Sunday, December 31, 2006

Morning Edition - End of 2006

Resolutions; This Is My Life
Each year we all take a moment to think of what we will do better. What changes we will make to be this new and improved person. By February many of us have dropped most of those new year’s resolutions and are just hoping to not completely revert to the person we were the year before. Well, the hope is that this year WILL be different. This year I’ve chosen a few things that are building blocks, rather than goals… building blocks to making me a better person. So here goes…

Calculated risks that can/will improve my life…I’m a pretty spontaneous person, but I’m also a creature of habit. I like sticking with what’s comfortable – whether that be my career, the clubs and bars I attend and the friends I hang with. This year I will make myself available to new career choices, make myself open to new romantic interactions and enjoy the rotten apple like a tourist. This is also the year that I stop making excuses for why I could never make it as a writer. At the very least, I have to write that novel based on my life story that will, at the very least, serve as a cathartic tool.

Accept my appearance… I’ve always felt that I’m harder on myself than anyone could ever be. I work out 4-5 days per week and point out every new wrinkle to myself each morning. In 2006 I met folks that were amazing in their self-acceptance. They loved their appearance and their self love made them all the more attractive. Rather than obsessing about the natural aging process, I will do more to continue working out hard, eating right, dropping those bad habits (my buddies know what those are) and enjoying me. I will recognize that I am beautiful today – before the workouts, the cosmetic surgery, the Whitney Houston dental work… this is my year to love me… flaws and all.

Give back… Sometimes we get so caught up on ourselves and our lives that we don’t recognize how fulfilled we would be to give back. We complain about our mortgages/rents, car payments, additional pounds, quirky families, etc. and don’t realize how blessed our lives really are. To have a mortgage, to have a car, to have families, to have our health… we are blessed. I will choose a cause and give back. I will commit to giving of my time, money and resources to help someone else. Ultimately, I suspect the biggest benefactor will be me.

On Blast
What new year’s resolution will you make today that you are sure will make 2007 the year you became a better person?

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Friday, December 29, 2006

Morning Edition - 12/29/06


Dreamgirls; Believe the Hype
Last night I sat to experience the truth behind the enormous media buzz that is Dreamgirls. With five Golden Globe nominations – Best picture, Best Supporting Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actress and Best Song – Dreamgirls proved they earned each one of those nominations. To sum it up, the acting is on point and the music sequences are superb. Beyonce Knowles as Deena Jones and Jennifer Hudson as Effie Melody White are sure to leave a lasting impression. To those that were unimpressed with Knowles performance, I completely disagree. Her character called for a sweet innocence that would have been lost had she been portrayed as a ball-bustin’ diva – we can leave that role to Jennifer Hudson. Hudson proved that she is a force to be reckoned with her first time out of the gate. Although a lot of credit was given to veteran Eddie Murphy for his portrayal of James Early, he was the character that least impressed me. His face is finally showing signs of aging and his vocal antics grated my nerves half-way into the screening. In all, the movie is definitely a must-see and worthy of a purchase-for-the-DVD-library. Hudson’s version of And I Am Telling You is no Jennifer Holliday’s 1980s soul wrenching belt-off, but it holds it’s own. The song that will leave you emotionally drained is Knowles’ Listen. The song defines the pivotal moment that sums up the story. It is a new addition to the Dreamgirls storyline and one that seals the deal to make this an overwhelming four-star picture.

On Blast
Black films (or films with primarily black casts) are usually snubbed at the award shows – even when the nomination nods run rampant. Lest we forget the 11 nominations The Color Purple had in 1986, when they walked away with none. How do you believe Dreamgirls will fair at the awards (Golden Globes & Oscars)? Who are you certain will take home an award?

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Morning Edition - 12/28/06

That's What Friends Are For

As the Year Ends; I’ll Say It Today
As 2006 comes to a close, it’s important that I recognize the folks that played a pivotal role in making my life better, more interesting and flat-out more enjoyable. This is just a small token. If I didn’t mention you specifically, don’t be offended. It might just mean that you need not be mentioned because you already know the important role you play in my life.

To my soul wifey, Marcia…you have been my best friend, my voice of reason and my comfort when all seemed bleak. You know what to say, how to say it and when to say it… you are my treasure. I cannot find words to tell you how important you are to me and what your words of wisdom have done to make sense of my, sometimes, overly dramatic life. You are wise beyond your years, as beautiful as any runway model and as strong as a Mack truck. You are everything I believe a woman should be and I’m so thankful to have you in my life.

To my friend for life Clent…I know I’m difficult and, at times, not the best friend in the world. Thanks for sticking by me and always making light of the darkest conversations. You know me… I mean you really know me and that is priceless.

To Evelyn M…. my ride or die. In such a short period of time you renewed my belief in friendships and what true loyalty means. You are there, you have my back and for that, I’m so grateful. You are a born charmer and have a knack for words I can only aspire to attain. I miss you…

To Vern… after living in DC for close to 10 years I never had the opportunity to become close friends with you. Now that I’m in NYC, I find that you inspire me and have a calm strength that I admire. Thanks for allowing me to take your ride as an author with you – it is amazing to read your every word. I know you will be great and I’m proud to have you as a friend.

To Col… 30 years and you’re still acting like a god damn fool. I love you. You are my sister in every sense of the word and through everything you know nothing will ever come between you and me. Our childhood was exciting and as adults we can only dream of growing old sharing our lives.

To Herbie… who knew? A Puerto Rican who would become such a close friend? Nonsense! You are warmth personified. True, we will one day get arrested for your antics, but I have a sense that even behind bars, we will laugh until our stomach hurts. I love you.

To Robert… Okay, so I should have choked you to death 5 years ago and been writing this from behind bars, but instead, you are my heart. You know I promised to never use those three little words when referring to you, but hey, you already know. As I traverse the Big Apple and take a dip in the dating pool, I inevitably compare everyone to you. You are my model for a man. A love like ours will never be repeated in this lifetime.

To my blog family – Tam, Melissa, Donya, Eber, Vicenta, Toya, Tisha, Angie, Shey, Cola, Kim, Winona, Shannon, et al… y’all just make staying in touch so easy. You folks have made the e-mails, turned blog, a necessary part of my life. Your opinion matters to me. You are my family in every sense of the word. State lines, time and obligations are all just blips on the screen of our relationship. Thank you for being a part of my life.

And so, as 2007 begins and new chapters unfold, I thank you for continuing to share my life. I look forward to having you for all my years to come.

On Blast
What is your fondest memory of 2006?

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Morning Edition - 12/27/06


The Problem With Adulthood
As a child my mother forced my siblings and I to get along. We weren’t allowed to physically fight, we were admonished to share everything and we were never allowed to go to bed angry with each other. In hindsight it was a noble idea and one that stayed with me. Although my being gay has always been the wedge to drive me away from my family, I’ve always made an extra effort to be there for them and am fiercely protective of all my siblings. Recently, my family suffered an enormous blow and I resorted to what I know best – protect, defend and make things better. What I have quickly realized is that, as adults, I can’t help anyone (even my siblings) when they don’t want my help and worse even, don’t wish to help themselves. Although the events that transpired did not involve me directly, the very fact that they involve my siblings made me a complete wreck. Then that pivotal moment occurred. …an epiphany of sorts. I realized it is not my place to do anything, but mind my business. I guess my pain is transformed to anger – it’s all I know. Oddly, I look back to when I was 15 and was forced into the harsh streets of NYC. Rejected by my family and scared, I could do nothing but hide my fear and pain. The luxury of showing weakness was not mine to enjoy and because of this, I can’t really show vulnerability today. Strangely, rather than my family members seeing my anger and frustration toward their perpetrators as justified, I’m seen as the unrelenting bully. So, I give up. I will step back and step away to let my family find their way. In the words of Donnie McClurkin, I stand. I love my family and hope the best for them, but it is apparent that I must take my own advice. Sometimes, you have to love folks enough to let them go.

Life Subscription Not Renewed
James Brown and President Gerald Ford both died this week, Monday and Tuesday respectively, making the final days of 2006 reflective ones. Brown, a pioneering artist, hailed as the creator as such genres of music as hip-hop and funk and Ford who assumed the presidency after the infamous Nixon Watergate impeachment, both are said to have recently suffered from pneumonia – although the exact cause of death of Ford has not been announced. Brown was 73 at the time of death and Ford 93. Brown will be viewed at the Apollo theater in NYC beginning Thursday afternoon, while Ford’s arrangements have not been announced.

Serial Rapist of Men
In the small town of Baytown, Texas there’s a bit of an unusual crime spree taking place. Allegedly, a black man, 18-21 years of age and almost six feet tall is raping other men. To date five men have come forward to report they have either been raped or attacked with the intent of being raped. Authorities say that men are less likely to report a rape since the victims may feel it is a crime that shows them as weak and threatens their masculinity. Statistics show that 1-in-33 men are either raped or attempted to be raped, while women have a much higher rate of 1-in-6. Sketches of the assailant are now posted around town and the town folk are ever vigilant.

