Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Morning Edition - 2/28/06

Driving Ms. Crazy
It seemed like a good idea and a kind gesture at the time, but Richard Miller regrets giving his 15-year old daughter a driving lesson in an empty lot in Philadelphia. The lesson ended with his daughter gunning the gas by mistake, jumping the curb and killing 18-year old Sarah McGinley who was playing with her 22-month old daughter on her fianc√©’s front lawn. Just before the fatal accident, McGinley anticipated the impact and tossed her daughter out of harm’s way before being pinned and killed. Yesterday, Miller was sentenced to three years probation and ordered to pay $7,500 for McGinley’s funeral expenses. His 15-year old daughter was sentenced to 200 hours of community service in juvenile court. At his sentencing Miller expressed his condolences to the McGinley family and said, “Every hour I mourn for your daughter.”

Hip-Hop History
The Smithsonian, part of the National Museum of History in Washington, is taking a trip to a Manhattan hotel to gather historical elements from the hip-hop era that began over 30 years ago in the Bronx. Fab 5 Freddy, Grandmaster Flash, Afrika Bambaataa and DJ Kool Herc will contribute microphones, boom-boxes and other memorabilia in what is said to be a $5 million endeavor to display the hip-hop artifacts in Washington, DC. Hip-hop was initially thought to be a passing fad that would boom and fizzle; instead it has grown to a multi-billion dollar industry that has bled into all facets of present society from marketing to suburban America.

Careless Whisper Turns Into Media Shout
George Michael, 42, formerly of hit group WHAM, was arrested recently and charged with having Class C drugs – weed and liquid ecstasy in his vehicle. The London police tested Michael and found he was sober. Michael says it was his own stupid fault and he realizes the media will have a field day with this story, not unlike the media circus that ensued when Michael was charged with lewd conduct in 1998 for propositioning a police officer in a public restroom. Michael penned a song – a satirical version of his t-room arrest, but says he will resist the temptation to make a song and video from this little legal fiasco.

On Blast
The recent Asian tsunami and hurricane Katrina showed the courage of parents in the face of extreme danger. Mothers were said to risk their lives to pluck their children from raging waters or found starving themselves to feed their children the last of any food available. In light of these circumstances, here’s the scenario…
You are caught in a life-threatening situation involving you and your three children. Though you have two of your children safely by your side, you need to choose whether to leave the two to save the life of the one in peril. Assume that your choice to save the one child may end in your death and that of the child you are attempting to save. Explain the reason for your choice.

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Monday, February 27, 2006

Morning Edition - 2/27/06

Drop and Give Me Seven
Seven soldiers from the 82nd division paratroopers at North Carolina’s Fort Bragg have been punished and three of them will be dishonorably discharged and face charges for pandering, sodomy and engaging in sex acts for money. The three that were officially named were Spc. Richard T. Ashley, Pfc. Wesley K. Mitten and Pvt. Kagen G. Mullen. The soldiers appeared on gay websites selling their image and gay interactions for pay. Military officials have announced that the orientation of the men is irrelevant and that their behavior is what has brought the court martial. They also went on to say that serving while gay is not discouraged, but that engaging in gay acts is against the image of the military and punishable – including discharge.

To Thine Own Self Be True
Being true to yourself is harder than you think. You’ll always have the folks that sincerely care about you having different ideas of what’s best for you. Advice from loved ones is like shoes – sometimes they fit comfortably and sometimes they hurt your feet and are all wrong. Choosing what advice to take and what to place in your advice bank is the tricky part. To combat the feeling that you’re going against your own grain and living someone else’s life, you should always do what feels right in your gut. Remember that failing or making the wrong decision is not as difficult to handle when you know in your heart that the decision was your own. So listen carefully, follow your heart and do what is right for you.

Ski Trip Upon Us
Friday is the BIG day. We’ll be heading to Pennsylvania for our ski trip in the mountains. With a sexy pajama party, a wear what you dare party, a pool party, fireplaces and a healthy dose of sedatives, this is sure to be a weekend to remember. I’ve ordered my ice skates and hope that they arrive in time for my triple axle attempt. By the way, where the heck is my wear what you dare outfit? I’m waiting…

On Blast
We’ve done it before, but a fellow blogger phrased it a bit differently…. What event in your past do you feel if you went back and changed, would alter the entire course of your life? Would you change it today?

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Friday, February 24, 2006

Morning Edition - 2/24/06

Rape; The Real Deal
With so many other crimes and issues reported among our young folks today, rape is not one that is given the importance it was given in the past. Unfortunately, statistics are showing us the disastrous results of ignoring a growing problem. It is estimated that every five minutes in the U.S. a female is raped. Moreover, only 16 out of 100 females will report a forcible rape to police. If these stats don’t seem to hit home for you, then maybe you should consider that the highest group of females in danger of being raped are single urban black females. Statistics show that one in eight females will be forcibly raped before reaching adulthood. Boys fair slightly better – if there is such a thing – one male is reportedly raped for every 12 females raped.

