Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Afternoon Edition - 5/31/05

On Blast
Today we’re putting two folks On Blast. First, an Anonymous posting with: What is the key to making a man happy? Is it in finances, looks, spontaneity, or intimacy (you know) and which acts need to be performed to please and keep a man?
The variables on what makes a man happy are as numerous as what it would take to make everyone reading this (including the women) happy. What’s most important is what makes YOU happy. If your compromises and efforts to make a relationship work are acceptable to you and what you do for your mate/partner make YOU happy you will ultimately find that your partner will be happy. However, if you make compromises that devalue you, disrespect you or make you uncomfortable, they will prove disastrous to your relationship. It is my experience that men (and likely women) value someone who has a positive disposition, shows genuine interest, is honest, shows an acceptable level of class (all relative, of course) and communicates their feelings. Looks, finances, spontaneity and a hot-tamale in bed are all pluses, but none are necessary to maintain a healthy relationship. While some may think that men MUST have a looker or someone who will do those freaky things that keep his eyes bulging, the truth is, most men are happy to have a committed woman who pays attention. In the end, be sure you’re happy. This way, if things don’t pan-out you don’t feel that you were taken advantage of.

Second, Melissa’s On Blast with: Why do some women date single men with 5 or more children (probably by more than one mother), but some single men won't date single women with 5 or more children? The answer is simple. Most single men with five or more children do not live with the children, while women with (any amount) of children usually have custody of their children. This poses a problem for men who do not wish to take the responsibility (and in their view, headache) of someone else’s children. Women are not as likely to encounter a man who has custody of his children and, outside of support payments, are not forced to take on the prospect of interaction with a man’s children.

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Morning Edition - 5/31/05

Share or Get Stabbed – Life As A Kid In NYC
Queen Washington, an eleven-year old from NYC was at her God mother’s house yesterday when a disagreement over a ball between Washington and her nine-year old playmate ended with her unidentified playmate stabbing Washington in the chest with a steak knife. Washington was pronounced dead at an area hospital. Her playmate is the youngest NYC resident to be charged with manslaughter. Mental health experts have been called to interview the alleged killer.

You Will Tell
The issue of disclosure with regard to a person’s HIV status came to a head a while back when Georgia instituted a law that says any HIV+ person who knowingly engages in unprotected sex without disclosing their status to their partner(s) can be charged with reckless conduct in Georgia. Most recently Gary Wayne Carriker, a medical student at Emory University, did just that. He participated in unprotected anal and oral sex with several male partners without disclosing his HIV+ status - well, not until they broke up. Now, Carriker faces up to 10 years in prison for each of the three counts of reckless conduct. Sidebar: Where is the responsibility and accountability of both partners who should treat everyone they meet as HIV+ and engage in safe sex? Is it fair to require HIV+ people to divulge their status and not require a person with any other disease (communicable or otherwise) from disclosing theirs? …hey, I’m just curious.

Jill, Erykah, Floetry & Queen Latifah!
Jill Scott, Erykah Badu, Floetry and Queen Latifah will grace the stage at the Sugar Water Festival; Tommy Hilfiger at Jones Beach Theater in New York on Tuesday, July 12. Tickets are between $25.00 and $75.00 – a steal for a concert featuring such talented performers. For those who don’t want to make the trek to NYC, the crooners will be stopping-off at the Verizon Wireless Virginia Beach Amphitheater on Friday, July 8. Tickets there are said to go on sale on June 4 and will range from $23.50 to $63.00. There is a deal at the Virginia showing featuring four lawn tickets that includes parking fees for $104.

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Friday, May 27, 2005

Afternoon Edition - 5/27/05

On Blast
Today we’re putting Lala On Blast with: Do you think a person is born gay or is it a choice?
Before getting into a detailed response to Lala’s question, I want each straight person on this blog to perform the following three experiments. Please be honest in your responses.

1st Experiment
You wake up tomorrow and find that the entire world (and therefore, the societal norm) is that everyone is gay. You still have the feelings you have today – that is, you are straight. Everyone asks you to change your life; they call your desires unnatural and ask you to negate all that you are to conform to the norm. Can you, or more important will you, do it?

2nd Experiment
Think back to your earliest recollections – when did you CHOOSE to be straight? When was the first time you DECIDED that being attracted to the opposite sex and engaging in relations with the opposite sex would fulfill you? Was your desire/CHOICE to engage the opposite sex something you would say you were born with?

3rd Experiment
You have an unsightly, but benign tumor on your face. Doctors have informed you that the tumor cannot be removed or you will die. Although you may have a wonderful personality, you are consistently judged and sometimes ridiculed for having this tumor. Some folks are mature enough and see that the tumor is merely a small part of who you are and engage you as a “whole” person. One day you are suddenly told that there is an opportunity to remove the tumor. Would you remove it?

The reason for the aforementioned experiments is to give you a clear picture of what most gay individuals experience on a daily basis. In experiment number one the object is to show you that gay, bisexual and transgender individuals (SGL – Same Gender Loving) folks endure a world “norm” that is different from their own. The feeling of helplessness and inability to conform to the “norm” are initially frustrating to the SGL community.

In experiment number two, the object is to show you that just as straight individuals do not CHOOSE to be straight (you just are) SGL folks do not CHOOSE to be SGL. Although the SGL community can completely abstain from any sexual interaction, it stands to reason that this option is difficult. Imagine being asked to abstain from all sexual activity because being straight is wrong. …uh, exactly!

In experiment three, I’m not comparing being SGL to a tumor, I’m simply equating being SGL with a facet of our lives that we would change if we could. Yes, many SGL individuals will tell you that they would stay SGL, even if given the choice, but the reality is that the majority of SGL folks would prefer to be straight and avoid the challenges and scrutiny that come with the orientation. Although many SGL individuals are respected and loved and many will attest to living full lives, it is a challenge and many SGL folks would choose to be straight to avoid that challenge. SGL individuals must fight to succeed despite being looked at differently by many in society.

Long story short (yeah, I know… too late) the answer is that being SGL is NOT a choice. The only choice is in whether we will live full lives and seek to love and be respected or if we will shrink within ourselves or mutate to accommodate society. Behavior choices and orientation choices are two different things and we don't have control over the latter. Whether SGL folks are born this way is yet another discussion – one that has been debated and substantiated by both sides of the argument.

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Morning Edition - 5/27/05

DC Black Pride; 15th Anniversary
From today (May 27) through Monday, May 30, Washington DC is celebrating DC Black Pride. Since 1991, this festival marks the celebration of gay, lesbian and transgender people of color in Washington, DC. Thousands of participants flock to DC from around the nation. After attending this function for the past 10 years, I have a few observations. First, it’s certainly fun and exciting with thousands of extremely attractive folks to party with. Second, DC has capitalized on the festival and increased club prices – sometimes five times the regular cost of entry. Sadly, most events cannot accommodate the out-of-town capacity crowds and are packed BEYOND capacity starting early each evening. Tonight the party is at the Edge Nightclub in southeast DC from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. A Hip Hop Explosion at Body Heat, in northwest DC is scheduled for tomorrow night. Sunday is the MEGA PARTY at Dream Nightclub in northeast DC. Be advised that the cover at the Dream Nightclub is $25 with VIP entry said to be $40. VIP entry includes a hot buffet and open bar. The festivities usually end with an enormous gathering at Rock Creek Park, however this event is not listed on this year’s roster. For complete information visit
http://www.dcblackpride.org/2005events.htm

Mariah Number One Female – Don’t Play Yourself!
Mariah Carey made history when her We Belong Together single, off her new CD release The Emancipation of Mimi, hit #1 on the Billboard top 100 list. The announcement solidly makes Carey the female with the MOST number one songs in history. Carey has 16 Billboard number ones. Carey is only third to the Beatles, who have 20 and Elvis with 18. The Emancipation of Mimi is already certified double platinum and has two solid number one tracks.

