Saturday, June 30, 2007

Friday, June 29, 2007

Morning Edition - 6/29/07

Careful What You Say
As the years go by I’ve learned to watch what I say and write to insure I minimize the instances where I will be compelled to apologize or regret either. I’m proud to say that in the last few years the actual situations necessitating my recanting or regretting anything I’ve said or done, have been few. Over the winter I met a gentleman who I went on a couple of dates with – even shared a little bump-and-grind with, but who’s telling? Long story short, the chemistry wasn’t there and I didn’t feel the need to drag things on longer than necessary. I basically told him that it didn’t appear we were a good match and that I didn’t want to see him anymore. I communicated that we could be friends and that there were no hard feelings (for me). He tried to argue that I wasn’t giving us a chance and that I should reconsider, but I stayed firm in my belief that there wasn’t anything there worth working for. A couple of months following this conversation, while I was online, brotha-man instant-messaged me with a simple, “Hello, how are you?” Believing this was a fresh start at a friendship, I cheerfully responded, “Great. How are you doing?” The normal pleasantries exchanged, BM decided to step out on faith and wrote, “What happened to us?” I tried to remain upbeat and said, “I don’t think there was ever really any ‘us’ and there are just folks that don’t have good chemistry. Besides we can be friends and compromise toward making that work.” I waited what felt like 10 minutes before BM came back with a fury, “The problem was that YOU always have to have things your way and your selfish, bitch-ass won’t give a brotha a break.” Stunned, I sat back in my seat and read his message twice before responding. “You’re probably right. I don’t like a lazy man that counts on me to make things happen and NEEDS me to pick him up so that he can keep his dates with me. That said, my selfish ass is having it my way WITHOUT you, so play nice OR we don’t need to play at all.” Again there was a digestive moment of silence before he retorted with, “You’re a f*cking bitch and I’m glad I found that out early on.” The customary AOL slammed door sound that follows someone jumping offline followed. I sat there and smiled to myself. Wow, being honest can really sting sometimes. Fast forward to this morning, where I found myself sitting riding the train in to work, ear phones blaring, my shades covering my hooded eyes and who would get on the train and stand directly in front of where I’m sitting – BM! So, I look up; pull out my ear phones and say, “Well hello sir. How goes it?” He looked down and his mouth twitched with a telling nerve reflex that says, I’m-f*cked! He then says, “Hi! How are you doing? It’s so good to see you!” I grinned and said, “Just wanted to say hi, I’ll get back to my music. Good seein’ ya’” Before I could get my ear phones back in he leaned down and said, “You look good. It’s been a while. Why don’t we hook-up this weekend? You busy?” I looked disappointed and in a very happy-sarcastic tone said, “Oh, I’m sorry. I’m being a f*ckin’ bitch this weekend, so I’m all booked-up.” He looked pitiful and said, “Yeah, I was wrong for that. I was just pissed off that you were rejecting me.” I took my shades up so that the message wouldn’t be lost and full eye contact would be achieved before I responded, “Hopefully you’ll grow from this experience and learn that you should be careful what you say. Some folks aren’t very forgiving. I’m one of those f*ckin’ bitches that rolls that way. Good seein’ ya’ though.” I smirked and before he could find the words, I plugged the earphones back in my ears, put the shades back down over my eyes and gave the physical version of the AOL slammed door effect. He shifted from foot to foot while standing in front of me, staring intently, but I never heard another word. We both jumped off in midtown Manhattan and he yelled behind me, “I changed jobs, so I probably won’t see you again.” I never turned around. I just thought to myself, ‘I should be so lucky.’

On Blast
There’s no question in my mind that honesty is the best policy. I stick to that concept now – even at the risk of being called a stone-cold bitch. Strangely, I’ve come across situations that have proven that there are folks that never reach a place where they learn from their mistakes. They continue a life of lies and deceit, ultimately only deceiving themselves.
When (if ever) is it okay to lie or deceive someone to “spare” their feelings?

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Morning Edition - 6/28/07

Hot Cocoa
We’re having a heat wave; a tropical heat wave. I’m not even trying to sing that tune right now because I’m crabby, moody and sweating like Monique after the opening number at the BET Awards. New York City is now the baked apple and although I’ll be the first to say that I’m a summer Caribbean baby, I hate being hot when I’m trying to sleep. The truth is, it’s my fault. I didn’t move the air conditioner from my old place to my new place and it now sits in my sister’s shed, while I sit in a pool of my own sweat. For what it’s worth, I’ve taken more showers than a prison rape victim. So, I’m off to my cool bath with my new book in the hopes that the water will help cool Cocoa.

Busta; The Update
Busta, the trusted side-kick, continues to limp. He’s eating, drinking water and lying by my side, but he’s walking like an awkward tripod of sorts. Call me vain, but I’m horrified by my neighbor’s stares as I’m dragging the handicapped pooch behind me. Last night while on our evening walk, one of the neighbors yelled behind me, “Sir!” I turned to see an older gentleman pointing down at Busta. “I think your dog stepped in something. You better check his paws.” Frog-face in place, I said, “Thank you. Apparently I couldn’t see him limping from four centimeters away. Thank God you were able to catch it from 50 yards back.” He huffed and said, “Hey, I’m just trying to help you out. He looks like he’s in pain.” Still the defensive parent, I closed the convo with a simple, “Thanks for the heads-up. If he doesn’t perk up I’m having him gassed.” He stormed off leaving me to stroll up the block dragging the miniature tripod in my wake.