Where There’s Smoke
Star Jones Reynolds, 43, co-anchor on hit ABC show, The View, is reportedly suffering marital woes just 15 months into her marriage. Apparently the rumors surrounding Al Reynolds, Star’s husband, are taking a bitter toll on their marriage. Al has been rumored to be gay, even long before they were married. Although Star has always alleged that her marriage is real and there are no secrets, insiders now say that the couple is being spotted around town having loud arguments surrounding Al’s late-night and odd hour hanging out with his male pals. Al, who is a banker, allegedly has been spending days away from home for work, but Star reportedly says he’s living like a king and working less now that he’s married to her. During a recent interview in NY Star was asked about her marriage. She simply said, “It’s not all hearts and flowers and running toward each other in slow motion.” Indeed….

Madea’s Back
Madea’s Family Reunion, opens in theaters today in limited release. The comedic cross-dressing Tyler Perry revamps his favorite character and our hysterical chitlin-circuitesque broad who is in control and as un-PC as any older woman can be. This new Madea installment finds the grouch-granny planning her family reunion while a judge orders her to care for a spirited and troublesome runaway. As is sometimes the case with black films, Madea isn’t always understood by wide audiences, but for those of us that grew up in minority households, she’s an exaggerated memory of a boisterous mom or grandma. The film is rated PG-13 and shows corporal punishment as something to consider and revere. As many of us that grew up at a time when spanking was the norm can attest, the comedy is funny if not ironic.

On Blast
Spare the rod; spoil the child. Spanking is now considered child abuse by many, but some argue that when spanking was the norm, youngsters weren’t as disrespectful, destructive or corrupt. Do you believe spanking (corporal punishment) is child abuse? Should parents who choose to use spanking as a form of punishment have their children removed from the home? Is corporal punishment a family issue that the government should stay out of? When (if at all) does spanking constitute child abuse? Finally, what does spanking really teach your children?

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Morning Edition - 2/23/06

When Animals Attack
Yes folks, humans are animals too. Unfortunately, they act more like the four-legged creatures we’re accustomed to seeing as the “classic” definition of animals than we sometimes care to admit. Yesterday’s On Blast led to a back-and-forth that had the potential for hurting feelings – all unnecessarily. The object of yesterday’s little attack – Freakin’ Rican. Freakin’ and I agreed to go the gym together and after our schedules conflicted, we pretty much began going on our own. What I wasn’t aware of – well, until much later – was that Freakin’ was apparently hurt by my decision to take on this project on my own. My decision was based solely on my need to get the goal accomplished – that is, get in shape ASAP. So plain-and-simple, let’s not take everything so personally, let’s realize our goals independently (if necessary) and let’s be the strong individuals we allege we are when we’re faced with criticism. After being called selfish, fat, rude, old, worn, etc., I’ve learned that the only real opinion that counts is my own. I appreciate comments made by my friends and consider them when making decisions, but the decisions are all mine. Make your decisions yours as well. For the past several months I’ve been living openly, freely and joyfully. It has helped me feel stronger, look sexier – not because any major physical change has occurred, but because my inner self is exuding a new sense of confidence. Let’s vow to grab our lives by the horns before we’re looking back on wasted time and old regrets.

Manners Moron
Why does NYC’s subway system come to a complete stop, delaying thousands of passengers, when one sick passenger aboard one of our trains has a little incident? The question came up during my ride into the office yesterday. As we sat over 20 minutes in a dark tunnel, the smell of urine permeating from a homeless man who managed to squeeze his way into our subway car, I kept asking myself – sometimes out loud – why can’t we pull the sick person off the train to await medical attention at the nearest train stop platform? Instead, we sat patiently – one train behind another – waiting for help to arrive for one sick passenger. Word to the ill…. if you’re riding in my subway car and I catch you acting sick, I’ll sit you on the bench of the next stop. No point in you being ill and us being unemployed.

Read it and Let’s Tell it Like It Is
Next month we will begin our own little blog book club. This will be a simple club that will read one book every three months or so. Hey, even slow readers will get a chance to keep up. Each Friday, we’ll discuss three or four chapters and the book will serve as our On Blast that Friday. March will be our month to revisit one of my favorites – E. Lynn Harris’ Invisible Life. Amazon.com has the book (new) for just over $11 or you can buy the book used for $1.50. Either way, there’s no reason you can’t join in on the book and the fun. Please purchase your copy by Friday, March 10.

On Blast
Dating with children. How important is it to you that the man/woman you’re dating likes your children? What happens if your children and the person you care about don’t get along? Would you consider a negative relationship between potential step-parents and step-children grounds for terminating a relationship?

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Morning Edition - 2/22/06

The Boys Are Back!
Okay, at the risk of sounding like a giddy school girl, I’m excited to report that Noah’s Arc, the LOGO network’s hit gay black comedy/drama has been picked up for a new season due to air this August – just in time to be a birthday gift for yours truly. The director and creator of the show, Patrik-Ian Polk, says LOGO picked up eight new episodes of the show and that the show will begin taping in Vancouver, Canada in May. The first season DVD was scheduled to release by February of this year, but there has been no buzz on the drop date yet.