Today we’re putting Lala On Blast with: Do you think a person is born gay or is it a choice? Stay tuned to the Afternoon Edition…

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Afternoon Edition - 5/26/05

On Blast
Today we're putting Shey On Blast with: When should it be a problem that someone dates outside his or her race?
Seems odd that we would still have this discussion in 2005, but in the eternal words of the irreverent Wendy Williams, “It is what it is.” Dating and marriage are complicated regardless of the race and cultural background of individuals. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reported that 20% of ALL marriages end in divorce within the first five years. Consciously or unconsciously, we normally date individuals that remind us of either our parental figure(s) or a role model of our youth. This doesn’t always turn-out well, since not all parental figures or role models are positive ones. That said, dating and marriage require extreme compromise and the ability to work together to overcome various obstacles. These issues are compounded in interracial relationships, since the added stressor of validating and justifying your racial differences to others can sometimes be just the added pressure that breaks the dating/marriage bond. Those who can weather the reactions of outsiders can, and many times do, build strong, lasting relationships that are anchored in love, trust and the commitment to respect your partner. Unfortunately, stereotypes, biases and cultural differences can also wreak havoc on an unprepared interracial couple. Understanding your partners upbringing, cultural observances and general quirks can ease unnecessary and, sometimes, petty tensions. Maturity also plays an intricate role in the survival of relationships. Feeling comfortable with who you are, your culture, your upbringing and those of your partner will prevent insecurities rooted in misconceptions. Not all black folks smell like a monkey house after a long day; not all white folk’s hair smells like dog after being wet; not all Asian folks smell like scallions and soy; not all Latinos put garlic in everything short of their coffee. All said, you should date people for the right reasons. Be sure that the person you date is respectful, kind, attractive-to-you and attracted-to-you. Spend time together and insure that you have things in common. If you feel you have to change the way you speak, dress, your friendship circles, visits to your family, etc. to accommodate a relationship – especially an interracial one - you must ask yourself why that is. So in answer to your question Shey… if you have to change who you are or feel someone is altering who they really are, to engage in a relationship, something is wrong. Outside of those parameters, anyone would be ignorant and ill informed to fuel the fires of prejudice and racial hatred to avoid a promising relationship with an individual based on their race.

Keep passin’ the open windows…
Record-Breaking Response
Yesterday's On Blast segment had the highest number of responses for any of our blog postings - 44 at press time. Thank you all for openly sharing your opinions and experiences with the group. An estimated 22% of married men and 14% of married women admitted to having at least one extra marital affair last year. To make matters worse, 70% of married women and 54% of married men were not aware of their spouse's extra marital affairs. The responses on our blog were typical, since 90% of Americans polled believe infidelity is wrong - 17% felt strongly enough about it to want to make infidelity a crime. Last year, an average of 17% of divorces in America were reportedly a direct result of infidelity. There are countless variables and circumstances for all cases of infidelity. It is obviously a hot-button issue across the board. As a survivor of infidelity - on both sides of the fence - I can unequivocally say that it is an extremely complex issue with, sometimes, catastrophic consequences.

Idol Season Four Ends - Prediction On Point
American Idol's season four ended with Carrie Underwood taking the prize. Rocker Bo Bice appeared to receive the most cheers at the Kodak Theater finale, but Underwood held the highest number of votes to win. Underwood joins Kelly Clarkson, Ruben Studdard and Fantasia Barino and can hope to share their enormous success. Her first single, Inside Your Heaven, will be released on June 14. Sidebar: Anwar! I'm here Boo…you're still the Cocoa Rican's Idol!

Pedestrians Beware
Black Bike Week kicked off yesterday at Atlantic Beach in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. The event, which celebrates its 25th anniversary this year, lasts through May 30. It is expected to attract over 350,000 guests. The outdoor public event features pool parties, beach excursions, barbecues and plenty of biker-hoochies to go around. Over 175,000 bikini-clad women attend the event - none of which are actual bikers, rather biker babes. The Carolina Harley Davidson Dealer Association Bike Rally that immediately precedes the Atlantic Beach Bikefest (Black Biker Week) had five fatalities. Break a leg brothas!

Today we're putting Shey On Blast with: When should it be a problem that someone dates outside his or her race? So stay tuned for our Afternoon Edition.

Keep passin' the open windows…

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Afternoon Edition - 5/25/05

On Blast
Lady Long Legs is On Blast with: Are you willing to be the other woman or the other man? If so, why?
To help make an educated or mature choice to LLL’s questions, we should explore the issue at hand – infidelity. FACTS: Merriam-Webster defines infidelity as unfaithfulness to a moral obligation or disloyalty; marital unfaithfulness or an instance of it. For our purposes we’ll focus on the first part of Merriam’s definition and say that if you’re in a committed relationship and engage in ANY behavior that proves unfaithful to your partner you are showing signs of infidelity. Many individuals engaging in infidelity will attribute their act(s) as justified for one reason or another. Ultimately, here’s the bottom line – As responsible and mature adults there is NEVER a justifiable reason for infidelity. That said, the cause for infidelity boils down to one central point – the inability to openly communicate issues with your partner. The issues can range from sexual dissatisfaction, boredom or simply refusing to accept responsibility for your actions. Outside of rape, ALL cases of infidelity can be prevented. FARCE: Those who participate in affairs outside of their relationships are sometimes diluted into believing that they are above discovery. The cheating party will sometimes reason that the affair is a short-term fix for a long-term problem and that no one is aware of their clandestine activities. Unfortunately, affairs are initially recognized but ignored by the betrayed partner who will sometimes reason away glaring clues to an affair. Additionally, some betrayed partners willfully accept cheating in an effort to keep an otherwise “good” relationship. In the end, the cheater is normally the last to recognize that everyone is aware of their activities. KARMA/TRUTH: Long story short, what goes around really does come around. Everyone will pay for their acts of betrayal and disloyalty in THIS lifetime. The hard-fast rule of how-you-get-your-partner-is-how-you-lose-him, always applies. Someone who meets you while in a relationship will more than likely repeat this behavior while engaging in a relationship with you. CONCLUSION: If you’re in a relationship, you should communicate with your partner – including when you’re feeling tempted or flirted-with by others. Your partner can sometimes help put things in perspective – this may even heat up things in the bedroom (there’s nothing more attractive than others finding your mate attractive!) Never start one relationship without ending another. Betrayal and disloyalty only serve to demean, degrade and devalue you, regardless of why you chose to do it. If you’re single, you should note that anyone willing to engage in a relationship with you while in a committed relationship will 1)more than likely not leave their partner for you and 2)if you manage to land them, they’ll do the same to you. Knowingly choosing to be the man/woman on the side completely removes all dignity from you as a person and places you in second position to the other party. FOOTNOTE: Openly dating and open relationships do not fall into the infidelity category, since all parties are aware of the entire situation and can make informed, conscious decisions. Never attempt an open relationship or open dating if you are ultimately seeking to convert your partner into a committed, closed relationship – you’ll only be disappointed and humiliated. Well, LLL, hope this helps folks answer your questions.

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Morning Edition - 5/25/05

Breathe Bitch Conglomerate Created
The announcement of a Breathe Bitch Gathering in NYC on June 3, has generated a positive response from our Morning Edition crew. In light of this, we are creating the Breathe Bitch Conglomerate – a group of women and gay men who will gather to share their life experiences and create a positive friendship network of open-minded individuals. Initially, there will be two divisions – the New York Breathing Bitches (NYBB) and the Washington, DC Breathing Bitches (DCBB). The NYBB’s June 3 meeting will set the mood for future NYBB gatherings – including setting the tone for meeting venues (ie. clubs, bars, etc.) and the style (preferably, laid-back and inclusive). Since Annette initiated the first gathering for the NYBB, she will be the NYBB division head. The first person from DC to volunteer can be the DCBB division head. As it stands, there is a July 16 gathering in DC for the ABA Crew. We will make this the first interstate Breathe Bitch Conglomerate (BBC) gathering as well. Whomever is designated as the DCBB will coordinate a location to meet/party in DC and will act as host for the event. The intention is to have fun, share and network. Please feel free to forward to your fellow girlfriends and gay guy friends at will and use our comments section to give ideas on how to make these gatherings interesting and fun. There is no pressure to have any agendas or activities, so everyone relax and enjoy. For those participating – Welcome to the BBC!

American Idol Ends – Minorities Need Not Apply
Bo Bice and Carrie Underwood will stand side-by-side to hear who season four’s American Idol is. Last night’s performance showed both contestants to be great, distinctive voices, but very different in their own right. Bice, a self-proclaimed rocker and Underwood a pristine country girl are likely to divide the country pretty evenly. AOL polls have Bice taking the prize by over ¾ of the vote. Since the entire season has been a vote-shocker, we will all wait for tonight’s 9 p.m. live Fox broadcast from the Kodak Theater in Hollywood to find out.

This afternoon we will put Lady Long Legs On Blast with: Are you willing to be the other woman or the other man? If so, why? So, stay tuned….