Friday Night Get-Get-Get Down; G-Unit B-Day
Giselle F. is celebrating her June 27 birthday, while Diana C. is having her last hurrah with her colleagues this Friday at LQs (Latin Quarters) between 47th and 48th Street on Lexington Avenue. Gentlemen can expect to shell-out $5, while ladies will stroll through the gate for free. A free buffet and 2-for-1 drinks until 7 p.m. are on tap, while R&B, Salsa, Hip-Hop and oldies are played throughout the night. Join us early to avoid the latecomer line the eventually forms. We will be hitting the dance floor at 5:30 p.m. See ya’ there!

On Blast
Recently an acquaintance of mine was called to her son’s school where the teacher complained of the child’s behavior. When the mother scolded and spanked the child, the bureau of child welfare was called. There appears to be a hyper-reaction to child discipline and spanking (of any kind) is now seen as child abuse. Not all child discipline is abuse.
Is it possible that in our effort to stamp-out abuse, we’re creating a generation of unruly and belligerent youngsters? When (if at all) would you consider it necessary for authorities to step-in with regard to a responsible parent’s child rearing?

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Morning Edition - 6/27/07

The 2007 Beyonce BET Music Awards
We can all count on BET to pack our favorite artists into the 2-plus hours of the BET Music Awards. Although I’m a HUGE fan of Beyonce - her look, her performances, her sheer DRAMA - I am not a fan of the histrionics her mere presence represents to the award show of late. In the last two years Monique has chosen to start the show with renditions of whatever hot new song Beyonce has on the charts – done BIG girl style. Year one, this was extremely amusing, but year two found Monique looking like a winded, obese caricature of the real thing, with nothing to show for her efforts – outside of an uncomfortable Beyonce and a befuddled audience. We won’t address the various strapless numbers she was wedged into and the sense that we needed to slap her stylist to the ground – twice! Monique, we get the message loud and clear – big girls can do their thing too – enough said…and I mean it…enough said. The Beyonce performance was sheer genius and her robotic gold metallic outfit had me peeing at every corner of my living room. T.I., oh T.I. Let it be known that I love me some him, but what’s the story with the cold sores? Whether in a video or live, T.I. manages to always deliver the sore. I want you to hit up your doc for a double dose of Valtrex and the courage to let your manager know that you will not film another video that will serve to immortalize any future cold sores. Now I don’t know about anyone else, but when I look at Ne-Yo I can only think that the WB frog has finally grown up…well, sort-of. I’m not a fan, but more power to the young lad. The performance of the night belongs to Daddy Lavert, Gladys Knight, Yolanda Adams and Patti LaBelle. Their rendition of Wind Beneath My Wings was a goose-bump inspiring holler-fest. After wiping the non-stop tears I could only think about the first time I heard Gerald’s song, Made To Love You; To this day the song means the world to me. Now, on to the woman we know as The Boss. Ms. Ross – Diana herself. She seemed very appreciative of the lifetime achievement award – even when Chaka screamed like a trapped hyena and Stevie Wonder acted like he was not only blind, but suffered from amnesia, when the words to one of Diana’s hits apparently left him. Lady D’s acceptance speech, however, was everything I didn’t expect and everything I could’ve hoped for. It sounded like the blinders, the misconceptions and the act had all come to an end and we were finally getting a glimpse at the real Ms. Ross. She was reflective, appreciative and short of thanking Barry Gordy for that illegitimate drag version-of-his-former-self daughter, spot-on in all her assertions. This year’s 2007 BET Awards is worthy of a DVR spot and well worth the Sunday morning coffeecake replay.

Humor May Be the Real Aphrodisiac
For over a week, Baby Daddy and I have managed to leave the office at the same time to meet for our nightly train ride home. We’ve been tired, sleepy, even cranky, but it all seems to melt away the moment we meet. Our conversations make the crowded trains seem empty as we laugh, flirt and become completely immersed in each other. Now I’m not saying that keeping a permanent smile on my face is the only quality that BD has – he’s quite the smooth man behind closed doors as well – but the light-hearted convo and the ease with which we’re able to be silly, keeps us both wanting more time as we look forward to hear each other’s voice. Last night after jumping off the train BD texted me with, “You know you have a sick sense of humor…and I luv it!” I replied, “You make me laugh with my heart…which only means future heart disease…LOL” Less than an hour later he called and we watched the BET Awards together in virtual tears the entire time. My stomach hurt so good that when the show ended I said, “I don’t know whether to make love to you or smile myself to sleep.” He said, “If we rush we can take care of both…” A man after my own heart... BD is the picture of why humor is not only an aphrodisiac, it takes all those tensions and pressures that can affect budding romances and turns them into a comfortable place where all you want to do is stretch and smile.

When Something’s Wrong With My Busta
Busta, my Miniature Schnauzer, turned 8-years old this past May. He’s my trusted companion – privy to all of daddy’s ups and downs. I often cringe at the thought of him speaking one day and telling all he’s seen. The pooch would definitely have a best seller on his hands. Last night when I arrived from work, Busta was limping and acting strange. We went for our walk, but he returned and limped across the room and simply lay in front of the fan. I know my baby’s not a puppy, but he’s much too young to be ill. I checked his paws and legs and found nothing wrong, but my buddy keeps limping. If this continues for the next few days, we’ll find our way to the vet on Saturday. Although I often say that Busta is my last foray at dog ownership – well, until I get my next home with a yard – I think I would be really devastated if anything is wrong with my right-hand man. Busta…daddy needs you, so perk up pa!

On Blast
Pets are loyal companions that adapt to our hectic lifestyles and appear to have an unconditional love for us. Whether I'm scolding him or hugging him, Busta has never given me the cold shoulder or needed his space. They are everything we can hope for in a human partner.
What was the name of your favorite pet and what made them special in your life?