On Blast
We all have shells – personality traits that cover your true self. Some shells are thinner than others, but in the end, we all have them. For some, it’s an abrasive personality that masks a tender vulnerability, while others appear to be conservative, but are hidden freaks. What hidden personality trait would those close to you be surprised to discover?

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Monday, December 18, 2006

Morning Edition - 12/18/06

On Blast
There are many lessons learned in life, but there's always that one lesson that, as you look back, you can say, "I learned from the best, I learned from you..."
Who was that teacher; what was that lesson?

Keep passin' the open windows...

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Morning Edition - 12/13/06

Darn, I’m Sick
The last year-or-so I’ve been extra careful to eat well and work-out. The benefits have been slow, but steady and I’ve managed to avoid any colds and the like – well, that is until now. It appears my beautiful nephew is polluted and has managed to corrode me as well. Granted, I can’t help but pick him up and hug him close, so I may have brought on some of this damage. Yesterday I had a temperature, sniffles and an uncomfortable sleepiness that told me I was out of commission. I stayed home and slept throughout the day. I was awakened this morning by my stomach joining in on the sick party. Ugh...guess it's my turn.

Can Kanye Be Original?
Kanye West, a celebrated rapper has a new CD, Late Registration, which enjoyed sales of over 825,000 in just one week. Now, he’s being sued by old-school stunt artist Evel Knievel for a video and pictures that share a likeness with Knievel’s red, white and blue jumpsuit West copied for his Touch the Sky single. Knievel says West even copied the outfit down to the EK belt. West, who is using Evel Kanyevel for the segment will now answer copyright infringement accusations in court papers filed in Florida on Friday. No monetary damages were declared. How about some originality KW?

DC, HIV; The Goal
DC holds the infamous distinction of having the highest rate of new HIV infections each year. This year the city spent over $1.3 million to change these statistics. The goal was to have 400,000 residents, 14-84-year olds, tested. Unfortunately, the city says that in five months of advertising the free testing it has only managed to test 20,000 residents. The hope is that many more will come forward and be tested in the coming weeks. Hey, like the ad says, “The Know is Spreading.” Know your status; save your life.

On Blast
With the swift spread of HIV/AIDS in the minority community, do you feel additional pressure to require your sexual partners share their medical history – namely their HIV status and whether they’ve been tested – with you?

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Morning Edition - 12/12/06

Gucci vs. Louis Vuitton
We’ve talked about this in recent weeks and it was just a matter of time before this issue reared its head. I met a wonderful, smart and pretty man right before going on vacation to Puerto Rico. What troubled me – and I told him this – is that we both share the exact sexual preferences and therefore would soon find ourselves both fighting for the same position in bed. At the time, he joked that I needn’t worry, since we could recruit a third party to fill-in where we rather not go… no pun intended. During my entire vacation, he and I talked and text each other throughout the day and when I returned, the interaction only intensified. It seems that our “role” problem was somehow being ignored – granted, by the two of us. We’ve officially been on two dates, the last one taking place late last Saturday night, when we almost started a forest fire to avoid addressing the issue that we’re not sexually compatible. Unfortunately, we really like each other – enough to continue this charade – and are spinning our wheels deciding what to do. Yes, we can try being friends, but right now we’re enjoying the games of spin the bottle and wrestling that appear to be going on.

Strategic Flirting
After an experiment in same preference intimacy Saturday night, I needed a night out to unwind and explore new opportunities. This isn’t to say that I’m being greedy; I just needed to have an opposite preference person to interact with – not intimately… LOL. I lounged around all of Sunday and did a few loads of wash before hitting the gym for a leisurely run and some lower-body toning – yeah, at 37, lower body toning becomes a HUGE necessity. I returned home, showered, and slipped into some comfy jeans and a black fitted t-shirt (no draws, of course). I have an OCDish routine that includes scrubbing profusely, lotioning thoroughly and my strategic fragrance spritzing that has really become quite obsessive – but I digress. As I walked into the bar and approached my favorite bartender to order my beer, I noticed that folks were looking at me as though I had my penis hanging out or something… I took it (and hopefully not mistook it) as a positive thing and simply sauntered over to a corner by a big-screen TV that was showing the Dallas game. I’m not a football fan, but can be quickly sucked-in to the testosterone jostle that unfolds. Five minutes into my intense fixation on the game, a Lutheresque guy walks up and says, “I don’t mean to interrupt you shawty, but wanted to let you know, you’re looking good.” I smiled and said, “Thank you” and suddenly turned to see the bar had become quite populated since my arrival. I walked back to the front of the bar where I ran into some friends and who is in the midst of these guys? – right, Mr. Lutheresque. So the conversation is growing loud and heated about what you rate yourself as opposed to how others rate you. One-by-one everyone is calling out their 1-10 rating, with the group chiming-in to reveal their opinions. Suddenly, everyone turns to me and I smile and say, “I think I’m a solid 6.” One of the guys smirks, and “Luth” says, nah, I’d say you’re a 7.” Okay, let me be honest… I was offended. I always low-ball myself in the hopes that someone will hit me up with a high 8 or something… this mutha fuka says 7! The nerve! …but let me keep it real. I fail to realize that physically, I am a 7 – or thereabout. It’s only after turning on the wit and charm that I can actually increase my score. So, I inch over to “Luth” and say, “So I’m a 7 huh bruh?” He smiles wide and says, “Yeah, but a solid 7… and we’re in a crowd of about 4s” Okay, so he got me. I was out to increase my score and fast. Luth and I begin a back-and-forth convo that excludes the rest of the group and before you know it, brutha-man is all smiles and leaning in to insure he doesn’t miss a word. My strategically placed fragrance captivates him, my Trident White spearmint gum keeps him at centimeters from my mouth and I can see, he’s in the net. So he says, “Why is a sexy Puerto Rican man like you single?” I said, “Cuz I’m a 7 boo… remember.” BAM! You know I can’t let that slide. He’s got to come back with a revision on his score. So he says, “Nah, you were a 7 until we spoke, now I think you’re a 9.” Since I’m on my 5th Heineken, I don’t blush, rather I take a step back and grab my jacket. “Well fellas, it’s time for me to roll,” I announce. Luth offers to walk me to my car and we exchange digits. Turns out he’s part of a pretty interesting book club that does some networking. I’m intrigued by the concept behind the group and tell him it’s cool to hit me up. Luth lets me know he lives near me and we agree to talk Tuesday. I drive him back to the bar and he awkwardly leans over and lands a wet one on my lips. So, it’s all good. Mission accomplished. We can still drag out an alcohol induced 9 at 37.

Regifting? Two-to-eight Years for Trying
Michael Ivy, 45, was diagnosed HIV positive in December 2002. When he was told he was infected, he was also instructed not to donate blood. On September 13 he walked into a blood plasma center in Indiana, lied about his medical history and donated blood. Ivy then returned to the plasma center on September 22 to donate more blood and was told that the batch he donated earlier in the month was infected and his blood could not be accepted. Police have arrested Ivy and he is charged with donating blood while knowing he carries the HIV virus.

On Blast
Rate yourself on a scale of 1-to-10 (one being the lowest, ten the highest. Please give us two ratings for yourself:
1st: Give us your rating based solely on your physical appearance 2nd: Give us your rating based on your total package (appearance, personality, intellect).

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Monday, December 11, 2006

Morning Edition - 12/11/06

On Blast
We do some crazy things for love. Meatloaf (the singer) wasn't off the mark on this song... I would do anything for love, but I won't do that...
What is your "that?" What WON'T you do for love?

Keep passin' the open windows...

Friday, December 08, 2006

Morning Edition - 12/8/06

Sometimes it's just like that... Hey, we all have a little nut-job freak in us... don't we?! LOL

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Morning Edition - 12/7/06

It’s Not Just Your Breath
Taco Bell ordered its 5,800 U.S. restaurants to remove all scallions from the eatery after an independent lab found the green onions in the establishments were covered with a dangerous strain of E-coli. "In an abundance of caution, we've decided to pull all green onions from our restaurants until we know conclusively whether they are the cause of the E. coli outbreak," said Greg Creed, president of Irvine, Calif.-based Taco Bell. To date, five people remained hospitalized – some with kidney damage – from their fast-food foray with the across-the-border treats from Taco Bell that resulted in the E-Coli outbreak. E-Coli is found in the feces of humans and animals and is most associated with undercooked meat.

Insert This Just Over Your Pie Hole
Researchers say our bodies do not crave what we can’t smell or taste. With that theory in mind, a new study is underway to develop a nasal spray that will block smell and taste and thereby help treat obesity. The FDA has granted Compellis a patent to develop the first-ever calcium channel blocker used in nasal formulation – a nasal spray. If you can’t smell it or taste it, maybe you’ll stay away from it.