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Afternoon Edition - 5/24/05

On Blast
We’re putting Donya On Blast with… On many occasions I have been approached by men asking me when I am going to take them out to eat. What is that? Is it me or other woman offended by this?
First, the obvious – I’m not a woman and can only give you the Cocoa Rican take on things…. that said, this is a sticky, tricky, suck-my-dickey type question, so please pay close attention. First issue: The subject of what’s PC Dating in 2005, is not what was the case decades ago. Men who wished to court (or date) a woman, traditionally asked the “lady” out for dinner, drinks, a club, etc. and normally covered all expenses – including picking her up and returning her home. As women have joined the workforce and taken on more “equal” roles with men, they have also asked to be treated as equals in other areas of their relationships. This equal-footing has muddled the issue of who pays – especially for men who were looking for a way to get women out of their pocket. Women were then encouraged to offer (key word) to pay for their share of the meal and drinks. A decent gentleman was then expected to decline the female’s offer and pay for the entire date. (Be sure to keep up with the dance…) Now, if you meet a rhythm-less brother, a.k.a. a trifling son-of-a-broke-bitch, he will take you up on your offer to pay your share of expenses during the date. By NO MEANS should this class-less freak be indulged with any after dinner “treats” or worse, given a second date. This should be a female’s first foray and clear picture of things to come with this man. Second issue: Men, women, gay and straight – all genders and orientations have opportunistic individuals. These are folks that prey on others – financially, physically and emotionally (sometimes all three). You must follow your gut feeling on people. Sidebar: A man can be treated for his birthday or special occasion – assuming you thought of the treat. You should NEVER be asked or required to treat. Opportunistic folks (USERS) don’t always come straight out and ask to have you pay. They may use the guise that they are not as financially well-off as you and therefore cannot afford to visit the places you like to frequent. If this is the case, be advised that you may not want to date someone that cannot maintain the social circles you are accustomed to as this may cause you financial hardship when you go from date to “sponsor.” To be fair, there are plenty of women and gay men, who have adopted the mentality that anyone they date MUST pay. This is ludicrous and only stands to demean the person who insists on such behavior. Final Rule: Rules of engagement dictate that the person (male or female) who invites someone else on a date is the payer. PERIOD. Ultimately, whether a female asks a male or vice versa, a decent man will cover any date he is on. Moreover, if females wish to maintain a semblance of autonomy and independence, they should offer to cover little things throughout the date – ie. a round of drinks, a late-night coffee during a romantic walk, etc. With gay men, the rules can be more tricky, but we’ll wait and see if you guys need the details on those interactions.

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Morning Edition - 5/24/05

Emotions - Exodus
Call me a big baby, but I cried after leaving my parent’s this morning. I knew that when I returned from the office they would be gone. Gone would be my nights on the couch, my three-hours of interrupted water-running sleep, my 6 a.m. coffee conversations with mom, laughing about some weird dream that didn’t mean anything, but we would certainly interpret just for laughs before I left for work. As I hugged mom and dad this morning, I felt like a child going off to my first day of school. I know I may have drugged them, yelled at them – well in dad’s case, it’s the only way we can have a conversation – and complained of my mom draining my bank account, but it won’t be the same without them. In any event, the next few days will be filled with catching up on rest and decompressing from two weeks of intense attention and very little “me” time. It was so well worth it. …between you and me, I’m really going to miss them. In the eternal words of my little brother William, “My heart hurts so bad.”

Breathe Bitch a.k.a. Already Exhaling Gathering
The Freaking Rican will be joining yours truly and several other guests for our first-ever Breathe Bitch Gathering. The Breathe Bitch Gathering follows in the same vein as the Waiting To Exhale parties held years ago and provide a forum to get together and share funny stories among “girlfriends.” For clarification sake, I’m not one of the “girlfriends” so don’t break crazy and call me “girl” by mistake. Call me the moderator, the guy pal, the designated male ear – but call me. The date is set for Friday, June 3, 2005, 6:00 p.m., at Caf√© Centosette, 160 2nd Avenue. The Freaking Rican is keeping tabs on the guest list, so hit her up via the “Comments” reply section. This is a female / gay male function only. Boneheads strictly prohibited.

The Return of The King
Armando, king of the Latino political down-low movement, is visiting NYC this week. I had the benefit of meeting the extremely handsome and well-spoken “Mando” this Sunday and was floored by our instant connection. Great minds think alike – or you’re a big sick freak – in either case here’s to you sir! I’m scheduled to have drinks and shake the bon-bon with Mando tonight at Mi Gente in the Bronx.

Today's Afternoon Edition will put Donya On Blast, so stay tuned and feel free to give me your take in answer to the On Blast question she posed yesterday.

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Monday, May 23, 2005

Afternoon Edition - 5/23/05

Offended By On Blast? Here Are Some Tips
The recent addition of our On Blast segment has set some of our conservative readers on “ugh” mode. To reiterate, this blog was set-up for ALL to share and find a place to express any thought, question and position freely. As I’ve always mentioned, the only requirement to being one of the “crew” is to keep an open mind. News stories are taken from confirmed sources and when a story is not confirmed, I’ll tell you that. Family stories are slight exaggerations, but are intended to provide some humor throughout the day. However, the On Blast segment is completely driven by you, the reader. Rather than ask that folks tone-down their questions, I’ll ask that if you’re offended by the content of the On Blast segment, please feel free to ignore it. On Blast will only appear as the last segment in each Afternoon Edition, so clicking away from a topic that you may consider racier that you can handle is easy to do. Ultimately, I find the On Blast segment a great add-on that gives us an opportunity to explore issues we normally feel either embarrassed or afraid to ask about. The fact that any question can be asked anonymously and other readers can also address the questions, makes the segment even more interesting. I won’t ask anyone to grow up or get a grip – just keep an open mind and make the choice to click away when that sudden rush of moral superiority starts kicking your ass.

As Marc Anthony said, “Si te vas, si te vas” or The Last Supper
Tonight, the Cruz clan will sit down for their last supper before retired parents, Manuel and Millie, embark on their return trip to their Caribbean paradise, Puerto Rico, tomorrow afternoon. The Cruz patriarchs have been in NYC for the last two weeks. It’s funny how we spend our young lives attempting to be so different from our parents just to find out that we’re so much more similar than what we thought. I see so much of them in myself and their visit made that really okay. Turns out, it’s the best of me that is so obviously a direct reflection of them. Whether it’s the sense of drama I picked up from mom or the confidence that was, again, awakened by my dad, I’m grateful for their visit. As we sit to eat tonight, I’m sure they’ll be some last minute words of advice from them, some flared tempers and even some angered tears, but it will all end in a fluid dance of laughter, good cheer and memories to add to our heart prints.

On Blast
Today, we’re putting Freaking Rican On Blast...FR asks….”What is up with men? I went out dancing this weekend and the place was jammed pack and not one of this knuckleheads even ask us out to dance until they saw us dancing amongst each other. What is up with that? My question is why do men stand there looking stupid instead of just asking? For Christ sake it's just dancing!!!!!”
First, FR, you’re assuming they want to dance with you when you ask why they’re standing there looking stupid instead of asking you to dance. Truth is, we’re not all universally attractive to everyone. That said, men are as afraid of rejection as women are. Unfortunately, our society has a a weird sense of chivalry that says a man must ask you to dance first – rather than you walking up to the “knucklehead” and asking him to join you to do the cha-cha. As for why it’s easier for men to engage you on the dance floor, well, it’s quite simple – you’re already moving and would have to actually leave the dance floor (and probably your favorite song) to leave him standing there. Also, the threat of a very public humiliation, by having you say no in front of his friends, is diffused if you’re surrounded by other folks dancing. Long story short… take control of the situation, ask a wallflower to dance and be gracious if he says he rather not. Following the rules of approach – if he says no, he is not allowed to attempt to join you on the dance floor later, when you’re, more than likely, enjoy the company of someone else. Besides, in straight clubs/bars, women have the upper hand, since they can dance with men and they can dance with each other until a man with some real “cojones” steps up.

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Morning Edition - 5/23/05

The Burning Bush
Laura Bush was treated to heckling and passionate screams while making visits to sites holy to the Muslim and Christian religions overseas this weekend. At one point an onlooker screamed, “How dare you come here? Why your husband kills Muslims?” Bush kept her composure and addressed the crowds with calm and patience. In essence, her message was that all people were praying for peace.

No One Knows Diddly Squat at Diddy’s
Bad boy, Bobby Brown, was celebrating a relative’s birthday at Justin’s Restaurant and Bar in Atlanta when a fight broke out between two of Brown’s entourage and two other patrons. Witnesses say that with the loud music and crowd it could have been started by two people brushing up on each other. Allegedly, Brown’s boys vanished from the scene after attacking and stabbing two men in their twenties. Brown was not involved and wife Whitney Houston was not in attendance. Justin’s belongs to REAL Bad Boy, Sean “Puffy” Combs.

Connecticut Connection Crisis
The state of Connecticut is reeling from what is being described as an almost fifty percent increase in Syphilis cases in the last three years. The group with the highest number of new cases is gay men, which has prompted CT’s health department to surmise that gay men in Connecticut are shirking off safe sex. Moral of the story… practice safe sex and, for the next few months, don’t make connections in Connecticut.

Breathe, Relax, Sip Your Latte’
Drivers on I-95North in Springfield, Va., were met with stand-still traffic this morning after a tractor trailer struck the guardrail in an accident that completely closed the HOV lanes until about 6:40 a.m. For those who commute this road regularly, you know this time period is already congested and dicey between 5-10 a.m. Removal of the tractor trailer will occur when HOV lanes close at 11 a.m. The driver of the truck is said to be in critical condition. No further information is known on the cause of the accident.