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Morning Edition - 6/26/07

When Good People Eat Bad; Missing 6-Pack Found Cowering Under Calories
Last night, Baby Daddy and I rode home together and laughed about my outfit choices for the Gay Pride festivities over the weekend. What wasn’t as funny was my choice to eat light to avoid any bloating or discomfort while I was half-way nude. So, to accomplish this little miracle, I ate three Activa yogurts and about four pots of coffee – the entire weekend! Yes, it was more of an unconscious sense that I had to be completely confident in my hoochie-gear. The odd part is the exhale that occurred the 24 hours immediately AFTER gay pride weekend came to a close. At precisely 2 a.m. Monday morning, my crew and I pulled into Popeyes chicken, where my apparently starving ass, ordered a 4-piece chicken dinner, Cajun rice, two biscuits and a large Coke. I got home, polished off the coffee left in the pot and was in bed by 3 a.m. Not sooner than the alarm clock rang, than I had the percolator working overtime making another pot of coffee. I downed a bowl of cereal and washed it all down with a glass of orange juice. Safely at the office at 9:30 a.m. and I was in the corporate cafeteria purchasing a sesame seed bagel with a ton of butter and a large coffee. For lunch I inhaled a comforting dose of macaroni and cheese, BBQ chicken, broiled Tilapia, green beans and mushroom and a healthy dessert of vanilla yogurt with strawberries and nuts. Just two hours later and I was tapping my foot at the Starbucks counter awaiting my reduced-fat blueberry cake and my mocha frap. Waddling out of my office and on my way to the train, I made a quick stop at the Duane Reade for some toiletries and couldn’t resist that crunchy Reese’s Peanut Butter candy bar at the counter. As I walked through my apartment door I dropped my things, changed into my jeans and wife-beater before walking Busta. No sooner than I dropped the dog leash that I walked the few blocks to the neighborhood supermarket where I pace down the aisles making all the wrong choices for the right reason. It hit me that apparently it was officially my binge day. The moment I put down the grocery bags in my kitchen, I started my pot of coffee, pulled out my cast iron pan and left the ice cream on the counter to get soft enough to enjoy. Less than 10 minutes later and I was burnin’ y’all! Four burgers were being char-broiled to perfection and I sat on my couch to enjoy the apparently hell-inspired Cherry Garcia from Ben & Jerry. All said, I downed well over 3,000 calories for the day – at least twice my normal caloric intake and I feel amazing. This diet is not recommended for folks who suffer from heart disease, depression, liver damage or have limited toilet paper. Hey, sometimes you have to let loose and have it all! Admitting you need to pump your brakes and exposing the repository are the first steps to recognizing that you can’t do it everyday.

Ladies, Are You Serious?
Over the years I’ve been open-minded enough to answer questions from my “girls” to help them better understand men or even gay men. I try not to ask too many questions, but there are double-take moments when I look at a girlfriend like she’s talking through her cervix. So ladies, here are a few important questions that I need answered. I’m sure, like those regarding men, the female experience will vary.
Do you seriously see yourselves as equal to your male counterparts OR do you believe your parent’s dated admonitions that you need to be your man’s right hand?
Do you feel that having children completes your cycle as a woman OR are children optional?
Do you find that you resort to the he’s-a-man excuses when forced to stay with or leave a cheating man?
Is infidelity a deal-breaker in your relationship OR do the facts surrounding the indiscretion matter in your decision?
Is there a different timetable for men and women with regard to how many dates must take place before any sexual interaction?

On Blast
Turntable....or turning the tables. What is the biggest generalization or stereotype you believe exist with regard to minority – Black/Latino – women?

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Monday, June 25, 2007

Afternoon Edition - 6/25/07

Being a Man; Booty Shorts to Banjee Wear
In line with Friday’s On Blast question that addressed the generalizations and stereotypes made about gay men, it occurred to me that one of those generalizations is that gay men would like to be women. I’m not blind to the segment of the gay population that has gender identity issues or genuinely feel they were born into the wrong body. However, in my case, I’ve always LOVED being male. Don’t get me wrong, I can appreciate the beauty of a woman and even admire their curves; the magnificence of pregnancy and their ability to create a work-of-art with their make-up when they choose to. None of these things would have me switch teams – even for a moment. As a man I have the ability to be a rough-and-tumble man today, while feeling fey and sensitive tonight. Outside of an injury, it isn’t likely that I’ll bleed for a week each month and I was born with the natural toys to keep my partners and me busy and satisfied. Whether I choose to wear baggy jeans or my see-through camo shorts, I still like pulling them off with masculine appeal. I’m not trying to appear feminine whether I wear layers of clothes or virtually nothing at all. I wouldn’t shop myself as the most masculine man, but I’m in no way looking like the picture of androgyny. Being a man is not something I accept as a default of birth, but a part of me I celebrate daily. It’s who I am and who I love to be.

Proudly Awake
Yesterday NYC celebrated Pride with all the hoopla and fanfare appropriate to the city that started it all. Over the last 10 years-or-so, my friends and I will attend the festivities, but will show-up well after the parade has ended to avoid the high-time crowd and the sweltering temperatures. Last night a group of us took to the West Village and partied with folks we hadn’t seen in quite some time. I wore a black ensemble that can only be described as gymnast-meets-shameless-freak. Some said the ribbed v-neck muscle tee and rowing shorts left nothing to the imagination, but hey, we can’t all have great imaginations. My most memorable moment was when I was cutting through the crowd at the Monster (an old Village haunt) and I heard someone yell out my name and turned to find myself face-to-face with an old high school buddy. We hugged and shared an awkward peck on the cheek before spending the next 20-minutes catching up on where we’ve been the last twenty years. Yeah, it had been twenty years since we last saw each other. Odd as it may sound, I found myself checking him out to see how he aged and wondered if he was taking the same exploratory glances at me. We exchanged numbers and will be hanging real soon – especially since his boyfriend appeared a bit uneasy with our walk down memory lane. The kicker-of-the-night moment came after I was asked by a straight friend who attended the festivities, if I ever dated anyone outside of the Black race. I thought about it and laughed at my quick, “no,” response. Five minutes later I was pinned between a Puerto Rican and an Asian guy, Bringin’ Sexy Back. Hey, we weren’t dating. I guess the only draw-back was my 3 a.m. arrival home, followed by my 6 a.m. wake-up call.