Ladies in Red
The White House holiday reception turned into fashion hell as Laura Bush joined the party to find three other women wearing the exact $8,500 red Oscar de la Renta gown. Unfortunately, Laura had already had the annual photo taken in the gown and was left to make a quick decision – wear the darn thing with the pack and look like a bad girl group or slip away and change into something no one else was sporting. Always the politically correct diva, Laura dashed upstairs and made the quick change. Of course her guests didn’t have the luxury of doing the same. This is the first time in history that any first lady joined the festivities to find a guest wearing the same gown she had chosen for an event.

On Blast
If holiday wishes could come true… Poof… you’re granted the ability to make a quick decision – a wish of sorts. You are given the opportunity to:
Be strikingly beautiful
Be brilliant beyond your imagination
Be magnetically charming
Now remember, no cheating. You can only choose one. Which would it be and why? Assume that your choice will be permanent and life-lasting.

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Morning Edition - 12/5/06

I Ain’t About To Blow-Up My Fan Base
Singer, actress, songwriter extraordinaire, Beyonce Knowles, is appearing in one of the premiere U.S. magazines, Instinct, to promote her new movie Dreamgirls. Ms. B tells the gay publication that although she has a strong religious upbringing, she never let it affect how she felt about the gay community. She went on to tell of her gay uncle, who died of AIDS several years ago, who she says helped raise her and even worked closely with her mom to make her gowns. "He brought me to school every day. He helped me buy my prom dress. He made my clothes with my mother. He was like my nanny. He was my favorite person in the whole world. I never mixed Christianity with how I felt (about him). I am about faith and spirituality more so than religion, doing right by others and not judging," Beyonce said. B was then asked what she would do if she had a gay child. She said, "(I'd say) I love him for the person he is with no expectations back." That-a girl B…with answers like that you’re sure to be a star for years to come.

Here’s What You Need to Do With My Body
Former President Jimmy Carter, now 82, said he’d like to be buried in Plains, Georgia – the town where he and his wife of over 60-years – were born. During the three-hour interview on CSPAN-2 on Sunday, Carter went on to say that he wishes his body to be viewed in Washington and a brief stop in Atlanta. As a president, Carter is entitled to be buried at Arlington National Cemetery. More important, the question remains what prompted his detailed wishes at this time.

Honey, I Intoxicated the Kid
A 2-month old baby girl and her mom were dropped off at Memorial Hospital in Colorado Springs, Colorado early Sunday morning and the baby girl was legally drunk. With an alcohol level of 0.364 – 4 times the legal limit for drivers in that state – the investigation continues as to how the infant ingested the alcohol and what long term effects she will suffer from the alcohol poisoning. Presently the police are hunting down the boyfriend of the mom who is said to live out of his car.

On Blast
We all have deep-seated beliefs, values and biases that we either are taught as children or have hammered into us by life experiences. However, there are moments of enlightenment when we come across someone who helps us see how we were either wrong or simply needed to change our thinking. Who has crossed your path that has changed your belief system, values or exposed your bias, making you see the light? What was their approach? Did you ever think back to how ridiculous your thinking was prior to meeting them?

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Weekend Edition 12/2/06...Desilusioname; Disillusion me

Olga Tanon is a Puerto Rican singer that has been around for quite some time. Her style, voice and depth are endless. On my recent trip to Puerto Rico I revisited Olga and caught her on a program singing her new song, "Desilusioname." The song basically tells the story of someone asking that the person they're in love with finally disillusions them into falling out of love, changing their love to hate so that they can get over them. I sat glued to the set until the song ended and when I turned to look at my mom, we both had tears in our eyes. Turns out we're both lyric struck...

On Blast
Have you encountered a love that you just couldn't get over where you almost wished they would do something to disillusion you and make you snap out of it?

Keep passin' the open Windows...

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Morning Edition - 11/29/06

Honey, I’m Home!
Eleven days in Puerto Rico can help even the most pessimistic, burnt-out man see the world through different eyes. My vacation was an enormous success. I was able to unwind, relax and reconnect. My parents are doing well – thank God – and the family is as vicious, dysfunctional and fun as ever. My family reunion was a hoot and short of catching a case, we’ve agreed that I shouldn’t attempt to have a sense of humor after eight Coquitos. As I boarded my flight in San Juan yesterday, I had tears in my eyes. Luckily my Jackie-O shades shielded the predators from my prey behavior. I am refreshed, revitalized and ready to take on a few more months of work before my next excursion. It’s also incredible to realize how small and confined the world is when you don’t have an “outside” to look in from. When you step away from your life – even for as little as two weeks - you recognize that there are more important things in life than the 9-5 and those hateful “hookahs” who have been stressin’ you out. Special thank-you to Juanita H. for caring for Busta, to Caspar for trying, to my bruh-in-law for holdin’ it down with my mail and to all of you who kept in touch throughout my trip.

Hollerin’ at Herbie
Late last year, while hanging out in New York’s west village, I met an incredible Puerto Rican guy that was funny, smart and had the biggest heart I had come across in quite some time. Yesterday that guy – Herbie – celebrated another birthday. Herbie, the truth is that the blessing is all mine. Here’s to having you around for many more. You’ve been a true and loyal friend and I love you much pa!

How Do You Not See the Problem?
U.S. District Judge, James Robertson, ordered the U.S. Treasury Department to work on ways to make paper money (bills) recognizable to the blind. As it stands, the U.S. is one of the only countries that prints paper money that does not have a distinguishing size, raised ink or foil to tell the denominations apart. Although Robertson said he would not tell the Treasury folks how to fix the problem, he charged them with finding a fix.

On Blast
If you could live and be successful in any city in the world, what city would you live in? Why?

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Friday, November 17, 2006

Morning Edition - 11/17/06

I Wanna Be Loved...

I’m Off To See the Wizard
Later this morning, I will have my legs in the air. My flight departs out of New York at 7 a.m. and barring any mechanical failure, it is due to arrive in Puerto Rico before noon. This is my most needed vacation in some time and I’m really looking forward to unwinding. When I say, “I’m off to see the wizard,” I really mean it folks. I need a renewed heart to deal with newfound love interests; regeneration of my fried brain to come up with some creative ideas; courage to overcome the obstacles to my professional and social development; and the wherewithal to still find my way back home. I’m still debating whether I’ll be taking my lap top, but I certainly will be taking my digital camera – so the journey will be documented and shared with my blog family. If I take my lap top I will attempt to have several postings while on vacation. Otherwise, I’ll be back on Wednesday, November 29th.

Dreamgirls and Boys For That Matter
And I am telling you, they’re not going… to screw this one up, that is. Reporters attending Wednesday night’s first full screening of Dreamgirls raved, gushed and praised the onscreen performances of Jennifer Hudson (as Effie White – originally played by Jennifer Holliday) and Eddie Murphy (as James Earley). Short of mentioning that the cast of Dreamgirls had rediscovered the wheel or have a new recipe for white bread, the word is that Dreamgirls is a worthy Oscar contender – “Bar none!” You may recall that Jennifer Hudson lost to Fantasia Barino on American Idol. It now appears Hudson will easily overshadow Barino as a mega-watt success. Ironically, Barino auditioned for the part of Effie and did not get the role.

On Blast
As much as we try to come away from it, religion appears to be a huge “uniter” or divider of the masses. To make matters more complicated, many folks appear to think that some sins are worse (or in some way, more punishable) than others. Do you believe that all sin is equal in the eyes of your God or higher power OR do you feel that some sins (by virtue of their severity) are assigned greater punishment? Is sin just sin? What sin(s), if any, should we focus more closely on?

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Monday, November 13, 2006

Morning Edition - 11/13/06

Any Love... Everybody needs a love no doubt...

Suddenly out of the clear blue skies...

On Blast
It's not always who you think it will be... it doesn't always fit the picture you had in mind. Can attraction bring about intimacy when the core sexual preferences are not a definitive match? Can "like" partners (both tops or bottoms) make a relationship work?

Keep passin' the open windows...

Saturday, November 11, 2006

There's a Stranger...

I guess the scarier question would be, "Is the stranger me?"


Friday, November 10, 2006

Morning Edition - 11/10/06

Sometimes I just have to say... You don't know me...

