what it has always stood for - a venue to openly share (even when that sharing gets ugly). Finally, I'm not proud of the mistakes I've made, but by no means am I ever embarrassed by anything I've ever done.

Patients Sue; He's No Doctor Feel Good
The state appeals court in Wisconsin ruled that an unidentified doctor won't have to divulge his sexual orientation after performing digital rectal exams during routine work physicals. Two patients sued the doctor for negligence after having their prostates probed, in what they felt, was an unnecessary exam. When the initial deposition took place, the doctor's attorney refused to let his client answer the question regarding his sexual orientation. Sidebar: Did he use a gloved hand?

Hung Jury Over Hung Victim; The Retrial
After he and his friend were sexually intimate with 17-year old Gwen Araujo both remained curious as to the gender of good-‘ole Gwen. So Michael Magidson and Jose Merel – along with friend Jason Cazares decided to confront Araujo as to her gender. A female guest at the home grabbed at Araujo’s genitals and definitively announced that she was, in fact, male. So Merel, Magidson, and Cazares decided that rather than be thought of as gay, they’d kill Araujo by bashing her with cans and frying pans, before punching and kneeing her and finally tying a rope around her neck and choking her to death. The group then buried the body. During their first trial, the killers pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of manslaughter (based on revealing that theirs was a crime of passion) but this enraged Araujo’s family and transgender advocates that argued murder is murder – PERIOD. The first trial ended with a hung jury. Now in retrial, arguments in the case range from the alleged perps caring for young Araujo to reasoning that their actions were brought about by deceit. The star witness for the prosecution, Jaron Nabors, testified that he only helped bury the body out of loyalty to his friends. Uh….cool… Sidebar: What’s really going on?

Please feel free to post your questions for the afternoon On Blast in today's Morning Edition "Comments."

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Monday, June 06, 2005

Morning Edition - 6/6/05

New Releases 6/7 & 6/21
Don’t ask me what happened to June 14…the truth of the matter is, I’ll be recovering from the Puerto Rican Day festivities of the weekend before to care to find out, but here is the scoop on the June 7 and June 21 new music releases. For the “old school” crowd, Crimson Productions is releasing Simply Beautiful: The Love Songs by Al Green on June 7; while Def Jam is releasing Classic Moments with Patti LaBelle. If you’re feeling like reaching back, just not quite that far, Universal is putting-out Back to the Future: The Very Best of Jodeci on June 7 – uh, yeah, I said Jodeci! If what you’d like to do is just chill and relax there are a few things going on… Loleatta Holloway will have Anthology and Raheem will return with Love Experience, both on June 7. If you’d rather have a more soulful and edgy mix, then wait until June 21 for Angie Stone’s Greatest Hits Live CD or maybe Eric Benet’s first post-Halle release, Hurricane. Feeling like you still have a little 80s left in you that needs some addressing, then you’re in luck because Pat Benatar will drop her Greatest Hits on June 7 and Culture Club will drop their Greatest on June 21. That should take care of our music jones in June.

Sandy Bottom
This weekend marked our first foray into the summer fun weather. Both Saturday and Sunday in New York held temperatures in the mid 80s. Sunday, the humidity had even the “coolest” of New Yorkers breaking a sweat. Orchard Beach, a Bronx beach that is best known for its Latino flare and hot summer concerts, was jumping on Sunday. A few friends and I gathered on the beach to sip Smirnoff flavored coolers and shoot the breeze – okay, okay, we took in the gorgeous sights as well – but I was on a semi-date and was on my best behavior… well, unless I was off to the little-boys room on my own or something. All-in-all the Apple was baked to perfection and the beach bumming was followed by my friends and me displaying that stunning almond glow, still in beachwear, at the height of Sunday’s cocktail hour. Later, while taking a hot shower, a friend and I laughed hysterically to discover the amount of sand our bottoms picked up in a couple of hours on nature’s tanning bed. ….yeah, like you never showered with a “friend.”