True Love Is Forever
“I’ve been blessed. Hold onto those people [you love] because it’s wonderful to have someone to share your life with.” This is what 91-year old Gus Archilla says about his 62-year relationship with 88-year old Elmer Lokkins. The couple’s celebrity stems from their commitment to the gay-marriage debate here in NY. The two met in 1945. As I read their story in the NY Blade I was touched by the length of their relationship and the excitement they both appear to maintain about each other. They say they started out living together, then traveling the world together and finally married in Canada. The story pulled at my heart-strings and also answered questions many gay-marriage opponents have about the longevity of gay relationships. At a time when I question whether true love is attainable and wonder about my own romantic future, the story of Archilla and Lokkins renewed my hope for life paired with someone who I can share a mind, body and spirit connection with.

On Blast
One quirky mention in the love story of Archilla and Lokkins is that they never went to gay clubs or bars and that they were very selective about the folks they brought into their circle. Gus even goes on to say (with a laugh) “All we had to do was grow old together.”
Do you believe that the secret to a successful gay relationship is said couple’s alienation from the gay community?

Keep passin ‘the open windows…

Friday, June 22, 2007

Morning Edition - 6/22/07

A History Of Pride
Gay Pride festivities are normally traced-back to the historic 1969 event, right here in NYC, when the gay community, fed-up with the abuse and disrespect of the authorities decided to fight back and establish their freedom from their oppressors. Just 15 years later I had a similar epiphany. My battle to live my truth – as a gay man – landed me on the streets of NYC with just a desire to do good and a back-pack full of miscellaneous clothes to hold me over. It was a high price to pay for having pride, but I was willing to shell-out whatever was necessary to be me. I went to school, worked full-time and bounced around, headstrong in my belief that I would be okay. There were moments when I found myself in the home of some stranger and would get out of their bed and sit on their bathroom floor and quietly cry at the thought that I missed my family and that my sexual orientation could have brought me such isolation. My tears soon turned into a steely resolve and I adapted to life on the go. I remember doing things, that as I look back on today, I can only shake my head and give thanks that I’m still here. Where there’s a will, there’s a way. Throughout those tough years I held on to my pride as a man and someone who was the same as my peers, but obviously different enough to warrant the extrication by my family and some of my friends Years later, I forgave – my family for their ignorance, the adults who took advantage of my innocence along the way and even myself for allowing my pride to place me in life-threatening situations. The one thing that remains the same as the day I walked out of my home at 15 is my pride. I’m proud to be a gay man who is respected by my peers, my colleagues and most people I come across on a daily basis. As I celebrate 23 years of being fully out (in every way imaginable) I notice that this Gay Pride is a sentimental one for me. I recognize the remarkable ability for life to come full circle with new opportunities for growth. I am in a new apartment, with a changing circle of friends and wonderful romantic interests. I have the acceptance of my friends and family. This Pride I celebrate the now; the beauty that is feeling peace and love. Most of all I sit back with a smile at the reality that through it all I’m here, I’m queer and like all my years passed, I’m proud of who I am.

Rapidly Fraying Rope; Ring the Alarm!
Today’s edition of Rapidly Fraying Rope addresses an issue that is fast-becoming a gnawing annoyance for me. You would think we don’t need to talk about this, but maybe there are those that are out of the loop on what the protocol is. So here goes… Phone Etiquette
1. When calling ANYONE you should leave a short and concise message that addresses what the call pertains to. If the person you are calling is not a close friend or not someone you speak with frequently, you should also leave the number where you would like to be called.
2. Unless your call is of an urgent nature or a serious emergency, you should not repeat the call on the same day. You should assume the person being called is extremely busy and will call you back. Realistically, if this is a TRUE emergency you should call the authorities OR someone who is available to take your call.
3. If you are following up your call with a text message, you should only leave one text message that contains basically the same information left on your voice-mail. Repeated text messaging is as annoying as calling someone and hanging-up before the voice mail answers.
4. Calls to individuals who are not returning your calls should not exceed three (3) calls total in a 7 day period. Following your third (3) call you should retain some of your dignity and not dial the number again. Be sure to follow step 1 with each new call.
5. Anytime you call someone – and I do this frequently – and choose not to leave a message, it is assumed that you have nothing important to say and are probably just trying to stay in touch. You should assume that your call may or may not be returned, since it doesn’t appear to require a return call and none was requested.
6. If someone is gracious enough to answer your call and mentions that they are busy, but will call you back, DO NOT move forward with your conversation as though you can get everything you need to say in the quick moment before the call is disconnected. Promptly thank the person for answering and say, “Super. Please call me back.”
7. Outside of dire emergencies, calls requiring someone’s undivided attention should not be made from/to someone’s workplace. Discussions surrounding relationships, friendships or other personal issues should not be addressed at the workplace.
8. Outside of your children, ill parents, missing friend, etc., you should NEVER answer a call while on a date, a meeting or where your phone distraction will be construed as rude or disrespectful.
9. Do not have casual phone conversations in enclosed places – public transportation, elevators, church, etc.
10. Modern phones pick-up a remarkable amount of sound. Your “inside” voice is easily heard via a phone. Do not yell while speaking on your phone in public. If you MUST raise your voice to be heard, the conversation should be moved to a quieter location. Excuse yourself and handle your business.

