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…