Wanna Be On Blast? Ask your questions in our Morning Edition "comments" for an answer in our Afternoon Edition.

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Friday, May 20, 2005

Afternoon Edition - 5/20/05

Long Story Short…
Mom and Dad Cruz will be leaving Tuesday afternoon. One weekend to go!... Caspar will be holding a birthday party for daughter Sophie this Saturday. Close family and friend guest list… Cedric P. is sunning in Miami, Fla. Work boy! …J’Moo is planning his trip to see his folks in Va… Daylen F. is up to eight pounds! …Fluff?! Thanks for a great time…Ray, I’ll take you up on that stretch this weekend…Marcia R. is heading down to Va to a wedding tomorrow…L? Oh L?! Where are you?!!!

On Blast
We're putting Anonymous On Blast with: If a straight man ALWAYS wants his salad tossed during foreplay, does that make him a closet homosexual?
Tossing salad, a.k.a. rimming, a.k.a. patio munching, a.k.a. eating booty, is not necessarily a male dominated activity. Both women and men can perform and have the act performed on them. Since women tend to prefer men to pay closer attention to their vagina than their anus, the activity has become much more popular when performed on men. Although gay men may have perfected this tongue tai chi, it is not exclusively done or enjoyed by, gay men. Health: If a dam, non-microwaveable plastic wrap or altered condom is not used, the person doing the rimming (active partner) risks intestinal parasites and even HIV. Hygiene: The anus is used to expel solid waste from the body and may contain residue from the same. The rimming recipient should first insure that there is no solid waste awaiting expulsion – take a crap. After normal wiping, a shower (but preferably a bath) is suggested. Pay special attention to the anus area and (if tolerated) use one of your fingers to lightly wash just inside the opening. Some gay men normally use an enema, since rimming may precede anal sex. It is up to the recipient’s discretion whether you will allow the active partner to kiss you following rimming. In the end it’s your anus and you know whether you’d eat your own a$$. Pleasure: The anus is a very sensitive organ and like the penis, vagina and nipples, can heighten sexual pleasure. Most straight men are unaware of the pleasure of rimming, since many forbid having their anus toyed with during sex. Some straight women are also afraid to offer rimming to their partners out of fear of his reaction / rejection. Ultimately, whether your man (gay or straight) will enjoy rimming is as individual as whether he’ll enjoy oral sex or having his nipples played with. Sexual exploration – including rimming – should be discussed and practiced after both partners are comfortable with the interaction. In addition, inserting a digit just inside and down into the anus increases the stimulus to the prostate gland in men. Both straight men and gay men have found that following rimming this process can be slowly (and carefully) enjoyed. Finally Anonymous, if your “straight” partner ALWAYS wants his salad tossed during foreplay it does not mean he’s a closet homosexual or even has homosexual tendencies. It simply means he’s found another pleasurable ingredient in lovemaking. If, however, your partner insists that you eat him daily, begs you to insert more than one digit in his anus and calls you “Daddy,” it’s time to have a sit down conversation about your future together.

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Morning Edition - 5/20/05

Dear God, It’s Me Cocoa
Do you ever wake up and feel filled with emotions? I’m speaking of that odd feeling that is now treated with Zoloft or Xanax, but is really a natural part of life where you are forced to reflect. Introspection is underrated. Recently, I’ve taken stock of what’s important and it turns out, there isn’t much that is. Work – important to sustain yourself, but as someone mentioned to me not long ago – you never see anyone on their death bed wishing they’d spent more time at the office. Family – sure you love them and are there for them – yet you get the strange feeling that ultimately we become part of our individual “silo” or immediate pod and have less time for the general family unit. Friends – you think they know you – so why do they still have issues with parts of your personality that have existed since you met them twenty years ago? More importantly, why do you continue the interaction when it appears you don’t really like each other? So this morning, I closed my eyes on the train and mentally said a quick prayer – well, he can read my mind can’t He? Dear God, it’s me…I know it’s raining on the outside this morning, but please walk with me today and open your enormous umbrella to stop the raining on my inside. Sure, I still feel a light drizzle, but I have a feeling that the old saying is true – without the rain, there couldn’t be any flowers.

On Blast…
This afternoon, will be our first official On Blast segment. As a preview, we are using one of our questions from yesterday’s Afternoon Edition. Please note that future questions for our On Blast segment will be taken from the Comments section of our Morning Edition and answered in the Afternoon Edition.

This morning we’re putting Freaking Rican On Blast … What is your take on the uncircumcised?

The issue of the parka-penis has been around since the beginning of time. There is no medical justification for circumcision and the practice was initially devised as a religious ritual. That said, circumcision has its benefits. First, it is much easier for a circumcised man to keep his member clean, since there is no sheath to hold bacteria, sweat or odor. This is not to say that an uncircumcised man is unclean, but he must maintain stricter grooming and hygiene standards if he wishes to remain tidy and odorless. I equate the uncut member to a vagina – it needs daily attention to keep it in order. Are there benefits to an uncut penis? Yes and no. Yes, since the uncut penis is much more sensitive once the skin is pulled back to expose the head. This means that uncircumcised men experience greater “head” sensations. Cut (circumcised) men have had the head of their penis dry and the skin harden in the years following their circumcision. Warnings: Uncut men should ALWAYS make certain that they have thoroughly washed their penis prior to any sexual interaction. No one wants a funky, vagina-smelling member near their face. Uncut men should note that unprotected interactions are even more dangerous, since the foreskin can hold and harbor bacteria. Uncut men should take time to allow folks to adjust to their member. Many folks – especially American folks – are not accustomed to seeing an uncut penis. Finally, when the skin is pulled back to reveal the “mushroom” head, all penises are the same. An uncut adult should be able to fully pull back their foreskin to clean their member daily. If he cannot, he should seek medical attention. Never engage in oral sex with an uncut man without first exposing his entire penis. Pay close attention to your other senses – ie. smell. If there is any cheesy (white) residue or fishy aroma to an uncut penis, stay clear and do not engage it. Well, Freaking Rican, I hope this helps.

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Afternoon Edition - 5/19/05

Vonzelle Gets the Boot – Two Left; One Week
Vonzelle Solomon, the remaining African American contestant on season four, American Idol, was given her walking papers last night. The 20-year old For Myers, Fla native was a letter carrier before making it down to the final three on Idol. Next week, the remaining two contestants, Bo Bice and Carrie Underwood will perform on Tuesday and the new American Idol will be announced on Wednesday’s show.

Over the Edge
Pepsi announced it will be cutting Pepsi Edge from the Pepsi line-up. Pepsi Edge was a mid-calorie cola concept introduced over one year ago. Pepsi admitted the product was a failure.

Last Call For Queer As Folk
Five years after the groundbreaking Showtime series, Queer As Folk began, it is ending. Sunday, May 22, 10 p.m. is the premiere of Queer as Folk’s season five – it’s last. I was always a fan of the show for its subject matter, realness, nudity and complete disregard for PC. The show never featured any minority characters – a drawback I was willing to overlook. If you’ve never seen this series, it is a true eye-popping-must-see. Season 1-4 are now on DVD.

On Blast
Beginning tomorrow, I will begin taking one question per day from the Morning Edition "comments" section to be answered at each Afternoon Edition posting. Call it your Urban-No-Nonsense-Dear-Abby-With-A-Penis column or just…. On Blast.
So post your “Dear Cocoa” questions and watch to see whether your question is chosen and answered at each Afternoon Edition. We might all learn something when you’re put On Blast!

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Morning Edition - 5/19/05

Icon + New-Age-Diva + Poor Delivery = Monster-In-Law
Sometimes even an icon, a fab-u leading diva and a model man cannot make a spring blockbuster out of a poorly-written, awkwardly-delivered, script. Such is the case with Jennifer Lopez and Jane Fonda’s new venture, Monster-In-Law. The storyline is simple – prominent, gorgeous and single doctor, Kevin Fields (Michael Vartan) relocates to a new city and in a remarkable twist of fate is thrust into the same places with La Lopez. After about the third sighting, this well-to-do physician decides this must be a sign from the Gods and asks the Latina girl out on a date – the first Latina girl I’ve come across named Charlotte. In a joint storyline, Viola Fields (Jane Fonda), a high-profile media icon – ala Barbara Walters – is fired and replaced with a fresh face, causing her an emotional and mental breakdown. Both plots come together when Viola is released from the looney bin, only to find the apple-of-her-eye son is dating, what could be, an “immigrant.” The introduction of Charlotte (Charlie) to Viola is probably one of the funniest parts of the movie and Ruby (Wanda Sykes) as Viola’s assistant is admittedly the most side-splitting delirium you’ll experience anywhere. Ultimately, the movie drags – sometimes literally. Plenty of physical violence ensues and folks even drug each other – now who’da thunk it?! J-Lo can chalk Monster-In-Law up as her third consecutive flop, following the Benifer twin failures of Gigli and Jersey Girl. Fonda, though smeared with, at least, two-inch thick make-up, looks ancient and worn. At one point, a backless dress she wears in the film had me turn to my date and ask, “Was she in the Passion Of Christ.” All said, I give it 4 out of 10 stars. My date said he gave it 8 out of 10 stars, but then he knows how much I love J-Lo and wasn’t aware that the “real” Monster-In-Laws were in town and he would not be having any nightcaps at my place. As soon as that was cleared-up, he downgraded the film to a 5 out 10 star flick. Wait a month-or-so to rent it from Blockbusters.

