Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Morning Edition - 2/28/07

If I Know Who I Am
As I mature, I realize how the opinions of others are less-and-less important to how I see myself. I never realized how much I internalized the opinions of others and sadistically tried to be more like what everyone believed I was. In the last couple of years, I’ve allowed more of the real me to be exposed to others. I’ve accepted that I am not always the outgoing person people think I am, I’m not always funny and yes, I even get offended by hurtful comments. Initially there was a fear that at 37, I would somehow be rejected by the very people that meant the most to me. What I found was that I’ve already suffered rejection from people that I believed were the closest to me and that at this point in my life, I will either be accepted for who I am – wholly – or acknowledge that they don’t really have a place in my life. It’s a scary feeling to think that the people you care about the most will not be there, but it’s even more terrifying and self-defeating to feel that the person that my loved ones respect and care about is not me. This year, I’ve begun a journey of truth –with myself. I’m trying my best to be honest with myself - what I’m good at, what I suck at and loving who I am – today. The challenge is not if others will love me if they know who I am, but if I will love myself if I know who I am. So far, I like me. I’m accepting that my sense of humor is sometimes fueled by my need to shield myself – hey, if I poke fun at myself and make a wise crack about myself, I diffuse anything you can say, right? Wrong. It serves to deflate my self esteem. My cutting wit is founded on years of jaded pain that has found an outlet in sarcasm and hysterical tongue-poison…funny at times, but when I’m alone with myself, I think that I probably wouldn’t find myself amusing if I was listening from outside of myself. My unrealistic expectations of people I date are cemented in my effort to sabotage anyone’s attempt to cross the barbwire that now encases my heart. Now I know. Now I can work toward overcoming some of these issues. If I know who I am, I can help grow into a man I can love.

Religion vs. Common Sense
The issue of church vs. State has always been at the forefront of many discussions. Most recently in NYC, the Catholic Church was up in arms over the city’s decision to blanket the city with their new free condom campaign. With over 100,000 New Yorkers living with HIV or AIDS, the mayor said, it isn’t a question of faith, but of saving the lives of New Yorkers who are not practicing abstinence or safe sex. The question becomes one of common sense. Should we rely on the Catholic Church’s message of abstinence to protect folks from a deadly condition or should we simply explain that if you are going to have sex, you should make it less risky. There are so many religious beliefs and moral stands that can be taken about sex outside of marriage, homosexual sex, etc., but the issue of saving lives should be universal. Providing condoms doesn’t send a message of condoning or promoting sex, but one of responsible intimacy and the fight to save lives.

Last year our Ski Trip was off the chain! As we gear-up to leave for our 2007 Ski Trip weekend, I look back on one of last year's highlights - when the ladies attempted to drown me in front of several hundred attendees!

On Blast
Step outside yourself… Would you be your friend? Looking from the outside in, what issue(s) would you have with yourself?

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Morning Edition - 2/27/06

Wisdom; Time Will Tell
A small word that embodies so much meaning, wisdom is defined as the trait of utilizing knowledge and experience with common sense and insight. Very few people innately have this little quality and for most of us it takes years to possess some of it… wisdom. History is one way we can acquire some wisdom at someone else’s expense. That is, by watching what other folks did well, or conversely, badly, we can gather some vicarious wisdom to propel us further in our own lives and careers. To that extent, many of us would stand to learn something if we look to our past and recognize that someone has been where you’re going and probably is the very reason your are even allowed to go there. It can be said that African Americans would have come along just fine without Martin Luther King, Jr. or Malcolm X. It can be said that Rita Moreno is completely irrelevant to why Jennifer Lopez is an A-lister today. It can be said that Jamie Fox didn’t have one good reason to pay Sidney Poitier homage when he received his Academy Award, since Poitier was from another era and didn’t contribute one iota to the stellar performance Fox delivered in Ray. It can be said that Halle Berry’s histrionics at the Academy Awards during her win – and her tearful thank-you to those who came before her - were unnecessary, since she probably would’ve gotten there on her own acting chops and good looks. It can be said that Jennifer Holliday did nothing to impact the character of Effie in Dreamgirls and therefore, should ride into the sunset without a forwarding address, rather than expect any genuine kudos from anyone associated with the Dreamgirls film. You know, these things can all be said… but WISDOM would show all these statements to be a sign of ignorance, immaturity or the disrespectful notion that in our magnificence we would’ve attained all of our accomplishments without those that came before us. I wonder where we lost our sense of history; our sense of respect; our sense of paying homage to those that in some small way may have played a great part in who we are today. So whether it’s an iconic world leader fighting for equality and unity or your grandmother’s back-breaking manual labor done with a smile, recognize that those before us paid a hefty price to have us sit on our ass-numbing perches making assertions about how our successes are due to our own brilliance. Wisdom – theirs and hopefully our own, will serve to make us much more gracious winners, competitors and keepers of our history.

