Flaws and all....
It's an amazing feeling to see the love and/or admiration in someone's eyes as they look at you. I'm in awe at the splendor of having someone notice something about me that I - in my fine-tooth analyzing - can't see.
Have you met someone who you see through rose-colored glasses and find their flaws are endearing? Do you accept them flaws and all?
Keep passin' the open windows...
Saturday, April 28, 2007
Flaws and all....
Friday, April 27, 2007
Two years ago, after a difficult pregnancy, my sister gave birth to the most beautiful baby in the world. My Daylen has been the greatest love I’ve known and I was slightly disappointed that after reminding myself for the last two weeks that his birthday was coming up, I actually missed it yesterday. The family is planning to cut a cake for him today. Admittedly, this is a very difficult period for my family, particularly between my sister and me, but Daylen is and will always be my greatest love of all. Happy 2nd birthday Day-Day!
Sanjaya; Oh Yeah...I'm Not Gay
Sanjaya Malakar, the most controversial American Idol contestant ever, sat down with People Magazine and talked about his upbringing and his sexual orientation. The 17-year old Malakar went on record saying that being raised by his mom and having such a close relationship with women gave him an understanding of women. This understanding, he says, always had women at his side, and conversely, had the guys disliking him. He also mentioned that his close relationship with women and his cheek-peck greetings with women led men to believe he was gay. He says he’s not gay and that he had a girlfriend at 16, but dropped her when she became too clingy. The Hoola dancing, hair obsessing waif – formerly referred to me as my Golden Sunshine – didn’t know what to say to Jimmy Kimmel, of ABCs Jimmy Kimmel Live, last night, when Kimmel asked why he decided to come out and say he wasn’t gay when People Magazine never asked the question directly. Sadly, Kimmel’s question is a valid one. Although many may have had questions about Malakar’s sexual orientation, no one had blatantly said he was gay. His preemptive approach to tackling the issue poses more questions than it answers.
The HOE’s Travels
My dating foray with the HOE has been a good one. We enjoy each other’s company and our dates are both romantic and comforting. He has many qualities that make him a great candidate for a long-term partnership. The one issue that has us doing the one-step-forward-two-steps-back dance is his extensive vacationing since we’ve met. Two weeks after meeting he took a two week vacation to Machu Picchu in Peru. Today, he’s leaving for Bali, a small Indonesian Island, for another two weeks. This would be a non-issue, except it has also allowed me more time to invest on dating Baby Daddy. Baby Daddy and I have a lot more in common than the HOE and I; he gets me and we really share serious passion when we’re together. The comparison probably would never have come to play if the HOE wasn’t gone so often and for so long. Time will tell where my dating with these two goes, but this early on the concept of absence-makes-the-heart-grow-fonder becomes more of an out-of-sight-out-of-mind reality.
In my opinion, the issue of sexual orientation is really not anyone’s business and the question need not be addressed, unless the respondent feels there’s a valid reason for divulging his/her personal business.
Why do you believe Sanjaya Malakar used such a public and gossip-ridden forum to reveal he is straight when he was not asked about his sexual orientation? Does his assertion raise more questions for you than it answers?
Keep passin’ the open windows…
Thursday, April 26, 2007
Everyone has the potential to be evil. Most of us fight the feeling, but some do act-out those feelings. Whether it’s something minor or truly catastrophic, we’ve all thought of having an evil moment.
Hypothetically….Safe from all reprisal or repercussion, what one EVIL would you be capable of? Make it interesting, give us details.
Keep passin’ the open windows…
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
Please refer to the monstrosity by clicking here.
I’m a proud supporter of new artists who appear to be true singers; Vocalists that can take that microphone and make the ABCs sound like a musical masterpiece. Granted, everyone has bad days. In Keyshia Cole’s defense, the impromptu musical piece she attempted at Bishop Noel Jones’ church appears to be unscripted, unrehearsed and off-the-cuff. I’ve heard Ms. Cole sing live before and I don’t think I’ve heard a misstep of this magnitude. So the question remains, why? Why did she think she could pull this off? More important, hollering at the top of your lungs doesn’t make a gospel song any more powerful – it simply makes you louder and sometimes, more conspicuously “out of order.” Lesson learned. Stick to singing that sweet hook and leave the gospel to folks who have been blowin’ for Jesus on the regular. I have to admit that had I been in the congregation I would’ve been moved to lay hands – right across her mouth! Let the church say, “Amen.”
