Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Morning Edition - 7/31/07

‘Til We Meet Again
After finally getting into bed at 2 a.m., I found myself twisting and turning unable to sleep. Granted, I’ve been on the sofa for a week and feel like I have four toddlers Riverdancing on my lower back, but the heat and discomfort have been worth it to host my parents during their visit to NYC. For the record, they are officially teenagers again. I found myself up until 3 a.m. virtually every night of their visit and never took a day off from work – which meant a 6 a.m. wake-up call. They ran the streets with their friends every night and found me, arms crossed over my chest, each time they walked into the apartment. The mommy-dinners were obscene – my caloric intake this week was at an all-time high. The clean-up following my mom’s cooking however, had me scrubbing, wiping and mopping for close to two hours each night of their visit. This morning at 4 a.m. my parents were up and dressed, forcing me off my tingling right arm and careening straight into my glass coffee table. My mom laughed and suggested I try sitting up, rather than taking off at a sprint when someone wakes me – thanks mom. Fast forward to their boisterous JFK airport drop-off at 7:15 this morning where my dad realized he left his driver’s license (and only ID) at my neighborhood gas station. Faced with driving from Queens back to my home, I simply parked, went inside and pleaded with the Delta Air and TSA folks to not force my dad to stay behind. “For the love of God,” I cried, “You can’t leave him here with me.” Their perplexed and merciful glances yielded a pass to have him board with an additional security check. Unfortunately, dad needed to use the bathroom and I was mistakenly escorted through security, stripped, and searched; my vacant, but tear-filled eyes stared forward in complete submission. It was a mixture of Denzel in the Glory whipping scene and the Color Purple’s Celie upon seeing Nettie across the field of flowers. When the TSA agent finally realized I wasn’t 70, I was angrily ushered out of the private search area and the four guards who had taken turns probing, prodding and checking everything short of my colon apologized for the inconvenience. Dad and mom stood outside and actually asked me, “You all done?” I said, I’ll see you guys on Friday – if I don’t suffer an aneurysm on my drive to the office. They hugged and kissed me before the Delta supervisor personally walked them to their gate, laughing the entire way up the ramp. …who knew the additional security search was for me! Long story long… I have two days to sleep, get my Maryland license changed to a NYS license, pack and be back at their place by Friday. Pray for me… I think I just threw up in my mouth a bit.

On Blast
With the apparent switching of roles – where our parents become the children and we become the responsible adults – should we surmise that we may also address them in a more authoritative tone?

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Evening Edition - 7/29/07

East Meets West
I thought I had raised the shields, but Friday night BD and I talked for hours about where we are, where we’re going and how we feel. It started off as the usual jokey-joke fest, but ended up with a serious conversation about how our feelings have grown and we really care. I, again, opted for less running-of-the-mouth and more listening and thankfully, all my fears were laid to rest. “I’m not seeing anyone but you,” he mentioned and the words washed over me like a soothing hot bath. I explained to him that as much as I was fighting to keep my feelings at bay, I somehow managed to reach the point where I care what he does when he’s not with me. He shot back with, “I think of no one else – when you’re with me and when you’re not.” So it was out there. On Saturday morning BD texted that, “Our conversation last night was deep. I’m glad you told me how you feel. To be honest, I’m not letting you get away from me this time, so sit back and know that no one is coming between us.” I simply shot back, “It’s all you pa. The feelings are mutual.” From there on, there were various sexy texts throughout the day, culminating in a late-night convo. Today, he called to say he was going to do a little shopping and wanted to stop by. I told him my parents were out, but would be returning in another couple of hours and he said, he just wanted to drop something off for me. I took a hot bath, threw on some you-hittin’-this shorts and was at the door within the first buzz. He walked in and we dabbled in my bedroom before he pulled out my birthday gift. An IPod Nano! “Thanks for such a great gift,” I gushed. He smiled wide and we began making love right then and there. My phone rang and it was mom saying they were on their way back to my apartment. BD was busy making my eyes roll to the back of my head and I simply told mom that maybe she wanted to stop by the hospital before returning to the apartment to check out her sick friend. There was a pause and that light-bulb moment before she responded, “That sounds like a good idea. We’ll be back at the house in an hour.” I let out a slight moan before saying, “Sounds good, I’ll see you guys here. Please call me before you pull up.” BD and I went for broke and then lay across my bed wasted. His eyes looked chinky as if though we could probably fall into a nice nap. Instead, we jumped out of bed, washed up, sprayed Lysol to avoid the ewwww-y’all-are-nasty look from my parents before heading out to the store. We shopped for dinner, had a few private slap on the butt-and-kiss-in-the-aisle moments before returning to the apartment. BD met my parents and his fear of the folks disappeared. As we were sitting in my living room, his arm across my thigh, my mom unexpectedly walked in. A quick pull-away would’ve been awkward, so BD sat there and just smiled at mom, who simply asked, “You guys want coffee?” I stood up and said, “Ma, BD doesn’t drink coffee. Besides, I’m driving him home.” Mom called my dad from the bedroom who shook hands with BD and mom kissed him on the cheek before sending us on our way. It was a great day…The greatest gift wasn’t the IPod; it was the open and positive interaction between my parents and BD. As I dropped him at his crib, he leaned over and kissed me before saying, “You know right?” I grinned and said, “Yeah, I know.” I winked at him as I pulled off and he waved. I looked in my rearview mirror to him staring behind my car as I pulled away.

