Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Morning Edition - 1/31/06

The Fix in 2006
What if this is it? What if you do make it to be 90 years old and realize you never did anything you ever dreamed of doing? What if in your golden years you look back and see that you made all the safe choices, but you never knew what it would’ve been like to make the decisions that could’ve altered the entire course of your life? In 2006 it’s time to dispel the “what ifs” and actually do it. It has been my experience that folks will like or dislike you regardless of the efforts you make to try to appease everyone. So why not make the most important person in the world happy – YOU. My recent decision to get tattooed and pierced spurned everything from amazement to complete distaste, but ultimately, I was so glad and relieved I was again doing what I wanted to do. It isn’t rebellion, it’s refreshing. When I was younger, I made some pretty strange choices, some that made me either extremely popular or an outcast to those around me. What always comforted me was that when I laid my head down each night I knew that I had lived. I did exactly what I set out to do. Later, I began making decisions based on what folks would think of me, what they would say; all in the hopes that more people would find me acceptable. The kicker is, they don’t. The same people that find fault in you as an individual, will find fault in you when you attempt to conform. The entire package of “the fix in 2006” is to not only get the body back in order, but also the mind. Recognizing that the confident creature you are is as much radiating from the inside as it is sparkling on the outside. Admittedly you’ll make some foul-ups and even ruffle the feathers of the conservative crows around you, but when you close your eyes each night think of whether you’ve lived – your way – and if you can honesty say you have, then you’re on track to a better you.

Easy…He’s A Girl
Mongkon Pusuwan was arrested in Singapore for drug trafficking. The alleged drug dealer’s identification – a passport – showed Pusuwan to be male. Normally, any male convicted of dealing drugs in Singapore is caned and can even be put to death, depending on the quantity of drugs discovered on the accused. A medical exam revealed Pusuwan is actually female. The Thai transsexual had a sex change several years before. Now, she is set to serve six years in prison for the conviction. Females are not allowed to be caned for their crimes.

Long Story Short
Evelyn C. turns 39 this Saturday, February 4. The beautiful older sister of yours-truly will spend a quiet evening with long-time beau and baby-daddy David F. An intimate dinner with Freaking? That’s right, this Friday a group of friends will join Annette R. aka Freaking Rican for an intimate dinner at Maroons. Superbowl Party! Every year a pack of over 100 men of color gather to celebrate the event over some drinks and share their testosterone at an upper West Side, NYC venue. The play-by-plays are only one-upped by the hook-ups. I’m there! The cast of Noah’s Arc to visit DC in February for a night at Love, Inc.? I’ve lost the flyer…can somebody update me?!

On Blast
You don’t know me! What was the most shocking discovery you made about a close friend? Did it affect your relationship with them? How did you come upon the discovery?

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Monday, January 30, 2006

Morning Edition - 1/30/06

Poke Me and Leave Your Mark
You only live once… well, that’s what I kept repeating to myself as the tattoo artist put the finishing touches on his work of art. I’d been talking about getting a tattoo and it was that time to put my money where my mouth was. I’m not going to sit here and front, it hurt quite a bit. Luckily, the artist was able to translate my vision on to my body. Now, the tattoo was only part one of what I had been saying I would do this year and I just figured it was best to get everything done at once and endure the healing process at one time. My support brothers – Jay-Jay and Slugger, were there with Bobby on the cell line as I also took on a piercing. Not your average piercing, since I have three in my earlobes already. This one was slightly more in the vein of pain/pleasure. The initial prick made me wince, then cringe and strangely, even my penis jumped twice before the final clasps were secured, but when it was done it was absolutely beautiful. For the record, the piercing is not in my penis...come on now, I haven't completely lost my mind. In the coming months I look forward to unveiling the weight loss with the new additions to my body. I’m really happy with both of them and I suspect some other folks will be too.

Dancing on the Ceiling
Last Friday night the girls went out to La Maganette. Meanwhile, I had my first foray into dating a Puerto Rican man. Yes, ladies and gentleman, it only took close to 22 years for me to finally turn to my side and notice one of my own. So while the girls were on the dance floor shaking their bon-bons, I was in the boogie down making it all Campbells – you know, Mmm…Mmm… good. The date went extremely well and I promised I’d be kind and not reveal any details, but suffice to say that I may have been missing out on quite a bit by making it all Hershey all these years. I’m not exactly a Goya convert just yet, but I’m well on my way to adding more garlic to my diet. :) Carmen C. will be hosting a monthly Friday night dance party at La Maganette beginning in February.

The BBC Gets Some TLC
The last time the NYC Breathe Bitch Conglomerate (BBC) got together was last July. We hit the road and went to DC where we had a beautiful time – thanks again Lady Long Legs. This time we have a special treat planned. After returning from our little ski trip in the mountains this March, we will turn ourselves over to the expert hands of Angelique Perez. After years of letting her fingers do the walking and stroking the stress out of her private clients, Perez is opening her very own massage parlor. The Breathe Bitch Conglomerate will have a light brunch at Perez’ new parlor and take advantage of special BBC rates to have their bodies worked over. The date of the BBC brunch will be announced in February.

On Blast
Dead to the world. There are parts of our bodies we either never really considered had any real sensual value or flat-out didn’t find the right partner to arouse any feeling in or around. What body part has a partner unlocked for you and do you continue to experience THE HEAT there since?

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Friday, January 27, 2006

Morning Edition - 1/27/06

Women, Can They Ever Keep It Real With Each Other?
Let’s keep it real here… men fall victim to the same mentality that has females bad-mouthing and feeling envy toward a better looking, smarter or more accomplished specimen than themselves. Unfortunately, women appear to get the shadier deal and reputation, since they tend to voice this “hatred” when given the opportunity. What is inherently the problem? Do women really feel that self-conscious when confronted with a beautiful and confident counterpart or have they been taught to turn their nose up at each other for the sake of attracting more attention to themselves? Yesterday’s On Blast question was intended to discuss three equally beautiful and hard-working female celebrities and our opinions on who was the more accomplished professional. What appeared to rear its head was a sense that women can appreciate beauty in other females, but they don’t like to feel that beauty in any way challenges who they are. It’s the old adage of “building them up to tear them down” that prevailed. Many of you mentioned how Jennifer Lopez slept her way to the top and is a talented ball-busting “ho”, while Halle Berry is stunning but could use some help in the self-esteem department. There were even comments that portrayed Beyonce as an airhead that can wow the crowds with her looks, but she should keep her pretty little mouth shut. Virtually all these comments came from women; Women who then turned and offered a positive comment following their spew of “hateration.” All said, I’m not judging anyone, I’m curious to know whether women see this pattern in themselves and whether they recognize that men tend to go for the woman who doesn’t appear shaken, stirred or frayed by her competition.