Preferences Within Preferences
Your preference to be intimate with the opposite sex makes you straight; with the same sex makes you gay, etc. What most folks don’t talk about is our preferences within our preferences. The characteristics that make people attractive to us and turn us on and the traits that just turn us off, vary. Unfortunately, the preferences are a bit more muddled and hard to define in the gay realm. Gay men are tops (aggressive), bottoms (passive) or versatile (either). To add more flavor to the mix there are those that are versatile bottoms (passive who like to be aggressive every now and again), versatile tops (aggressive who will take a passive role when the moment is right) and degrees of versatility that can affect the frequency of occurrences. All said, the gay man can find himself in quite a confusing position when it comes to meeting and becoming intimate with new partners. Of course, there’s always the “Free and clear plan.” No, this isn’t through Sprint; this is the idea that it’s easier to just reveal your preferences in advance to an intimate setting, thereby alleviating the need to wrestle in the bedroom. Recently, I’ve been slightly misguided into thinking that preferences do not matter and that my finding someone attractive, interesting and fun would be enough to carry the relationship forward. UPDATE: This is untrue. Sexual incompatibility is a deal-breaker and I’m dismayed to find that my preferences matter in my quest for romantic-bliss.

On Blast
Is it superficial or shallow to allow your sexual preferences to interfere with the progression of an otherwise perfect partner or are you keeping it real to drop it early before it gets tense and ugly?

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Morning Edition - 11/8/06

Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner?
Well, even with extreme shyness, you can’t hold back progress in romantic entanglements. My recent plunge (no pun intended) into the dating foray is taking shape and I have to admit that I’m pleasantly surprised. First, on the big youngin’ tip, we’re placing that entire situation on hold… or shall I say, I’m taking that scenario off the table. What it boils down to is simple - I believe we both know where we’re at and we’re going to just hold ground. In the game of war of the wills, I am a resourceful player and can keep myself busy until we can agree to have fun. Contestant number two however, is taking leaps and bounds to make this a really interesting interaction. After two hours of “get to know me” phone conversation Monday night, we spent the day Tuesday in a tennis match of text messages that both titillated and enticed the senses. After a meaningful conversation last night, we agreed that we didn’t want to wait until the weekend to see each other and will be having dinner tonight. What’s even more fun, #2 is allowing me to choose the eatery, timeframe and hopefully, the after dinner locale. Wish me luck, but with the heavy flirtation, I suspect this dinner will be caliente. I’ll keep everyone posted. The moral of the story: Cocoa is back on the 1-and-2.

Mr. Miss
New York City has enacted groundbreaking legislation that would allow transgender individuals to change their gender on their birth certificate if they undergo sexual reassignment surgery or they are taking hormone therapy that alters their gender identity. Previously, only those who underwent gender reassignment surgery could have their birth gender removed (not changed) on their birth certificate. Supporters of the policy say the new law will allow the transgender community to show identification that mirrors their appearance and prevents them from harassment at airports and state office buildings.

On Blast
Following in the Election Day theme – do you believe a party or a candidate get your vote? Do you vote along party lines – Democrat, Republican, etc. or do you look at specific candidates and issues? Do you believe the party makes a difference?

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Monday, November 06, 2006

Morning Edition - 11/6/06

Cat and Mouse; Mouse and Mouse
I’ll be honest, I’m only extroverted and outgoing when it comes to friendly socializing. If there’s an inkling of romantic attraction I clam up and turn into a 12-year old school boy that can’t find the right words. So, it’s no surprise that my recent two romantic interactions have me a bit unnerved. First, there’s this extremely tall glass of water – or shall I say chocolate milk – at the gym that I’ve had my eye on for a few weeks now. We pass each other from the treadmill to the weight circuit training area each day and exchange pleasantries that border on light flirtation. Finally, last week the interaction took a more involved turn and we had more in-depth conversation while leaving the gym. Suffice to say that there is plenty of sexual tension, but it appears we’re both waiting for the other to make the first completely “out” move. Admittedly, he’s making much more overt comments than I am, but he’s still not taking it there. With my adolescent shyness working in overdrive, I’m a wheel stuck in the mud waiting for the first overt advance before turning on the Cocoa full-on sexy. Throughout the weekend my giant-gym-buddy hit me off with several text exchanges, each closing-in on crossing the line, but woefully, he stops short of the mark. On another front, while out on Saturday night I came across an equal height shawty that fell-back quietly in the adjacent crew while at the club. I watched as he gave side glances in my direction ignoring my loud friends and focusing in for a good look at me each time he thought I was watching. Finally, when both our crews were on the dance floor I positioned myself to be right in front on him. A few shakes and the club mix of Killing me Softly later and we were pinned against each other staring into each others eyes with a smile. We danced for hours and made soft comments in each other’s ear whenever it seemed appropriate. At the end of the night I chose to take the bull – or should I say, calf – by the horns and we exchanged numbers. Last night we spoke on the phone and he seems like an interesting guy with a lot to offer. Oddly, I noticed he is very cautious and slow-moving – all attributes that had become alien to me since my return to NYC. He looks like a slow-to-boil date that has long-term in mind. Both guys seem like a refreshing change form the norm, since it doesn’t seem like either one of these brothas wishes to steal second and go straight for third base. Refreshing aside, I’m also aware that when it comes to dating I’m an attention junkie. If I don’t get plenty of it – early on, I’m likely to move on and potentially sabotage a worthwhile situation.

Those Yelling the Loudest
There has been a long standing statement that the person yelling, “Faggot” the loudest is usually the closeted gay man. For Rev. Ted Haggard, minister and former president of the National Association of Evangelicals, who represents 30 million evangelical Christians, the statement proved true. He resigned from his post as president of the national organization admitting charges that he paid an adult male escort for sexual favors. The married pastor is a long-standing opponent of all gay legislation – gay marriage specifically. His wife has vowed to stand by his side and Haggard, in a written statement read in front of his congregation said, “I am a deceiver and a liar. There's a part of my life that is so repulsive and dark that I have been warring against it for all of my adult life.” Turns out he’s still a liar and a deceiver, since his alleged “warring against” includes purchasing gay sex on the slide to avoid just coming out and leading a respectable life.

Eleven Days and Counting
In just 11 days I will be on the beaches of sunny Puerto Rico. I am beyond ready for my two week vacation. While in Puerto Rico I will be researching some options – like living on the tropical paradise. Right now it’s just a notion with no financial backing, but who knows. I’ll leave this one to a higher power to sort-out, but what’s meant to be will be. I’ll keep everyone posted.

On Blast
Fear of rejection will stump even the best of us from pursuing a prospective good catch. What if they tell us to step off or they just don’t feel us the way we’re feeling them? It’s a cat and mouse game and you have to choose if you will be the cat or the mouse. What is your game plan when approaching someone you’re attracted to? Give specific examples.

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Friday, November 03, 2006

Morning Edition - 11/3/06

Maybe If; Just Ignorant
Maybe if the young girl didn’t wear a short skirt, she wouldn’t be raped.

Maybe if blacks would quietly stay in their own neighborhoods and not try to move to primarily white neighborhoods there would be peace and harmony between the races.

Maybe if parents took better care of their kids, pedophiles wouldn’t get their hands on their unsuspecting victims.

Maybe if we outlawed abortions women would practice safe sex.

Maybe if gay men would just act straight, choose to sleep with women and deny who they are for their entire lives, we would cut down on gay bashings.

Maybe gays need to learn that as long as they receive equal rights, they don’t really need to have the “same” rights as their fellow man. I mean, what’s in a name right?

Maybe if gays stuck together – maybe rode in packs – they wouldn’t have to watch their backs from their homophobic oppressors.

Maybe if the gay community realized that the Holy Bible dictates life as we know it and that gays have a special – much hotter and gruesome – place in hell, they’d remarkably wake up and be straight.

Maybe if I keep repeating how I’m open-minded and have plenty of gay friends, no one will notice that I don’t want to get caught up in taking up their cause. I mean you gays are entertaining, but do I really want to deal with these serious issues that are brewing?

Maybe if the civil rights leaders of yesteryear just left well-enough alone things would have changed for the better; Maybe if gays today do the same they just might change for the better too.

Maybe if you look deep inside yourself you’ll realize that some of your core beliefs are ignorant and baseless. Maybe if you look at your past you’ll find that you are where you are because someone took a stand for what they knew to be right. Maybe if it begins to hit home – maybe if it hate crimes happen to you or someone you care about – you’ll begin to care.

Maybe if…

When I came out to my mom (around the age of 14 or 15) she said, “You still have time to change before it’s too late. The gay life is a difficult and unfair life. You will suffer and be hurt and the longer you are gay, the harder it is to return to a normal life.” Today I recognize that she was partially right. The gay life is extremely difficult and gay folks have to be extremely resilient to survive – make that double-strong if you are a person of color and gay. What she was very wrong about was thinking that I had a choice in changing. Gay is not a “lifestyle” it is life for millions of us. Believe me, no one chooses to live life in a constant upstream swim in society. Gay men are damned if they do and damned if they don’t. If we hide our life from others, we’re on the down-low and if we come out, we’re asked why we can’t conform to the norm. Today, I don’t expect acceptance and I can care less if you’re comfortable with who I am. What is important to me is that I am given the respect, justice, rights and quality of life afforded my fellow man.