On Blast
Who do you believe played an enormous role in impacting where you are today?
** Note: The person(s) do not necessarily have to be family, friends or celebrities.

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Monday, February 26, 2007

Morning Edition - 2/26/07

Oscar; Tears
Whether the emotion was pride, anger, frustration or happiness, the 79th Annual Academy Awards was a tear-jerker. With such a successful body of work, it seemed Eddie Murphy had the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor on lock. Unfortunately, my jaw hit the coffee table to hear Alan Arkin’s name announced for his part in Little Miss Sunshine. Murphy’s loss had taken the wind from my sails and I wasn’t so sure that Jennifer Hudson would secure her Best Supporting Actress award. As they announced her win, the weeks I spent feeling that she was undeserving of such a prestigious place in history melted away to pride and respect for her deserved Oscar win. Her last-minute thank-you to Jennifer Holliday even had me forgive the Battlestar Gallactica bolero jacket she wore over her Oscar de la Renta gown. Yes, I even take back the you-no-fashion-sense-havin’-fat-bitch comment I yelled when she walked on to the red carpet. Next up, the Best Song category had Dreamgirls holding-down three possibilities for a win for Listen, I love you I do and Patience. The cast took the stage and hollered over each other, even enlisting a church choir – robes and all. Hudson was even given parts from Listen to pitch-in on. Yes, I was sucking my teeth at the need to allow Hudson in on a song she took no part in in the film. Following their performances the award was handed to Melissa Etheridge for I Need to Wake Up; An Inconvenient Truth. The strange thing is, as much as I love two of the three Dreamgirls nominated songs, their performances left a lot to be desired and the award to Etheridge almost seemed justified. The highest award for male actors – Best Actor – was a category that held both Forest Whitaker for The Last King of Scotland and Will Smith for The Pursuit of Happyness. Quick shout-out here to say, Smith is aging so well and he remains as beautiful to me now as the young man who graced The Fresh Prince of Bel Air. That said, Smith would be left to wait for his moment in the spotlight as Whitaker was honored as this year’s Best Actor. As he held back tears, mine streamed down my face as he described his humble beginnings. The most inspiring moment was when he said, “It is possible for a kid from east Texas, raised in South Central L.A. in Carson, who believes in his dreams, commits himself to them with his heart, to touch them, and to have them happen.” Helen Mirren took home the trophy for Best Actress, beating out Meryl Streep and Penelope Cruz. I found myself on my feet as Martin Scorsese finally took home his Oscar for Best Director on The Departed. Scorsese has been nominated seven times prior to this win. Making Scorsese’s win even sweeter was The Departed’s win for Best Picture. In all, the 79th Annual Academy Awards represented the year we (minorities) were in control – as host, nominees and winners. It put us out there as talented, respected and most important, the norm.

Penelope Cruz - Versace
Best Dressed

Jennifer Hudson - Oscar de la Renta
Worst Dressed

Jennifer Lopez - empire Marchesa goddess gown
Honorable Mention; Always Flawless

On Blast
Penelope Cruz, in my opinion, was the best dressed female of the night at the 79th Annual Academy Awards. Who do you believe was the BEST and WORST dressed at the awards and why?

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Morning Edition - 2/21/07

Weighing On My Mind
In January 2006 I began working out again and have done a good job at staying faithful to my lunch-time regimen. I’m pleased with the results and am comfortable with the way my body looks today. As with anything we focus too much attention on, I’m now competing with myself. It reminds me of a program I watched on the WE channel that highlighted stars and their obsession with maintaining a certain size. Last month during my routine physical, the doctor mentioned that I weighed 165 lbs. When he noticed my disappointed pout, he pointedly said that I appear to be at an adequate weight for my build and that I’d benefit from a Body Mass Index (BMI) test that would set my fear of fat to rest. Yeah doc…thanks. Instead, I took matters into my own hands, cut out that blissful 3 o’clock Starbucks Espresso brownie and reduced the number of carbs I take-in throughout the day. As if that wasn’t enough, I increased my cardio workout to 30-minutes on the treadmill at 7.5-8.0. The result…drum roll please….a loss of 12 pounds, bringing me to a more svelte 153 lbs. My new goal is to reach 145 lbs. by summer. As I spoke to a close confidant about my decision to drop-it-like-it’s-rot, I realized that although I may look more appealing at a slightly thicker weight, I’m more emotionally fulfilled at a smaller size.