Body Beautiful for 2006
Our Body Beautiful campaign is still underway. Yesterday I got an official weigh-in at the doctor’s office and though it wasn’t the enormous weight loss I initially celebrated, it was definitely a step in the right direction. :::: Drum roll please! ::::: To date, I’ve lost a total of 13 pounds. I’ll admit that the workouts are getting easier on my body, but I’m certainly not in a position to say, “I love working out.” I don’t think that’s going to happen. What I am content about are the results. The plan has been simple. No carbs outside of breakfast. No junkfood – period. Plenty of veggies and proteins and a healthy dose of water. Combined with the strenuous cardio workouts, the pounds are being shed. Admittedly, it is much more difficult now than in my younger years, but summer 2006 cannot catch me with more gut than butt. What’s your success story to date?

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun
Carmen C. and the Cha-Cha Girls will be heading to La Maganette (sp) again tonight. Riding the coat tails of last week’s success, the girls (some with their respective dates) will party it up! Carmen will be making this dance party a monthly thing, so join-in and release some of that weeklong pressure. La Maganette features a tasty complimentary buffet and a great mix of Salsa, R&B – new and old school, Hip-Hop and even some 2-step action. The patrons are mature individuals, so don’t expect a thug to roll-up on you when you’re getting your groove on. I have to bow-out of this month’s party – I have a Tamia issue tonight… “A Stranger in My House.” La Maganette is located at the corner of 50th Street and 3rd Avenue.

On Blast
You’re out for the evening and are approached by a handsome/beautiful stranger. What key words or phrases would help set the tone to have you consider being intimate the first night? What can the stranger say or do to stop you in your tracks? Basically, what do you look for when considering a one-night or first-night stand?

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Morning Edition - 1/26/06

Unpredictable; More Like Unbearable
Jamie Foxx shocked us all when he unleashed his enormous talent on the big screen playing legendary crooner Ray Charles. His Oscar winning performance will be remembered for his outstanding acting, soulful singing voice and ability to convey raw emotion. Unfortunately, last night’s NBC special of Jamie Foxx, Unpredictable did everything to show what happens when the right person is placed on the wrong stage. I, like many of you, received the e-mail alleging NBC was not promoting the special because Foxx insisted on doing the show his way – angering the heads at the network and inciting their snub of the show. The truth looked more like Foxx muscled his way into getting a special and fell straight on his face in the process. Throughout the special there were skits depicting young Jamie growing up with his grandma, but rather than feeling a sense of warmth from his upbringing, you got the sense that granny was cold, unnecessarily stern and guilt imposing. Her side comments, shown as outspoken prayers, pale in comparison to the self-esteem shots she takes at the kid – even sniffing behind him before school and asking if he used soap when he bathed. The saving grace of the show was the line-up of sparsely scattered mega stars joining Foxx onstage. Stevie Wonder, who is the consummate professional and always sounds like his recordings, was backed-up by a disheveled and sometimes off-pitch Foxx. Snoop Dogg, Mary J. Blige, Common and Angie Stone also joined Foxx. Even experienced Blige, who sounds great in all of her live performances of late, looked at Foxx perplexed. The stage was cluttered with Pimps-Up-Hoes-Down-esque dancers who were so uncoordinated and unrehearsed one of the Hookah-look-alikes virtually knocked Foxx’s microphone stand down during one of her hoochy mama kicks. Putting the final nail in the Unpredictable coffin was Foxx’s quirky and Usher-fied wardrobe. He was a cross between Usher and Alicia Keys with Sears footwear. Note to Foxx: Stick to the big screen, take the advice of seasoned network executives and stop wielding the power of the golden statue to get your way. You’re attempt to blow-up your new release Unpredictable was just unbearable.

Farewell to the Twin Within
It’s 2006, time to get like the year – even; with ourselves that is. This year we will vow to:
Accept the truth
· About ourselves
· About others
· About our circumstances
See the glass as half full
· We will remain positive in spite of what comes our way
· We will recognize that it’s never as bad as it seems
· We will count our blessing and recognize that great health, good looks and a fairly comfortable life are nothing to complain about
Release the demons
· It’s not a cliché, you are your worst enemy
· Let go of the anger, sorrow and regrets consuming you. Forgive even the unforgivable. Don’t allow your past to overtake your future.
· Take intelligent risks
· Visualize the person you want to become and focus on becoming him/her
· Be silly, laugh-out-loud, don’t take everything so seriously
· Remember how you want to be seen and work toward putting that person out front

On Blast
Jennifer Lopez is a vision of beauty, strength, determination and success at a time when women of her culture, build and talent were not recognized in Hollywood. Beyonce proved that stunning looks, hard work and an enormous voice could propel you into the hearts and homes of millions. Halle Berry exemplifies a woman who in her late thirties can put women 15 years her junior to shame with her mesmerizing physique and versatile acting chops. Of the three, whom do you believe is the greater success and why?

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Morning Edition - 1/25/06

Please Beat Me Down
High School is that transition period between adolescence and adulthood. We come into ourselves and begin to stand for what we believe in. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) served a victory to a Hasbrouck Heights, New Jersey high school senior yesterday that helps the young man prove his point – well, at least he thought it would. Hasbrouck Heights School officials sent the student home after he disregarded their no shorts between October 1 and April 15 policy. The youngster purchased a skirt and wore it to school to show that the no-shorts policy was discriminatory and was again sent home. It was then that the ACLU stepped-in and brought the matter to school officials. Now, the senior will be allowed to wear skirts (not shorts) to school whenever he pleases.