Shum-On; My Back Is Killing Me
Michael Jackson left Santa Ynez Valley Cottage Hospital on Sunday night after being treated for, what Jesse Jackson called, “excruciating pain” in his back. Today, jurors will have their first full day of deliberations. If Jackson isn’t acquitted he will be seeking relief for a much lower back pain.

Be sure to include your On Blast questions in the “Comments” section of this Morning Edition.

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Friday, June 03, 2005

Afternoon Edition 6/3/05

Clash Of The Titans – You’ll Need A Shield
Tom Cruise and Brooke Shields are in a war of words over comments Cruise made to Access Hollywood. Cruise mentioned that Shield’s use of antidepressants following her giving birth, was irresponsible. In a touche’-move Shields told a London reporter, “Tom Cruise's comments are irresponsible and dangerous. Tom should stick to saving the world from aliens and let women who are experiencing postpartum depression decide what treatment options are best for them." I’m afraid I’m going to have to side with Shields on this one. Although antidepressants are often abused, they have also been known to save lives, especially those of women who may suffer difficult bouts of depression following childbirth. Sidebar: Cruise has no natural children.

Cuca A Drag Queen?
Annette a.k.a. Cuca a.k.a. NYBB Division Head, is still recovering from her tragic accident earlier in the week. This morning Cuca was said to have fallen from her recliner and spent over three hours attempting to drag herself, hefty cleavage in tow, across carpeted floors to dial for help. She was eventually found by concerned neighbors who did not get a response to their earlier calls. Cuca is said to have second degree rug burns to her breasts, knees and pelvis.

Boricua Parade!
The annual National Puerto Rican Day Parade in NYC takes place on Sunday, June 12, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. The parade marches from 44th to 86th Street on 5th Avenue. The numbers 4,5, and 6 trains provide easy access to the parade – don’t even think of driving! With over 100,000 marchers and three million spectators, the Puerto Rican Day Parade is that largest parade in NYC.

All is quiet on the waterfront... No questions have been contributed to our On Blast segment, so it's another quiet day. No one's being put On Blast today.

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Thursday, June 02, 2005

Morning Edition - 6/2/05

NYBBC Division Head Takes Trip; June 3 Meeting Rescheduled
Annette, the NY Breathe Bitch Conglomerate Division Head, suffered a serious injury while power-shopping two nights ago. She managed to tear ligaments and tendons in her leg. The trip and tumble caused Annette to disable two minimum-wage consumer service employees, damage four displays, before rolling head first down a thirty step escalator, only to end up in men’s shoes with a size 14 Bruno Magli loafer wedged under her left breast. She’s now recovering at home, but has been advised by her doctor and several legal experts not to stand on the injured limb. The Friday, June 3 NYBB meeting will be rescheduled for a Friday in the coming weeks.

BET Changing of the Guard
The first African American billionaire and founder of Black Entertainment Television (BET), Robert Johnson, has stepped down from his CEO role effective immediately, holding only the title of chairman until his retirement in January. Johnson appointed Debra Lee, President and CEO. Lee will also take on the chairmanship in January. Johnson sold BET to Viacom five years ago for $3 billion. The channel is currently estimated to be worth over $6 billion. Johnson started BET with a $15,000 loan in 1979.

Brown In the Red
An arrest warrant was issued for Bobby Brown in Canton, Mass. yesterday after Brown failed to show-up for a child support hearing there. Brown’s attorney in GA says he was ill, but failed to provide any proof to the judge in Mass., prompting the arrest warrant. Brown lives with wife Whitney Houston, but has two children with Kim Ward of Stoughton, Mass. Brown was jailed in March 2004 when he owed $63,000 to Ward. He was released after making the payment.

On Blast… don’t forget to submit your questions in the “Comments” section below. Tune-in to our Afternoon Edition for our On Blast column.

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Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Afternoon Edition - 6/1/05

On Blast
Today we’re putting, yet another, anonymous posting On Blast with: I’m a die hard reality TV junky and admit to being one of the five American people watching “Britney & Kevin – Chaotic”. In last night’s episode, she tells him that she loves him and he does not respond. In next week’s episode, he reveals that Britney proposed to him. She is [apparently] throwing herself at Kevin and it’s so obvious that he is not feeling her at all. Why do you think women/men ignore the warning signs? Are we desperate for love? Do we think once we get into a relationship with this person, we can change them?