Movin’ On Down; Delayed
The $20 million move that would place the NAACP, the nation’s oldest civil rights non-profit, in Washington, DC has been delayed due to their inability to sell their current North Baltimore building. Now a ripe 98-years old, the organization moved from New York to Baltimore in 1986. The objective is to have the NAACP squarely in the mix with major media outlets, lobbyists and government officials.

Momma Did Raise A Fool
After working in corporate America for some time, I’ve conditioned myself to curb my comments or tailor them to my listeners. There are times when you want to reach across the conference room table and slap Suzie to the floor, but you realize that it’s best to smile and simply say, “I see how you would think that Suzie, but I believe we might want to take another approach.” When former NBA star Tim Hardaway went on his tirade about “hating” gay men, it was only a matter of time before the backlash would drown him. Late last week NBA commissioner David Stern banished Hardaway from the NBA All Star Weekend in Las Vegas citing the disparity in Hardaway’s and the NBA’s view toward homosexuality. Who knew? The truth is that bigotry toward homosexuals in virtually all sports – outside of, maybe figure skating – is widely commonplace. The vilification of Hardaway is simply hypocritical rhetoric intended to punish voicing what has always been the belief of the majority of individuals who call major sports their livelihood. Hardaway mentioned how uncomfortable he and most NBA players would be with a homosexual player in the locker room with them, but the truth is gay men are in your locker rooms, board rooms, bedrooms and lives every day. For the record, we [gay men] are desensitized to seeing your nude physique, which would explain why none of John Amaechi’s teammates were ever confronted with a rock-hard penis jabbed in their unsuspecting anuses. Just as men don’t normally rush up to a woman in a skirt, and lodge their penis in their vagina, we [gay men] have enough sense to differentiate between an intimate setting and another day at the office.

On Blast
"As an African-American, I know all too well the negative thoughts and feelings hatred and bigotry cause I regret and apologize for the statements that I made that have certainly caused the same kinds of feelings and reactions. I especially apologize to my fans, friends and family in Miami and Chicago. I am committed to examining my feelings and will recognize, appreciate and respect the differences among people in our society regret any embarrassment I have caused the league on the eve of one of their greatest annual events." - Tim Hardaway; last Thursday via a statement released by his agent.

Is this a true statement by Tim Hardaway or do you believe it to be a last-ditch attempt to clean-up Hardaway’s media disaster?

Keep passin’ the open windows…


Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Morning Edition - 2/20/07

My Man, My Boyz
Dwayne Vernon is a remarkable writer with a groundbreaking new book that is set to take the literary world by storm. My Man, My Boyz is a novel that shatters the stereotype of the gay man as a limp-wrist court jester and paints the picture of mainstream, real-life brothas who are living each day to the fullest. Reminiscent of the 2001 movie The Brothers, Vernon's characters are lawyers, sports stars and average men whose lives take them through the elation of love and success and the devastation of loss and defeat. No emotion is left unexplored and all the storylines mirror those we experience every day. Advance copies of this page-turner are available now, so don’t miss the opportunity to live this novel today.

To check out an excerpt of My Man, My Boyz and learn more about the author check out

On Blast
What did you think? After checking out the My Man, My Boyz webpage…
1. What did you think of the book cover?
2. Did the excerpt inspire you to read more of the book?