Maryland, Scary-land for Unsuspecting Girl At Daycare
An eight-year old boy at For Kids We Care, Inc. in Germantown, MD, brought in his dad’s .38 caliber revolver to school and allegedly shot his seven-year old female playmate in the arm. The victim was taken to Washington Hospital Center where doctors say the young lady will be okay. The boy however was arrested – no charges have been announced since he is a minor. His dad, John Linwood Hall Sr., 56, was charged with leaving a firearm in a location accessible by an unsupervised minor, possession of a firearm by a felon and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Hall has been in trouble with the law and has a rap sheet that dates back to the 1960s.

From Living Single to Two Queens, One Castle
TC Carson, Kyle from Living Single, is starring in Two Queens, One Castle a new play about men on the down-low now showing at DC’s MetroStage through March 5. The play – musical, really – was written by singer/actress Jevetta Steele who took portions of her real-life experience to craft the show. Steele was married 12 years when she discovered her husband was on the down-low and was struggling with HIV. Two Queens has R&B, gospel and jazz pieces included in the storyline. For more information call MetroStage at 800-494-8497 (1201 North Royal Street in Alexandria, VA).

On Blast
Oh goodness…please tell me this isn’t happening to me! Well, if you’ve uttered this line or something similar to it while doing the “do” we want to hear about it. Tell us about your most embarrassing moment while doing the do. (For example: I lost my grip and let my partner fall head first off the bed) Be honest and feel free to hit that anonymous button if it’s still just too embarrassing to tell the story with a straight face.

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Morning Edition - 1/24/06

Celebrate Good Times, Come On!
Friday’s festivities at La Maganette were great! The ladies being honored, Annette and Micheline, were beautiful as ever and rearing to prove that adding another year under their belt wasn’t going to prevent them from shaking their groove thing. Carmen C. arranged the party and provided the delicious cake. Thank you Carmen. We danced until the sweat poured down our cracks – was that TMI? Afterward, Carmen C., Krissy and I ventured into the Bronx for a late night breakfast. Krissy, I don’t know why I’m saying this, but I’m sorry if I’ve been hard on you lately. Enough said. Carmen C. – you’re a CLASS act! Again, have a wonderful year Freakin’ and Mich.

The City That Never Sleeps; We Just Die
Eugene Reilly was a mail handler who worked the 4:30 p.m. to 12:30 p.m. shift. Thursday night he boarded the Q train (in NYC) on his way home and died of a heart attack. Problem is, he didn’t fall over. So for the next six hours or so, Reilly rode the train until someone tapped his shoulder at 7:15 a.m. and found he was dead. Transit spokesperson Deirdre Parker says, “The policy is that if someone is sitting up, employees are not allowed to touch them.”

Walking on the Runway
Continental Airlines’ passengers were in for a surprise when Troy Rigby, 28, jumped out of his seat and demanded to be let off the plane as it approached the runway to take off from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida to Newark, New Jersey. After biting a passenger and threatening others on board, the pilot depressurized the plane and Rigby threw open the cabin door jumping down to the runway. There, Rigby resisted arrested before officers used a stun gun to subdue him. He now faces charges of criminal mischief, battery and resisting arrest with violence. Rigby was also held for an outstanding warrant for marijuana possession. The 116 passengers and five crew members were unharmed and the flight was rescheduled for later in the day.

Straight, Bi, Gay? What’s the story?
Brokeback Mountain still has folks talking. Either you’ve seen it and have an opinion or you haven’t seen it and been flooded with everyone else’s take on the film. The controversy now is how the actors who play Jack Twist (Jake Gyllenhall) and Ennis del Mar (Heath Ledger) have been quoted as saying their characters are straight and, if not for their falling in love with each other and forming this bond, would lead otherwise straight lives. Strangely, even Ang Lee (the movie’s director) disagrees. Ultimately, the question comes down to, what defines your sexuality or sexual orientation. Is it the act of who you have sex with or what sex you feel most attracted to? Both Twist and Del Mar have wives and children in the movie, but are repeatedly drawn to each other.

On Blast
As an adult, have you ever felt sexual attraction or a feeling that you were falling in love with someone of the same sex? Do you feel that those feelings define your sexuality? Is there such a thing as STRAIGHT folks engaging in gay sexual intimacy – if only with ONE person - and still being straight?

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Friday, January 20, 2006

Morning Edition - 1/20/06; Party Reminder!

Celebration This Evening; La Maganette
This evening we’re celebrating the birthdays of Annette R. (aka Freaking Rican) and MIcheline T. at La Maganette in midtown Manhattan. Please join us for a complimentary buffet, cocktails and dancing.

Where: La Maganette
Address: 825 Third Avenue (At 50th Street)
Phone: 212-759-5677
Admission: $8 cover
Time: 5:30 p.m.

Hope to see you there!

Keep passin' the open windows...

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Morning Edition - 1/19/06

Idol Ignorance
Now in its fifth season, American Idol aired Tuesday night to much fanfare. Truth be told, I was there front-and-center with a group of friends and we laughed at most of the talent-less kids who ran through the audition process. The laughter quickly turned to smirks, and then angry frown lines when Simon Cowell, the British judge known for his mean streak and esteem-demolishing wit, began an even crueler and bigoted line of verbal lashing on several contestants. What it boiled down to was homophobia at its worst and an obvious disdain for the overweight participants. With a Nielsen audience well in the millions, Cowell gave America the impression that it’s okay – even hysterically funny – to suggest a young man shave and become a woman and that his hope for season five is that the stage is larger to sustain the girth of the new, meatier contestants. At a time when 2/3 of Americans are overweight and homophobia is at an all-time high for such a progressive country, this behavior is intolerable. It is not okay to blurt out comments that are hurtful, bigoted, small-minded and ignorant for the sake of laughs – especially when impressionable teens are watching. As a fan of the show I was at best, disturbed and disappointed that someone didn’t step-in and set Cowell straight.