Basophobia is the fear of falling. It is said that the fear of falling is the ONLY fear that we are born with. All other fears are learned. Following in the vein of yesterday’s discussion on Rant and Fix, I was surprised to see that many of us share the same problem. The inability to motivate ourselves to be the person we know we should be. We all posed it in different ways – procrastination, laziness or the choking feeling that everyone will recognize us as a fraud if we take on the challenge to be who we want to be – whether that be professionally, personally or emotionally. My personal struggle has a deep-seated root in my fear of instability. Leaving home at an early age caused me to seek stability through employment and to carefully select my moves. In essence, I will stick with a dead-end job to insure I can pay my bills and be comfortable. Unfortunately, it has stifled my first passion – writing. When I left Washington, DC to return to NYC four years ago, I vowed to concentrate on writing my book and putting those creative juices out there. Instead, I returned to NYC, took to what I knew best – corporate America – and have since put my dream of writing on a back burner. Sure, there’s this little respite I call my cathartic writing, but seriously folks, I’m only fooling myself if I think that blogging is doing anything to satisfy my true dream. As I spoke to Al and KrisAlmighty last night the admonition was the same – write that book. Truth be told, I’m scared. I consider the art of writing equivalent to that of a singing. There are some great voices out there, but very few make it to the big time. Here’s another strange fact. I’m not looking for the BIG time. I’m looking to be able to do what I have a passion for. So the commitment is that I will begin to map out a plan. I will not talk about it, I will be about it. I will write. If it happens that my writing is the equivalent of Karaoke, I will at least have closed that chapter. I must overcome my basophobia. In the end, Donnie McClurkin said it best, “We fall down, but we get up…”
Darfur vs. VA Tech
The area known as Darfur in western Sudan is said to have been the site of more than 450,000 deaths in the past four years. Finally, when the slaughter became so abhorrent that the international community felt that they had to intervene, the United Nations resolution 1706 was put into place and over 17,000 troops were sent to Darfur to help stop the killing. Recently, I was asked why I didn’t post a big blog post to highlight the 33 people who died last week on the Virginia Tech campus. Let me be clear, I am saddened and horrified that someone committed such an atrocity, but I also am disgusted with the hypocrisy of Americans – primarily we in the minority community – who were so incensed with the students who lost their lives, but never saw the need to draw attention to the genocide of a people – our brothers and sisters in Africa. Murder is horrific on any scale, but to ignore the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of people, killed over several years and spend countless hours analyzing how a single shooter killed 32 people in a matter of a couple of hours puzzles me.
For complete information on Darfur go here
Besides the fact that the Virginia Tech incident occurred on U.S. soil, what reason is there for the virtual media silence following the Darfur genocide vs. the media frenzy that took place following the VA Tech incident?
Keep passin’ the open windows…
Monday, April 23, 2007
Rant and Fix
The past weekend was filled with enough ho-hum to last me for quite some time. I’m trapped in a feeling of helplessness and restlessness. The combination of the two is likely to have me do something rash to snap out of it, but in the meantime, I’m just plain lost. For the first time in a long time I feel like I’m surrounded by hundreds of folks and still completely alone. This isn’t a cry out for attention or words of encouragement – respectfully, save all of that advice. Right now, it’s a time for me to take a good look at my self and admit a few things:
1. I’m frustrated with my professional life and all the complaining isn’t going to do anything to change that. I get paid a pretty penny to do what I don’t like to do, so you’d think that I can just get paid and shut up, but I can’t. I feel like I’m wasting precious years playing Ohura on Star Trek when I’m suppose to at least be Spock or something…well, you get what I’m saying. I have to make a concerted effort to find something that satisfies my soul while earning my paycheck.
2. Your home is your castle. You should feel comfortable, relaxed and safe where you live. Hell, it’s the advice I give all my friends. So why have I been dragging my feet on finding a new apartment? Maybe I’m hoping that miraculously I’ll wake up and my home-life will be different. Then there’s the complete hatred I have of packing and moving. Finally, there’s the time commitment to finding a decent new apartment. All said, the excuses are played out and it’s time to take action. Caspar will be assisting me on staying on track to find a new place. Target move date: June 1.
3. My love life is a shamble. I’m dating several – well wait, isn’t several three? – Anyway, I’m dating a host of folks and initially it was fun and exciting. Now, it’s an exhausting chore and I’m happier with my making it through yet another date, rather than enjoying the men I’m seeing. What’s the deal? Do I really like anyone I’m seeing? More important, is there a future with any of these guys? Then again, am I looking for a future or long term situation? I don’t know! So it’s time to pump my brakes and take a look at just enjoying the folks I really want to date, dropping the ones I cringe at when there numbers appear across my telephone and asking myself the REAL question – what are you looking for?