April Showers Find Cocoa In DC
My first trip this year to my second home – DC – will be Thursday, April 13 to Monday, April 17. I’m taking this little voyage alone, seeing as though it’s time for me to check out the Chocolate City solo this time. Eber V. reminded me that this is Easter weekend, but you know what, I’m going to show some Kanye-esque disrespect and resurrect the four corners of one of my favorite towns for the sanctified religious holiday. I’ve scheduled a lunch at the Fourth Estate Restaurant at the National Press Club for 12:45 p.m. on April 14 for those folks that want to have a good catch-up style dutch affair. Please let me know if you’d like to attend as I’ve presently made a reservation for eight and will need time to adjust our numbers to accommodate all who would like to attend. Hope to catch a glimpse of all my DC family while I’m there.

The Girl Was Born With A Gym Membership
Arancha, born to Juan Carlos and Rosario on February 13 surprised even veteran nurses when her 15-pound frame was pulled from her mom during a Caesarean-section child birth. Mom and big-girl are resting comfortably at the Hospital Universitario La Paz in Spain. Rosario’s first born child weighed-in at 10 pounds at birth. Juan Carlos told reporters that he believes the gargantuan-baby phenomenon is hereditary since his first wife gave birth to a 17-pound baby.

On Blast
Cut the crap! Caspar brought up a good issue in yesterday’s On Blast. Quite simply, our desire to help our friends and be there for them sometimes places us in precarious situations. When do you feel it necessary to distinguish between being a true friend and simply becoming a cohort and collaborator in your friend’s destruction? Is honesty the best policy with true friends or do you find yourself lying to help build your friends self esteem or self perception? Do real friends lie to their friends to make them feel better or is it best to break a buddy down with the truth?

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Morning Edition - 2/21/06

Daylen Turns 10 Months
My nephew, Daylen F., turns 10 months this week. The beautiful additon to the family is most certainly my heart - and weakness. I'm learning how children become extremely spoiled. Although Daylen isn't sporting any new teeth - guess he's trying to look like his uncle (LOL) Mr. D is taking a few steps on his own.

Party Over Here; La Mag a Huge Success

The after work dance party at La Maganette on Friday was an enormous success. With over 30 attendees the drinks were stiff and the hip joints were loose. Thank you Carmen C. for a pulling-off a real classy and “get-right” event. The ladies – Mercy, Giselle and Annette were all in rare form. Like Energizer bunnies, these ladies danced until I thought the DJ would ask us to leave. Tune-in next month for another jam session to remember.

T is for Turning!
This weekend I was in reckless-mode. After having a hard work week I felt the long President’s Day weekend would bring some much needed release – well, it did. After Friday night’s dance party, I awoke Saturday feeling restless and rearing to go. I jumped out of bed, showered and was on the treadmill by 3 p.m. Following my workout I met Nelson for a cocktail (or was that cock and tail) well, you know the “drill.” I got home in time to shave and throw an outfit together for a night on the dance floor at the Monster nightclub in the west Village. After being groped, patted and fondled – and that was just getting my beer from the bar – I danced to oldies with some beautiful boys from out of town – thanks to the alcohol sedation, I don’t remember their names. Sunday, was the part of this weekend when redemption came. After a one-hour cardio workout and a banana-strawberry smoothie that made my nipples erect, I dashed home to slip into a fitted long sleeve black t-shirt and some charcoal sweats – no undies. With a group of friends five-deep, we hit the 2-for-1 bar where the unthinkable happened. I ran into T! That’s right folks, after months of not seeing the man, there he was five feet from me at at the bar. As my friends and I laughed and chatted it up I could feel his eyes glaring at me. I smiled more because I felt so good – and at the risk of sounding full-of-myself – I looked good as shyt too. T came over and said, “Hello… it’s good to see you, you look great.” I turned to him, smiled and warmly gave him a hug with the double-pat on the back that says, there’s no love lost. I then winked and turned back to my friends. It was over as quickly as it started. My friends, who have never met T, were oblivious to the entire interaction. Later, we sealed the evening with a holiday dance party at Luke and Leroy’s on 7th Avenue. Hey guys, did we close the place down? Breakfast at the Manatus filled everyone’s tummy and it was off to hit-the-hay.

It Wasn’t Me; Or You, For That Matter
The largest lottery jackpot was won over the weekend. Powerball announced that the winner of $365 million dollars – the single highest payout in U.S. history - has not come forward. The ticket was purchased in Nebraska – go figure. Powerball is also played in NY and DC. If the winner chooses to take a lump sum payment, the payout turns out to be $124.1 million after taxes, but if they hold out and take the full amount distributed over 30 years their first installment would be $6,507,986 after taxes. Before this win, the highest payout was $314 million in 2002.

On Blast
X marks the spot. Running into an ex – or someone you’ve been intimate with - can sometimes be awkward. Give us your best case and worst case scenario of a time you ran into an ex in public. Were you redeemed or humiliated by the experience? Be sure to include the who, what, where and why?

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Friday, February 17, 2006

Morning Edition - 2/17/06

Body Beautiful Update
Six weeks into our Body Beautiful campaign and we should all be enjoying a little more room in our clothes and some new-found curves. My last two weeks have been extremely successful with six day work-out weeks. Saying no to those tasty treats we were so accustomed to is hard, but it only helps speed the process of shedding those pounds. You’ll also notice that the more you say no, the easier it gets. This doesn’t mean that you don’t eat healthy meals, it just means you pass on those chips, dips, dressings and gravy-drenched-meals. A special thank-you to my work-out buddy Evelyn M. who has helped me push myself even harder. She is a determined go-getter with a shared goal to get it together and make no excuses. EM you look super. I haven’t kept a formal log of my weight loss to date, but I am down to 157 pounds. Sidebar: Please be sure to give us your progress on your road to Body Beautiful 2006.