Memoirs of A Geisha; Love Waits
If you have a soft-spot for love, Memoirs of A Geisha will win you over and leave you teary eyed. Ziyi Zhang is Chiyo, sold to a Geisha house at the age of nine as a servant who is transformed into Sayuri, the most coveted Geisha in Japan. The story takes place in depression-era Japan and shows the cruelty endured by the youngster on her road to the prominent position of becoming a Geisha. It is her childhood encounter with The Chairman, Ken Watanabe that changes the youngster and gives her hope and strength to overcome the many obstacles on her way to stardom. Sayuri vows to lock away her heart for the Chairman and at the end of the film it is revealed whether their love can withstand all things and live on forever. The film is completely in English – no subtitles - and this sometimes leads to cheesy translations. If you’re not into romantic drama, wait for the DVD, but if you could use a film that pulls at the chords of your hopeful heart go ahead and spend the big screen cash.

On Blast
Children are impressionable. What powerful negative impression did an adult make in your life that you feel/felt you needed to overcome? How did that impression change your interaction with your children? What words or comments have you vowed never/always to use when interacting with your own children?

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Morning Edition - 1/18/06

Amazing Progress; Broken Scale
The new gym regimen is on track – well, for the end of week one. Last night I jumped on the scale at the end of my workout and was pleasantly surprised to find that it read approximately 15 less pounds than when I began less than 10 days ago. Yes, I’m aware that this is an enormous and ridiculous amount of weight to lose in one week, but I’m judging this reading like one of those surveys – plus or minus five pounds. In any event, my beginning weight was 177 pounds – save the comments please! My new weight – drum roll please! – 162 pounds! Not to worry, I like you am just as skeptical about the HUGE drop, but I’ll be doing another weigh-in tonight on a different scale to see what the reading is. Yes, I’ll even report that number back to you. All said, I am back to my three mile haul-ass miles in 30 minutes and have greater stamina – this in only one week. Even if the scale is off, the body is showing signs of conforming. For those who have adopted the “Beautiful Body for Summer 2006” program with me, please feel free to share your progress, workout stories and setbacks in the “Comments” area. For those die-hard workout mavens in our blog family, please feel free to jump in and give us tips, advice, etc. as we go along.

The Baby, the Bathwater and Death
Nixzmary Brown, 7, was found dead last Wednesday night. Authorities believe her stepfather Caesar Rodriguez had banged her head against a bathtub faucet causing her death. Prosecutors gave a chilling detail that alleges Rodriguez beat Brown for attempting to take a yogurt from the refrigerator. Brown weighed 36 pounds at the time of her death. What’s most troubling about this alleged case of abuse, neglect and murder is that there were countless signs that preempted Brown’s death. Her mom lived with the child. Teachers, social workers and neighbors allege the child showed signs of malnourishment, black eyes and missed countless school days. The New York State Child Welfare agency had been called in to intervene countless times and even attempted to enter the apartment in Bed-Stuy Brooklyn shortly before the child was reported dead. Now, authorities are asking why the agency charged with the child’s welfare didn’t take steps – like obtaining a warrant to enter the apartment – to save the child’s life. Nixzaliz Santiago, the child’s mother is charged with manslaughter, reckless endangerment and endangering the welfare of a child. Caesar Rodriguez is charged with murder and endangering the welfare of a child. Neither has entered a plea. The City of New York is calling for a full investigation to determine the actions of the Child Welfare Agency.

Reporting from Baghdad
A group calling themselves the Brigades of Vengeance kidnapped American journalist Jill Carroll, a Christian Science Monitor reporter in Iraq since 2003. Their demand is clear – free all female Iraqi prisoners within 72 hours or she dies. To date, 36 reporters have been kidnapped since the start of the war and six have been killed – viciously. The U.S. has a policy of not negotiating with terrorist groups. Carroll is from Michigan.

On Blast
Child abusers – those convicted of sex abuse against minors specifically – presently serve time for their felony convictions and are required to register as sex offenders within their communities. Until recently, after a specified period of time their names could come off this list. Lawmakers are now in the process of changing that law so that sex offenders remain on these registries for life. No other felony conviction requires a person to be placed on a list and carry this “Scarlet letter” for life. Is it fair to have sex offenders be the only convicted felons to be required to register with their communities? Should we require other felons – drug felons, rapists, etc. – to also be put on such a registry? What type of rehabilitation and/or future can society expect for people who feel “marked” for life? Tell it like it is…

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Friday, January 13, 2006

Morning Edition - 1/13/06

13 Can Get You 70
Donna Sue Mars, 42, will be standing trial on January 23 for allegedly raping a 13-year old boy. The incident happened in Bentonville, Arkansas (hee-haw) where the teen alleges Mars rubbed his thigh, and ignored his pleas to stop touching him. Mars then began performing oral sex on the kid until an adult male family member discovered the incident. At approximately 2 a.m., police arrived at the home and found Mars on the floor with the boy’s dad yelling, “She raped my 13-year old son.” Follow-up interviews discovered that Mars is HIV positive. She faces up to 40 years in prison if convicted of rape and another 30 years for exposing the teen to the HIV virus.

Get Medicated
Americans love prescription medications, or so it was seem. A recent study by the National Center for Health statistics showed that about 54% of white women and 43% of white men take prescription medication. Blacks faired slightly better with only 44% of women and 35% of men drugging-it-up. Latinos apparently are less medicated with only 38% of women and 26% of men reporting the use of prescribed meds.

My Favorite Girl
Milagros C. aka La Negra or better known to me as mommy, is turning 62 on Sunday. The witty, sassy, funny and assertive matriarch will be celebrating with her siblings in Puerto Rico. Mom is where many insist I get most of my personality and quite honestly – I’m honored to ever be compared to such a determined, goal-achieving human being. Here’s to praying I have you around for many years to come. I love you ma’!!

