Sunday, December 31, 2006

Morning Edition - End of 2006

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

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

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

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

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

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Friday, December 29, 2006

Morning Edition - 12/29/06


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

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

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Morning Edition - 12/28/06

That's What Friends Are For

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

On Blast
What is your fondest memory of 2006?

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Morning Edition - 12/27/06


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

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

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

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

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Monday, December 18, 2006

Morning Edition - 12/18/06

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

Keep passin' the open windows...

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Morning Edition - 12/13/06

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

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

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

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

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Morning Edition - 12/12/06

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

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

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

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

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Monday, December 11, 2006

Morning Edition - 12/11/06

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

Keep passin' the open windows...

Friday, December 08, 2006

Morning Edition - 12/8/06

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

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Morning Edition - 12/7/06

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

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

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

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

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Morning Edition - 12/5/06

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

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

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

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

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Saturday, December 02, 2006

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

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

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

Keep passin' the open Windows...