On Blast
What do you believe is the biggest generalization, stereotype or misconception about gay men?

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Morning Edition - 6/20/07

Like A Boy… For some reason I’ve been working out to this on heavy rotation. What’s funny is that I blast my bass earphones when I work out and caught myself in the mirror mouthing the words while doing dips and almost broke an arm when I laughed so hard!

The Spinning
I often criticize my mom for living such a busy life and acting as though if she stopped to smell the roses, she’d miss something. I think I may have been the pot calling the kettle black. Lately, I haven’t done much of anything to my new crib – outside of buy soy milk and coffee. The boxes that were so carefully put in the rooms they belonged in remain there, waiting for me to open them. So, what’s the hold-up? I’m literally exhausted and giving myself the excuse that, “It’s my place, so I’ll get to it when I’m ready.” I figure if I tell myself that there’s no need to stress or press when I pay the bills around this joint, then I won’t begin to suffer insomnia at the thought of boxes strewn about. There’s also the issue that I’ve been consistently busy – I arrive to work and am on the run from the moment I arrive, to the moment I pull a Mr. Rogers and change into my Nike Air Max to head out the door. I’ve even taken to really enjoy the events the firm has to offer. Tonight, I’m confirmed to sit-in on an intimate meeting with John Amechi – the NBA star who recently came out and dropped a new tome – but I have also confirmed to run across the street to LQs (Latin Quarters) where my girl Carmen C. is being celebrated for her exit from our fair firm after over two decades as part of the family. I think my thirst to stand, neck-craned, in awe of Mr. Amechi will go unquenched, since my girl has to come before the new “out” story of the moment. Tomorrow, I’m hitting Lincoln Center for a very special NYC Pride kick-off party hosted by none other than Jai Rodriguez. You know I have to try to support my Latino peeps. Okay, okay… so the firm gave me VIP tickets to that event as well. On Friday, I have a date with Baby Daddy. We’ve been flirting all week, but our calendars haven’t worked. We’ve both promised to keep Friday open and we want some quiet cuddle time. I’m shooting for a luke-warm bath, candles and a rotation of my John Legend, Robin Thicke, India Arie and Kem CDs…hey, it’s like that. Just when I thought a little relaxation would be in order, Saturday and Sunday will be filled with NYC’s Pride festivities. The funniest thing is that at this point, the majority of calls I’ve received about connecting for Pride have come from my straight friends; a testament to the support of the chosen family. So, an apology to my mommy for my constant nagging about learning to slow down. Looks like the cherry doesn’t fall far from the tree. I’m spinning ma!

Lights, Camera….
Monday, Cas and I purchased our side-by-side seats to Puerto Rico for my birthday weekend. Mercy B. beat us to the punch and has had her tickets for the event for over a month. I have my fingers crossed on Fluff and Pumpkin getting their tickets soon. We’re all very excited about a weekend of sun and fun. There is no formal itinerary outside of required beach time, libations and a disconnected hip joint. We’re calling this one – Great at 38!

On Blast
There are those of us who have an active spirit. The kind of soul that needs to feel in motion and engaged at all times. To many this conveys a sense of energy and fun, but like anything else, too much of a good thing – well, is too much of a good thing.
Do you feel more vital when you keep your calendar full OR do you find that you are at your best when you keep a sparse social/professional calendar?

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Monday, June 18, 2007

Morning Edition - 6/18/07

A Quiet Peninsula
John Donne said, “No man is an island,” to say that no man thrives when isolated from mankind. However, he didn’t say, no man is a peninsula. For quite some time, I’ve become a peninsula of sorts; connected to the mainland on one side, but free on three sides. It has less to do with dramatic instances and disagreements than it does with growing up and realizing that you are less likely to want to invest time in people and situations that don’t serve to enrich you. I’ve noticed that many of the folks I called “friends” are either no longer in my circle or have worked their way out to the perimeter of the circle. Strangely, this hasn’t upset me in any way, but it had me thinking about whom or what is important to me and my social future. The short answer is I want the maximum amount of pleasure with the minimal amount of bullshit in any of my social situations. Today, that is the rule I’ve established for myself. I tend to agree to social gatherings that I know I will enjoy; I don’t dwell on differences in opinions; and I refuse to subject myself to unnecessary negative relationships. Oddly, this weekend, I ran into an old friend of over 20 years. Back in September I recognized that our relationship had changed and that we no longer enjoyed each other – or worse, had lost respect for each other. Since then I haven’t spoken with him and I had no idea we’d run into each other. When he walked up to the bar where I was standing ordering a drink, he appeared uncomfortable, but smiled and said, “Hello.” I turned to him, smiled and reciprocated his greeting with a simple, “Hey, how’s it going,” before turning to order my Heineken. I didn’t see him the remainder of the night. I had a great time and when I returned home I thought how good I felt about seeing that old, disconnected friend. We were able to greet each other and move on with very little discomfort. I realize that, at my core, I’m happy; happy to be a peninsula. Connected to the mainland and my main circle of friends, but able to appreciate that the majority of my sides are free.

Fire & Puerto Rico; The Islands
It’s no secret; I’m a summer, Caribbean baby with a love for heat and beaches. My boy Herbie has invited me to a weekend on Fire Island with him and the Boricua contingent. I excitedly agreed to join and will be heading to Fire Island some time in July. Shortly thereafter, I will be celebrating my birthday with friends in Puerto Rico, August 3-6. Mom has agreed to fix us lunch the Friday we arrive and the plan calls for beach and club excursions throughout! I’m so ready!

Col aka Caspar and I celebrate 30 years of friendship this year. Here, Cas and I are preteens… oh, the awkwardness of it all!