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Friday, February 16, 2007

Morning Edition - 2/16/07

Puerto Rican Idol; Season 1
I now realize I’m the Simon Cowell of dating and last night my open audition with MakeItUrOme had me breaking the brotha down and giving him the, “You’re pathetic and this is the end of the road for you. You will not be going on.” My friends have repeatedly told me that I need to go easier on brothas and be more flexible. Unfortunately, I can’t master that theory and feel that some qualities – like actual talent and knowing your lyrics on Idol – cannot be compromised. After meeting MakeItUrOme (MIUO) last week we’ve chatted on the phone everyday, finally making arrangements to meet last night. I tend to work late and mentioned we should meet at 8 p.m. He quickly said, “Can we make it at 7:30, cuz I really want to see you?” I said we’d play it by ear, but I’d do what I could to accommodate him. Well, I left work at five on the nose and rushed home to shave and freshen up. By seven I was so-fresh-and-so-clean and took the time to lotion and fragrance every nook-and-cranny that could possibly be closely inspected during my date. At 7:30 I called MIUO to see where we stood on his audition and he agreed to call me back since he was on the line with his Jamaica-based mom. At 8:30, he returns my call and says he’s getting in the shower and would call when he was on his way. At 9:30 he calls to say he’s leaving his apartment, but wondered if I had a number to a cab. At 10:20 he says he’s standing outside my apartment and could I let him in. ::::FLAMES ON THE SIDE OF MY FACE, BURNING, SEETHING…:::::: I let him in and he immediately gives me a tight hug and says he’s happy to see me. My face, on the other hand, was giving that, “I will call INS on your late ass if you don’t have a good excuse for this bull…” Long story short, the excuse didn’t seem acceptable – see, a phone call to your mom, initiated by you, that delays your getting ready on a night when you have a date, is asinine. So we’re drinking some wine and he’s rubbing my feet – no, I didn’t get over it, but I don’t turn down foot rubs – he says, “I really like you, so what do I have to do to be sure I can do this more often.” I felt my neck get really tight and my eyebrows scrunch up before I began to speak. “Do you really want to know,” I quizzed. “Absolutely,” he chimed-in.”
::::: To quote from X-Men’s Storm, “HOLD ON TO SOMETHING!::::::::
First, you need to arrive on time – especially to a first date. Second, you need to make an effort to call when that is not going to happen. Third, this won’t happen again because I am a stickler for time and will not wait beyond 15 minutes. He sat there, a nervous smile on his face and said, “I’m really sorry, I had no idea. I promise it won’t happen again.” “Yeah, it won’t,” I said; a sarcastic smirk gracing my icy gaze. Fortunately for him, I’ve been celibate for over two months and his throbbing manhood was pushing up against my calves. So, the id won against the ego and after some feverish petting on my sofa, we retreated to my bedroom where he would actually make-up for being late. In the body category – the man is thick, hefty, and solid and an even dark-skin that looks velvety. His lips are like Angelina Jolie after a marathon collagen injection session. The two glaring issues were – performance and equipment discrepancies and the inability to recognize the contrast between our builds. To clarify the first issue, although the man is long-winded, he has no finesse. He struggled to find his rhythm and became intimidated when I took control. Further, little MIUO is smaller than I imagined. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not a size queen, but when you have your own equipment to compare against, brothas that were gypped at birth stand-out as glaring examples of natures sense of humor. I believe his excitement led him to begin manhandling me and contrary to what my body may look like or what you think of when you believe someone works out, I am NOT flexible enough to hold my legs lifted, pushed back and over my head, the balls of my feet held flat to the wall behind my headboard while you attempt to treat me like a $12 all you can eat buffet. Ummm pa, you’re the 25 year old… I was a teen when you were born! I was then flipped upside down to a handstand, while he supported only one of my ankles – his other hand was occupied – and I perilously struggled to hold the other leg in a dancer’s point to avoid toppling or flexing. After enduring the contortion exercises, I decided it was time to teach this man what Ricans are made of. Ninety minutes and two hot wash cloths later and he was snoring so loud I wasn’t able to sleep. This morning as we parted at the train station he asked if he could see me this weekend. “I’m sorry, but you’re not through to the next round,” I said. He laughed nervously and I sped-up to go through the turnstile. I never turned around again. Where’s Ryan Seacrest when you need him?

On Blast
Have you ever been more turned on by what you’re doing to your partner rather than what they look like or how they feel?