On Blast
Do you care if your family has a relationship with your significant other?

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Friday, July 27, 2007

Morning Edition - 7/27/07

Letting It Ride
Last night BD and I shared the usual train ride. Our focused conversations and light-hearted banter was still there and I resolved to do one of those church moves – Let Go, Let God. First, I was (am) really physically worn. Combined with my drained emotional state, I didn’t think we stood to benefit from rehashing a topic that he was clueless had such a negative effect on me. Second, I don’t want to set an early (and bad) precedent of ‘what-the-f*ck’ every time he tells me something. I’d rather be in the “know”. Third, hard as I may try, the shields have been raised and I’ve taken an emotional step back. He doesn’t know it; I don’t act like it; and no one is none the wiser. Finally, big thanks for the rational-thinking comments yesterday. There were only a few, but they all made perfect sense. This morning I received several text messages from BD – all positive, warm, loving, sexy, etc. I sighed with the relief that I didn’t unleash the dragon.

Apparently the Cocoa crib will be the site of nightly dinners – as evidenced last night with mommy’s second dinner in two days. Her Righetti (Puerto Rican Spaghetti) last night was on the money. Ground beef, chorizo and other miscellaneous unidentifiable meats graced the protein-packed delectable supper. Mom even threw in tostones (green plantains) as a side dish and we had enough mixed veggies to clean out my large and small intestines. All said, I give up on regulating family dinners at my apartment while they’re here. Following dinner, mom and I spent the next hour-and-a-half doing dishes. We talked about my siblings and the conversation circled back to me. I said, “Mom, I love you very much and I know we don’t talk about it, but I’m glad you accept me and those I care about as your own. I don’t know what would’ve happened if you and dad didn’t grow to accept me and my friends, but I suspect you wouldn’t be standing here today.” She looked up and without missing a beat reminded me where my lightning-wit comes from, “You’d cut us off so fast our hearts would stop,” she laughed. I reached passed her to get a paper towel and wiped at my face. “It’s hot as heck in this kitchen,” I said wiping around my forehead and eyes. “Yeah, it is,” she said wiping around her eyes. We continued washing dishes and decided my older sister was a good subject to talk about for the next 30 minutes. “What’s going on with your sister?!” she started. “Where do I begin….” I smirked.

Great-at-38 Countdown
One week from today, I will be headed to La Isla del Encanto – Puerto Rico – to celebrate my 38th birthday. Who knew that mommy’s high-calorie visit would anticipate my celebration? Rest assure, I’m wearing those darn bikinis anyway! Uh…note to self…pack a lot of black tops! My flight leaves NYC at 8:00 a.m. Friday and Caspar is my flight buddy. Saturday we’ll be joined by Mercy who will probably not show me any and we’ll burn and turn to my heart’s content. I’ll be sure to have Cas and Mercy take more photos than I pulled off for Memorial Weekend. I keep hearing this one song in my head, “Caribbean queen; now we’re sharing the same dream….”

On Blast
I’m not saying that I’m forgetting the little office conversation BD and I had yesterday. I’m not even saying that I’m okay with his way of handling situations. What I am saying is that sometimes you have to step back and just observe. As the old saying goes, the truth always comes to light. Besides, I have to stop living in the belief that everyone will handle situations as I would.
Have you experienced an instance when not speaking what you felt at the moment benefited your position in the situation?