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Morning Edition 11/2/06

Do You Get It?
A young black man is chased out into traffic before being beaten, his jaw fractured, his life changed. Another young man is chopped to pieces by his attacker, his body parts placed in plastic trash bags and spread throughout the NYC transit system. The stories are many. More disturbing, the stories are recent. They read like a 1950s and 60s newspaper. They sound like the victims of race mongers of yesteryear, but they aren’t. They are the stories of gay men attacked by predators that are incensed and blinded by a trait these men cannot change. Like the complexion and race of their predecessors, they are hated for an aspect of themselves that is as much a part of them as the color of their skin or their eye color. I realize my blog family is primarily straight. It is to you that I bring the problem because it is those in your circles who are the perpetrators of these atrocities. Like a silent attendee at a Ku Klux Klan meeting, you are aware that the plan is to exterminate those different than those sitting with you. You can continue to sit quietly, hear the plan and do nothing; safe in the belief that if you’re not striking the blow, you’re not really guilty of anything. I’m here to tell you that you are. Each time that you are party to a conversation that degrades someone for being gay or pokes fun at a lifestyle your compadres don’t understand, you’re cosigning the violence. If you had your druthers what would you say to that person who, back in the 1960s, sat-in on a conversation that included, “Niggers are just dirty and need to know their place.” Would you say, “Hey, as long as you’re not using the “N” word then you’re cool in my book”? Would you accept their excuses that they love black folks and understand that it was just the way things are, so there is nothing they could do? I suspect you wouldn’t. I believe you look back on footage of the disasters of the civil rights movement and can break a comforting smile at those white individuals that stood shoulder to shoulder with the black marchers. It’s your turn. Will you join the fight against injustice, violence and intolerance or will you be a silent witness believing that your apathy renders you innocent of the crimes against your fellow man?

Recharge, Rethink, Renew
The last couple of months have been trying ones. With the end of the summer and the cool weather making a quick sweep through the Apple, my mood has changed into a somber one and my ability to overlook the little annoying daily idiosyncrasies of life are fast becoming unbearable. I visualize myself kicking the old woman standing on the left-hand side of the escalator (intended for folks who want to actually keep moving) in the center of her back – it’s like that. Thankfully, I’ve scheduled a long vacation with the folks and am set to take-off in just two weeks. Eleven days in Puerto Rico should serve to recharge my batteries, rethink my future and renew my down-trodden spirits. I’ve even managed to schedule a date on the island even before I arrive; how’s that for resourceful – or as my buddy VD in DC would quip… “Hookah!” Now, the battle is in counting down the days until my departure. I’m breathing deep and trying my best to see the sun through the clouds.

Thug Passion; Relax and Enjoy
In 1996 Tupac Shakur came up with a song titled Thug Passion. At about the same time he also discovered a drink by the same name that combines Alize and Champagne. The drink is dry and fruity and feels light on the stomach – important when you’re out and trying to have those abs look flat as a board. Note: More than 4 of these babies in less than two hours will have your head spinning and your toes tingling; you may also need a pain killer the next morning.

On Blast
Some people are disturbed to have the black civil rights movement of the 1960s in any way compared with the current gay rights movement of today. Both minority groups suffer(ed) violence, discrimination and the perception of their oppressors that they should just accept their less-than-equal rights in society. Do you believe the two movements share the same inequalities and issues OR do you believe the gay movement disrespects the black civil rights movement by making the comparison?

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Monday, October 30, 2006

I'll Cover You...

I'll Cover You

While driving with a friend this weekend he asked if he could sing me a song. When he was was done and asked what I thought I could only shake my head and blink hard to still see the road...I raced home to find the most similar versison...

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Morning Edition - 10/26/06

REMINDER: Tomorrow night 5:30 p.m. - Until
Place: LQs; Between 47th and 48th Street and Lexington Avenue
Ladies: Free with flyer
Men: $5 with flyer
Cocktails: 2-for-1 until 7 p.m.
Complimentary buffet until 6:30 p.m.

Arrange to have the sitter keep the kids, let the significant other know you’re letting your hair down and join us at LQs (Latin Quarters) as we bid Evelyn Maldonado farewell and celebrate friendship. So whether you’ve known and loved Evelyn for years or can just use partying with a group of festive and laid-back folks, tomorrow is the night to get your let-loose on! R&B, Salsa, Pop, Reggaton, Reggae and Merengue abound – but you don’t have to be a Dancing With the Stars superstar to cut the rug. Celebrate success, live life and step out of the ordinary tomorrow night!!

New Jersey Shows Some Sense; Old School Sounds Crazy
In a vote of 4-3 the Supreme Court of New Jersey says that gay couples are entitled to the same rights as heterosexual couples. The justices gave lawmakers 180 days to rewrite the law. Now, the Garden State will decide if they will institute marriage or civil unions in the state. Presently, only Massachusetts allows gay marriage, while Connecticut and Vermont have civil unions for gay couples in place. Just as I was in the middle of reading the news reports and inwardly smiling to myself, I received a call from my mom – the first lady of a Pentecostal congregation and wife of my dad, a proud minister. I quickly mentioned the ruling and asked if she’d heard about it. Without missing a beat, she said, the issue will always be a hot-button one since gays are swimming upstream and trying to go against the norm. My joy fell to complete disappointment that a woman I admire so much and love wholeheartedly could be so ignorant on an issue. She had colorful analogies on how there are pros and cons to every situation – though she couldn’t really establish what the cons to gay marriage are. The conversation ended with a quiet moment, mainly because I was baffled at how ignorance and misinformation can prevail even in the most informed and open-minded folks. Comedian Wanda Sykes said it best, “Gay marriage is not a threat to conventional marriage; divorce is.” If you’re straight, I don’t see how the issue of gay marriage affects you. To the religious right: Rather than oppose gay marriage you might want to consider instituting laws that prevent straight folks who marry, from divorcing their partners. This will certainly protect that “sanctity” of marriage.

On Blast
I’m genuinely curious. I’ve been gay for as long as I can remember and openly gay for over 22 years. Why do you (as a straight person) feel that granting gay couples equal rights to heterosexual couples threatens your way of life? Why is there such an interest in what gay couples do in their intimate life? How would you feel (as a straight person) if we were discussing whether you and your loved one are entitled to the same rights as other couples?

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Once Again; John and I alone

There are artist who don't have the octaves or range, but deliver a grit that captures your soul. John Legend's new CD delivers. I felt like I was sitting in front of him and he was singing just to me... stolen moments... alone. Hmmm... maybe I need to get out...
Worth the buy, but for the cheapskates, hit Target, Bestbuy or Virgin this week and pick it up for $9.99.

I have a new man on rotation.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

I Need You Now

I mean what else can I say? Rather than leave you without a post today, I thought I'd share what I've been listening on serious repeat on my player the last couple of days. It summarizes my mood...enough said.

Oh...before I forget, I'm headed out to get John Legend's new CD today...maybe I can change the song on my player tomorrow? :)

Saturday, October 21, 2006

You Are My Friend... Say It Today

Each time I hear this song I'm reminded...taken back... hope it does a little something for you as well.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Morning Edition - 10/17/06

My Ride or Die is Taking a Ride
A little over a year ago I met one of those people who I knew would be one of my friends for life. She is together professionally, keeps it “street” real and can drink a grown man under the table. When it comes down to it, she has my back – both in my face and when I’m not around. It wasn’t long before she proved that her loyalty, respect and love would be the cornerstone of our inseparable friendship. In January, she and I began working out together and our daily lunchtime sports club regimen yielded great results – our summer bodies were hot. Now, after a quick job search, my ride or die friend has found a wonderful position at one of our competitors. Whatever will I do without her around on a daily basis? Congratulations to Evelyn Maldonado… my ride or die friend who’s taking that wonderful ride to an incredible new opportunity. I’m so very proud! Before she screeches away into the sunset, join us as we give Evelyn an official sendoff…

Date: Friday, October 27, 2006
Time: 5:30 p.m. – until
Place: LQs; Between 47th and 48th Street and Lexington Avenue
Ladies: Free with flyer
Men: $5 with flyer
Cocktails: 2-for-1 until 7 p.m.

A Family Reunion
It’s become a sick and elaborate prediction game of sorts…. Who will die following this family reunion? It seems that each year in the days following our family reunion one of our family members kicks the bucket. In 2000 after a gathering of my mom and her 14 siblings, a neighbor raced to my car to tell me that my aunt had passed. When I inquired which one, she mentioned, the one that was here at the family reunion last night. It turns out that 11 sisters and 4 brothers had attended the reunion and there was no way of knowing which direction to go in. The year after that, another aunt passed away. One year later and we lost a cousin. And so on and so on… It has now become a wager of sorts. My cousins and I call each other in the days before meeting in Puerto Rico for our reunion and decide who we’ve determined will be making their departure this year. We all pray that no one mentions our name in the raffle of death and tally our votes before gathering at the reunion location. This year there’s a tie between aunt Hena and aunt Catana. I’ll hold my vote until I land in Puerto Rico…lest I have a bumpy ride. This year’s reunion takes place Sunday, November 26. I will be in Puerto Rico November 17 through November 28. Keep me in your prayers.