Maybe today isn’t a great day for me to give advice, since I’m at the end of my rapidly fraying rope, but here goes…
First, when you hook-up (begin dating) someone, you’ll get a general feel for how they express themselves and, more important, if they’re an affectionate person. Not everyone is touchy-feely or an emotional booger. That said, what you may interpret as cold, distant or aloof, may be just the way the man handles his business. Everyone should be aware of what works for them – if you like affection and attention, then it may not be a good idea to get with a physically “cold” person.

Conversely, there is another reason behind the behavior you’re asking about. I call it the “predatory” syndrome. This is when a person shows signs of flight (more like flightiness) and triggers our “predator” instinct to chase and acquire them. You’ll see this behavior particularly in folks that are used to being chased and are suddenly faced with someone who shows little interest. The object for the “predator” is to make the “prey” fall for them, thus completing the self-appreciating feeling that no one can reject their advances or the concept of everyone-eventually-falls-in-love-with-me. Unfortunately, the predatory drive can lead a perfectly secure and self-assured person to turn into a stalking and chasing freak. Most times the object of their immediate “hunt” would not normally be worthy of their attention – but because they appear to be “running” the predator will chase. You’ll notice that the folks you fall the hardest for and are hurt the worse by, are those that keep you at bay. Those that gave you their full attention and affection are rarely the object of your obsession. Those that act aloof, slightly removed and keep you at arms length are the very ones you pursue the hardest. Britney and many of us will learn the hard way, that once the prey stops running OR we tire of hunting unworthy prey we can focus on someone that gives you just enough excitement, attention, affection and love to keep you interested and turned-on.

Yes anonymous, there are also the hard-up and desperate types, but we're hoping none of them have made their way into our midsts ;)

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Morning Edition - 6/1/05

So You Want To Be Free?
Madagascar, the animated feature released last Friday has some pretty big names providing the character voices. Marty the zebra is played by Chris Rock, Gloria the hippo is Jada Pinkett Smith, Alex the lion is Ben Stiller, while Melman the giraffe is David Schwimmer. Cedric the Entertainer also holds a hysterical role as a lemur (a sort-of squirrel looking animal). Many critics boasted that the penguins steal the show, but the true show-stopper is king Julien played by Sacha Baron Cohen, better known for his alter ego character on HBO, Ali G. Unlike movies like Shrek 2, that were made with children and parents in mind, Madagascar plays more to the children and loses its adult audience several times in the film. The storyline is basic – animals in zoo want to be free and roam wild, only to find that the plush lives they’ve lived have made them unable to cope with the jungle. The film drags on and although it catered mostly to children, there were some scenes which were obviously written with an adult audience in mind – problem is, you don’t see how children would find them very funny (they don’t have that double-edge joke feel). Ultimately, children who sat near me were more interested in watching my date and I lean on each other, feeding each other butter-drenched popcorn, rather than catching the anti-climactic end of the film.
Note to self: Don’t Fandago animated films!

Okay, So We Lied – A Lot!
David Larkin, executive director of the Atlanta Area Boy Scouts resigned after an independent investigation revealed that the organization had inflated the number of reported black scouts by over 5,000 members. Larkin took full responsibility and said he was “deeply disappointed both personally and professionally” – I would think so! The Boy Scouts have been plagued by several un-PC press reports. Several years ago a troop leader was barred from the organization based on his revelation that he was gay. Maybe it’s time for the Boy Scouts to make nice and sell their cookies?

X-Men 3 Keeps Hitting Director Snag
Set to begin production on August 2, the filming of X-Men 3 has again been delayed after director Matthew Vaughn backed-out of the project citing personal reasons. The original director of X-1 and X-2 was Bryan Singer, who was canned by Fox after agreeing to direct Superman Returns for Warner Bros. The film is scheduled to be released May 26, 2006 and will have the original cast, plus some interesting new characters.

On Blast: Please be sure to post your questions on the Morning Edition “Comments” and look for a response on our Afternoon Edition.

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