Long Story Short
The MLK weekend promises to be a fun one. Bobby, J-Jay, et al. will hang with moi’ this weekend. We’re attempting to regroup, catch-up and really have a kee-kee time. Fish fry on Saturday night – bring the cards and a 40 Slugger! The ski weekend is really shaping up to be a potentially off-da-hook weekend. Many of you have already confirmed your attendance. Celia, Nydia, Kenny… can we hook-up on Tuesday to iron-out the details? Vern, I want the series we talked about… maybe I can just forward some DVDs for you to burn it for me. I don’t mind bootleg. Wink…wink. I received my first season of Queer As Folk last night and began my stroll down memory lane. Can someone say “frog in my throat?” Momma Barnhart celebrates her birthday the 18th. I’m off until Wednesday, January 18, so expect no postings until then.

On Blast
While on a laid-back date on Wednesday, I discovered that sometimes we set many rules or hurdles for folks we interact with to adhere to or overcome. Mainly, I’m older and feel some things need to be right for the date or relationship to go smoothly. What rules/hurdles do you believe are non-negotiable in your present or future relationship(s)? What rules/hurdles do you now have that you believe you should let go of?

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Morning Edition - 1/11/06

Dignity; Save Your Breath and Show Me
Dignity is defined as the quality or state of being worthy, honored or esteemed. I define living with dignity as the quality in someone to prove they live with honor and through their actions, earn the esteem of others. My friend "Clarice" is living with dignity. After discovering that her ex-husband was ill and not being cared-for properly, "Clarice" stepped in to care for him and help him get help. For the record, "Clarice" is in a happy and healthy relationship at present, so watching her story unfold has taught me a valuable lesson in living with dignity. The ability to have your actions show your true worth. Today, I say a tri-fold prayer:
1. Lord, restore her ex-husband to health. May your will bring peace to him.
2. Give strength to "Clarice" and rejuvenate her spirit through this trying time
3. Thank you Lord. Thank you for placing people in my life that live with dignity and through their actions teach me to do the same.

Happy New Year 2007! Now Put That Thing Out!
Washington, DC will join New York and other communities with smoke-bans in night clubs. DC will be smoke-free as early as January 2007. Though opponents of the new legislation allege the smoke ban will keep patrons away, many disagree and say that non-smokers who stayed away from bars and clubs because of the smoke will now make their way back to these establishments. It is estimated that there are twice the number of smokers in the gay community than there is in the straight community. Smokers, grab your coats and get ready to brave the elements.

For Future Reference
A basic discussion with a fellow blogger yesterday proved that many of you may not be familiar with certain terminology and should quickly be brought up to speed on what words mean and how to use them appropriately:
Passive Partner: This is the partner that is on the receiving end (is being penetrated) during a sexual encounter. So to say, "He is primarily passive," would indicate he prefers being penetrated.
Aggressive Partner: This is the partner that is on the giving end (is doing the penetrating) during a sexual encounter. So to say, "He prefers being the aggressive partner," means this person prefers to penetrate his partners.
Versatile: An individual that feels equally comfortable as the passive or aggressive partner.
We'll work on other terms as it becomes necessary.

On Blast
Interracial Relationships…How does a person’s culture affect their interactions in an interracial relationship? In your opinion, what are the pitfalls of interracial relationships? Do interracial relationships say that participants are not comfortable with who they are and their own culture?

Keep passin' the open windows…

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Morning Edition - 1/10/06

Bear Balls
Wildlife researchers in the US, Canada and Europe have discovered that one in 50 female polar bears is born with both male and female parts – hermaphrodite. Scientist believe the phenomenon is occurring as a direct result of household chemicals that through dumping are making their way into the arctic waters and into the bears. It is believed that the polar bear population, now at dangerously low levels, will be non-existent by the end of this century.

Hit-and Hit-and-Hit and Run
Interstate 95, which runs up-and-down the eastern corridor of the country became a ping-pong table of sorts last night when motorist off of Waterloo, Maryland repeatedly struck a body and continued on their way. Cpl. Rob Moroney of the Maryland State Police said authorities were not aware whether the body was that of a pedestrian struck by attempting to cross traffic or if it was dumped there. What is known is that motorist who encountered the body hit the body over-and-over again before an eyewitness came forward to police. Last night over 40 cadets were sent to the roadway to gather evidence – I suspect body parts as well.

An Apple A Day May Make You Fat
Who knew that an apple a day can actually be a deterrent to weight loss and contribute to obesity? Researchers have now found that the high fructose content in fruit, honey and corn-syrup sweeteners trick the body to thinking that it’s hungrier than it actually is. In addition, fruit consumption increases the body’s uric acid levels which blocks the action of insulin – can someone say Type 2 diabetes? At any rate folks, it all appears to be a matter of moderation. If you’re working on whipping that body into shape in the coming months, eat fruit regularly but in moderation. High concentrations of fruit should not replace your chocolates, cakes and candies. Instead, drink plenty of water and suffer. Well, at least that appears to be your best bet to avoiding negative consequences – but then, I’m not a researcher.

Long Story Short
Latoya W. aka “L” (pronounced Elle) is 26 today. The beautiful Toy recently reunited with her life-love Randy and is living in Maryland. All the best to you baby! Freaking Rican and I hit the gym last night and I discovered that I’m in the worst shape EVER! Winded after 25 minutes on the elliptical machine, we proceeded to crunches and chest work that only proved, the mind may be a terrible thing to waste, but the body is a horrible thing to let get out of shape! This Friday is the party for Annette R. and Micheline T. Please be sure to clear your calendars and join us for a cocktail – or two, or three…- and bring in the long weekend with a BANG. Time to revisit that thing… that’s right, I ordered the first season of Queer As Folk yesterday (hey, I’m feeling nostalgic!) and I’m desperately awaiting the announcement of Noah’s Arc first season on DVD.

On Blast
Oral sex is not for everyone. What advice would you offer someone who is uncomfortable either in the “giver” or “receiver” role? What can be done to make the act enjoyable? :::Please give advice with regard to your experience in either the “giver” or “receiver” role:::::

Keep passin' the open windows...