The Right Hair for the Job
Jeanine A. forwarded a news story from a prominent higher-learning institution that prepares students for corporate positions. The school works with minorities – blacks specifically - and helps them acclimate to the white collar world. Pointers on everything from dress code to appropriate hair styles to help hoist you up the corporate ladder were given in the article. Remarkably, one of the heads of the institution mentions that tailored and manicured afros are appropriate, but locks, braids and cornrows are a sure-fire way to be passed-over for positions and promotions. The article also mentions different work environments where your hairstyle would be less of a factor, but overall corporate America wasn’t one of them.

Dancing in the Key of Life
This evening a confirmed list of over 30 friends will gather at La Maganette, 50th Street and 3rd Avenue, beginning at 5:30 p.m. For an $8 cover, we will partake of a tasty buffet and much needed drinks. Not really a drinker? Well, don’t sweat it – or better yet, sweat it on the dance floor. Salsa, R&B, Hip-Hop and a healthy dose of oldies to keep you on the dance floor until the last of your stress knots is gone.

On Blast
I ain’t doin’ that! Many folks will advise you to give-in to your partner’s sexual needs and desires to prevent your partner from seeking satisfaction elsewhere. This leads some people to perform some intimate acts that they are very uncomfortable with. Do you believe it is necessary to please your partner even if doing so is either painful, revolting or just not in the scope of acts you enjoy? Will this compromise prevent your partner from cheating to seek satisfaction? What would be your advice to someone facing this struggle?

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Morning Edition - 2/15/06

On Blast
Celebrating Black History Month and Keeping it Real.
All cultures have idiosyncratic behavior that is sometimes associated with or has others create a stereotype for a specific culture. For example, I’ve heard some say that although Latino people may separate into smaller sub-groups when dealing with each other, they will more-than-likely come together against a non-Latino person who opposes them. What positive trait or stereotype do you believe is associated with the Black (African American) culture? What negative stereotype or trait is associated with Blacks (African Americans)?
*Blacks (African Americans) should respond to today’s On Blast from a personal perspective and give a personal account of their experiences.
**Others should give an answer based on their personal experiences and give an honest account of stereotypes or traits they now associate with the Black (African American) culture.

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Morning Edition - 2/14/06

My Funny Valentine
Valentine’s Day has long been celebrated as a day for lovers to express how much they care about each other. Whether you’ve been having a rough time at keeping your relationship in order or you’ve been living on cloud nine with your partner – Valentine’s Day is a cease fire of, “Let me count the ways…” As we get older we realize that love is a complicated emotion that can grow with every passing year or wane and die with each sunrise. The remarkable thing is that age also teaches us how to simplify our relationships so that we get the maximum amount of pleasure with the minimum amount of pain. Sometimes this means openly communicating with your partner to set new boundaries and rules that make the relationship fit both parties’ needs. Ultimately, use this Valentine’s Day to recognize that you have as much to do with the success of your relationship – or lack thereof – as everyone else. Step-up to the plate. Grab the bull by the horns. Snatch that bow-and-arrow from Cupid and take matters into your own hands. In the end, as Luther once sang, “If you can’t be with the one you love, then love the one you’re with.”

Friday the 17th- Celebrate Good Times, Come On!
This Friday, February 17, Carmen C. hosts her first monthly Friday night dance party at La Maganette. The guest list has already topped 30 folks who say they will be present to party. With R&B, salsa, merengue, disco, and yes, even hip-hop, the party will be on-and-poppin’. La Maganette is at 50th and 3rd Avenue in midtown. Cover charge is $8 with free buffet beginning at 6 p.m. So join in on the fun and get ready to release some of that weekday pressure.

Long Story Short
Momma Cruz cut her hand on a splintered glass while doing dishes last night. The cut required six stitches to close. Cruz is in great spirits and recovering at home. Carlos C. is heading out to Puerto Rico February 20. After struggling with poor health this year, Carlos will be enjoying some fun in the sun for a week. Chaka Khan will be performing at Lehman College in the Bronx on March 23. Tickets range from $30-$45. J’Moo are we going to be front-and-center to join in on Black Butterfly?! Leona G. has agreed to pick up tickets for the show. What’s behind door number 3? Okay, I’ve been a bit adventurous and fun-loving of late and guess what, I think it’s okay. Recently I’ve met three great men who are a lot of fun and don’t have many hang-ups. Call me crazy, but I think I’ve discovered the wonderful world of up-front and comfortable dating without the drama. Today on Valentine’s Day I take a page from En Vogue – “Free your mind and the rest will follow.” Friday we will do our weigh-in and catch-up on our Body Beautiful Campaign. So get out your measuring tape, pull out and dust the scales and get ready to tell us about your progress.

On Blast
Face your fear. Sometimes the greatest fear we have is that folks will see us for who we really are. What are you most afraid that prospective new partners will discover about you? What is most important to you that new people come away with about you?