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Morning Edition - 2/15/07

The Day After; Let the Games Begin
With the snow and ice storm that attacked New York City yesterday for Valentine’s Day, it was the perfect brew for a romantic evening curled up with the one you love – or as Luther sang, “…the one you’re with.” Sticking to form, I’m always a day late and a dollar short. In that vein, I chose to have my date on the day after the designated lover’s yearly display of affection. Tonight, MakeItUrOme and I will be having dinner and chillin’ at my crib in a get-to-know-me night. I’m missing the butterflies and I’m not nervous; I just have an odd sense that he’s going to be what I need right now. He’s caring, warm and attentive and the fact that he’s a thick and sexy Caribbean man makes him all the more recipe for fun. So, I’m pulling my favorite racquet out of the closet and adjusting my attitude for what’s set to be an exciting game. I’m up to serve and get served and with any luck no one will call out, “Fault!”

Sorry About the Disconnect
If you’re in my inner circle of friends you’ve noticed that the last month has been one where I haven’t been very available or connected. For the record, I hear all the messages, I read all the notes and I smile every time. Unfortunately, I’m in a funk and don’t feel like I would make for good conversation, advice or even idle chatter. So, please bear with me and give me a moment to get it together. At the risk of running the perennial “man” line, “It’s not you, it’s me.”

Say It Loud; I’m Black and I’m Crass
Whether folks are willing to admit it or not, everyone has a group of folks they’re not particularly comfortable with – be it because they’re black, nerdy, gay or handicapped. The key is to keep your ignorant thoughts to yourself. I would think that although we may harbor such feelings, we are very aware that voicing them to others will make us appear like politically incorrect morons. So why did former NBA Miami Heat superstar Tim Hardaway think it would go over well to say – then reiterate –“Well, you know, I hate gay people. I let it be known I don't like gay people. I don't like to be around gay people. I'm homophobic. It shouldn't be in the world, in the United States, I don't like it." This jackass statement was in response to radio personality Dan Le Betard’s questioning of Hardaway, on the recent coming out of another former NBA player, John Amaechi. Even after the reporter came back to Hardaway and pointed out that his comments would be perceived as bigoted, he repeated the statement. When questioned how he would react to a close family member being gay, he said he would not speak to them. Hardaway, don’t hold your breath for any endorsement deals to roll in. Crass moron!

On Blast
Is there a particular group that you feel you’ve developed an ill-will for or don’t care for and feel that your feelings may be a generalized and ignorant stereotype? What do you do to mask these feelings?

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Morning Edition - 2/13/07

Poppa Can You Hear Me?
The short answer to that question is, NO! Dad is partially deaf and outside of reading my lips, he can’t hear a jet plane engine through an amplifier. This week was an odd one. I enjoyed every minute with my parents and realized that they’re aging and I am fast becoming the adult in this adult/child interaction. Last night I got home from my Salsa lesson and rushed to take a shower just to snuggle between my parents in bed and watch TV. I was five again. As I lay my head on my dad’s calves and had my legs over my mom, I felt so warm and loved. I am so grateful that I still have my parents around – neurotic as they may appear at times. This morning, after getting all of three hours of sleep, I rushed upstairs to my sister’s apartment to bid my parents farewell. I hugged my mom so tight she wailed and then laughed; we both had tears in our eyes. They aren’t the flawless storybook parents some folks allege to have, but they’re mine. As dad came back from putting a suitcase in the car, he bear-hugged me and I said, “I love you daddy.” He wasn’t looking at my face, but responded, “I love you too pa.” Guess he was listening with his heart.

Thursday’s Multiple Choice
We’ve discussed the issue of my celibacy and quite honestly, I’m ready for some intimate interaction. I don’t know that this means I want full-out sex, but certainly some intimacy that involves more than just hugging family and close friends. So, I decided that I would be proactive, since being reactive has left me getting choosy at the end and declining all recent offers. I returned the calls of Big Red and MakeItUrOme and told them it would be great to see them this week. Problem is they both suggested Thursday for plans. Well, to keep it real MakeItUrOme said anytime is good for him, but if we would be doing dinner and a movie, he’d like to wait until Thursday when he gets off work earlier. So, I’m weighing my options. With Big Red, it’s a sure-fire fornication marathon, while MakeItUrOme and I are just getting to know each other and will probably play a bit more cautiously. Hmm… let’s hope I don’t play it like a true Rican man and try to opt for choice C – all of the above.

Salsa 101 – Part 2
Last night was our second in a series of February Salsa lessons. We managed to gain another male student, which brings our new class to eight women and 4 men. Special thanks to Pumpkin and Freakin’ for helping me appear more graceful than the two-left-feet doofus I’ve become in my latter years.