4. Finally, it’s time to go back to the posting that began this year and remembering one key resolution – I will enjoy my body and my physique regardless of my size. I’ve been working out for over a year – consistently – and am still being so hard on myself that I’m not acknowledging the success of my efforts. Short of starvation, I’m not likely to drop under 150 lbs. and at 38 this August, I think I’m holding up quite well. Enough already! I really can’t continue getting on my own darn nerves! If I beat myself up for having a cookie or a brownie one more time I’m going to go “white chick” on myself and injure! So, it’s all good… everything in moderation…I will not be 50 wondering why I didn’t accept myself back when.
Pick one… give us one thing about yourself you’d like to rant about this Monday. Remember, after you rant about it you have to give us the action plan you’ve thought about to make it better OR you have to end your rant with, “Please help me,” and we’ll jump in and give you our two cents.
Keep passin’ the open windows….
Friday, April 20, 2007
Long Story Short
My NY AIDS Walk 2007 campaign is making great strides. I’m more than half-way to my goal of raising $2,000. If you haven’t already, please click on the link on the side bar (at right) and make a donation to the cause. Thank you to all of you who are making this walk a huge success!....Latisha Langston (formerly La-la Finney) is earning her Associates Degree this May – Congrats girl!....Damaris C. celebrates her birthday at LQ tonight. Please join her at 5:30 p.m. The party is sure to be CALIENTE!.... My friend, the author Dwayne Vernon is dropping his book, My Man, My Boyz soon (see side bar at right). He’s also about to complete the second edition to the same. Both are must reads, so be sure to drop by the link to purchase the first of the two page-turners.
Dating etiquette…. When dating more than one person at a time, is it proper etiquette to have sex with all the folks you’re dating? Should you just be getting to know the folks and wait to have sex with the one partner you deem worthy of sharing more intimately with? Are there still different rules for males/females in dating? Do different rules apply to aggressive/passive male gay dating?
Keep passin’ the open windows…
Thursday, April 19, 2007
Last night Sanjaya Malakar, the most talked-about American Idol ever, was sent packing. After his Tuesday night Let’s Give Them Something To Talk About rendition, America voted and agreed with Simon Cowell. As he cried on that stage it was like someone rubbed a lemon on my eyeballs…wait, I was squeezing a lemon into my Martini at the time…but I digress, my Golden Sunshine is no longer with us. Malakar managed to generate the most controversy when many felt his talent wasn’t up-to-par with the remaining competitors. There were hunger strikes, CNN news reports and even a Saturday Night Live skit dedicated to the 17-year old hopeful. Recently, while in the crowd at a baseball game, Malakar’s face was flashed on the screen. Reports indicate the crowd became belligerent and booed the youngster. He brought out the best and worst in so many and all he did was wear his hair a little different and sing meekly for the masses. If nothing else, my Golden Sunshine did one great thing; he gave us something to debate that was, in the big picture scheme of things, meaningless. Good bye my Golden Sunshine. May you shine your meek, manipulative light somewhere in our dark judgmental world.
His alleged lack of talent had many Americans up in arms; I submit that there were other reasons and quirks that made some Americans very uncomfortable with Sanjaya Malakar. There were plenty of contestants in seasons 1-5 that were equally pitiful. What do you believe was the true controversy behind Sanjaya Malakar making it to the final seven on American Idol?
Keep passin’ the open windows…
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
Following the Don Imus slur that incited so much outrage, I sat and thought about why any race would appropriate hate-speech as a term of endearment. I joked with a friend how odd it would sound if a Latino man walked up to another and said, “Yeah, this is my spic,” or if a White man would run into his neighbor at the grocery store and greet him by saying, “How’s it going honkey?” It’s funny because it would never happen. So, how did the “nigga” conundrum begin? Why, when it began so long ago, did those that were “in the know” not pump the brakes of the younger folks who thought it would be a cool phrase. The argument that it is empowering to convert a word used for hate, into a term of camaraderie is ridiculous. No other culture appears to share this belief. Hate is hate. Hate begets hate. Then there’s the issue of the trying to explain why a girl from the projects that uses her flirtation and, sometimes more, to get ahead is a “ho,” while a young lady from Spellman who dates men who pay her bills is simply resourceful and ambitious. More importantly, it appears the lines become blurred when men fail to recognize the distinction between the two and resort to calling both types, simply, a “ho.” Oprah Winfrey had an open discussion on the subject this past Monday and Tuesday. She included respected members of the Black community, young women from Spellman College and members of the Rap industry who discussed why the Rap industry fails to see the connection between the glamorizing of sexism and oppression and the proliferation of hate speech in America. Ultimately, the Rap industry would like it if we see the problem as one that started before they began uttering the hate speech and so it should be addressed in general and not focus solely on their industry. What was most disturbing was how the record industry executives felt that freedom of speech should protect those that wish to continue to voice their experiences – even if those experiences included the artist using words such as “bitch,” “ho,” or “nigga.” One panel member said it best when he said that no one will be given more respect that they give themselves. Simply, if we’re okay with calling each other bitches, niggas, etc., it is difficult to hold others accountable for echoing our hate speech.