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Monday, February 13, 2006

Morning Edition -2/13/06

It’s Christmas Time In The City; Unfortunately, It’s February
With a record-breaking 26.9 inches of snowfall recorded in NYC’s Central Park, Saturday night’s snowstorm left New York immobilized. Winds in the Big Apple were recorded at a knock-down 60 mph. Yesterday, the city that never sleeps became the city that needed some rest after trying to dig out. After the frustration of shoveling two feet of snow and still not being able to pull-out of my parking space, I settled-in for some Chinese food and some Sunday night television.

There You Are
Verichip, a maker of a controversial silicon chip encased in glass that is implanted in the upper arm of human beings, is having a trial of its new device on two workers at Citywatcher.com, a private video surveillance company. To date, 70 individuals in the U.S. use a similar device for medical purposes. Verichip says the device would be used to track employees as they enter and leave a facility and can only be read by a card reader, but Big Brother watchers are not buying it. The fear is that all Americans could have the chip implanted and tracked at all times. Verichip counters that the chip is not a GPS device. Sidebar: Now, there’s a Valentine’s gift for your lover.

Average? Let’s See…
There is an average for virtually every statistic imaginable. Have you ever considered what the averages for men are? The average height for a man is 5’9” that’s more than three inches shorter than what many women say they’d like their man to be. The average weight for a man is about 172 pounds. They may break them more often, but men only have an average 206 bones in their entire body. The average man produces 3,000 sperm per second and release 200-300 thousand sperm each time he ejaculates. Not to worry though, the average ejaculation is a spoonful. Flaccid, the average man’s penis is two-to-five inches, while it powers-up to four-to-eight inches when erect.

On Blast
Black men have a reputation of having unusually large penises, while Latino men are said to be the most passionate lovers. Some report that white men are the freaks of the bunch and Asians are built like infants. We all know that most of these stories are based on myth, but which of these have you proven to be true or completely false? Elaborate on your experience(s).

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Friday, February 10, 2006

Morning Edition - 2/10/06

Interest Rate Of Doom
Gerald Georgettis decided that life wasn’t worth living following his purchase of a Ford Escape at a Miami, Dade dealership. After bringing the vehicle back and declaring his financing deal was all wrong, he poured gasoline over his new vehicle, and a few other new vehicles sitting in the new-car lot and set them ablaze. Georgettis was charged with arson. As if this wasn’t bad enough, Georgettis boarded United flight 209 from Washington to Los Angeles, entered the jet’s lavatory and hung himself. Authorities say all signs point to suicide.

Step Behind the Line or Get Broke Down
A 52-year old woman riding a transit bus in Philadelphia was in for the most painful shock of her life, when she began hollering at bus driver, Mario Edney, 53, for missing her stop. The frustrated Edney, grabbed the woman by the hair, knocked her head into a pole, opened the bus door and threw her into traffic. The woman suffered a broken shoulder. Edney is charged with aggravated assault and has been suspended without pay pending termination.

Don’t Run In New York, We’ll Catch You
The New York Police Department will be replacing their aging Ford Crown Victoria and Chevrolet Impala fleet of police cruisers for the flashier and faster 2006 Dodge Charger. The vehicle can reach speeds upward of 150 mph and can go 0-60 in 6.5 seconds. The civilian model will sell for about $22,995 base, but law enforcement receives the vehicles at a discount. Expect to see them in your rear view mirrors by this summer.

Long Story Short
Tuesday is Valentine’s Day. Skip the roses, skip the candles and do something creative this year. Now if you’re going to feel stumped and forget the day altogether, just get the darn roses. Next Friday is our monthly Freaky Friday after-work dance party with Carmen C. This month takes us to La Maganette located at 50th and 3rd Avenue in midtown Manhattan. Carmen C. has reserved a table for us to perch at while taking down our drinks, so RSVP in our comments area. In either case, we’ll be there at about 5:30 p.m. Free buffet starts at around 6:00 p.m. $8 to enter. Our ski trip is about three weeks away, so get those sexy pajamas, cutting bathing suits and cozy winter gear together. Please be sure to contact Evelyn M. regarding your final payment. D.C. in mid to late April? That’s right; I’m hitting the road again and visiting my 2nd home. Sis’ Taqua I need to see you – I miss you girl! Soul wifey, leave a day available for me. The Breathe Bitch Conglomerate in D.C. should plan to do a night out – girls, no cabaret-style clubs this time.

On Blast
Romance and intrigue. The single crew has an opportunity to be inventive, innovative and romantic this Tuesday. If you were someone’s secret admirer, what would you give them? What would you say in the accompanying card? What gift would titillate your romantic taste buds if you received it from a secret admirer?