On Blast
Being honest with yourself and accepting the good in your life helps to nurture peace and also allows you to make intelligent decisions about what makes you happy. I like where I am today.
Do you find you’ve held-on to a specific relationship (platonic or romantic) because of a fear of what your life would be without it?

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Friday, June 15, 2007

Evening Edition - 6/15/07

Beauty is...

Morning Edition - 6/15/07

On Blast
The passing of Phyllis Hyman left me in shock and I remember feeling a sense of loss – not only the physical loss of an amazing artist, but the realization of how her voice had touched my life. Some of her songs still hold a bookmark in my life. Last night as I was trying to sit through some mindless television, I came across the Last Days of Lisa Left Eye from the group TLC. I was saddened at how fragile physical life can be.
What deceased artist still brings you to a special bookmark in your life?

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Morning Edition - 6/14/07

Breakin’ My Rule; One Time Only
When I started blogging I promised myself that regardless of what I put out there or what comments came from a post, they would remain posted. The objective was to have an accurate picture of my feelings at the time of all my blog posts and any reactions to those feelings. Yesterday’s post was removed for the sake of peace. It won’t happen again – the reason for the post OR any future post ever being deleted to accommodate anyone’s feelings. In light of that I’d like to just chill today. I’m worn both physically and spiritually and will use today to reflect.

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Morning Edition - 6/12/07

In Your Eyes
Last night, Baby Daddy and I planned to meet after work and run a couple of errands before settling down to a quiet evening. As luck would have it, I got off the train and was met with a downpour. My work clothes soaked, I ran all the way home and peeled my wet clothes off, and jumped in a hot bath before meeting up with BD. Wife-beater and jean clad, I drove over and picked up BD who was still wearing his work get-up. Now, I’ve seen BD in his work drag before, but last night he was wearing a pin-stripped blue suit that draped his perfect red frame so well that as he walked toward my car I was transfixed on how beautiful he is in all his “ordinary.” There’s something about a man who doesn’t appear to try hard to pull off a look. He jumped in the car and without any hesitation he kissed me gently on the lips and all I could do was smile – real wide. We picked up a few things and settled in to listen to some soft music – old ballads really. As we laughed I turned around from our sticky spooning to look into his eyes and could only think of Shirley Murdock’s song, In Your Eyes. He asked me, “What are you thinking?” and I said, “I see kindness… I see honesty…” He looked perplexed and said, “Okay boi…what’s the punch line?” I said, “In your eyes… that’s what I see.” We both laughed, but it was different. It was a laugh followed by warm and tender kisses. Yeah… In your eyes… I see….

Check out Shirley singing, In Your Eyes

Long Story Short
The folks will be in town and at my new crib for the last week of July. Mom plans to help get my place together – as only mom can. I’m excited and it always feels good to be “mommed” after a move. Note to self: Parent proof the place two weeks in advance.
Caspar aka Colleen turned the big 3-6. This year we will celebrate our 30th anniversary as friends! Fingers crossed on having her join me for my island birthday festivities.
J’Moo and I will be catching a special showing of The Color Purple right here at my corporate offices tonight. The cast will be available to speak to the intimate audience after the show. Excited? …uh, yeah!
The cable guy will be helping out with some stuff around the new crib. Who knew Cablevision gave such service. So far we’re just considering his continued contact as a kind gesture…. Lest we be thought of as an assuming gay man…right?
‘Nita/Linda…time to get some Pride attire picked out? I’m thinking we’re going to go for that minimalist approach… the less the better. Yeah, guess I haven’t matured enough to leave the fun alone.

On Blast
Do you consider your eyes the windows to your soul or are there other tell-tale physical signs that betray your feelings?

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Monday, June 11, 2007

Morning Edition - 6/11/07

When Everyone Can Be Wrong
“Everyone can’t be wrong.” It’s a saying we’ve all heard before when folks want to justify the opinion of those in their circle. The way it works is that we should look inward when those around us ALL share the same opinion of us or an issue we’re dealing with. Normally, the theory works well. I’ll be the first to admit that it is always good to take a look at myself when many people have the same opinion about me or come away with the same feeling. Most recently, two of my exes and a couple of my friends have been of the opinion that I appear self absorbed or overly concerned with what is best for me. If I’m getting this right, it was mentioned that maybe I should “grow” out of my self centered personality trait into a more selfless person. I hear them. The thing is, I don’t think they have it wrong; they just have the wrong idea of what taking care of me means. When there is a lot going on in my life and I’m contending with competing priorities, I have to take care of the one guy who I am certain will do what’s best for me – ME. I am worthless to everyone in my circle if I don’t take care of myself. I am very independent and work hard at not asking anyone for anything – ever. I love my friends and family. I do my best to be there for everyone. I am as supportive as I can be to those around me. I am a giving person – both of myself and of what is mine. All said, they’re not wrong about my striving to take care of myself, but to say that I need to “grow” out of caring for myself; well, I have to disagree. I still am my go-to guy when I need delivery guaranteed.

On Blast
As I mature I’m less likely to feel the need to change things about myself that work – and more importantly – work well for me. Standing by what you believe in the face of those around you isn’t so difficult when you’re willing to accept the rewards and consequences for your choices.
Do you recall a time when your decision(s) and/or choice(s) had you standing alone without the support or agreement of others?

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Morning Edition - 6/10/07

On Blast
Everyone needs a love no doubt…any love.
Recently I heard someone say that folks who date, post online profiles, etc. should not short-change themselves by saying that they are “not looking for anything serious…” when in fact, we all take measures to date and expose ourselves to a potential soul-match.
Do you believe that everyone NEEDS a love?