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Morning Edition - 7/26/07

Hold On To Something
Once I’m overwhelmed, tired and stressed, the deterioration of my emotional state takes over – beginning with a slight disconnect and leading to the bone-dry direct exchanges that can leave folks feeling like I am heartless. Case in point, last night I returned from a long day of work and one-hour sleep the previous night to a down-home dinner party hosted by none other than Mommy Dearest. When I asked her, “Why did you invite all these people over when my apartment is really not ready for company?” She responded, “Family is not company.” So I gave a heavy sigh, went to my bedroom to change into jeans and a wife-beater and just fell into my role as a passive host. Needless to say, by the end of the evening I was fuming at the close to two-hour kitchen clean-up and subsequent post dinner conversation with my parents. By this morning I awoke with FIRE in my ‘tude and was wound tighter than a packaged slinky. I arrived at the office late (again) and was running at break-neck speeds when the call from BD arrived. I smiled (my only one for the day) and picked up the phone looking for that one reprieve from the stress that has me fraying at the seams. “Hey boi…how’s it going,” he said. His voice sounded down, tired and mirrored my own angry-at-the-world tone. “What’s up? You sound out of it pa,” I answered. “Well, I didn’t get much sleep,” he began “thanks to running into an ex yesterday.” My left eyebrow climbed ¾ of the way up my forehead and I felt my nostrils expand. “So what happened,” I asked. And so began his little tell-all….They haven’t seen each other in over a year; Had broken up after BD apparently was more interested in the relationship than the ex was; blah, blah, blah. I waited for him to finish and said, “Well, he apparently rattled your cage and your inability to sleep last night indicates you care more than you’d like to admit.” Sensing my cut-to-the-chase response to his story he said, “Not at all… I just didn’t need to deal with him last night. That shyt is dead.” I continued my silent pause. Oprah Winfrey once said that if you let people speak you’ll get a lot more out of them than if you insert yourself. “I just ended up walking away,” he continued, “with him yelling behind me that he was going to call to discuss it further. I was like, ‘sure call me,” he finished. So you opened the door to him calling you to discuss the matter further? What is that all about? More importantly, why would you want to tell ME about it? So then I quickly thought back to our little intimate conversation a few nights back when he mentioned that he was scared…blah, blah, blah. During that conversation he also mentioned that whenever he felt himself getting as close as we were getting he normally runs. Is this the new plan? Have me run and save yourself the wear-and-tear of the trot? All said, I’m not amused and could hear my inner Star Trek captain say, “Shields!” I didn’t ask any questions and simply said, “It’s getting busy around here, so I have to run. Talk to you later.” I could sense the tension – on both ends – and replaced the receiver. I’m going to hit the gym in an hour and work-out all this frustration. Ultimately it boils down to what I’ve lived by for quite some time….If I don’t let you get close, you can never hurt me. I hate it when I don't stick to my own rules and regret it later.

On Blast
Some things are better kept under wraps. Yes, I’m glad I’m privy to the happenstance of last night, but I question the motives or desired outcome of such a disclosure.
Would you share a story with a romantic partner that didn’t serve to strengthen, enlighten or in some positive way impact the relationship?

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Morning Edition - 7/25/07

Parent Trap
Everyone who knows me knows that my family and I are extremely close – most of all, my mom and me. My parents arrived at my apartment at 12:30 a.m. and mom quickly announced that she wanted to go to Pathmark – our 24 hour supermarket – to do some necessary food shopping. “How do you survive on coffee, yogurt, whole grain bread and toilet paper?!” mom yelled. With her first rant out of the box, I threw on my man-clogs, tied my head up in the you’re-giving-me-a-migrane-scarf and brought my car around to head out grocery shopping. Dad took one look at me and said, “I think I’ll stay behind and take a shower while you guys shop.” Both my mom and I shot him the frog face locking the apartment door behind us. The moment we walked into the grocery store (1:15 a.m.!) mother grabbed a store circular and perused it for sales. I reminded her that I had to work this morning and she said, “Is $4.69 supposed to be a sale for Cranberry Juice in NYC?!” I realized it was going to be a long, long, long morning before dawn. Approximately one hour and $150 later and I was walking to my car like a pyramid-building-Hebrew-slave while she barked that my younger brother would’ve only needed one trip to carry all the bags, but in my emaciated state her dead mother (who’s probably spinning like ghetto 22s in her grave) looks healthier. Gotta love my momma. As I pushed open my apartment door I smelled the sweet scent of marshmallows burning over an open fire and realized my dad managed to leave a pot of milk on the stove while he sat in complete and silent oblivion in the living room to allow it to fully burn my new Teflon pot and scald the top of my stove. I turned off the pot and heard mom in the living room talking to dad. “Hey, you’re going to burn us out of house and home!! What is it? You’re deaf and now you can’t smell either?!” I put the groceries away and walked in to ask my parents if they needed anything before I got in the shower, only to find them enjoying matching chocolate √©clair bars like two kids. I had to smile at how happy they looked together even after 45 years of marriage. I realized that with all their quirks; the incessant bitchin’; the hysterical and dramatic laughter; they are everything I hope to be and share everything I, one day, hope to have. I closed the bathroom door behind me and leaned back on it immersed in the thought of how much we struggle to be unlike our parents, only to find later in life, that we pray to be like them – well, at least I do. The parent trap; you virtually gnaw your limbs off to get away from their grasp in your teens and then grind your nerves to bask in the beauty of everything they are.