Our first amendment rights protect what we say – regardless of what that is. The rap industry appears to hinge their argument on protecting that right in an effort to explain why it is important to allow rappers to express themselves as they see fit. Do you believe we would still have “nigga, ho, bitch,” etc. in rap lyrics if our communities refused to purchase music from any artist that engaged in hate speech? Is “green” the ultimate deciding color in racist remarks and freedom of speech discussions?
Keep passin’ the open windows…
Monday, April 16, 2007
In 1981 the U.S. discovered HIV/AIDS and since then it has claimed the life of millions of Americans. My introduction to HIV/AIDS came in 1987 at the tender age of 17. By then I had already been on my own for two years on the streets of NYC and had seen the changing atmosphere of the party circuit. There was a strange hush that came over the minority gay community. The ominous discussions revolved around a killer disease with the potential to take out its victims in a matter of months. I was basically told that the disease was spread through sexual contact and that I should practice safer sex. At this point, the disease wasn’t a concern for me, until I began to see the folks who ran in my circles begin to get ill and die. It was then that I not only became afraid, but recognized my own mortality. I felt betrayed – not only because I was given this information after I had begun being sexually active, but because I was at the peak of my sexual exploration and was now confronted with a silent killer I didn’t know much information about. I didn’t immediately take heed, but I believe that the Lord protects the innocent and the ignorant – well, I was at least ignorant. Now, 25 years later, if I’m nothing else, I’m grateful. I’m here, I’m healthy and rather than live trapped in a helpless fear of HIV/AIDS, I’ve chosen to take a stand and do what I can in the fight against the enemy that has stolen so many of my friends. Each year, I take to the streets of NYC and walk to raise funds for treatment, support and research to help save the lives of men, women and children infected with the disease. Information sharing is important, but without actively working toward combating HIV/AIDS we are simply wishing on a star. On Sunday, May 20, 2007 I am participating in the NY AIDS Walk. I’m asking that you join me in fighting the disease by sponsoring my walk. Simply go to my NY AIDS Walk 2007 donation page and in just a few clicks you will go from talking about it, to being about it. HIV/AIDS is not going away, so it’s up to all of us to fight.
The Return of Baby Daddy
Hailing from the boogie-down-Bronx, Baby Daddy is a red-bone, juicy-pink-lip, six-foot brotha I met over a year ago. His nickname stems from the admirable responsibility he has of raising his 8-year old son all alone. Yes, there are single parents all over America, but it isn’t often that you see a man who takes this task seriously. Back when we met, Baby Daddy was busy juggling two jobs and his youngin’. He was still committed to keeping his dates – even when there were the occasional sitter-foul-ups that left us both frustrated. Since then, we’ve always stayed in touch and shared our lives, the ups-and-downs, but never crossed completely from date-mentality to friendship-mode. I’m actually thankful that we haven’t because he’s so interesting and sexy. He gets the jokes, we laugh hard, but most of all he’s quite the package. Now before your mind starts racing, when I say package, I mean he has the qualities that make the butterflies stir in your stomach and he gets my sly smile going each time he opens his mouth. Last night, Baby Daddy and I finally got together for our first date in months. We’ve both been busy and struggling with making our schedules connect, but last night the stars all lined-up and we made it happen. I sooooooooo needed this man last night. The evening was very romantic and the intimacy was even better than I remembered. At one point, I looked into his baby browns and his look of sheer ecstasy took me to another place. Within three hours we were both spent and smiling. I pulled the down comforter over us and felt the heat of exertion that was now trapped between us. He pulled me on top of him and I rested my elbow on the side of the pillow to stare at his face. “What are you smirking at,” he asked pressing me to him. “Just you…you make me feel real good,” I said. He smiled a wide school boy smile and said, “We’ve got to be able to see each other more often… we can make this work.” I agreed and a few deep kisses later we were dressing and joking about the last few months. When I returned home I called him and we spoke for the next 30 minutes – mainly about how thankful we were for such a great night. Just before going to bed my phone rang and it was one of my running buddies. He asked how my date went and said, “Who was your date with anyway?” The country-ghetto lyrics rang in my head and I had to really laugh hard when I found myself saying, “Ain’t nobody…just my Baby Daddy.”