Let’s Get This On The Up-and-Up
The Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta (CDC) will be conducting a study of black men who have sex with men and also have sex with women, otherwise dubbed the down-low brothas. The CDC is exploring the issue and gathering hard facts to answer questions regarding the rise in HIV infection rates in black women. So far, the infected women have only mentioned having heterosexual exchanges, but their partners’ sexual habits are not known. In a related story, I’m in the midst of reading Beyond The Down Low by Keith Boykin. The well-written book gives hard facts and accounts of the Down Low crisis and pokes holes in J.L. King’s book On The Down Low. Boykin quotes a prominent source that interviewed King prior to his book release, who felt King was a gay man posing as a down-low brotha. Go figure. Boykin’s book is a must read.

PETA Hypocrisy?
PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) is facing an embarrassing allegation – they kill animals. That’s the short story as reported by the Center for Consumer Freedom. The Center discovered PETA kills thousands of animals at its shelter in Norfolk, VA because it says it cannot afford to support all of them. To its detriment, PETA pulled-in $29 million in funds last year and spent thousands on advertising and demonizing celebrities who wear fur (ala J-Lo) and fast food giants (ala KFC). Let’s stop hating and start saving – yeah, saving those animals you’re gassing in VA. Ugh! ...someone pass me my lucky rabbit's foot :)

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Morning Edition - 5/18/05

Fiesta! Latino Mayor For L.A.
Antonio Villaraigosa beat out James Hahn to become LA’s first Latino mayor in 135 years. Villaraigosa won with 59 percent of the vote. Villaraigosa is a high school dropout who was known to show-off a “Born to raise hell” tattoo. He managed to pull himself together and become speaker of the California Assembly and most recently a member of the Los Angeles City Council. LA is the nation’s second largest city.

Do You Feel Me?
Ellen DeGeneres held a candid interview with Allure Magazine (on newsstands this month) where she reveals her stepfather molested her while she was in her late teens. DeGeneres alleges her stepfather fondled her breast and she was forced to run and sleep in a hospital wing to escape his advances. This all occurred while her mom was battling breast cancer. DeGeneres says she is speaking out to help teen girls know that “there are different ways to say no.” Sidebar: The stepdad is deceased. DeGeneres says the molestation has nothing to do with her sexual orientation.

Jack & Justin Sitting In A Tree
NBC’s Will & Grace will feature Justin Timberlake as Jack McFarlane’s (sp) boyfriend for three episodes next year. Insiders say Timberlake is being sold as Jack’s “bad boyfriend.” Other major celebrities have made appearances on Will & Grace, though not all have been gay-for-pay. Most recently, Cher, Janet Jackson, Jennifer Lopez, Michael Douglas and Matt Damon have appeared on the show. Of these, only Douglas played a gay character.

Madam Butterfly or Party Monster
You always think of your parents as laid back folks that live to take care of you and worry about your next step, not as social butterflies or party folk. Last night, mom chatted away with friends in preparation for, what appears will be, a shindig of a dinner party. When I gave her a quizzical look as she giggled at the details of her event, she looked over at me and simply said, “go somewhere and mind your business.” Excuse me mother, but I can’t go anywhere, since you’re cramping the 20 square feet I have to move around in. Worse even, is the thought that she is having some of her friends over without asking if this will be okay. While squeezing past her to walk the dog (and get some air) I noticed she was also asking my callers (who would beep-in on call waiting) to call back since she would be on the phone for a while. At one point she made use of both my cell and home phone while coordinating some store runs between her friends. When I attempted to give hand signals to dad (I gave up on attempting speaking to him) about the use of the phone, he said I should use the telephone in my sister’s apartment upstairs. Tonight her freakish friends will be coming over to a dinner I’m not invited to – again, in my own home. Would I be wrong to show-out? Should I crash her little event? Should I make an attempt to sabotage her meal? My sister suggested that I just spend time with her and the baby at her place tonight. To directly quote her, my sister somberly said, “It’s just safer for you than trying to upstage mom. If you haven’t noticed, in her theatrical performance, you’re the understudy.” THE UNDERSTUDY?! ME?!?!

Keep passin ‘the open windows…

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Afternoon Edition - 5/17/05

Am I My Parent’s Dealer? Yes, I Am
I realize this may sound morally disturbing to you on some level, but I’ve become my parent’s dealer. To quickly bring everyone up to speed, my parents arrived in NYC for a two week visit from Puerto Rico following my sister giving birth three weeks ago. With sleeping arrangements scarce, my parents are staying with me in an apartment the size of most folks’ family room. Logically, I gave up my bed and sleep on the sofa while they’re here. It was 48 hours after their arrival that I realized my mom and dad would only sleep about 3 hours per night on average. This was especially disturbing, since I would be forced to endure them while they were awake and had to be in the office the next day. It was then that the eerie idea of sedating my parents began creeping into my mind. Two nights ago I began giving my parents one Ambien each, neatly tucked away in their evening cup of Breyers Butter Pecan ice cream. Of course I initially felt guilty to watch them knocked-out with their mouths open sleeping like two babies, but when my dad awoke late the next morning saying he hadn’t slept that well in years, I knew I had done the right thing. Last night my mom said she couldn’t have ice cream every night for fear she’d go into diabetic shock. Well, I panicked. I had to devise another way to get the Ambien in her system. So those mango smoothies I made from the Goya mixers she insisted we buy two days ago, were laced with the magical white pills. Again, the babies – I mean, my parents – slept until I woke them when I was leaving for work this morning. In fear that I may have one of them overdose, I checked with my pharmacist to be sure Ambien was safe and it turns out, it’s a widely used sleep aide prescribed by doctors. He then reminded me that I had a refill of the drug waiting for me. I almost shouted, “I’ll be there this evening to pick it up!” Sure, I’ll use up half my prescription before they leave, but if I intend to sleep this week, it’s worth every pill. Tonight, I think I’ll wow them with pudding surprise. Sweet dreams folks!

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Morning Edition - 5/17/05

Sorry You Took It The Wrong Way
In a case of foot-in-mouth disease or boy-were-you-out-of-line, Mexican President Vicente Fox offended the African American community by saying that Mexicans in the US were taking jobs that “even blacks” wouldn’t do. I saw the speech and am fluently bilingual – he was seriously out of line. Your eminence of Fabulaxer, Rev. Al Sharpton, called on President Fox to apologize and got a half-hearted, sorry-you-took-it-the-wrong-way, over the weekend. Following a more public (and mainstream) outcry to what was obviously a bad choice of words, Fox relented an offered a real apology to both Sharpton and Rev. Jesse Jackson. Apparently it was an apology that “even black folks” could accept.

Three-Two-One
American Idol is rounding that corner to crowning season four’s winner. Vonzelle Solomon, Bo Bice and Carrie Underwood are the remaining participants – Solomon is the only minority in the running. If my long-standing predictions serve me right, Underwood can start getting her handkerchiefs ready for the routine cry-fest that follows the crowning of the winner. All three are shoo-ins for recording contracts. The three perform tonight, at 8 p.m. on Fox.

What?! You Can’t Breathe?
Russian cosmonaut Sergei Krikalev and U.S. astronaut John Phillips are in the middle of their 6-month long tour on the half-built International Space Station. Problem is, the oxygen generator aboard the space station is completely kaput and there are 140 days worth of reserve air on board. The U.S. has not had a launch to the space station since the fatal disaster of Columbia in 2003. Russian crews are expecting to repair or replace the oxygen generator in July. Krikalev and Phillips are due back on Earth on October 7. Guess we’ll all take a deep breath then.

Rare Photo Op For Family
Last night was the first time in over two years that the entire Cruz clan – including five children and two grandbabies by eldest Cruz daughter, Evelyn, were together. Discussions are in the works to have a photo taken of the family before the departure of the parents, next Tuesday, May 24. Matriarch, Millie, has not determined the theme for the photo shoot, but suggestions of daddy Cruz posing as a priest; mom as a nun and the five children as altar boys have been scrapped. Sidebar: I only suggested that theme following the catholic-esque guilt trip my parents have perfected over the years.