On Blast
What character quirk do you have that is, admittedly, a virtual replica of one of your parent’s characteristics?

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Morning Edition - 7/24/07

Meet the Parents
Tonight is the night. My parents are due to touch down at JFK airport at 10:45 p.m. If you ask me if I’ve had the opportunity to parent-proof the house, the answer is simply – NO! Making matters worse, I haven’t even unpacked the boxes from my move, the porn sits in their original move box and there are several “toys” still strewn around the apartment. Tonight, I have to bolt home and toss the unmentionables into my car trunk and put up as many of my clothes as possible, put away my dishes and clean my bathroom and kitchen. The last thing I need to hear is, “Cocoa baby, you’re really turning into a slob.” Keep your fingers crossed that the week goes without a hitch. As many of you know, virtually all of my personality traits come from my mommy and putting us together for a week normally ends up with us having a blast and irritating most of the people around us. I’ve stocked up on some sleep aids to insure a good time is had by all.

Shifting Gears
I’ve been fighting the logical progression of my relationship with BD. I surmised that to get the maximum amount of pleasure with the minimum amount of bullshit I had to keep it light and keep all conversations revolving around our growing partnership to myself. The passion, the laughter, the utter sense that our connection is so perfect, had me checking any serious emotions at the door. Basically, I felt that when something is going well, you don’t have to dissect it to see the mechanics of what keeps the clock ticking. Last night we decided to have a romantic evening together before the folks arrive. We would take a hot bath together; listen to some great music and curl up together to watch some old flicks we both wanted to see. Instead, the evening took an odd turn. First, we were like two sex-starved maniacs and went at it non-stop for over two hours. When we finally collapsed into each other’s embrace, he lay staring at me in the dim afterglow of it all – the light of the stereo serving as the faint beacon outlining the other’s physique. As we faced each other in a warm embrace he said, “Can I be honest?” I felt my legs tense up and my hairs stand on end knowing that he was going to break the silent agreement to just enjoy the ride. “Sure you can pa,” I replied. “I’m scared,” he said. His words just sat out there; as if they needed no response. Knowing full well what he meant, I decided it might be best to play dumb and asked, “What are you scared of?” He ran his hands down my body and I could feel the heat in his hands as they went over the curve from my waist to my hips. “I didn’t want to admit this, but I’m falling for you really bad. I guess you can say I’m open. Normally, I would run, but I just don’t want to run. I’ve just never met anyone like you,” he blurted. I felt the cold of the air conditioning on my teeth as I smiled. “I just don’t want to say it…,” I said. “Say what?” he asked. “I feel the same way and I just don’t want to ruin this,” I stammered. “Why now,” he asked. Intuitively, I knew what he was asking and said, “Because we’re ready for each other now. I can appreciate you now. I can treat you the way you deserve – now.” He said, “You’re right. With what we’ve been through, this is the perfect time.” We both hugged tightly and began softly kissing each other. It wasn’t long before we were sealing our new revelations with some more love making. Just after 11 p.m., we got up, jumped in my car and stopped at a drive-thru for some sinful fast food to replenish the burned calories. Exhaustion officially had set in and we laughed like two drunks. “So you think I should come over and meet the in-laws,” he asked. “Sure. I think you’re ready to meet the originals.” I dropped BD in front of his crib and he leaned over to kiss me goodnight. As I shifted into first gear, then second, I realized that just like the gears in my car, we had moved forward as well. I licked my lips to taste his sweet kiss again and thought, “Yeah, you can’t get very far in first gear.