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Morning Edition - 2/9/06

Granny Grammys
The 48th Annual Grammy Awards made their three-hour plus appearance on CBS last night. Opening the show was icon and mother-of-two, Madonna. The double-decade success has apparently made a pact with the devil because she has the shape of a 20-year old. Sporting a new svelte physique was nominee Alicia Keys who presented the first award of the night with Stevie Wonder. John Legend performed his Grammy award winning song Ordinary People and was everything but ordinary – Legend is the vision of class, elegance and humble success. Mary J. Blige and U2 did an odd rendition off of Blige’s Breakthrough CD, One Love. Blige gave you ghetto fabulous rocker chick – now, can we get rid of the braid? Later, we saw the opposite of humble when Kanye West took home the Grammy for Best Rap Album. Sporting a Soul Train meets Men On Film ensemble, West alluded to not having any idea he would win the award, but had a pre-printed, computer-generated “Thank You List.” Proving American Idol is churning out true music artists, Kelly Clarkson took home a couple of Grammys herself. The shy, teary-eyed Clarkson couldn’t contain her tears when picking up her first award of the night. Sadly, her fashion sense doesn’t quite match her vocal talents. While performing, Clarkson wore a red peasant dress that screamed, “La Isla Bonita” and even pulled an Eric Benet by leaving off the shoes. I love her – that said, while being interviewed on the red carpet for the Grammy Awards, Mariah Carey disputed whether she had loaded on the weight and simply said she is the size of a normal human being. While singing two of her Emancipation hits Carey appeared unusually breathy and I suspect some portions were prerecorded. Say it isn’t so Mimi! Also, I wanted to pull her aside just to whisper, “the my-little-mermaid look is out baby.” Paul McCartney and Jay Z? What the heck was that all about? Aren’t you both retired? For the record, we’ve had enough of the meshing musical genres for the delight of onlookers. It doesn’t always fly. Now, for amazing vocal range, remarkable precision and flawless pitch, Christina Aguillera tore the heck out of A Song For You with Herbie Hancock running through the keyboards like only a 10-time Grammy Award winner can. All-in-all, we love to see our icons of the past making comeback performances, we even love to watch a couple of new-comers belting it away with a sure-fire hit, but for the love of good music, please highlight the current talent more. This year’s Grammys were more like the Grannys.

Flat Abs; Maybe Just Not You
Yes, I’m in a consistent struggle to get my flat abdominals back. It’s been five weeks since I began the strenuous cardio workouts, the healthier diet and the painful toning exercises. Everything in moderation someone once said and getting in shape happens slowly – sometimes as slowly as it was to gain it. Unfortunately, flat abs and the coveted six-pack are not as easy to attain as many folks think. The truth is that doctors have found that most people find getting a six pack almost impossible for good reason. First, your diet may require you to eat more to sustain your body which would prohibit you from seeing those beautiful muscles poking from your abdomen. Another cause is a lack of consistent and rigorous cardio exercise. If you’re not burning that wall of fat hiding those muscles in your midsection, don’t expect to see them anytime soon. Finally there are those dreaded genes. Some folks are not genetically predisposed to easily show a six-pack. So before you kill yourself looking to have your abdomen look like fresh baked bread before summer, find out if your efforts will even be worth the strain.

Maybe It’s Just New York
The U.S. Census Bureau says that 50% of adult New Yorkers are unmarried. This is the highest percentage of unmarried folks for any state. Is it the NY-titude that has Apple dwellers going home to an empty home? No definitive reason is given for the disproportionate number of New Yorkers that are single.

On Blast
Being single can be a drag and navigating the dating scene can be daunting. Where should your single friends go to meet worthwhile people? What do you believe are the most important personality traits to put on display when socializing in the single scene? What are definite no-no topics of conversation when meeting prospective partners?

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Morning Edition - 2/8/06

Together Again
Coretta Scott King will be laid to rest in a mausoleum next to her husband at the Martin Luther King, Jr. memorial. At present, she will be in a temporary mausoleum until the marble one is completed for her. The inscription at the site will read, "And now abide Faith, Hope, Love, These Three; but the greatest of these is Love." For those than never read the Bible the text is from First Corinthians.
Carry a Condom or Pay the Fine
Councilman William Pena of Tulua, Colombia has brought a measure before city government that if passed would require everyone in town to carry at least one condom on their person at all times. He says Tulua has one of the highest HIV transmission rates in the country and this would prevent the spread of the disease. Religious leaders are outraged. If passed, the law would go into effect in March and fines for those not carrying a condom would be upward of $180.

You’re Hot; Not For Long Though
This January had temperatures 8.5 degrees higher than average for the U.S., with average temperatures in North America at 39.5 degrees. The heat set a new high for temperatures with the previous record held at 37.5 degrees back in 1953. The National Climate Center said the temperatures won’t hold in February, so get those anti-PETA furs out of the closet this month.

Just Me, Cocoa; One in the Same?
Caspar suggested that Just Me, a new blogger member frequently associated with inflammatory comments, is simply me using a different name to post comments. For the record, I barely have the time to write the blog AND post my own comments, so writing a third portion to simply get a rise out of folks is not only untrue, it’s absurd. Moreover, many of the ill comments made by Just Me are directed at or about me, so I’d be a self-hating fool to take his position. I will say this, I’ve narrowed down the Just Me person as male, probably not from NYC and slightly homophobic. Caspar, et al, I hope this helps in your quest to uncover the identity of our new blogger.

On Blast
With the nation experiencing its highest divorce rates; women having children out of wedlock; folks choosing not to marry; others playing it safe with the heart and not committing to anyone. How will these changes in lifestyle affect the future generations of our society and/or family? What can the government do to positively affect family life, unity and commitment going forward?