HIV/AIDS is deadly and, today, I think we are ALL aware that any of us can become infected. Safer sex is not safe sex and we all have “oops” moments when we are not as safe as we should be.
Tell of an instance when you feel you let down your guard or did not exercise the best judgment with regard to safer sex.
Keep passin’ the open windows…
Friday, April 13, 2007
Cafepress.com and several other websites are advertising and selling Nappy Headed Ho t-shirts. So, what’s really going on? We shouldn’t say Nappy Headed Ho, but we should wear a t-shirt that advertises the slur? It appears the height of hypocrisy to allege to be offended by the slur, and now parade around wearing it emblazoned on your chest. Do you really think that White America will boldly buy the t-shirt and wear it in public? Not likely, since the resulting reaction may leave them on fire – rather than fired. So, are we to believe that minorities will now appropriate Nappy Headed Ho in the same way that some have made “Nigga” a term of endearment? As minorities we need to stop alleging outrage at a statement, only to turn around and jokingly use it ourselves – especially on each other.
A Little Off the Top
Researchers have found that cells found in the foreskin of uncircumcised men increase their chances of contracting HIV. A University of California, Los Angeles study only addressed heterosexual sex and did not address same sex partners. Now, 2,500 uncircumcised Ugandan men will be circumcised for the equivalent of $17. The objective is to reduce HIV/AIDS in the African country. The African study also warned that the circumcision should be accompanied by condom use, abstinence and delayed start to sexual activity to truly make a difference in reducing HIV/AIDS infection rates.
Mi Puerto Rico!
The Newark Museum in Newark, New Jersey is featuring the Mi Puerto Rico! exhibit, highlighting three amazing Puerto Rican artist. The 40 pieces are on loan from the Museo de Arte en Ponce, Puerto Rico through Sunday, April 15. Jose Campeche, Francisco Oller and Miguel Pou created these masterpieces between 1780 and 1952. My boy Carlos and I will be hitting the museum on Sunday for the last day of the showing. A special presentation is planned before the works of art are packed up and returned to the island.
Some doctors feel circumcision is unnecessary and merely a cosmetic procedure widely practiced in the U.S., while many feel that circumcision helps men maintain better hygiene. Now, science is finding that circumcision may have a medical benefit.
Do you believe that circumcision for males is genital mutilation or do you feel it is necessary and serves a purpose?
Keep passin’ the open windows…
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
Lesson learned...you exercise your first amendment rights to speak your mind and your mind contains some racially charged statements, you should be sure that your statements don't affect the ONE unforgiving color in America - GREEN. After several large advertisers began their exodus from the Don Imus in The Morning Show, executives at MSNBC felt they could no longer carry Imus. CBS' decision is still pending. See, in America, it's not what you say that will establish your success or failure; it is who will stand by you when all is said and done.
Say Whatever; Jigaboo, Wannabe
Don Imus and his producer Bernard McGuirk are in hot water for the comments they made regarding the Rutgers University Basketball team following their game with Tennessee. Apparently, Imus and McGuirk felt the game resembled a scene from the Spike Lee movie School Daze and that the Rutgers team could be seen as the Jigaboos, while the primarily light-skinned Tennessee team apparently represented the Wannabees. The exact reference to the Rutgers team by Imus was that they are “Nappy-headed ho’s.” Two days after the uproar, Imus apologized, but faces a two-week suspension beginning Monday, April 16. Many are calling for MSNBC, the station who carries Don Imus in the Morning, to fire Imus and McGuirk. Strangely, this isn’t the first time Imus and his side-kick have stepped across racial lines with inappropriate comments. On March 6, McGuirk is said to have mentioned that Hilary Rodham Clinton was trying to “sound black” when addressing a March 4, Selma, Alabama Bloody Sunday commemorative ceremony. McGuirk said that by the end of the presidential race between Senator Barrack Obama and Clinton, Clinton would be seen wearing cornrows and sporting gold teeth. He even went on to say that we should look forward to Clinton giving hand signs to gang members from the crips during her speeches. True, no one needs to tune-in to listen to the inflammatory remarks, but it doesn’t mean that bigoted, racially motivated and stereotypical remarks can be blurted from such a public forum unchecked. So far, two major advertisers have pulled their endorsements from the Imus in the Morning Show – one being Procter and Gamble.
Should comments like those from Don Imus and Bernard McGuirk be allowed on nationally syndicated and well endorsed radio shows? Are we infringing on the first amendment rights of others if we ask that a radio talk show host and his producer are fired for speaking their mind? Are there minority radio talk show hosts guilty of comments that are similar or equal to those of Imus and McGuirk, but we feel their comments should be overlooked or excused simply because of a perceived minority privilege to speak against the alleged oppressors in America?