On Blast
Everyone seems to have a different relationship with their parents. Some are like friends, while others are more like estranged acquaintances.
Given the opportunity to talk about anything, what would you want to openly discuss or ask your parents?

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Evening Edition - 7/22/07

On Blast
You know how I feel? Everything is not always what it seems... we're not always up or down... we're not always flying high and we're not always begging for a shovel to dig ourselves from ground level...
I'm feeling good... mainly because everything appears to be a strong possibility.
Do folks know how you feel?

Keep passin' the open windows...

Friday, July 20, 2007

Morning Edition - 7/20/07

On Blast
Saturday's Freestyle concert will feature Afrikka Bambatta. Hell, I'm excited.
What freestyle song still makes you shake it "old school"?

Keep passin' the open windows...

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Morning Edition - 7/19/07

Everything Happens In Its Right Time
On the very street where BD and I strolled just 24 hours before, a huge steam explosion tore a hole that would’ve swallowed us alive. The very sight of it made me cringe, realizing that had we chosen to have dinner last night, rather than the night before, it would all be over. When the blast occurred I called BD and immediately let out a sigh of relief as we both yelled, “Are you okay?!” Coincidentally, I left the office just an hour before the blast that tore a huge hole in the Grand Central neighborhood last night, to AGAIN wait for my dresser handles (they never arrived, but that’s another post all together). As the night went on, I marveled at the chain of events that transpired right outside my office windows. First, had my dresser been delivered complete, I probably would’ve worked until the time of the explosion and would probably be strolling up that very street to catch the train. It wasn’t meant to be – the delivery or my involvement in the incident. I thanked God for doing things in his time, his way and all for a reason. It made me question the many times I lose my cool at things not going exactly as I plan. As I watched the billowing steam and debris I had to admit that everything happens in its right time. Am I going to light fire under the furniture company’s ass for not delivering last night? You betcha! …but somehow, the fire and brimstone that I would’ve sent them to will be less hot since I know in my inner recesses that had they been there when I wanted them there (or when I thought they should have been there) I would not be here to tell this story. Sadly, one person was killed in the incident.

Busta; The Update
Busta is up and moving as though the issue with his spine never happened. It’s a miracle of sorts, since just two weeks ago he was barely able to stand. He has an appointment with his hairdresser this Saturday and will be getting all spruced up in preparation for his grandparent’s visit next week. I guess my boy has a few good years left in him. Thank you all for the well-wishes or as Busta would say….”Rank-roo”

On Blast
I told BD that I was surprised at how much I panicked when I saw the explosion that took a bite out of the Apple last night. It felt like one of those scenes from a movie… everything is perfect with the main character and his love interest and BAM!, the love interest is wiped out. He said, “Yeah, I was thinking the same thing.” We nervously laughed at the prospect.
Have you averted a harrowing scene or catastrophic situation because you failed to be somewhere you normally would be?

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Morning Edition - 7/18/07

Sometimes I Wish I Could Act Like A…
When we first meet someone who sparks our interest, there’s a newness that sets the stage for intrigue and keeps us wanting more. Sometimes there’s the naughty flirtation or the coy one-liners that makes us smile and gush with anticipation of things to come. BD and I are mastering a very beautiful way of not only keeping each other on our toes, but massaging and replicating those feelings over and over again through role play. I don’t know when or where it started, but almost daily, we will just walk up to each other and begin role playing and, like clock work, the other party knows to just fall in line. We never know what role the other will play – thug, bad boy, professional, lost tourist, etc, but what is clear is that our moods dictate how the scenario will end. Suffice to say, there is never a negative outcome and the feeling that we are conquering a new man each day is extremely exhilarating. Yesterday, right before lunch, I mentioned to BD that I needed new earphones for my media player. We agreed to meet at a nearby Best Buy, where I arrived first. I began looking for my new earphones and as I bent to pick up a pair from a lower shelf BD walked up behind me and said, “Damn!” I turned, a slight smirk on my face to hear him say, “I’m sorry sir…just taking a look at those…uh…earphones down there. They sure are nice.” I said, “Yeah, they appear to be. Would you like me to reach down there and pass you a pair?” He had a boyish grin as he responded, “Sure…I mean, I insist.” I again stooped over and he said, “Hell yeah they’re nice.” As I passed him the earphones I said, “You know you should really sample them before you buy them. You really don’t want to get home and realize you don’t like them.” He shrugged his shoulders and said, “Nah bruh… some things you can look at and know you’re gonna just love ‘em.” I said, “Well damn…sounds like you have your mind made up.” We were interrupted by a sales clerk who, overhearing our conversation said, “Excuse me fellas, but can I ring you two up? Sounds like you’re ready.” BD looked at me and said, “So, what do you think? Are you ready?” The clerk looked at our faces and blushed, leaving us behind with a simple, “I’ll be at the register if you need me.” I winked at BD and said, “I think I’m ready, but I’m a HARD sell, so I’d like to sample mine first.” “Hmmm…yeah, you don’t look like the type to get ‘short’ changed.” We both started laughing and hit the register to make our purchase. Each day – sometimes several times a day – we’ll enjoy our role playing. It’s fun, it’s safe and it uncovers yet another plus in our daily mutual awe-fest.