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Monday, February 06, 2006

Morning Edition - 2/6/06

The NFL Goes to the Pitts
The Pittsburgh Steelers hung-in there and pulled-off a surprise win at last night’s Super Bowl. Of course, I was front-and-center to catch the action – well, hold on, let me be honest and say that my entourage (yeah, me and boys were running quite a few deep) showed-up to the yearly north Harlem Super Bowl party to join close to 100 men circulating throughout four different apartments. Okay, so we arrived at the festivities just as the fourth quarter was getting started, but I know where my heart lies, so I went for the boys with the brightly colored yellow-tinged ensemble. Two Raspberry Cruzan and OJs later and the cheers from the thug-ilicious men was at a frenzied pitch. I made my way through the narrow hallway of one of the testosterone filled cribs to get my third refill and asked one of the brick-sh*t-house built brothas what the score was. He smiled coyly and said 21-10. I passed one of the television screens and noticed there were only three seconds left. You would think that this is where the party breaks up and ends…but NO… not a semi-DL Super Bowl party. The Steelers win prompted a refill across the board and everyone sported a fresh drink to go with their fresh attitudes. By drink four I wasn’t sure if someone had added something cooked-up in a bathtub in Tijuana to my beverage, but I felt like Lisa-Lisa was blaring in my head….something about, “I wonder if I take you home…” but I digress. Jay-Jay, Bobby and I made a beeline for our coats and were caught up in a good-bye processional of kisses, hugs and occasional groping. Nothing like a game of ball to get the boyz going.

Marooned and Glad About It
Annette R. aka Freakin’ Rican, Carmen C., Krissy, Juana E. and moi’ had a heck of a dinner party Friday night. In our final send-off to Freakin’ Rican’s 30s, we sat for an amazingly tasty dinner at Chelsea hot-spot Maroons. The dinner was exquisite and the company was superb. Thank you ladies for a night of high-calorie high-jinx.

Long Story Short
With our ski-trip weekend less than a month away the question for Evelyn M. is can we squeeze one more person in? Hit us up in the comments area and let us know if we can still have last-minute add-ons to our ski trip attendee list. If you’re interested in joining us for some fun by the fire hit us up in the comments as well. February 17 is the first of the footloose Friday jam coordinated by Carmen C. at La Maganette in midtown Manhattan. Each month Carmen has scheduled a Friday to get together after work and release some of that weeklong pressure. I got it… my new laptop arrived and I purchased my wireless router this weekend. We should be up and running by mid-week and have pictures available to share of the group to help put a face with those blogger names. Can someone say, “Monthly profile” of sorts. Whatcha think?

On Blast
That’s far enough. Last night I noticed that some of our party attendees were married or in relationships, but were flirting heavily. I won’t/can’t say that anyone crossed the line between flirtation and infidelity, but when does flirting cross the line into disrespect of your partner? Does it matter if your partner is present or not? Is this behavior just “flirting” with relationship disaster?

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Friday, February 03, 2006

Morning Edition - 2/3/06

Great Scott! The Straight-Line Tour
The King family announced that the body of Coretta Scott King will be viewed at the Georgia Capital Rotunda on Saturday, followed by a viewing at the Ebenezer Baptist Church on Monday – King’s church - and finally at New Birth Missionary Baptist church on Tuesday, where the youngest daughter Bernice is a minister. The final resting place for Coretta has not been disclosed, but insiders say she would likely be buried at the South-View Cemetery in Atlanta. South-View was founded by former slaves in 1886 and once had the body of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. before it was moved to a crypt at the King Center near Ebenezer Baptist Church. The family requested that all donations be made in Coretta’s name to Antioch College in Ohio where she graduated.

Maroon Tonight; An End of An Era
Tonight an intimate group of Freakin’ Rican aka Annette R.’s friends will join her at Maroon for a dinner celebrating the end of her thirties. Freakin’ turned 39. Reservations are for 7 p.m. Scheduled to join are Carmen C. and partner; Juana E.; Krissy, Caspar and myself. A great mix of partygoers to send-off the thirties with flavor!

Long Story Short
Sara R. celebrated her 31st birthday yesterday and Evelyn C. celebrates her 39th tomorrow. Happy birthday to both! Superbowl party on Sunday… boys get ready to rumble, then get ready to tumble… it’s that kind-of party. It’s a boyz-only party, so leave the wifey at home! LOL.

On Blast
Thank you; Now Shut Up! Gays in the U.S. military must still maintain the greatest covert operation in their private lives. Is it fair to fight and die for your country and not be openly gay in the military? Are our military policies regarding sexual orientation out-dated and unnecessary? Would the acceptance of openly gay men/women in the military threaten military operations? What’s the T.?