Monday, January 09, 2006

Afternoon Edition - 1/9/06

I Have A Blazing Dream
Derek King, 46, nephew of assassinated civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., allegedly sought mental health counseling following his arrest for starting a blaze in his apartment yesterday. “It could have been a tragedy,” said Bob Bowser, deputy chief of the Lawrence Police Department in Indiana. Arson investigators have already said the fire was intentionally set and King may face charges. King is an associate pastor at the Ebenezer Missionary Baptist Church. “I say it’s totally accidental,” said, Rev. Thomas L. Brown, pastor of Ebenezer. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday is observed Monday, January 16.

Love Me Some Karen
The legendary voice of Karen Clark-Sheard will again be front and center when she releases her newest CD, It’s Not Over. The recording is due to drop January 24, 2006. Her last CD, almost three years ago, had major play among gospel stations and some mainstream appeal. Clark-Sheard is the baby of the Clark Sisters dynasty.

Manners Moron
Today’s Manners Moron column addresses those of you needing a quick refresher regarding retail etiquette – both behind the counter and in front of it. First, we’ll address those behind the counter. When processing a customer and totaling their order at the cash register, please remember that the customer deserves your undivided attention. This means you don’t have a private conversation with Laquaia about Mariah’s boob-job while motioning to the customer with your forefinger to swipe their debit/credit card. Second, when addressing the customer use key words like, “Will you please…” “Thank you, I’ll have your receipt in a moment.” For those in front of the counter, the help are not your friends or personal wait-staff. DO NOT engage in cell phone conversations when it is your turn with the sales clerk. When asking the sales clerk questions, “Please,” and “Thank you,” are still required phrases in your conversation. Do not attempt to bait the sales person into your personal conversations with your buddies. On the real, they aren’t interested. Finally, when in doubt try to remember how you would like to be treated and act accordingly. Everything has its place and time. When conducting business transactions, both the customer and sales staff might benefit from keeping it simple, cordial and short. Enough said…

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Morning Edition - 1/9/06

Brokeback; Takes-you-back
Ang Lee's Brokeback Mountain, starring Jake Gyllenhall as Jack Twist and Heath Ledger as Ennis Del Mar is real. To downplay this film as a gay love story would not only be a misrepresentation of the facts, but a grossly negligent review of someone too shortsighted to see true love - plain and simple. The film has received great acclaim, but it was its shear ability to portray two characters in such raw form that left me in a very pensive and melancholy state. Ennis and Jack meet while herding sheep for a short period in 1963. The timeframe of the film plays a huge role in the outcome of the love story. Throughout twenty years the two, who began their love affair in a very awkward and unconventional manner, steal brief encounters with each other seemingly unable to ever let the other fade into the past. To be clear, both characters lead otherwise straight lives, have wives and children and struggle with the very fact that they are so in love with each other. There's plenty of dysfunction to speak of - on the part of Ennis there is a childhood experience so horrific that it warps his picture of what can happen to gays in a western farm community. I was especially moved by how life's circumstances and society can have such a negative impact on something beautiful and private between two people. Rather than give up any part of the story line, I'll say that Brokeback Mountain is certainly a film to watch, but don't go in believing you will see a traditional pull-at-your-heartstrings unrequited love story. I didn't cry. I didn't even get a frog in my throat, but I was flooded with a deep sense of emotional connection at the realization that this story plays out everyday and maybe to some degree I've lived a similar role before.

Kill The Girls
The Lancet, a London-based medical journal, reviewed medical files from India and reported that in the last decade over 10 million female babies may have been aborted by parents who after having one female child, chose to abort following an ultrasound screening. The imbalance in male to female population will have devastating consequences said one insider. As many as a half-million female babies were aborted in India just last year. Countries such as Nepal, Afghanistan, South Korea, China and Pakistan also have similar practices of aborting female babies.

B'Mo Bangin'; Chi-town Blows
Men's Health, a men's magazine, that as the name would imply focuses on the health of men, rates cities yearly for their annual best- and worst- cities for overall health. This year, they rated Baltimore the number one city for overall health. Apparently they felt the turn-around of the up-and-coming city with its new parks, gyms and better healthcare make it a healthier city than all the other cities in the rankings. Chicago was ranked the worst. Strangely, most Baltimore residents interviewed laughed at the ranking saying they never thought fried crab cakes would push them toward the number one spot.

On Blast
Brokeback Mountain brings to the forefront how life can sometimes suffocate love. Have you ever experienced loving someone and knowing that your life circumstances will not allow you to ever fully realize that love?

Keep passin' the open windows…

Friday, January 06, 2006

Afternoon Edition - 1/6/05 (Party Details)

Party for ANNETTE RODRIGUEZ and MICHELINE TIRADO at LaMaganette, south east corner of 50th Street and 3rd Avenue - Once you come in, go downstairs. You'll pay about $8. Free buffet. Ask for Carmen. Hope to see you all there.

When: Friday, January 13
Time: 5:00 p.m. - until (please arrive before 6 p.m. to enjoy buffet)
Where: LaMaganette, south east corner of 50th Street and 3rd Avenue
Cost: $8.

Please RSVP in "Comments" area

Morning Edition - 1/6/05

As promised, this Monday, January 9 marks my first day back to the gym. Although my goal is overall health, my priority is achieving weight-loss and tone when I'm obviously older and less motivated. The objective is to lose 20 pounds before summer and regain some energy. It seems the last six months have been riddled with excuses for eating, laying back and letting it all hang out. It turns out everything is now literally, hanging out - and over - for that matter. So it's back to the elliptical machine, power crunches and body toning. Freakin' Rican has agreed to team-up with me for the challenge and I have to admit, I'm glad I have some back-up. I'll keep everyone posted on the progress and we'll begin a weekly posting for everyone on some kind of health regimen to post his or her progress as well. Good luck everyone and here's to lookin' HOT in summer '06.

Just Looking Out
I know some things are just hard to consider. With the spread of sexual diseases - HIV specifically - it's important that we take care of ourselves. We all make mistakes - or even dumb choices - like having sex without protection. Now it's time to KNOW the truth. New York City offers free and anonymous HIV testing through GMHC. For an appointment call 212-367-1100. In Washington, DC contact the Washington Free Clinic at 202-667-1106. Knowing your status helps you begin early treatment and live a virtually normal life. Whether you're gay, straight, bisexual, on the up-and-up or down-low, you still need to look out.