I Want To Be Alone
Maybe it’s fall personified... Just as the leaves are turning and will soon fall from the trees, so are my “friends” falling off my life branches. Whether I can attribute the “dropping” to a heightened sensitivity or my recent intolerance for bullshit, I have been slowly, but surely, releasing my bonds with some of my running buddies. It started with feeling I was being taken for granted – it’s a free ride Boo, not a chauffeur service. Then it was the realization that I don’t like you. Yes, there comes a time when you have to admit that some of the folks you run with don’t have the same values that you do. Finally, it was the feeling that maybe I just need to hang on my own for a while and reconnect with me. I am a different person when I hang out alone. I’m much more introverted, mysterious and yes, even uninhibited. So maybe it’s just a break or I’m just hitting the proverbial “shuffle” button on my ace-boon-coon iPod, but for now, it’s all about me.

On Blast
We all have the “friend” that gets under our skin. They’re cool overall and we have a good time most of the time, but they do this one “thing” that gets on your very last nerve. Who is that friend and what is it that they do that makes you really dislike them at that moment?

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Friday, October 13, 2006

Morning Edition - 10/13/06

Because You Loved Me
Written by Diane Warren / Performed by Celine Dion

For all those times you stood by me
For all the truth that you made me see
For all the joy you brought to my life
For all the wrong that you made right
For every dream you made come true
For all the love I found in you

I´ll be forever thankful baby
You´re the one who held me up
Never let me fall
You´re the one who saw me through it all

You were my strength when I was weak
You were my voice when I couldn´t speak
You were my eyes when I couldn´t see
You saw the best there was in me
Lifted me up when I couldn´t reach
You gave me faith ´coz you believed

I´m everything I am
Because you loved me

You gave me wings and made me fly
You touched my hand I could touch the sky
I lost my faith, you gave it back to me
You said no star was out of reach
You stood by me and I stood tall
I had your love I had it all
I´m grateful for each day you gave me
Maybe I don´t know that much
But I know this much is true

You were always there for me
The tender wind that carried me
A light in the dark shining your love into my life

You´ve been my inspiration
Through the lies you were the truth
My world is a better place because of you

I´m everything I am
Because you loved me
I´m everything I am
Because you loved me

On Blast

Sure, we have our own favorite songs and lyrics that bring to mind that special someone. That person is not always your husband, wife or partner, but they certainly fit the above lyrics perfectly. What one person in your life would you sincerely dedicate this song to? Why?

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Morning Edition - 10/12/06

Vicarious Happiness
For the last two years I’ve concentrated on being true to myself, true to others and generally happy. Part of that growth has been built around being truly happy for the people in my life that I care about. What I’ve realized is that although most of my dreams and aspirations have not come to fruition, I’m sincerely enjoying a genuine happiness that comes from the success stories and realized dreams of my friends. Having a good friend land a plum position, an ex finding someone he’s crazy about and a new-found confidant completing an engaging and groundbreaking novel, all have contributed to my enjoying a vicarious happiness. It is the most unselfish feeling I think I’ve felt in my life. So last night I sat myself down and thought it all through. Here I was on the eve of a HUGE speech before my colleagues and the CEO of my firm and the most satisfying and comforting feeling to calm my jitters was my feeling fulfilled by the successes of my friends. Today, as I stand in front of a crowd of folks picking me apart and analyzing my every word, I don’t need to picture the crowd in their underwear, I only need to bask in the afterglow of the achievements of people that are important to me. I’m vicariously happy…and for the first time in my life I feel like the front and center seat is as important as the spotlight.

Fight or Flight?
As late as 2004, the FBI, under the Hate Crimes Statistics Act of 1990, reported that 16% of all hate crimes were motivated by sexual orientation bias. Yet it appears that lately gay bashings have been on the rise. Most recently, Michael Sandy, a 28-year old man from NYC was beaten and struck by a car on a major highway in what authorities believe to be a bias crime. The gay interior designer is believed to have been at the area near the roadway to meet with someone for a sexual tryst. The area has been identified as a meeting place for gay men. The greater issue here is what now? Are we doing enough to stop such attacks? Is it time for gay men to take a stand and reverse the meaning of gay bashing to mean the gay men bashing their predators? One of the final episodes in the LOGO channel Noah’s Arc series highlighted an incidence of gay bashing and showed one of the protagonists, Wade, returning to the attackers and inflicting an equal physical assault. We’re still men. We still have heart. Do we adopt the principles of Martin Luther King, Jr. to incite change through non-violence or do we begin to prove that we are formidable opponents in the war on gay bashing?

On Blast
What course of action would you take if faced with the nightmare of being physically assaulted for your race or sexual orientation? Will you trust our legal system to delve-out the appropriate punishment to your attackers or will you take matters into your own hands in self-defense?

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Morning Edition - 10/10/06

Long Weekend; Adverse Effects
There’s never a time when I complain about a three-day weekend. With companies changing holiday policies, it was a pleasant surprise that mine still honored Columbus Day. I left the office on Friday evening thinking I was so excited about the opportunity to chill, clean my crib and reconnect with friends. Friday night was thankfully uneventful and Saturday proved to be a sleep-through-the-day kind-of experience. The problem with sleeping all day is that it throws off your body clock and sets you in a completely different mood. By the time I met my friends Saturday night I had a good buzz and a biting, confident aura about me that had even the most playa-playa brothas stuttering to keep up with my biting wit. I have to admit, I was beginning to frighten myself. So I took to the dance floor and sweated out my “tude” before joining my PR-pal Herbie for an early morning breakfast. Sunday was another day of the same… sleep, sleep, rise and primp for another night out on the town. By 6 a.m. I was sauntering back in the house to hit the sack again. Monday rolled around and I spent the bulk of my morning and early afternoon on a catch-up phone conversation with my bud Sean who seems to make me feel better even when the prospect of overdosing on Allegra D and Percocet seems appealing. So it’s back to the work-week and the feeling that maybe I would’ve felt a lot better if I had kept to my regular sleep schedule and didn’t give myself those two days off from the gym. Ugh…it’s times like these that I’m really not a good person… to others or myself. ::::and back to that warm fuzzy place:::::

Activate Shields!
So let me see if I can simply (or over simply) this issue for you. You’ve decided to build a fence around your property to keep your neighbors kids out. As it happens, your neighbors have no control over their children who continually trample into your property and force you to incur costs to replace and rebuild different areas of your property. To reality… Mexico’s Foreign Secretary Luis Ernesto Derbez told reporters in Paris that the U.S. should not build a new 700-mile fence between the U.S. and Mexico. He mentioned that he was considering approaching the international community at the UN to address the issue. “What should be constructed is a bridge in relations between the two countries,” Derbez said. The U.S. Senate already approved the plans to build the fence last month and President Bush said he will sign it into law.

Please Read Our Return Policy
Helen Briggs, a long-time foster mom and adoptive parent in Virginia, is fighting the state to allow her to relinquish her adoption of her 15-year old son. Briggs says she adopted the boy when he was nine years old, but was never told that he had been in five foster homes since he was 16-months old or that he was physically abused by his biological parents. Briggs says all that she was told was that the boy was hyperactive. Now, the teen has sexually abused a 6-year old boy and a 2-year old girl. He is classified as a sexual predator and Briggs cannot take-in other children or allow her grandchildren to visit her home. Some lawmakers say that Briggs is just upset that she is required to pay child support while the 15-year old is again in foster care, but those close to the case say that Briggs has a proven track record of giving to foster children and that she would never have endangered the children in her home if she had been told of the young man’s past.

On Blast
Should Helen Briggs be allowed to “unadopt” her 15-year old son? If so, does this set a precedent that would allow parents (biological or adoptive) to relinquish all rights (and responsibilities) for their children if said kids are deemed a danger to the other children in their household? Is Briggs (like any other parent) forced to play the cards she was dealt?

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Friday, October 06, 2006

Morning Edition - 10/6/06

Love Me Still
Artist: Chaka Khan

Here is my hand for you to hold
Here's the part of me they have not sold
I've wandered far, I've had my fill
I need you now, do you love me still

Only you have seen the hidden part of me
Call me foolhardy if you will
But I loved you when, do you love me still

So many smiles and lies surround me
Empty expectations, faceless fears
Sometimes this life is a bitter pill
I love you now, do you love me still

You have been mine since time untold
Our love is immortal, don't you know
Others will come, and they will go
But I loved you young, I love you old

Only you have seen, the other side of me
Call me naive, I think you will
But I loved you then, do you love me still

Here are the eyes that only see you
Here is the mouth that only calls your name
Here is the soul that can not kill
I love you now, do you love me still

On Blast
Last night while riding the train home from work I had Chaka Khan’s Love Me Still (above) on repeat on my media player. The song has always held a special place in my heart, since I’m a big lyric man and the song has such simple, yet deep lyrics. The song speaks to my idea of what love means to me; loving someone young, old, through it all, really. If you’ve never heard this song, shame on you… listen to it today. Google the darn thing!