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Monday, May 16, 2005

Morning Edition - 5/16/05

DC, DC, DC!
If I’m speaking in long-story-short terms, my weekend in DC was a blast! A special thank-you to Cedric P. for lending his pad to yours-truly. Your generosity and respect throughout the weekend will forever be remembered. To my soul wifey, Marcia R. – you know words can never say how great it was to see you. It was wonderful meeting your new sidekick Mat – aka Boy Wonder. Mat honey, you’re a catch… if I wasn’t so much older – and lactose intolerant – I’d shred you myself…. Give those DC children hell! Well, Taqua and Walter W., you are truly my sis and bro-in-law. Thinking of my Saturday evening with you guys had me tearing-up my whole drive back into the Apple. I love you – always. Veronica, Kim, Tamara and Melissa, lunch wasn’t enough. I miss you ladies! Sean D., I’m so happy that you’re doing so well. I’m reading the books! Call me. To all my ABAers…I’m so glad to reconnect with each of you. Liz, Roberta, Ros, Ros – yeah, there are two – Koy, and Mr. Mario… it was super seeing all of you! Shey & Angie… what happened? To my boys from the Mill and Mr. U Street… I’ll remember you. Sidebar: DC will always be my heart… even if I’ve trashed my rose-colored glasses.

Keep Your Money
In a shocking announcement condemning US views toward more controversial groups – ie drug users, prostitutes, etc. – Brazil declared it is refusing $40 million worth of HIV research grant money on the basis that accepting the cash would force its benefactors to condemn prostitution and promote exclusion of the very groups that are in need of services. The US has not responded to Brazil’s rebuff.

Washingtonians Addicted To Their Cars
The Washington Post reported that although folks in the DC area spend three times the average national commute time trying to get to work, they refuse to part ways with their cars and take the Metro. Citing inconvenience of service, most Washington area residents preferred riding in their own cars – even if it meant sitting in it for over an hour to get to their offices, rather than use Metro. Some Washingtonians are changing jobs, adjusting living arrangements and getting commuter vehicles, rather than considering public transportation.

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Morning Edition - 5/11/05

That’s Not The Way, Uh-huh, Uh-huh, He Liked It
KC of KC and the Sunshine Band took a six foot plunge off a Phoenix stage while performing Boogie Shoes during a Cinco de Mayo (May 5) performance there. The 54-year old lead singer required six stitches over his right eye and sprained his knee. KC and the Sunshine band have resumed their tour and are scheduled to appear in Florida and Georgia.

Poppa Can You Hear Me?!
Well Babs, I have the short answer for you – NO! My parents settled in, but not before the monster (I mean mom-ster...Freudian slip) insisted we do some late night food shopping at our local supermarket. One hour and eighty dollars later, we finished her idea of “light” grocery shopping. When we returned to my apartment, Dad, who is hearing impaired, relaxed to Telemundo loud enough to have our Mexican neighbors, two doors down, run out their backdoor into the cold night, following an INS news story they thought was happening live. Just as I prepared to fall into a deep and drug-induced sleep, I heard a faint bark outside that sounded like my baby, Busta. Mom has been reminded that 13 pound Miniature Schnauzers that own Burberry coats, do not sleep outdoors in NYC. My 7 a.m. therapy session went wonderful this morning and my therapist says that so long as I keep repeating to myself that my parents do not wish to have me committed – and adhere to the 3 blue and 1 purple pill twice daily while they’re here – I’ll be fine.


BWI Changes Name To Honor Marshall
Thurgood Marshall, the first African American to serve on the Supreme Court, was honored by Maryland Governor Robert Ehrlich yesterday when a bill was signed changing the name of BWI Airport to the Baltimore Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport. Hmmm… a mouth full! Why not just the Thurgood Marshall International Airport, ala Ronald Reagan International Airport in DC? Marshall was appointed to the bench in 1967 by President Lyndon Johnson.

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Special Edition - Cruz Clan Lands

Cruz Clan Lands
The folks at Jet Blue Airlines have already left a message on my home voice mail to let me know what I can do with my business, following my parents' arrival at JFK airport moments ago. When I spoke to my mom via cell phone where she stood at baggage claim, there appeared to be a flustered Jet Blue Customer Care Agent pleading with my mom to return the items - including bathroom toiletries and intricate electronics equipment she managed to dislodge and carry off the aircraft. When I finally got her to release the customer care agent's neck, she stayed on the telephone long enough to say that Jet Blue served her nothing but Blue Tortilla Chips and spoiled dip and that the "gifts" she acquired from the airline would serve as a good substitute for poor in-air service. Dad could not be reached for comment - or maybe he conventiently lost his hearing aide again to avoid these embarassing mom-moments. The airline has assured me that all charges will be dropped as long as I hold to my promise and have my parents fly another airline for their return trip home. My therapist has given me a 7:00 a.m. appointment to help me decompress following the incident. Sidebar: uh, the good news is they've arrived safe...yeah, that's what I wanted to say.

Keep passin' the open windows...I almost jumped through one of mine!

Morning Edition - 5/10/05

My iPod Saves Lives – Riding the Subway in NYC
That little device that weighs less than that bottle of poppers you bought last Saturday night, but can hold 1,000 songs, is a life saver. Sure, Apple named it an iPod, but it’s only because the candy company already used Lifesavers and the truth is, I can probably credit my sanity – and clear criminal record, for that matter – on the ability to zone-out and listen to my favorite artists belt out one for their boy. Here’s my testimony in a nutshell…the Apple iPod mini I purchased over a month ago has recently played an important role at helping me ease-up on my ride into the office. It’s much easier to think happy thoughts when Mariah Carey is belting out, “You’ll always be my baby,” than listening to that incessant little underfed brat wail first thing in the morning. It has also helped block out that intimate conversation Lakreisha is having with her girlfriend Fuquaisha – who mind you, is standing 4 inches from her face – at volume 10. (But wait, the b*tch wonders why folks “are in her face!”) ::::: One moment, let me breathe a minute::::: My seven stop, 20 minute, train ride into the city is now taking well over an hour and the only thing between me and several counts of assault, battery and lewd conduct charges is my little silver cylinder with MP3s loaded into it. So, go to the comments section of this posting and give us one of your true-blue, “How My iPod Saved A Life Today” stories. I’m curious to know if I’m an isolated case of God’s mysterious hand or just another face in the throng of “tune-deaf” folks.

United – We Love To Fly, But We’re Broke
United Airlines, who filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy in December 2002, has not recovered from the September 11 terrorist attacks. Since their filing, United has slashed salaries, rolled back pay increases, cut staff and is now looking to cut employee pensions. The sky mattresses (aka flight attendants) have threatened to sue the airline if they attempt to slash their benefits. United is straight-up turning into “Ghetto Airlines” as they risk having as many as eight 767 jets repossessed if deadlocked negotiations can’t be resolved. What does the airline “repo” man look like?!

DCs Metro A Rolling Billboard
Advertising is one way to bring cash to the strapped Metro Transit System in DC. So, Metro officials wrapped entire cars – trains really – in advertisements. One train advertisement for McDonalds has train doors on the Orange Line opening with the golden arches on them. I’d hate to see what the Trojan condom train will show on its opening and closing doors… hey, I’m just saying. The pilot program is scheduled to last three months unless other advertisers are willing to fork over the $54,000 to be emblazoned on a train. Metro presently generates over $29 million in annual advertisement using their buses and trains.

Clear The Area – Meet the Parents
Last night I spent approximately three hours parent-proofing my apartment. My parents are scheduled to touchdown at JFK airport, in NYC, this afternoon. As a single guy, you never really notice how much is in your place that a married, older, Christian couple might find offensive. Two trash bags of porn, a box of liquor bottles, a back-pack of prescription sedatives later and my apartment is as welcoming and warm as an 83-year old Jehova’s Witness' pad. Okay… more like a 50-year old Protestant… but you get the picture. Per Mom, I have nothing to worry about since they’re just happy to see their dear son…yeah, like I’m falling for that line!

Keep passin’ the open windows…




Monday, May 09, 2005

Afternoon Edition - 5/9/05

Wait!! DC Drivers and The Sit-In
Third only to LA and San Francisco, DC is said to be one of the most congested urban areas in the country. The American Transportation Association study found that DC beat out Atlanta, Chicago, Miami – even the Big Apple – for time spent sitting behind the wheel. New York ranked 18th, while Atlanta held a disturbing fourth place ranking.

The New Benifer is Gonna Have Baby
Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck are expecting their first child in November. The Alias production team is still determining whether they will work her pregnancy into the script or hide it. The latter would be difficult, since Garner does her own stunts and wears three strings and a leaf on most episodes. Both the Garner and Affleck camp are not commenting on the pregnancy.

Blog, Blog, Blog or Blah, Blah, Blah
A group of more than 300 bloggers met in Nashville, Tenn, on Friday to discuss good journalism techniques and tips on analyzing government data. Blogging, which is being dubbed “citizen journalism” is what we use for our Morning & Afternoon Edition and millions of folks use for their news and info tidbits each day. Today there are more than eight million folks writing blogs.