Long Story Short
Annette celebrates her 39th birthday today. Happy birthday Freakin'! Michelline T. aka Fake-Lo celebrates her birthday on Saturday. The ever-beautiful F-Lo is shoving… I mean, pushing her forties. Don't worry crumbcake, you don't look a day over… uh, twenty eight?! John B., my ex- and ex-communicated boyfriend (just kidding juice head) celebrates his 43rd birthday on Sunday. Brokeback Mountain Brunch on Sunday. That's right, I'll be heading out to finally catch this acclaimed flick this Sunday afternoon. Hit me up if you'd like to join me. I'm still juggling the idea of Puerto Rico in February - although many of us feel the ski weekend may be too close behind. Let's chat-this-up and see what we can do. I really want to lay out in the sun! Yesterday's blog question generated a healthy, constructive and honest discussion about child rearing and race relations. Turns out many of us have valid reasons for our fears and prejudices and hopefully can open up our minds to listen to different perspectives. Special thank you to Anonymous for kicking things off. Love the candor…The birthday celebration for Annette scheduled for this evening has been rescheduled for next Friday, January 13. The festivities will combine resident blogger Annette and Michelline's celebration. Carmen C. will send out invitations today and I will post her invite in today's Afternoon Edition.

On Blast
Hypothetical: You wake up tomorrow and discover you are of the opposite sex. What would be the first thing you'd like to experience as the "other" sex? Who would you like to speak to first in your new gender "digs"?

Keep passin' the open windows…

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Morning Edition - 1/5/06

DC Going Dry?
Washington, D.C., a town that still allows dancers to strip nude (that is, without a thong, jock-strap or other concealing undergarment) may be seeing the last of its gay male strip clubs shutdown. It appears the city is in the works to build a new stadium right in the southeast zone that houses these gay establishments. Wet, Velvet Nation, The Edge and Follies, among others, may soon be clubs of the past. Under current zoning regulations establishments that feature nude dancing are restricted to one area of the city and are not allowed to move to another area of the city. D.C. mayor Anthony Williams says he's working to change that law to allow these businesses to relocate. Owners of the building that house both Wet and The Edge nightclub say both businesses are slated to move when their lease ends in September 2006 anyway. The Wet nightclub has one of the hottest black male nude dance clubs with its Chocolate Tuesdays show.

I'm So Happy I Could Kill Myself
Each year over 30,000 folks in the U.S. commit suicide. Most do so as a direct result of depression. An estimated 17 million people suffer from depression each year and most of these never seek help. So you're asking yourself, "What the f*ck does this have to do with me?" Well, chances are you will face a moment in your life where you will suffer depression or you are in the company of someone who is depressed. Depression comes about when a person loses control of their life or emotions and simultaneously encounters a feeling of hopelessness. These feelings begin to narrow an individual's perception so that the negatives in their life are intensified, while the positive aspects of their life are diminished or discounted. Recognizing these feelings and combating them with positive thoughts, exercise, relaxation and establishing hope will help folks come out of a depressive state. All said, it's not a bad idea to seek help and honestly discuss your feelings with a professional. Ultimately, suicide is a permanent solution to a likely temporary problem.

Damp Down Under
Bacterial Vaginosis (BV) is a condition that primarily affects women in their child-bearing years. The main clue that you may have BV is a fishy odor sometimes accompanied by a clear, gray or yellowish discharge. Although some women report having no symptoms of the condition, left untreated BV can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease, ectopic pregnancy (where a fetus grows outside the uterus and in a fallopian tube) and even increase a woman's chances of catching HIV. Although BV can sometimes clear-up on its own, it should be treated with antibiotics such as Metronidazole or Clindamycin. Male partners of women who suffer BV are not usually treated unless the infected woman has a drug-resistant case of BV.

Read The Signs
Our Capricorns are celebrating their birthdays this month, so let's make sure they know what the stars say about them and hope this information proves useful… hey, you never know. First, rumor has it that your best star-sign match is a Scorpio. Although rumor also has it that you lack imagination, so you may find shacking-up with say, a Sagittarius (your worst match) your way to show your strong determined side. Know your weaknesses Capis… yours are status symbols. The wicked witch in Oz may have used Poppies to make Dorothy and her friends sleep, but insiders say the Poppy is your flower. Finally, you might not want to dangle these from your feet while swimming, but you should know that lead - yes lead! - is your designated metal.

On Blast
It is said that prejudice is learned…that said, what prejudice do you now hold that you wish to overcome? Example: You have a strong negative reaction to seeing interracial couples

Keep passin' the open windows....

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Morning Edition - 1/4/06

Prehistoric Customer Service; Extinct Portion Size
Last night, J’Moo and I decided to paint the town red for his birthday and enjoy a dinner to celebrate the occasion. I chose Dinosaur Bar-B-Que, a quaint new southern cuisine spot in West Harlem. Dinosaur is apparently a well-known chain with a mouth-watering menu that features everything from fried green tomatoes – which J’Moo and I devoured at the start of our meal – to pulled pork. Their sides include macaroni and cheese, southern greens and even a Creole style potato salad. To seal your Flintstone portion of Cajun delights, there are desserts like the pecan covered sweet potato pie to insure you open your pants and use the tablecloth as a napkin. Although the food is five-star the service makes you wonder if you stumbled on to a plantation soup kitchen. Twenty minutes after inhaling our appetizer we were still waiting for our entrees. All-in-all, if your patience is greater than your appetite, Dinosaur Bar-B-Que needs to be on your list of comfort food stopovers in the very near future.

Busted-Up Over The Breakthrough
Maybe I’m just one of those folks that wait to hear the buzz before spending my $12.99 on their music purchases. I mean, I’m the one who ran to the front of the line to snatch-up J-Lo’s last release, only to find that Ms. Lo needed to Get Right – FAST! Thankfully, Mary J. Blige’s new CD, The Breakthrough, is everything it’s been hyped-up to be. From song #2, Enough Cryin’, featuring Brook, to the much-played Be Without You, the CD has more than my required 4-good-songs for a CD buy. Song #13, I Found My Everything, features Raphael Saadiq. Let’s just say I no longer feel the number 13 is such an unlucky number. Blige has another hit CD with The Breakthrough and I’m just busted-up over it.