On Blast
While watching my parents this week, it became apparent that time flies and we don’t necessarily feel those years zooming by. I asked mom if she ever feels like she’s 30 at heart or feels betrayed by the person staring back from the mirror. She said that she is amazed that her babies are all well into their 30s and 40s and that she can still think back to key instances in her earlier years.

Do you look back at any period in your life with amazement at the amount of time that has transpired? What period of your life stands out with the fondest memories?

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Monday, February 12, 2007

Morning Edition - 2/12/07

Edit; The Year of the Cut-Off
It almost seemed juvenile, but last night as I was speaking to my cousin about a scene out of one of Tales-From-The-Flipped, I stopped and said, “I guess 2007 is shaping up to be the year I edit my inner-circle list.” Here I am six weeks into the new year and I’m amazed at how many changes I’ve had to make to the list of folks I call close friends, confidants and tight family members. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I’m a firm believer that if you’re not a positive influence, you shouldn’t have a role in this production I call my life – PERIOD. So let’s hope I’m left with some true friends by year end… I’d hate to think that everyone I thought were valuable friends end-up in cut-off consideration.

Family Turmoil Unearths Old Demons
At 15 I decided I would be honest with myself and my family and admitted that I am same gender loving. The announcement set-off a whirlwind of drama that landed me on the streets of New York City and the school of hard knocks. I never complained, I never called home to cry and through very difficult times I sometimes wondered how something that affected me and not my parents specifically, could alienate my family from me. My parent’s visit this past week and the recent soap opera that has unfolded in my family in the last couple of months have unearthed demons of years past. As I watch them fret and foam at the mouth behind my two sisters and my younger brother, the realization that my parents didn’t appear to worry about my well being during my difficult years only serves to grate at my very core. It really isn’t a matter of jealousy; it’s more a matter of principle. These are adults they’re worried about, while back then, I was a mere defenseless child. It has made me increasingly intolerant of the issues surrounding my siblings and moreover, resentful that they are such hopelessly paralyzed victims. Ultimately, I’ve been forced to again reconcile that the best solution is for me to avoid their issues and simply focus on me. Hey, it worked before and I have a sense that it’ll work again.

I Was Tipped Off
Call it stress induced self mutilation or just a bad habit, but in the last couple of months I’ve reverted to a very nasty compulsion I thought I kicked since my move back to New York several years ago – biting my nails. So, with my cousin staying with me this week, we came up with an ingenious idea; I would get a manicure with nail tips to prevent me from biting my nails and eradicate this nasty habit. The concept here was simple, she needed a manicure, and I needed to get my hands to look like I don’t spend all my free time chewing my fingers to my knuckles. What ensued was a manicure like nothing I’d seen before. This Vietnamese artist had my hands looking like I represent Puerto Rico at the Ms. Universe pageant. Don’t get me wrong, they WERE absolutely amazing to look at. I felt like I had a hand transplant – unfortunately, the donor was an Italian valley girl from Secaucus. My cousin said, “You just need to get used to them.” What happened after my manicure will live with me for quite some time… It was Saturday night and I had to find a way to keep my plans with my boys while sporting three inch nails. I just worked out before getting these blades on my finger tips and my body was pumped up…now with lady fingers attached. Ugh… so I chose to butch-it-up and wear a wife beater and some thug sweats. I was feeling sexy and these darn drag queen claws were getting on my last nerve. They were like a relentless cock blocking alter-ego taunting me the whole night. Three beers later and I had to pee. I almost severed my penis attempting to maneuver it out of my pants with these nails. Each time I hit the bar to buy a beer I was embarrassed to reach out my hand to pay for it, especially when the bartender appeared fixated on my hands and didn’t understand how they were jutting from my forearms. While on the dance floor, the beers in full effect and with sweat pouring down the center of my back and into the crack of my underwear-less behind, I snatched off my tank top. My sweats were riding the bottom of my ken doll and I was blissfully feeling like a scene out of one of these cheesy gay-movie club scenes. Suddenly this plump booty God of a man who managed to get his top off first, eases up behind me to spoon to Rihana’s Unfaithful. He ran his hand up my side and made contact with my nipple piercing and tugged it lightly. When I reached up to cup his hand under mine I saw my ostentatious claws and made a “female fist” in a feeble attempt to make my talons invisible. It was useless. I turned to Mr. Chocolate Thunder, smiled and said, “Excuse me… I’m hittin’ the bar” Needless to say, I never returned. So first thing Sunday, my cousin and I were sitting in front of my new Vietnamese best friend at Q Nails. “Cut these down about 2 ½ inches please,” I groaned. He simply smiled and said, “You last longer than I thought. Thought you would come right back.” I smiled and said, “Yeah, I almost gave myself a colonoscopy this morning.” He shrugged and said, “See you in two weeks.” Uh…right… two weeks.