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Morning Edition - 5/9/05

Reverse Discrimination – G-Univ Gets Slapped With Lawsuit
In a case that brings a smile to my face, not for it’s content, but for what appears to be the tables being turned for once, two women have filed a lawsuit against Georgetown University in DC Superior Court alleging the computer services department violated the DC Human Rights Act by giving an unfair advantage to hiring and promotion to good looking young men and eliminating the jobs of older female employees, in a 2003 downsizing. Sounds complicated? Not really, since this type of behavior has been traditionally observed by other cultural and racial groups, it was only a matter of time before the oppressed became the oppressors – uh, right? Mindy Hicks and Emilya Nudelman are the plaintiffs in the case alleging that the director and assistant director of the IT dept., both identified as gay, have been showing favoritism to the young hotties… I’m sorry, I’m still giggling! In fairness, the suit doesn’t even mention if the folks benefiting from the alleged favoritism were/are gay. Georgetown released a statement saying it opposes all forms of discrimination.

J-Lo, Mama, Just Ride the Wave
First, I’ll admit I’m a fan. Jennifer Lopez is an artist in her own right and though she clearly isn’t GREAT at anything, she certainly knows how to be a part of everything. For a Boricua girl from New York, working your way into the A-list and changing perceptions on what a HOT bod is in Hollywood, does deserve some admiration. All hating aside, she has truly had a meteoric rise to stardom. This Friday, J-Lo will star in Monster-In-Law with one of Hollywood’s old-school iconic leading ladies, Jane Fonda. The trailers are hysterical and reviewers have given the flick two-thumbs-up. Both Fonda and Lopez say the film was a hoot to shoot, but egos and physical scenes combined to make working with the other diva a positive challenge. With her recent string of movies considered flops, J-Lo can relax and ride the Fonda wave.

Mandela in Harlem, USA
Mandela is visiting the U.S. on, what an insider tells me, might very well be his final U.S. tour. Mandela is set to visit with President Clinton in Harlem and President Bush in DC. Want a final opportunity to have a live glimpse of Mandela? He is rumored to be making a special visit to Riverside Church in Harlem this Saturday for a noon service. Reps at Riverside did not return calls to confirm the visit.

Lunch on Friday?
Today is the final day to confirm our lunch plans for this Friday at 1:30 p.m. at the Daily Grill in DC. If you are joining me, please contact Jeanine Arnette at the ABA. If you’re having trouble contacting Jeanine, please post your RSVP under the comments section of this posting. Thanks for making the res for us Jeanine!

Posting Nightmare Corrected
Those of you who experienced problems posting comments to our new Blog, will find that posting is easy as 1-2-3 now. I’ve removed all registration requirements! So, post away, but please tell us your name (or at least the name you’ll be using) so we can address you, if necessary.

Keep passin’ the open windows...

Friday, May 06, 2005

Morning Edition - 5/6/05

Six Makes Him 24?
Busta, my brilliant baby, turns six today. Born in Virginia, Busta was my first child to be potty-trained (housebroken) in one week. Doggie insiders say dogs age slightly different than humans, with larger dogs having each year count as seven; while smaller dogs can count four for every one. This would make Busta a guy in his mid twenties. Plans to hit a special dog run and eat home food (a definite no-no throughout the year) are planned for Sunday.

Gays Can Skip the Bank, FDA Says
If you are a man who has had sex with other men in the last five years, the FDA says you will not be eligible to make anonymous sperm bank donations. Per these new regulations, sperm banks will reject any donation made by gay men who are not celibate for five or more years. Although folks close to the issue say the regulation unlikely to become law, sperm banks will adhere to the FDA standard. The FDA says that gay men carry a higher-than-average risk for carrying the AIDS virus. Critics say that the FDA is ignoring a more general approach of addressing sexual behavior screening without regard to sexual orientation. In essence, a heterosexual man who has had unprotected sex with prostitutes can donate sperm, while gay men in a monogamous relationship, practicing safe sex, would be excluded.

Save The Date…Drum roll please!
With the majority of votes (5), the date for the Morning Edition Reunion gathering is Saturday, July 16. The other date came in a close second with four votes. The undecided brought up the rear. In the next few weeks, we will update the ME group and provide information on location – specifically if Watkins Park in Largo, MD will be our venue. NEXT WEEK: I will be in DC next Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Some of the ABA crew will be joining me for lunch at the Daily Grill on M street / Connecticut Avenue NW on Friday, May 13, 1 p.m. So far, Jeanine, Marcia, Melissa, Tam, Kim and hopefully Angie will be attending. Jeanine, will you please make a reservation for us? Anyone wishing to join should contact Jeanine at ABA no later than Monday afternoon, so that she can call the Daily Grill with a final head count. Saturday night, May 14, we will be partying at the Bachelor’s Mill, in SE Washington DC. I will provide my cell telephone number prior to hitting the road out of NYC.

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Afternoon Edition - 5/5/05

Happy Birthday Daddy! I didn't forget... I was just scheduling my appointment with my therapist. She wants me to bring you in while you're visiting next week. Apparently, she doesn't believe you exist.

Is It Really About the Bikes For Black Bikers?
The 25th Annual Black Bike Fest takes place May 27-29, in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Recent years have been plagued by controversy stemming from ill treatment by local vendors, to “freak-fest-esque” gatherings by participants. “It’s really not about riding bikes okay… it’s about the bitches,” said Jason Morris, a New York participant. Most riders are mainly from the Northeast. “We tell our wives we’re goin’ down to be with the fellas and we show our ass,” said Morris. “Show our ass indeed,” said Benjamin Bison, who claims his last marriage ended amidst photographs his wife found of him in very compromising and revealing positions while at a Bike Fest a few years ago. Over 400,000 bikers, ages 21-45, and their admirers flood South Carolina for the Memorial Weekend event.

DC Pride Celebrates 15 Years
This year DCs Black Pride Weekend celebrates its 15th anniversary. It is touted as the “longest running, most inclusive Black Pride in the United States. As a former attendee of this event, I’ll second them on the “most inclusive” tip. This year, in addition to the slew of “surprise” guests being mentioned on promotional flyers, one guest has been named to appear. Karamo, the athletic, svelte, booty-luscious (yes, I meant luscious), reality TV hunk who was part of MTVs Real World cast will be at the Edge Nightclub on Friday, May 27. For full details of this weekend event, beginning Thursday, May 26 and wrapping-up on Monday, May 30, visit http://www.dcblackpride.org/index.html

Touchstone TV Digs Diggs
Taye Diggs, who now stars on UPNs Kevin Hill, has signed a one year production and development deal with Touchstone Television. Under this agreement Diggs will bring show ideas to the studio and serve as executive producer on projects the studio picks-up. Diggs’ film career has a diverse scope ranging from musical numbers like Chicago to afro centric favorites like Brown Sugar and The Best Man. He is presently working on a film version of famous Broadway play, Rent.

Put Up or Shut Up
Tomorrow is your final day to tell us your preference for our summer ME Crew Gathering. Please be sure to go to the 4/26 Special Edition (Reunion Prep) posting shown on the list to the right of this posting and insert your response on the bottom under Comments. Available dates are July 16 and July 23.

Keep passin’ the open windows…




Morning Edition - 5/5/05

Explosive Allegations With Plenty of Proof
Like millions of other Americans, I was front-and-center for the explosive ABC Primetime special, Fallen Idol, last night. Corey Clark, the biracial, second-season Idol contestant stood his ground answering questions that ranged from his motivation for voicing these embarrassing tidbits now, to whether or not he was in love with the superstar who is 18+ years his senior. Clark appeared relaxed – albeit, a bit ghetto street in his vernacular – but he addressed each issue calmly and with irrefutable evidence that is sure to have rattled the Idol camp. Corey detailed how he was approached by Paul Abdul’s “people” and was given her telephone number to call her, he was able to describe the inside of her home and had telephone messages and bills to prove she initiated contact numerous times. To add insult to injury, one of her recent messages shows Abdul to be audibly in a panic, pleading with Clark not to speak to reporters. The Idol machine has asked Clark to forward all proof to them so that they can launch an investigation, but Clark told Good Morning America this morning that he does not intend to help them along, since Idol has never done anything to help his career along. He alluded to the Idol folks that they should just use interview and evidence given to ABC PrimeTime officials for their story. Clark now has a record deal and is presently shopping a lucrative book deal that would detail his alleged affair with Abdul.