Keep passin’ the open windows…
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
With subscriptions to Road and Track, Car and Driver and Motor Trend I am a veritable connoisseur of cars. Most would say it’s one of those quirks in my personality that don’t seem to fit with the rest of my more flamboyant qualities. Sure, I’m not a swoosh-and-primp kind-of guy, but I do have my fey-ways about me. With that all sorted out, it should come as no surprise that each year I take to the New York International Auto Show – now at the Javits Center through April 15 – to ogle over the amazing new inventions in automotive wizardry. My partner for this event was J’Moo – blogger family member and lifetime friend who also knows how to appreciate a large block V-8 engine dressed in 22” wheels. There’s only one thing J’Moo and I noticed more than the new-fangled motor works this year – the men. For some odd reason there appeared to be an inordinate amount of gorgeous young specimens this year. The kind that had us turning from the new Audi S5, to the trunk on the 6’2” Dominican man leaning into the hood of a BMW 750. All was not lost, we did see the vehicles we set out to see, but all the while we couldn’t help but revel in the beauty of the men who may someday sit in them.
Leopards and Their Spots
The old adage says that a leopard does not change his spots. It’s a saying that I live by, but try to prove by example that it may not necessarily be true. Case in point, there was a period in my life when I was deceitful, calculating and unable to live in my truth. I thought I did a good job at pulling off some pretty elaborate stunts, but in the end, I only fooled myself. The feeling that you are a liar, a cheat, and a deceiver is one that will diminish all the good you may accomplish in the same time period. Ultimately, I reached a moment when I couldn’t outrun myself. I didn’t like the person that appeared to want to have his cake and eat it too. It was then that I took a courageous stand to be truthful. I say courageous because it was then that I realized how scared I was to honor the people around me with the truth and strangely, how freeing it was to feel that I was being judged for who I really was and what I honestly felt. Recently, I realized that though I may have taken a stand to change, others may still be living in the haze that is deceit. It never pays. Deceit breeds contempt, drama and unnecessary stress. My truth tells me that I’m disappointed in realizing that maybe a leopard can’t change his spots. All I can say is that rather than losing his spots, this leopard graduated to becoming a proud panther.
Thank you for all the well wishes during my groin pull recovery. I have taken exactly one week off from the gym and although I still have pain, it feels better. I’m not comfortable running yet, but I will be hitting the gym today and biking as cardio exercise. I’m really hoping I fully recover before my May trip.
Everything must change. Nothing stays the same. Everyone must change. Nothing and no one goes unchanged. The lyrics to the Oleta Adams song are simple, but so strong in their fundamental clarity. Sometimes we hold on to people or things and it takes a slight jar, snag or shove to recognize that change has occurred and you have to transition with it.
What incident in your life served as a moment of clarity to help you recognize there had been or needed to be, a change?
Keep passin’ the open windows…
Friday, April 06, 2007
Since I returned to the gym over a year ago my gym partners have come and gone. With a gym buddy I had a voice to say, “Hey, we’re doing too much,” or “We’re really pushing too hard.” In the last six months or so I’ve been working out completely alone and enjoying it. Unfortunately, I have an obsessive-compulsive personality and when it comes to being competitive and challenging myself, I will do it to a detriment. The problem is, my body is proving that in the battle of Cocoa vs. Cocoa, the only contender who can win, or conversely lose, is me. It was just over a month ago when I began stepping-up my workouts and pushing my body to limits I hadn’t really attempted before. By last week, I was running 3.5 miles in 25 minutes and alternating between upper and lower body muscle toning, to a break-body pace of six days per week. Well, Saturday my body finally gave way. I managed to pull a groin muscle. My first official sports injury. Unable to quit, I hit the treadmill and ran 2.5 miles on Monday and worked on legs. The resulting excruciating pain has left me looking like a paraplegic each time I rise from a sitting position. I feel betrayed by my body – especially when I’m only two months away from my summer in the Puerto Rico sun. So, I consulted a few sports gurus and my workplace nurse, who say I can exercise – after giving myself at least a week’s rest, but should not run for another two-to-three weeks. The skinny about groin injuries is that they can take up to a month to heal and even then it isn’t recommended that you go full throttle until you’re sure – lest you cause further injury. What is a mentally-obese and fanatically-obsessed-over-30-guy to do? I’ve taken the last two days off from the gym and already feel like I’m bloated and awkward. I’m hitting the gym and biking it tomorrow while trying to do some upper body toning to avoid the weight that is crushing my mind. Body beautiful 2007 will happen; I’m just hoping I don’t have those two cute metal accessories to carry with me as I try to walk along the beach in the Caribbean.