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Morning Edition - 6/9/07

Bad Boyz
There’s something about being bad boys that sometimes attracts us to the men we’re so passionate about. Baby Daddy doesn’t have a bad boy image, but I like that I can be bad when I’m with him. You see, it’s not always about them being bad, it’s sometimes the fact that they allow us the freedom to feel like we can be bad. Yesterday, I dipped out of the office around 10ish to meet Babby Daddy down the street at the Best Buy. We shopped for USB cables and ear phones for my MP3 player and even stopped-in for a Frap at Starbucks afterward. There wasn’t a care in the world. I had him taste my Frap and he “scrunched” up his face like a 5-year old. “Drink some more pa...,” I coaxed, but he laughed and said, “Nah, it’s good, but I’ll stick to my mocha frap.” I licked my straw behind his drinking and said, “You bettah not have cooties or I’m f*ckin’ you up.” We both gave a final cackle before I was forced to head back to work. BD is cool… I really like him….

On Blast
Are you having fun with a special someone and have arrived at that “groove” where none of the issues and drama exist, only the good?

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Friday, June 08, 2007

Morning Edition - 6/8/07

One Hundred and What?!
This year my promise to myself was to enjoy me and enjoy all the good that is in my life. Part of that promise surrounded my life-long issue with my weight. Yesterday, during a routine doctor’s visit, my weigh-in revealed that I was at 158 lbs. Normally, I would freak-out since I felt that I’d worked pretty hard at keeping my weight in check. Rather than coming down from the 155 lbs. I mentioned more than a month ago, I actually gained three more pounds. Here’s the kicker; I’m so happy with my body right now. I love my build, my new-found tone and most of all my reduced waist size. Where I’m actually packing those pounds is a mystery to me, but I can say that my neck, face, arms and stomach don’t show the added mass. So today I’m celebrating the fact that I’m heavier in weight and lighter in spirit. It’s going to be a super summer.

BC for BD
As the passed few months have shown, the year is flying by. It will be a couple of turns before I realize I’m smack in the midst of my birthday weekend. This year, my plan is to, again, hit Puerto Rico and enjoy the beach and club for my birthday weekend with friends. Presently my call for five (5) friends has been answered and I already have four (4) confirmed friends attending. Hey, if J’Moo signs on, I’ll have my complete birthday celebration entourage. Gone are the days when I wait for folks to make my birthday enjoyable. For the last few years, I’ve taken the bull by the horns and created the birthday weekend I want for myself. An advance thank-you to Philippe, Colleen, Evelyn, Mercy and hopefully J’Moo, for making this year’s celebration a special one. I’m sure we’re going to have a ball! We’re departing Friday, August 3 and returning Monday, August 6.

On Blast
I accept responsibility for my life and my choices. I realize that not all of my choices are pleasing to everyone, but I must make choices that agree with my mind and spirit.
What recent choice have you made that felt right to you, but was met with the disapproval or resentment of those in your inner circle?

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Morning Edition - 6/7/07

Can’t Force It
After over a month I relented and had a date with Diaper Jo. As you may recall this is the 20-year old youngin’ who insists our age difference doesn’t matter and has a contract out on my cell phone battery. I say this because since meeting him he will blow my celly up until he gets some attention. I agreed to have him come over at about 8ish and told him to call as he was leaving his apartment to head over to my place. I ran a hot bath and as I’m sitting there luxuriating, Busta, my trusted cock-blocker roomie, begins barking. I yelled from the tub for him to quiet down, but he barked even louder. Now that I live on the ground floor, I don’t take his barks lightly, so I jumped out of the tub, wrapped my towel around me and angrily looked out my peep-hole to see Diaper Jo standing there with a huge smile. Shocked and disgusted that he did not follow directions, I asked him to wait until I dressed, and returned to my bath. After drying, applying lotion and putting on the comfie-sexy shorts and wife-beater, I returned to the door to let him in. Tired and slightly irritated, I ushered him into my living room where we spent the evening watching Comedy Central and shooting the breeze. It wasn’t long before he began the touchy-feely moves and pulled me to him so that I could lay on his chest. Before I knew it, I heard a slight snore and realized I had fallen asleep. I apologized and said I was too tired to be of any decent company, but it didn’t stop DJ from treating me like some pizzeria dough. Just as he was getting into his groove and had maneuvered me into a position where I was laying on top of him and being groped from all angles, I went from extremely sleepy, to feeling dirty – and not in a good way. I reminded him that it was late and I needed to go to bed. I walked into my kitchen and poured myself some juice and as I was standing at the counter, he came up behind me and attempted to dry-hump me as I tried to drink it. I turned around to give him the frog-face, but he then lifted me and sat me on the counter where he felt my thighs and said, “I just love your legs.” I hadn’t realized how high my counters are – or how short I am – but I jumped off and nearly bust my ass as the floor was further than I imagined. Now I was embarrassed and my hot shorts were so far in my ass I could’ve sworn I tasted brushed cotton. “That’s it…good night DJ,” I blurted. “Call me when you get home so I know you got there safe,” I finished. He looked like a lost puppy, but followed me to my door as I held it open and watched him leave. Before he could say another word, I closed and locked the door and head to the bathroom to wash my face and hit the sack. I think I need to scale back my dating partners to the one I’m really feeling these days. Hey, you can’t force it if you’re not feeling it.

NYC Celebrates Puerto Rican Heritage
In 1958, NYC held its first Puerto Rican Day Parade. By 1995, NYC officially designated the second Sunday of June as the National Puerto Rican Day – including that the official parade would be held. With over 100,000 marchers and three million spectators, the National Puerto Rican Day Parade, taking place this Sunday, is the largest parade held each year in New York City. The parade snakes from 44th Street to 86th Street on Fifth Avenue. This year a group of us will be attending the festivities to celebrate our heritage. The parade is NOT celebrated in Puerto Rico.