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Morning Edition - 2/2/06

Alternative Families; What’s the story?
There are over 542,000 children in foster care in the United States today. Of those, only 24% reside with foster homes that include relatives. Another 48% reside with non-relative foster homes. A resounding 18% live in group homes or institutions. The big question is what constitutes a healthy home environment for these children who no longer live with their biological parents. The conservative view is that gay parents are not equipped to raise children and provide a confusing home environment for young children, while the liberal view is that children would benefit from a loving home environment regardless of the sexual orientation of the parental figure(s). All said, children face foster care for various reasons, but most fall into the system as victims of abuse. Unfortunately, the system itself is not set-up to handle the enormous caseload it now has, so children removed from their abusive homes may find themselves in equally abuse foster families. Black children make up 38% of the cases in foster care, with Whites following at 37% and Latino children at 17%. Also highly disproportionate are the number of black families willing to take on black foster children. This little fact almost guarantees the vicious cycle of the growing number of black children in revolving foster care. Having gay parents posts its own set of challenges. Most of those challenges stem from societal views and ostracism by children who have been taught intolerance to home environments different from their own. A loving gay parental unit plays a greater positive role in the life of a foster child than an abusive straight family. Conversely, no study has proven that children raised by gay parents grow up to be gay themselves; mainly because sexual orientation is not learned. Having gay parents may teach children tolerance and serve to give them a different perspective on what behaviors define a loving couple, but it will never encourage a behavior that isn’t already there. Studies have shown that most gay individuals come from straight family environments. As a responsible society we have to ask ourselves whether it’s more important to maintain the parental unit “norm” or whether giving a child a happy and healthy home warrants us changing our dated views.

Pedophilia and Homosexuality; Danger for Children in Gay Family Environment?
Pedophilia is defined as an adult attraction or perversion to children. Sexual orientation (homosexual or heterosexual) is from one adult to another. A study of 269 cases of children sexually abused by adults found that only 2 of the attackers were gay. Of the other 267 cases, most of the attackers were in heterosexual relationships with either the mother of the abused or another family member. The study concluded that a child has a 100% greater chance of being molested by a relative’s heterosexual partner than by a known homosexual person.

Either They Are or They’re Not; You Can’t Make Them
A 1992 article in Child Development entitled Children of Lesbian and Gay Parents showed that children of gay parents had the same chances of being gay as those raised by heterosexual parents. Further, Psychiatrist Laurintine Fromm of the Institute of Pennsylvania Hospital said that all facts show that children of gay parents do not fare any worse than those of heterosexual parents in any area of development – including sexual identity formation.

On Blast
Ignorance is bliss, but the facts are the facts. Is it fair and safer to have children remain in foster care, rather than allowing willing and loving gay parents give stable homes to these children? Are we subjecting children to further psychological abuse by placing them in gay households? What is your view on gay foster care and adoption rights?

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Morning Edition - 2/1/06

Woman Thou Art FIERCE!
Coretta Scott King, 78, died yesterday morning. There was much more to the wife of martyr and non-violent soldier, Martin Luther King, Jr. The valedictorian of her Lincoln High School class in Marion, Alabama, she went on to receive her B.A. from Antioch College. Coretta Scott met Martin Luther King, Jr. while studying voice at the New England Conservatory of Music. She graduated from the Boston Conservatory with a degree in voice and violin. Before Coretta, King said most of the girls he met were intellectual lightweights. He was so taken by her that he proposed to her on their first date and they were married in June 1953. In 1959 while visiting India, Coretta was considered the darling of the Indian population as she sang Negro spirituals while King gave speeches. King was quoted as saying, “Coretta would sing as much as I lectured.” Coretta and Martin had four children – two boys and two girls. After King’s death, Coretta continued speaking and fighting for social justice, even speaking for the rights of women, children and yes, even gays and lesbians. Coretta is the first woman ever to deliver the class day address at Harvard University and the first woman to preach at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London. Her continued message of equality, peace and justice took her all over the world and made her an advisor and confidant to countless heads of state. A formidable woman with a history and legacy all her own, Coretta proved that you can make your own mark while still being the very capable partner of a revered world hero.

A Full Nelson
At 6’ 3” tall Nelson R. is not your average Puerto Rican man. Last night, Nelly (yeah, I had to give him a nickname…) stopped by to simply say hi and drop off a bouquet of white tulips. Normally, showing up at my door unannounced would be met by apprehension, but remembering my new rule to give the brothas the benefit of the doubt, I answered the door and was pleasantly surprised. So we’ll chalk up extra credit points toward the “oops bank”. This means if the man has a small foul-up in the near future we’ll give him a break. What made the moment sweeter was that he was rushing, his son waiting in the double-parked car in front of my house. Before writing this little piece I spoke to Nelly and thanked him for the flowers, but made a point of giving him a special thank you for the spontaneity. There’s much to be said about planting seeds of romance.

Treating Your Diabetes With An Inhaler?
Now, type 1 and 2 diabetes sufferers will have the option of inhaling their insulin prescription rather than injecting it. On Friday, the FDA approved Exubera, a new insulin drug to be used via an inhaler. Diabetics will still need to prick themselves to check sugar levels, but now they can treat themselves via an inhaler – ala asthma sufferers. It is estimated this will be a $1 billion per year business. Smokers cannot use Exubera – yet another reason to quit smoking if you’re diabetic. The insulin inhaler will be available by mid year.

On Blast
We can rebuild him/her. Sometimes you wish you could take parts from one partner and attach them to another to make the perfect partner. What traits (physical, personality, etc.) would you take from each of your previous partners to create the perfect mate? Be specific.

Keep passin’ the open windows…