Good Friday; For Who?
Today, the Christian faith celebrates Good Friday. The day Jesus Christ was crucified and died for the sins of humanity; thereby granting society a cleansing through his blood and a way to heaven. The thought is all good, but I’m sure as Jesus dragged that enormous cross, where I’m sure he knew he would be nailed and spat on, he didn’t consider it a good day. With all due respect, I reflect on the story of Jesus and think how many would give their own life in sacrifice for others. He was human at the time and of flesh and blood like the rest of us, so the fear had to cross his mind. Yet, as the story goes, he did give his life for EVERY person to have an opportunity at redemption. Regardless of your beliefs, celebrate the idea of selfless sacrifice, unmatched love and the truth that he did it for ALL.
Rapidly Fraying Rope
Remember those on your way up the ladder so they can remember you on your way down. This piece is dedicated to everyone who has shown their fellow man their ass unnecessarily, only to realize the man you scorned is the very person you need to get something done. This week a high-level executive at my corporate cesspool thought it wise to ask for a favor. His e-mail read, please be so kind as to “process this correctly,” since I am pressed for time on my deliverables. My response was simple, “This request, like all requests, will be processed correctly and I’ll pull some strings to get this expedited.” Within 20-minutes my contacts were able to complete a deliverable that would’ve taken several days to complete. This isn’t the end of the story. The moral of this story is that now this executive cannot ask me for another favor. Period. He has burned a bridge unnecessarily by insinuating that at some point I may have dropped the ball on a deliverable. Now, his little dig may or may not have been true, but in the end, the objective of his e-mail was to seek help, not to address a performance issue. So, since he and I don’t’ work on the same team and my help is strictly voluntary, he now finds his canoe in the middle of some pretty fast moving rapids. I have a rope, but guess who will never get it. As luck would have it, his project required him to again perform a miracle and ask for my help yesterday. He asked in a much more contrite tone, but my response was swift, “Presently, I’m swamped with several pressing assignments and can’t help you. Please follow the set protocol for these requests. The helpdesk may be able to assist you.” The message was not lost on him. He came over to my office and said, “Hey…I’m sorry about that e-mail earlier in the week. I know it may have come across wrong,” his flushed face was desperate and his eyes were pleading pitifully. My heart immediately smiled, but my face remained cold. “I’d love to talk, but as I mentioned in my e-mail, it’s really busy for me right now.” As he walked out in a quiet huff, I sat back in my chair and thought to myself….careful how you treat folks; right or wrong, you may need them later.
If Jesus was human (albeit the son of God) and lived his life as a child, a young man and finally was killed in his early thirties, do you believe he was at any time sexually active or do you believe that he was completely chaste (sexless) throughout his life?
Keep passin’ the open windows…
Wednesday, April 04, 2007
One score ago, while in my late teens, I was working out at the YMCA and returned to the locker room to change and hit the west village in NYC for some underage (at the time bar entry wasn’t as carefully screened) drinking. As I pulled on my hang-out shorts and t-shirt I turned and came face to face with a buff brown-skinned man, a perfectly sculpted beauty mark gracing the warm smile on his face. A conversation ensued and the man joined me for drinks. As I recall, we actually drank beer on the pier – yeah, it was cool back then. We talked for hours and soon the man visited my home and we became fast friends…maybe even “friends with benefits.” I still remember some heavy-duty love making on the roof of my, then house, in the Bronx. It was summer and the steamy night added to the beauty of it all. Yesterday, my heart broke when the man called to remind me that it was his birthday. My fast paced life had betrayed my good intentions and I forgot a special day for a very special friend. One of his most glaring character characteristics was he was ever-forgiving (still is…) and he made me feel as though it wasn’t a big deal. You are a prince among men and such an important part of my life. We don’t say it enough – if at all – but it’s imperative that you know today (in a very public forum) that you played a big role in my development and have been with me from my teens, through my twenties – and yes, even now, through my thirties. I love you Chris Stewart. “Happy birthday,” would’ve been nice yesterday, but “thank you for always being there and making me feel very special,” sounds more appropriate.
What’s In a Name?