Prison Take-Out
As is widely known, men in prison sometimes participate in hanky-panky to keep them sexually satiated during their long jaunts away from their partners. This jump-off isn’t an alien concept to gay prisoners either. California grants married prisoners the opportunity to have conjugal visits with their spouse. The set-up, which includes an onsite trailer for the hetero-knotted couples, is now also being offered to domestic partners in gay relationships. That’s right; California is now granting gay domestic partners conjugal visits. With so much accessible action, I wonder why someone is ordering out.

On Blast
Prisoners are specifically instructed NOT to engage in sexual behavior with fellow prisoners while incarcerated, but it is known that many still participate in sexual trysts while in the BIG house. Since it is apparent that the behavior will never be eradicated from the prison system, should the corrections system offer protection – condoms – to inmates?

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Morning Edition - 6/5/07

Everything’s Coming Up Roses
Yes, it’s slightly freakish, but as my friends will attest, I’m an Ethel Merman fan. One of my stress relievers is singing all the latest hits in Mermanesque form. Believe me, there’s nothing like hearing Ciara’s Like A Boy in Ethel Merman’s voice. Anyway…all to say that I’m really happy. I’d blog all day about other things, but today it feels great to just say, “It is well….,” I’ll leave well enough alone.

On Blast
Accepting me as the author in my life has freed my mind and my spirit. I now honor myself first and in doing so insure that I am happy – first. Contrary to popular belief, this wasn’t always the case.
What recent action made you smile when you recognized that you were honoring yourself?

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Monday, June 04, 2007

Morning Edition 6/4/07

San Juan Brothas 2007
My Puerto Rico adventure last week was amazing. Billed as San Juan Brothas, Puerto Rico for Memorial Weekend was buzzing with, what seemed like, every state-side man of color who could afford a ticket to the Caribbean treasure of an island. My roomies for the long weekend – Larry, Robert, Dwayne and Mike – were the best mix of calm, crazy, mature, conservative and fun. Dwayne, who is author of My Man, My Boyz, even had a reading over the long weekend and I was impressed and proud to see his dream come to life. My apologies about not having pictures, but I sincerely didn’t feel like toting my camera along on our beach, club and excursion trips. All-in-all the trip was full of fun and I met so many fun and beautiful people.

As many of you know, I moved just days before my Puerto Rico jaunt. Since my return, I’ve been frantic trying to get my place as together as possible. Honestly, I’m a bit exhausted and am well into the triple digit spending with regard to new blinds, sheets, towels, etc. I’m looking at an August housewarming, so stay tuned for an invite to drop by.

Summer Heat
I haven’t installed the air conditioner in my new crib and it’s an understatement to say that the place was a true inferno over the weekend. Friday after work Baby Daddy and I rode home from the office together, picked up a take-out bite from an area caf√© and came back to my place to eat dinner. After showing him the new place we decided to come out of the office attire and have mad-butt-naked-sweaty sex forgetting that I now live on the ground floor and had only temporary blinds to shield me from the casual pedestrians ambling passed my bedroom windows. It ranks as the top session for 2007 and the best christening I’ve ever given a new pad. On another front, the HOE and I are having communications issues, since I didn’t feel it necessary to spend quality time with him while in Puerto Rico. I didn’t think that a last-minute decision to join the San Juan festivities granted him the opportunity to pull me away from the friends and fun I had planned for over six months. Needless to say, the HOE appears used to having his way, so he’s been pouting since our return. His call last night said he was, “Just checking…” on me and hoped all was well since my return from Puerto Rico. I’ll touch base with him this week and see if ours is a friendship worth nourishing. On a completely unexpected raise-of-an-eyebrow, I think I’m about to have a jump off with my cable guy. I may be off-base here, but here’s how the story goes… A cinnamon-complexioned Dominican cable man with booty and thighs that could stop a tow truck came over 15-minutes late to our 4 p.m. cable installation. When he arrived he ambled around and sighed loudly at having to actually install, rather than just turn on cable, in my apartment. One hour into the ordeal and he managed to poke a hole in my living room molding leaving me gasping for my next breath. He apologized profusely and even grabbed my shoulder and said, he was so sorry, but he would return later that night with putty, etc. and patch it up. He gave me his cell phone number and said he had mine and that he would call later that night. When he called it was after 9 p.m. and my girls and I were at Target loading up on house wares. I told him he could come over while we were putting things away if he wished. He said he would come back the next day, since I sounded busy. Yesterday when he called and said he had stopped by, but I wasn’t home, I said, I just walked in the door. He said, “I’m a few blocks away, so why don’t I come back by and take care of plugging up those holes.” Odd choice of words, but my boy J’Moo and I continued putting up blinds and I ignored the comment. When he arrived, putty in hand, he looked at J’Moo walked to the busted molding, feigned some patchwork and said, “I’m going to need different putty to patch this. I’ll come back tomorrow night. Would that be alright?” I looked at J’Moo and back at the cable guy and said, “Sure, but I work tomorrow, so it’ll have to be after 7:30 p.m.” He said, “Cool, I’ll hit you up tomorrow and come by tomorrow night.” What can I say….I’m going to let the cable guy finish his job.

On Blast
I hate it when gay men make more of casual interactions with straight men than what is really there. Case in point, I checked and double-checked myself with the cable guy to insure I wasn’t reading more into things than I should. When he refused to patch up the hole when I had company, but was all smiles and fun when we were alone, I began to get suspicious. Hey, maybe the guy is just friendly and private about his work… right?
Have you ever misread a casual interaction as a come-on or flirtation, only to find your cables were crossed?

Keep passin’ the open windows…