On Blast
Three months this Saturday…That’s right folks, I’m still holding on to my celibacy. Problem is, I’m now wondering what my motivation is. I really want some, but each time I get to a place where I can easily have some, I sabotage the deal and celebrate holding out one more time.
So here’s the thing…Is there any real benefit to holding out on having casual sex OR can casual sex be equated to assisted masturbation?

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Morning Edition - 2/8/07

Know When to Fold Them
The old Gambler song by Kenny Rogers says, “You gotta know when to hold em, know when to fold em, know when to walk away and know when to run…” I seem to have a problem with knowing when to fold em. Basically, my being a creature of habit and my refusal to quit, sometimes have me spinning my wheels unnecessarily. Case in point, since my return to NYC I have rented the basement apartment in my sister’s house. The apartment is far-too small and the proximity to my family, living just two floors above me, can sometimes make for uncomfortable scenes. We are simply privy to too much of each other’s private lives. Issues such as knocking on my door when her calls go unanswered are not foreign to my sister. To give a brief background, I have not lived with my family since I turned 15-years old – several centuries ago – so my privacy is something I hold very near and dear. I believe that your home MUST be a safe haven where you are able to unwind, relax and regroup. If your home becomes a place where you feel tension, discomfort, etc., it’s time to roll. Well, that time has come. Without giving too much personal information, my sister and I don’t see eye-to-eye on a personal issue involving her choices in life. In cases like these you must look at the BIG picture. First, it’s her house. Second, it’s her problem. Third, she’s not going to change. With these three factors in place, it is pointless to attempt to come to a reasonable solution that could allow us to coexist and cohabitate. Sadly, I actually believed that I would be able to be closer to my family now that we’ve all matured. Since I’m single and have no major responsibilities, I thought I could offer support when they needed it and help them when they were down. This is not the case. Some issues are not water under the bridge, but chasms that can’t be crossed. So, as much as I hate moving and as scared as I am for her certain tragic future, I fold em. After moving I will evaluate whether it is healthy to continue a relationship with my sister or if it would be best to recognize that sometimes you have to also “know when to run…”

Salsa 101
Last Monday a group of about 12 of us took the first of a month’s worth of 2-hour Salsa lessons at the Champion Dance Studio, in midtown Manhattan. Since the bulk of the students attending are Latino, you would think that we would have the Salsa thing down pat. As it turns out, we don’t. Luckily, Sonny, our extremely talented, graceful and black (!) instructor is teaching us that just because we come equipped with a naturally dislocate-able trick hip, doesn’t mean we are Salsa pros. Sonny has an amazing background that dates back to his working with Salsa legends – including Tito Puente. Our Salsa lessons take place each Monday, 6-8 p.m., and they have proven to be an instant hit with the group. I am so excited about donning my leg warmers, tights, dance shoes and head band next Monday. I was especially glad when Sonny mentioned that both the men and women in his class would learn how to lead AND follow. …it just spoke to my versatile side.

Bendito, Ma and Pa; A Cold Reception
My parents arrived from 85 degree Puerto Rico on Saturday and have been overwhelmed by the cold spell that has blanketed the rotten apple. Since their arrival, NYC has not even reached the 32 degree mark! Dad now has a cold and Mom is enraged that she hasn’t been able to really run the streets and shop until the credit bureaus holler in disgust. To keep themselves occupied my parents are resorting to dissecting the lives of everyone in the household and informing us what we’re doing wrong that prevents us from being happy. As of this morning, I’m bossy, abrasive, selfish and need to spend more time taking care of my inner self than my physique at the gym… uh, thanks mom. You always know how to make me feel like a bow-legged, nappy-headed, nervous 5-year old again.

On Blast
Some would argue that family MUST be your number one priority in life and that any sacrifices made for family are always worth the trouble. In my experience, my friends played an intricate role in my development and survival, so any gratitude afforded to my family is somewhat my attempt to be gracious. I have found a lack of acceptance, a lukewarm introduction to their friends and even the moronic reasoning that maybe my brother’s womanizing is his overcompensation for my being gay. All to say, my family have not always been kind to me.