AIDS advocates have lost the battle to keep the names of HIV+ and AIDS victims out of state records as all 50 states will track the names of everyone who tests positive for the virus. The CDC says that code systems didn’t necessarily work and many of those tested were counted twice; leading to an inaccurate count of those infected. A 2005 security breach in Florida made the issue of keeping names secure and out of the hands of the general public a very serious concern. Now, state officials nationwide say that security measures are in place to insure no name is ever relayed and those that are privy to the information are sworn to confidentiality agreements. In addition, laws are being enacted to allow anyone who has their name disclosed the option to sue the state that failed to safeguard their information. Ultimately, with the serious concerns that permeate in minority communities about the anonymity of testing, the new name-based tracking system may serve to hamper the drive to have everyone get tested. The stigma HIV+ and AIDS patients endure today isn’t much different than the anxiety and ignorance they experienced 20 years ago. The reality is that the Federal Government will not fund any program that does not use the name-based program. Your life is still more important than your name. Get tested; know your status; live your life.
Who Could Ask For Anything More?
The unstoppable force that is FM (aka Melinda Doolittle) wowed American Idol viewers last night, leaving no doubt that unless you're deaf, dumb and clueless, you have identified her as the obvious winner for season six. So why do we watch week after week? The answer is simple. FM may have secured a future career as a lead singer, but she doesn’t necessarily have AI in the bag. Past seasons have proven that the best singer doesn’t have the title guarantee. Some folks still look back at season two of AI and think that Clay Aiken won the show, when in reality Ruben Studdard took the top prize. Hey, my Golden Sunshine (aka Sanjaya Malakar) is still in the running and the AI voting majority is showing their penchant for voting with their eyes, rather than their ears. Heck, I’d still rather wake up to sweet whispers from my Golden Sunshine than the prospect of running down the hall, slamming my bathroom door shut and keeping out the FMs.
With Good Friday just around the bend, give us your take. What does the death of Jesus Christ mean to you? Do you see his life/death as the ultimate sacrifice OR do you simply see him as a prominent figure in religious history?
Keep passin’ the open windows…
Tuesday, April 03, 2007
Last night DJ and I sat for the 90-minute feature, Boy Culture. In its limited engagement in NYC (Marc 23 – Apr 3) Boy Culture is playing at a quaint little theater in lower Manhattan. The film is written and directed by Q. Allan Brocka and stars eye candy, Darryl Stephens from Noah’s Arc fame, along with Derek Magyar and Jonathan Trent. Admittedly, I went in with low expectations and thought the flick would be just another gay love story with a low budget. Instead I was pleasantly surprised and found the storyline is beautifully written and it was both hysterically funny and poignantly realistic in its portrayal of gay love. The characters are flawed, but endearing in their raw approach to discovering themselves and ultimately accepting love into their lives. I refuse to give away the storyline, but suffice to say, you’ll find yourself smiling at the end of the film and rethinking your choices with regard to handling your feelings for the person you love. The movie also explores the boundaries of relationships and what is acceptable to create a lasting bond. This movie is a must-see in my book. Check show dates for your respective city by going to
Life Support; Boo-Hoo
There are mistakes in life that have life threatening consequences. Moreover, just because you’re sorry, will not make everything right and okay. So goes the story of Ana Willis (played by Queen Latifah) who after an intravenous drug habit, discovers she is HIV+ and has lost her family to the havoc of drug use. After rehabilitation, Ana is now leading a productive life as an HIV outreach counselor and has even had another child – who is, thankfully, negative. Both her and the man who infected her now lead productive lives, but find that getting everything back – including recapturing the respect and trust of family – is sometimes more difficult than kicking a bad habit. The story introduces Evan Ross (son of legendary diva Diana Ross) as Omari, an HIV+ gay youngster. A homothug of sorts, Omari is also on the path to destruction when his world collides with Ana’s older daughter (now living with her grandmother, played by Anna Deavere Smith) Kelly. Kelly is a hard-edged, but mature, young lady. She’s aware of her mother’s effect on her life and holds a deep-seated grudge against her now-clean mom. The story of Ana and Omari is a heart wrenching one. The lesson is simple – HIV is still real in our community. Testing and treatment are the number one ways to stay alive, but most important, for all the drugs and treatment available, not all stories have a happy ending. This movie had me crying so hard I had to stop the DVR and get tissue. The characters are raw, the story is based on a true story and the message will make you want to take a stand. HIV is here folks. HIV is real. HIV can kill you. You can’t make up for past mistakes; you can only live in your reality and move forward in faith. Now pass the tissue.
Boy Culture addresses open relationships – relationships that allow partners to have interactions with individuals outside of the relationship. Last night while talking to a friend, I asked how they felt about open relationships and/or relationships that recruit and integrate third parties.
How would you feel about having an open relationship with your partner or spouse? Do you believe you would have more of an issue with your partner being physically OR emotionally involved with someone else? What do you believe are the pros and cons of open relationships?
Keep passin’ the open windows…