What song strikes a chord for you and puts your idea of love to music?

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Morning Edition - 10/5/06

Noah's Arc Season Finale; Recap

It would appear that Patrik Ian Polk, creator, writer and director of Noah’s Arc is hell-bent on “feminizing” most of his characters. Last night’s season finale was no exception. In the opening scenes, we’re treated to Quincy, Noah’s new sometime love interest preparing for a ball (a gay-centric fashion show/category variety show). Noah is teaching Quincy how to walk the runway and in doing so, Quincy is told to “Omi” his walk – short for turn-it-out like supermodel Naomi Campbell. Why?! Here is this six foot plus hunk of a man attempting to awkwardly sashay for the delight of fem-queen Noah. Fast forward to the main issue at hand; the drama-filled storyline of Wade and Noah. Hopelessly in love, but caught in the quandary of “Do I love you enough to overcome the pain of your betrayal?” or more importantly, “Could I ever trust you?” The question comes to a head – and for those that didn’t watch, I’ll play nice and hold back retelling the juicy tidbits. Suffice to say that there is an obvious disconnect between character’s personality traits and how Polk has them handle situations. Initially, I noticed this problem with Alex – drama-mama character with the fast-forward mouth and no nonsense demeanor who ended up being punked and diminished by former schemer and attempted-man-stealer, Guy. The finale highlights this same disconnect. Dre is not true to his personality when confronted with betrayal and we’re treated to a somewhat predictable ending. Notes for next season: Don’t kill-off Dre; doing so will cement the wedge between Noah and Wade and prove that Wade is no better than Noah at doing what is right. Enough with the Junito and Ricky open relationship. Let Junito be gone. Ricky can’t appreciate being loved and it’s making my stomach hurt just watching the ridiculous back-and-forth between these two. As for Trey and Alex – get your relationship heated up again before you bring a child into it. Didn’t we just get rid of one, very upsetting, dependent? Resident partners Eddie and Chance – finally a partnership that appears to thrive. Let’s make it hot and send in Kenya’s mom…maybe someone wants their parental rights back?

Foley Faux-Pas…Why the Gay Issue?
Mark Foley through a representative announced he is gay and had been molested while serving as an altar boy when he was a young boy. My question to the former Republican congressman is “What the heck does this have to do with him sending inappropriate instant messages and e-mail messages to teenage pages? In Foley’s defense, the underage young men in question were not children. Though this case is being portrayed as one involving pedophilia, the truth is the boys are at or above the legal age of consent in Washington, DC (16). That said, the story has gone from being a story of an inappropriate, hypocritical freak caught misusing resources, to this-probably-happened-because-he’s-a-repressed-gay-man. As a gay man, I’m outraged. Let us not forget that statistically speaking, 71% of pedophiles are heterosexual men. To be clear, pedophiles have sex with children, while gay men have sex with men. For the Republicans to allow the subject to now revolve around Foley’s homosexuality is absurd. Would this be a more or less heinous incident and embarrassing situation if Foley were straight? Let’s keep to the real issue at hand. Republicans knew that Foley was alleged to be engaging in inappropriate conduct with young pages years ago and did nothing – not even remove him from his position as head of a subcommittee for missing and exploited children. The issue is simple, Foley and those that were in the know and did nothing about this abuse of power and government resources need to be shoved as far from our elected posts as public servants and the cock-and-bull smoke screen of homosexuality as a front burner issue needs to be squashed. Keep it real.

On Blast
We recently tackled the love and pride issue, but there is yet another issue affecting love that this season of Noah’s Arc hinged on…love and trust. Do love and trust work hand-in-hand or is love able to flourish within a relationship without trust? One friend stated to me that without trust his relationship would dissolve among the worry of what his partner was doing when out of his sight, while other friends have mentioned that they have simply adjusted to a relationship that turns a blind eye to trust in the hopes of maintaining the love of their lives as their partners. What is your take? Does love require trust to survive within the confines of a relationship?

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Morning Edition - 10/3/06

Love Is Stronger Than Pride
By Sade

I won't pretend that I intend to stop living
I won't pretend I'm good at forgiving
But I can't hate you
Although I have tried

I still really really love you
Love is stronger than pride
I still really really love you

I won't pretend that I intend to stop living
I won't pretend I'm good at forgiving
But I can't hate you
Although I have tried

I still really really love you
Love is stronger than pride
I still really really love you
Mm mm mm mm mm

Sitting here wasting my time
Would be like
Waiting for the sun to rise

It's all too clear things come and go
Sitting here waiting for you
Would be like waiting for winter

It's gonna be cold
There may even
Be snow

I still really really love you
Love is stronger than pride
I still really really love you
Love is stronger
I still really really love you
Love is stronger than pride

Living Your Truth
I was watching Oprah last night – yes, I watch Oprah sometimes – and the show involved individuals (and couples) who had accepted that they were gay and decided to be true to themselves and “live their truth.” It would appear that this show would have nothing to do with me since I’ve known I was gay virtually all my life and have been comfortable with me – always. So what line from the program captured my attention and had tears streaming down my face? It was a simple line… it always is. The line was, “Live your truth because life is too short.” The amazing thing is that I struggle to know (at 37!) what my truth is. Physically, I’m comfortable in my skin since I took control of maintaining a fit physique, but my inners are a flabby mess. I’m not connecting emotionally with my peers and I’m feeling an awkward sense of disconnect with my romantic partners. Today, I have to agree to face my fears, stop being a control freak and live my truth.

On Blast
We’ve all been there before….you come to a crossroad in your life when you have to decide. Is love really stronger than pride? Can you overcome some of those relationship woes, pitfalls and indiscretions to have love survive or does your pride prevent you from accepting what is? Is love really stronger than pride?

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Friday, September 29, 2006

Morning Edition - 9/29/06

We are through with the past, but the past is not through with us.

On Blast
What does the above statement mean to you?

Keep passin' the open windows...

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Morning Edition - 9/27/06

By Cocoa Rican

I thought it through and maybe I wasn’t born at the right time.
Life gets rough and I’m beginning to think that maybe I was born to the wrong parents.
I’m lacking forward momentum and right about now it seems that maybe I don’t have the gumption to succeed.
Since karma has a way of knocking us back on our asses maybe my failed relationships were just my indiscretions reciprocated.
The sex I had the other night seemed pointless and without passion; maybe I need to save my soul-sharing for someone who means something.
After carefully exploring long term relationships I’m convinced that maybe the participants are making serious compromises.
If I give more of myself to my friends, maybe I’ll be left feeling used and unappreciated.
If I were to die today maybe I’d be remembered by someone who never revealed how they felt about me.
Is the true meaning of life that we leave an indelible mark on the world or maybe life is just intended to be shared with people of substance without regard to my contributions?
If love expects nothing in return maybe it ends up empty-handed and more importantly, empty-hearted in an unrequited state.
Maybe everything that means anything to me now is temporary.
Maybe my wish for complete happiness is in this moment.
Maybe I’ve arrived and everyone has already left.
Maybe, just maybe, the failure to connect is in the word.

On Blast
Words. They can cut deeper than a knife and be remembered long after the sounds are uttered. Words have the power to heal, hurt and inspire. Words can chase someone away or they can make someone never think of leaving. More powerful than a charging elephant, louder than a clap of thunder, softer than a rose petal – words. What word do you feel diminishes you and drains your inner strength? Conversely, what word defines your inner being?

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Morning Edition - 9/26/06

Diversity; Fact and Fiction
Over 41% of the state and federal inmate population is African American males, while only 4% of the population of institutions of higher learning is African American males. Obstacles ranging from poor public education, high drop-out rates, lack of male role models and low aspirations have been sited as the reasons behind the numbers, but there are those African American males that do struggle to get higher education degrees and are finding it harder and harder to break the glass ceiling and hold key corporate positions. Some attribute the disparity in promotion opportunities to lack of preparation and experience, but the fact remains that African Americans must be better than their competitors to move ahead. Rather than feel victimized by the powers-that-be, parents, guardians and mentors of African American youngsters should instill a drive to be prepared and disregard the notion that equality exists in corporate America. It isn’t enough to have a higher education. Youngsters must have a plethora of interests and social skills to help maneuver them into positions that persistently escape the grasp of African American professionals. As unfair as it may appear to be required to be twice as qualified as your competitors to excel, African American youngsters should accept this as a reality of success.