Hard To Keep A Car in PG County
Prince George’s County, which has the highest concentration of wealthy African Americans in the country, is said to be the number one place in the state of Maryland for car thieves and carjackers. To help reassure residents, County Executive Jack B. Johnson said that actual stats show a 16% decline in these crimes from the same time last year, but residents aren’t buying it. Some residents are reporting two cars stolen in the county, just this year! Public Safety Director, Vernon Herron, was quoted in the Washington Post today saying it is not an unusual reaction for folks to suffer depression and feel violated following a theft. Sidebar question: Is this the same Vernon Herron who graces our ME group?! If so, congrats on the quote...hit me up Vern!

May 12, 13, 14; DC Here I Come
I will be visiting DC next Thursday, Friday and Saturday and intend to visit a few spots to catch-up with friends. Please let me know if the NW ME folks want to do lunch at my favorite NW joint, Daily Grill, Friday, May 13, 1 p.m. Just hit me up on the comments area, so that we can make a reservation. Also, Tam, Melissa, Shey, Angie, Marcia, et al… wassup with the Mill on Saturday night? Hope we can catch up!

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Morning Edition - 5/4/05

Kiss and Tell, The Fall of Paul Abdul
Tonight at 10 p.m., ABCs Primetime Live will air Fallen Idol, the story of 2003 American Idol contestant, Corey Clark. Clark alleges he engaged in an intimate relationship with Abdul that included his being coached and groomed by her to succeed in the show. Clark was ousted from the show for withholding information regarding a 2002 arrest record. In 2003 Ruben Studdard was named American Idol, but ABC questioned other 2003 contestants who felt the allegations would mean Clark had an unfair advantage over other contestants. Clark’s story is corroborated by a voice mail left by Abdul asking him not to speak to reporters should they call him. In addition, Clark’s parents recall their son mentioning the affair and fielding phone calls from Abdul to Clark at their home.

Remember When We Were Young and You Were Mine…
My Boo, Marcia R., turns 28 today. I met the charming DC beauty in 2002 and we’ve been fast friends ever since. Marcia plans to spend her birthday evening at home tonight, but special plans may change her idea of curling up to the boob-tube.

Daddy Dearest to turn 62
Daddy dearest to “yours truly” turns 62 tomorrow. The retired minister and father of five will be visiting the Big Apple from Puerto Rico, with wife, Millie, on Tuesday, May 10. The two will be visiting their new grandchild, Daylen for 14 days. At press time Millie and Manuel were scheduled to stay at the Mouse Hole, a.k.a. my place. My doctor has been contacted for a double dose prescription of Xanax. Stay tuned for upcoming drama.

Cat Got Your Tongue?
The new Blog style format for the Morning Edition was created to give each of you a voice. That is, we can now stay in touch, hear everyone’s take on our Morning Edition – and other issues – and keep our e-mail accounts clear of clutter. At the end of each Blog posting there is a small envelope with the word “Comment(s)” by it. By clicking on the envelope icon you will be allowed to post your comments, opinions, shout-outs, etc. On your first attempt to post comments you will be asked to develop a screen name – any name you’d like – and a password. This will maintain the integrity of your posts and prevent anyone from making comments using your name. Simply ask the site to remember your name and password OR just write it down somewhere…. It’s as easy as that. Also, this Friday we will announce the majority vote for our July gathering date based on your responses to the 4/26 Special Edition on our Blog. If you haven’t done so already, please get set-up and respond to the Special Edition invitation today.

Keep passin’ the open windows…


Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Morning Edition - 5/3/05

Long Story Short…
Grandma Warner, long-time Barnhart family matriarch, passed away this weekend. Warner was 103 years old. She is survived by daughter, Violet Barnhart, seven grandchildren and several great and great-great grandchildren. Manuel and Milagros C. were involved in a minor car accident last week. The fender-bender has left the retired Caribbean couple waiting for the repair of their vehicle. Donya W. has moved to Forestville, MD. The mother of five is said to be enjoying her new pad. Clent J. announced that love is sometimes found in the strangest places – ex. finding an orange in an apple basket or a vanilla bean in a chocolate factory… go figure. Ed Yingling has taken reign of the ABA after 25 years of serving in various capacities. He replaces retiring DC insider and sweetheart, Don Ogilvie. In even brighter news, ABA found a rewarding way to turn lemons into lemonade, after recent scandals in the United Way ranks forced ABA to discontinue all United Way corporate contributions, ABA now participates in several other programs. One, the National Rebuilding Day, gives families their lives back by returning their home to a livable condition. April 30, some ABA staffers, including Kim S., spent the day rebuilding a home belonging to an 86-year old man and his daughter. The project was said to be an unforgettable experience. Raymond V., personal trainer to the masses in NYC, is said to be wooing a certain cocoa-skinned Puerto Rican who relocated to the Apple in late 2003. In fairness, the Rican is basking in the fun of several prospective suitors. Wink-wink. Cedric P. is hitting the sunshine state for a work conference on the 7th. CP recently returned from a wonderful vacation in Italy and a weekend stopover in NYC. Latisha F. says the announced Largo, Maryland location for a July group gathering is too far out of her way. LF, who once lived in Laurel, Maryland, now resides in Charlotte. Self proclaimed irresistible NYC heartthrob, Slugger, is shacking-up with long-time friend and retired porn star T. The two are said to be working through various issues – not the least of which is, who’s in charge. Aisha D. is vacationing at Disney World this week. The svelte JPMorgan beauty is treating son Jayden to his first visit to the famous rodent’s pad. William C. is visiting his NYC siblings in the Big Apple for a month. The Puerto Rico resident spent his first weekend in the city enjoying his newborn nephew, Daylen. Marcia R. is promoting one of her first BIG events at her new gig. The former ABA PR pro is navigating the choppy waters of focusing media attention on a new classical pianist that will be performing at the Kennedy Center in DC. MR is celebrating her 20-something birthday on Wednesday, May 4. Steven (aka Laser) is relocating to Atlanta on Thursday. The heavyweight hell raiser will be joined by longtime pal, Laurien P., in July. Giving up is hard to do…your editor has returned to the gym this week and is looking to stop smoking by the end of May.

Will & Grace Star Ready to Talk
Megan Mullally, who plays side-kick friend and employee of Grace Adler on Will & Grace, has been signed to a seven figure contract to host a 2006 talk show on NBC. Will & Grace is scheduled to return for an eighth, and some say, final season. In the event that Will & Grace returns for a ninth season, Mullally has made arrangements to do both projects.

Atlanta Police Investigated For Harassing Gay Men
The Southern Voice newspaper in Atlanta, GA, is reporting an incident of verbal and physical harassment and abuse at the hands of police officers. The alleged victims say police officers detained them and used words like “faggots” when addressing them on the morning of April 21. A group of friends returning from a birthday party crossed Piedmont Park at approximately 2 a.m. Police officers are said to have arrested the group and detained them for over 12 hours. Piedmont Park closes at 11 p.m. Ann Fauver, an openly gay member of the Atlanta City Council, said that she is extremely upset by the incident and if even half of the allegations are true, then she is incensed. Piedmont Park has long been a “cruising” park in Atlanta.

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Monday, May 02, 2005

Morning Edition - 5/2/05

Church Council Stands in Judgment of Trans Couple
Renee and Mayetta Usher have been married for 40 years, but Renee Usher was Michael Usher over 10 years ago and the gender change has prompted a church council at a Lutheran Iowa church to ask the couple to stop attending services. The Ushers received a letter from Rev. Allan Simms offering to give them communion at home. The Ushers are presently seeking another church to attend, since they were both raised to worship in a church setting.
Sidebar: Which is it Christians? Do we want “sinners” to be exposed to the Word or are we concerned that their “sin” will contaminate the rest of the congregation?

Paula Abdul May Be Next To Leave Idol
ABCs Prime Time Live look behind American Idol will air on Wednesday night. Fox and Paula Abdul's attorney, Marty Singer, have already threatened to sue ABC if it proceeds with allegations of an inappropriate relationship between Abdul and a 22-year old contestant that she is alleged to have coached. Now, ABC alleges they have video and audio tape to back their story – evidence they feel would save them any loss or embarrassment during future lawsuits. Stay tuned…

Family – When Enough, Is Enough
It seems that the more you give, the more is expected of you. This is true even with family – or should I say, especially with family? The issue of adding pressure until something (or someone) snaps came to a head this weekend, when my family – who live just two floors above me, decided it would be a good idea to have their ONLY bathroom tiled while eight guests visited them for the weekend. Here’s the kicker; the thought was that having your bathroom retiled, constitutes an emergency, and therefore requires complete tolerance by the imposed party. NOTE TO FOLKS: Pipes bursting constitute an emergency. Having your bathroom retiled when you have a house full of folks just makes you an inconsiderate idiot. Needless to say, yours truly was again viewed as the unreasonable, grouchy, selfish, tyrant who doesn’t care to lend a hand when needed. After wrestling with trying to make family understand otherwise, I’m comfortable with accepting the oversimplified perceptions.

Please be sure to check out our 4/26, Special Edition, posting that contains an invitation.

Keep passin’ the open windows…