Who The F*ck Does She Think She Is?
Annette R. aka Freaking Rican, resident blogger, voluptuous queen, stern face and fluff heart, turns 39 this Friday. I met FR about two years ago and am lucky to call her a new addition to my “true friend” list. At first glance Annette gives the impression that she is a no-nonsense, pull-no-punches broad, but don’t be fooled. Under the protective armor lies a gem of a heart with a sensitivity that only those privileged enough to uncover its magic will ever find. Soon to grace our blog with a love story of her own – CLAIM IT! – Annette has taught me more about myself than I’ve actually learned about her. So for those who come across her and ask, "Who the f*ck does she think she is?" the answer is simple, she's our friend. This Friday, we will gather at La Maganet (correct my spelling if I’m wrong Carmen) to pay homage to our blog’s Queen of true heart. La Maganet (sp) plays salsa, R&B and House Music, so bring your dancing shoes and a big hug. ** Details of club location and time to follow **

On Blast
You’ve been diagnosed with a condition that requires surgery. The surgery will either leave you blind or deaf. The doctors approach you prior to the surgery and ask you which of the two senses you choose to keep. Do you choose to keep your hearing or your sight? Why?

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Morning Edition - 1/3/06

Always and Forever
Twenty years ago, a 17-year old boy sauntered into Latin Quarters, a New York City night-club that was hosting a male dancers evening that rivaled that of a Las Vegas extravaganza – or so it seemed to the young man. Shortly after checking his coat, he made his way to the bar where a gentleman bought him a drink and proceeded to follow him around as though the drink had a get-young-booty-free card attached to it. Feeling pressured and virtually cornered by the aggressive man, the teenager retreated to the bathroom. After taking a quick leak, he stood in front of the sink and mirrors that lined the restroom and began washing his face, trying to freshen his mood and decide his next course of action. After splashing water on his face, the youngster looked up into the mirror, the droplets of water glistening off his taut face. “You look very sexy when you’re wet,” sang a voice from behind him. Blushing he turned to see a chocolate brotha in his early twenties holding a napkin out to him and offering a warm, seductive and comforting smile. After wiping his face dry the young man thanked the stranger who quickly introduced himself and offered to have the swooning teen join him and his friends at their table while they enjoyed the show. That beautiful dark stranger became the teen’s friend and eventually his partner for over four years. Today, after 20 years, the two are inseparable friends who have undergone many life changes, their relationship evolving into an eternal force that proves love changes forms, but forever sustains itself and those in its path. I was that teen and the gallant dark stranger who saved me from myself that night was J’Moo. Today is J’Moo’s birthday. From that 17-year old boy who was too naïve to know how to handle that predator that fateful night, to the soon-to-be 37-year old man who treasures your self-less friendship – Happy Birthday!

Six Goals for 2006
It’s officially 2006 and time for me to make some lasting resolutions; nothing too difficult that I can’t accomplish, but certainly some pointers to keep me on track for the year. Here are a few of my own and I am curious to hear some of my blogger family’s goals.
Goal #1: A healthier me: This includes eating healthier, working out at least 4 times a week and drinking more water. Also, taking care of my mental and emotional health by accepting what is, what will never be, and what needs to be fought for.
Goal #2: Write: Thank all of you who throughout the years have encouraged me to pursue my number one passion – writing. This year I vow to dedicate more time to putting together my first novel and shopping it here in NY. Please keep your fingers crossed and a knee to the ground for me. With God’s help and the encouragement of my blog family, this dream will somehow become a reality. Periodically this year I will share excerpts from whatever current masterpiece I’m working on and will ask for your honest opinion – be real with me. Always.
Goal #3: Enjoy my family and friends: After losing several friends in 2005 the issue of my own mortality is at the forefront of my daily life. Tomorrow is not promised and I’d like to live as though that statement is not a cliché, but a reality. True friends and close family will not be here forever. I vow to show them how much I care and be present in their lives. I will give of myself honestly and freely this year without expecting anything in return.
Goal #4: Remember the dead. Coming-out so early in life, I’ve lost so many interesting and instrumental people who lost their battles with AIDS, cancer and a host of other diseases. I have made it okay for me to have a moment of reflection for them periodically. A time to remember the many life-saving lessons they taught me, the jokes that made me laugh and the times they offered their shoulders for me to cry on. I promise to have them live on inside my heart – a place that keeps them young and alive forever.
Goal #5: Bury the hatchet: Letting go of pain sometimes feels impossible to do. When you’re wronged, betrayed, hurt and battered it’s almost instinctual to want to retaliate. In 2006 I free myself of all vindictive behavior. The past will remain in the past. Life will take care of all wrongs – I believe and accept that truth. I wish the best to all who have knowingly and willfully hurt me. In turn, now released from the bondage of revenge, I am free to love and feel the love of those around me.
Goal #6: Stand: I won’t always know the answers. I won’t always make the right choices. I won’t always say the right thing. It is during these times of confusion, bewilderment and haze that I offer myself to divine intervention. I agree to stand. I submit to wait until Your will is done. I understand that it may not be what I want, but it will most certainly be what I need.

Caribbean Weekend
Sure, there’s a ski weekend planned in March, but did you know we’re planning a spontaneous get-away to La Isla Del Encanto in February? That’s right, I will be planning a short getaway weekend to bask in the sun on the beaches of Puerto Rico, while everyone on the east coast shivers and grits their teeth. No date has been set, but I’m predicting a mid-February weekend with a Friday departure and Monday return. Anyone who wants to sip pina coladas with Cocoa for a spell, please post your interest in the Comments area at the end of this post. Presently, flights are a bargain from $160. round trip and hotel accommodations can be shared to make them cheap as well.

On Blast
Name your top goal for 2006 and how you will monitor its progress.

Keep passin’ the open windows…