Temporary Neutering? Anal Penetration
The prostate is a gland located adjacent to the anus. Milking the prostate is a process in which the prostate is massaged (during either anal penetration or through external massaging of the perineum) until the seminal fluids in it are expelled. It is considered a prostate orgasm. No genital stimulation is necessary. The prostate is considered a man’s A-Spot (rather than G-spot) meaning Peace Place. Following having his seminal fluids drained a man experiences a peaceful sense of relief and does not experience genital stimulation or erection – it is a temporary neutering of sorts. Not every instance of anal penetration will produce a prostate orgasm and the need for genital stimulation is not replaced by this orgasm. This procedure is also done in a medical setting to relieve chronic prostatitis. There is no permanent damage to the prostate gland during prostate orgasms and the feeling of sexual resolution (climax) is not experienced.

J-Timb; B-Day; Coming Home
Brining Sexy Back has its benefits. Justin Timberlake is celebrating holding the number one spot on both the top 100 and top 200 Billboard charts. His Future Sex / Love Sounds CD has been on the charts for one week. My girl, Beyonce Knowles (B) has her claws in the number 3 spot with B-Day. Her CD has also been on the charts for one week. Most surprising is Lionel Richie’s Coming Home – brand new to the scene – and already holding the number 6 spot. Who knew?

On Blast
Most companies have plans in place to encourage a diverse workforce. Do you still believe that racism and prejudice affect hiring and promotions in corporate America? Have you ever experienced an incidence of discrimination in the workplace? What, if anything, did you do about it?

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Friday, September 22, 2006

Morning Edition - 9/22/06

On Blast
Whether it’s heights, relationships, intimacy or success, we all have something we fear. Unfortunately, we are the only person who can help overcome our own fears and many times we are the very person standing in the way of progress. Personally, my fears hold me in a thankless career pattern that frustrates me to the point of making me physically ill. Luckily, responsibility helps me overcome the paralysis of self-sabotage and I find myself skipping-along down the road of complacency. So, let’s see if you can keep it real. What’s your greatest fear? What do you do to keep this fear concealed? How do you feel this fear has impeded you realizing your full potential?

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Morning Edition - 9/20/06

I’m Not Gay; I Just Sleep With Men
A survey done by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene found that 70% of the men who mentioned having sex with other men, were married. Another study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine showed that 10% of the New York men surveyed said that they were heterosexual, but had sex with at least one man in the previous year. These two studies highlight the need to identify risky behaviors rather than targeting those that self-identify as gay. Although it is 2006, being gay still has social stigmas that encourage some men to refuse to accept their homosexuality and instead lead duplicitous lives. The message appears to remain the same – get tested, have safe sex and treat everyone as though they are infected.

Ms. Janet You’re Just Nasty
Janet Jackson was at the center of a serious controversy for her wardrobe malfunction during 2004’s Super Bowl performance. Now, she voluntarily is showing her breasts again for her So Excited video, flirtatiously covering her nipples just before the camera pans to her nude breasts. I defended the 2004 wardrobe malfunction as a mistake she apologized for and felt that MTV’s current ban of Jackson is uncalled for – especially when Justin Timberlake is trying hard to ‘Bring Sexy Back’. Now, the soft-spoken Jackson is thumbing her nose at the establishment and foolishly giving credence that the malfunction was very much an intended publicity stunt. With Timberlake bringing ‘Sexy Back’ I hoped Jackson would hold her boobies back.

Noah’s Arc; Tonight at 10 p.m.
The boys of NA finally got that down-low mess, Guy, out of the way and we can now resume the real storyline – will Noah and Wade finally reunite before season 2 ends? On an interview on the actor who plays Dre, Merwin Modesir, eluded to his character initially playing extra nice with Noah to show he wasn’t intimidated by Wade and Noah’s history, but seeing as though Wade and Noah are always looking at each other longingly, his portrayal of Dre will change into a more protective stance. Look out Noah! Ricky, played by Christian Vincent and Junito, played by Wilson Cruz, are still riding the wings of love. Will Ricky be able to be true now that he’s told Junito he loves him? Then there’s Noah… With his recent romance with Quincy, played by Keith Hamilton – formerly Noah on All My Children – Noah may find love in the arms of someone who thinks the world of him and looks good first thing in the morning! Tune in tonight for all the eye candy, laughs and drama. If you’d like to take a peek at the cast, please check out
We’ll chat about tonight’s episode tomorrow.

On Blast
Admittedly, Janet Jackson is stunning at 40. All nips and tucks aside, Jackson is a musical icon with years of proven success and sex appeal. With the current bevy of beauties on the music circuit (Beyonce, Rihana, Kalis, etc.) is an artist of Janet’s caliber required to resort to the same booty-bearing tactics or can she set a different standard because of her legendary success? Are artist such as Janet, Mariah, Mary J., Madonna and Whitney, still judged by the same standards as current young artists? Would you support a classier, more-refined, Janet?

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Morning Edition - 9/19/06

On Blast
A lesson in friendship….
You’re born into your family, you’re forced to get along with your colleagues, but you choose your friends. Sometimes friendships need to be evaluated to determine if they still serve their purpose. Friendship is camaraderie. Your friends should respect your values, be honest with you when you call on their advice and love you through your faults. There are times when friends grow apart or come to a fork in the road that defines where their friendship will go. It is at these times that some relationships take an odd course and the partnership turns into a power struggle that defies the boundaries of trust, loyalty and respect. When these times occur, we can sometimes confuse true friendship and the overwhelming desire to maintain something that is merely safe in its longevity. In short, friendship is not defined by time or our shared history. Friendship is defined by our ability to share our lives with like souls. Recognize the difference between your acquaintances and your friends. Most importantly, know when the actions of your “friends” speak to the quality of your relationship.

Have you had an instance when the actions of a “friend” have made you call to question your relationship? Did you determine that you wanted to continue this relationship or did you terminate the friendship?

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Friday, September 15, 2006

Morning Edition - 9/15/06

LQs Tonight; You Only Live Once
At 5:30 this evening we will join friends and family at LQs (Latin Quarters) to celebrate the end of summer. Catch-up, network or just let your hair down, but don’t miss out on the opportunity to have an enjoyable evening. Ladies are free and gentlemen pay only $5. Drinks are 2-for-1 until 7 p.m. and there’s even a free buffet until 6:30 p.m. For those of you who are ready to shake a tail feather, LQs features the hottest in R&B, Salsa, Soul, Reggaeton and Freestyle. There’s something for everybody, so don’t miss out on this EOS celebration!!
** LQs; Between 47th and 48th Street and Lexington Avenue; NYC

Power; I Giveth and I Taketh Away
Yesterday I was speaking to a friend that was extremely upset about what the rumor mill was circulating about her. As it turns out someone said she said something to someone….well, you get the picture. To be honest, the solution to this problem is simple. Here are the Cocoa rules for tackling the rumor mill:
1. I am an adult and as such can/will say and do what I please and accept the consequences for the same
2. You know nothing about me except what I tell you to be true. Anything else you surmise is simply your opinion.
3. You’re speaking ill of me in no way impacts my reputation; it is a reflection of your character and your personality.
4. If you talk to me about others chances are you talk to others about me; you’re a loser
5. I proudly hold my head high at all times knowing that I am a respectable person with no one to answer to but myself.

There is no deviating from these five rules. Adults must learn that any power or credence you give to rumors that are being spread about you are only validated by you becoming irate or disheveled. Know this: You have no powers here. In my life, you only have the power I give you.

B-Day #1; Hate If You Will
At 25, Beyonce Knowles has proven that hard work – yes hard work – pays off. Her new album B-Day made its debut at number one on the Billboard’s Top 200 Best Selling list. B may not be the well versed PR dream that other artists are, but she does deliver on what she is talented at – music. We can disagree on the quality of her songs and voice, but Beyonce is a successful artist. It’s time that we stand behind our successful minority artist – especially when that artist is one that isn’t enveloped in some disastrous scandal that overshadows her career. She’s not a drug-addict, her relationship isn’t on the front pages of the Enquirer and she’s admired worldwide. Can we give Beyonce some credit? Realistically speaking we could do worse for role models. Hey, if you prefer controversy and drama there are plenty of artists to support, but I think I’ll file behind someone who is successful at her craft and appears to have a true love for what she does.

On Blast
Heck no, we’re not at third base yet! Each of us has varying degrees of comfort with physical intimacy. While some of us consider deep kissing more intimate than penetration, there are those who feel anal sex is more intimate than oral sex. In the end, what is too intimate to engage in casually varies by person. What do you consider too intimate to engage in during casual sex? Is there anything you just would never engage in regardless of the intimacy between you and your partner? Feel free to use the “Anonymous” button if you feel your answer may expose your inner freak. :)

Keep passin’ the open windows…