Do you believe family is family and therefore an added amount of compromise and effort must be undertaken to maintain relationships alive OR can individuals who are family simply break connections and recognize that they are too different to continue a healthy relationship?

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Monday, February 05, 2007

Morning Edition - 2/5/07

Picture Perfect…Sis B-Day
My sis’ 40th birthday celebration at Lucky Strikes Lanes was a big hit. Dad, in particular, managed to be the best bowler of the lot. Special thank-you to Clent, Martin, Annette, James, Joe, Ruthy, Tweety, Carlos, Mom and Dad, for making the festivities a success. Below are some quick pics shot with my phone. My apologies for not having better pics, but I forgot my digital in our mad rush to make it to the joint…

Mom, Sis, Dad

Sis, Annette

Sis, James

Sis, Me

On Blast
Have you ever felt you weren’t yourself and you couldn’t quite put your finger on what was wrong? What did you discover was the issue?

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Friday, February 02, 2007

Morning Edition - 2/2/07

Fluff Has Love For New York
My good buddy Philippe (sp) is headed for New York today. We will be chillin’ in the West Vill tonight and celebrating his weekend visit. Although Fluff and I have known of each other since our teenage years, we connected when I returned to New York in 2003. Close to two years ago he moved to Chicago, where he is pursuing his art career. I’m thinking he can showcase a piece for me this weekend….

My Fave Turns 48
My favorite cousin, Nancy, turns 48 this Sunday. The eternally young and beautiful cuz will be partying on Saturday when my sis Evelyn celebrates her 40th. Both Nancy and Evelyn celebrate birthdays the same day. Happy B-Day to both!

No Hard Feelings; I’m Just Not For the Okie-Doke
As I get older it becomes harder and harder to tolerate bullshit. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m aware that everyone – including me – spew some brown every now and again, but let’s keep it real. Give your friends and family some credit. When you step out there on faith and give someone a story or approach them regarding an issue, it stands to reason that you take their intellect into account. Basically, don’t make them feel that you consider them a moron; put some thought into that bullshit. Here are some pitfalls to avoid:
If your story starts with, “What [had] happened was…” Stop!! Evaluate whether you should even tell the story. You’re headed for certain disaster.
If you know the proposition you are about to make is so far-fetched and out-of-character for the person you’re going to run-it-by, consider pumping-your-brakes and keeping it to yourself.
If you feel in your heart that if the story you are about to tell would seem absurd if it were being told to you (true or not) you might want to keep that story to yourself.
If the damage is done and your story would appear to be a pitiful attempt to excuse the inexcusable, consider chalking up the disaster as a total lost to you.
If you are aware that what you are about to explain and apologize for is something you are likely to repeat or is part of your core make-up, check yourself and just drop the issue all together.
Now I realize these points may appear abrupt and to the point, but most assuredly they will help you maintain a semblance of respect and show you have a modicum of dignity about yourself.

Birthday Weekend In La Isla Del Encanto?
Last year my soul wifey and I spent my birthday weekend in Puerto Rico. It was a birthday to remember – even down to that last dramatic moment. This year, I’d like to try the birthday weekend in PR again and invite all my friends that would like to get away to join me. If you’d like to take an August shake-and-bake break, please feel free to begin your planning now. My objective is to bake during the day and shake it all night. Don’t count on getting much rest, but certainly look forward to celebrating life.

On Blast
So you’re not 18….but has there come a time when you wanted to do something fun or frivolous and were faced with your inner voice saying, “Now you know you’re too old for that!”? Do you believe your age or maturity ever inhibits what you do for fun?

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Morning Edition - 2/1/07

On Fours
by Cocoa Rican

If I could see what others saw
I’d probably be so much more
My heart, my talent all to waste
Taking life at a snails pace
Love, it meets me and says hi
I turn away, meek, so shy
Friends they grow and change with time
My wheels they spin, stuck deep in grime
The young they gain momentum, pass me by
Rather than pick up pace, I wither, die
My voice I’ll find, one day, I say
Until then my soul tatters and frays
Do it today, tomorrow’s not yours
Without the will, life kicks me, I’m on fours

On Blast
What are you putting off for the future that you know in your heart you should be doing today?

Keep passin’ the open windows…