Taking It Back; Freestyle Extravaganza
This Saturday, July 21, a group of friends and I will be hitting Madison Square Garden, here in NYC, for the Freestyle Extravaganza. For those who don’t know what Freestyle music is, it is probably easier to give an example than to describe it. Think Lisa-Lisa and her I Wonder If I Take You Home hit. A nostalgic throwback to my high school days, the concert will feature: Lisa-Lisa, TKA, Judy Torres, Cynthia, George Lamond, Johnny O, Rob Base, Afrika Bambaataa & the Soulsonic Force, Sweet Sensation, Lydia Lee Love, Noel, Soave, 2 without hats, The Coverl Girls, Information Society and Coro. To say that I’m excited is an understatement. I was already trying to decide whether I should really go there and break out the shell-top Adidas and the permanently creased jeans. Don’t make me do it…I’ll even dig up my Kangol.

Special Thank You to EG!
Huevo aka EG gave me two tickets to the Yankee game last night. My boy and I did the beer and burger thing and were high-fivin’ with the rest of the fans. Thanks for giving us a romantic night that had that undercurrent of chillin’ with your boyz! It was a win-win all around as the Yankees whipped ass winning against the Blue Jays. The post game can be described in one baseball term, “dugout”.

On Blast
Right now I’m enjoying the lack of boundaries and expectations with my dating BD. We communicate openly and we genuinely care about the other person’s feelings.
What can your partner do to keep your fun furnace burning HOT?

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Morning Edition - 7/17/07

The Patience Of A Saint; The Temper Of A Heathen
Maturity has helped grow my patience and I can now turn the other cheek with the best of them. Unfortunately, if I’m brought outside myself, my temper is scary and I fear nothing and no one. I rarely allow my cage to be rattled, but on those rare occasions when the situation pushes me to the edge, I’m rarely – if ever – the one going over the cliff. Case in point, yesterday was the oh-so-anticipated delivery of my bedroom furniture and I took the day off to accommodate the not-so-customer-service-friendly 9-to-5 delivery hours I was given. I received a call from the furniture delivery guy at 12:30 p.m. informing me that my delivery would take place between 4-7 p.m. My morning shot to hell and now an extra two hours of wait time added to my sit-on-your-hands time, I took a deep breath and simply said, “Sure, I’ll see you guys here.” I had lunch with a girlfriend and we sat up and chatted through a few beers waiting for my delivery. When I looked up and saw the green 6:30 numbers staring back from my cable box, I dialed the number of the delivery guy from earlier in the day. He mentioned that he would be at my apartment within the half-hour. Again, I took a deep breath, popped another Heineken and told myself it would all be over soon. When the three undocumented aliens arrived at 7:20 p.m. I simply escorted them to my bedroom, pointed to where I needed the furniture placed and they proceeded to unload and arrange the pieces. Ten minutes into the scene and Pablo looks at Pedro and says, “Day didin’ have de handows for de dresoar.” Realizing that this was Pablo’s attempt to not only inform Pedro that my dresser handles where not packed with the item, but to also passively tell me that my dresser was handle-less, I heard the loud “click” in my head that said my patience had reached its end. My day wasted and NO COMPLETE DRESSER!?! Pablo sensing the impending danger looked at Pedro and said he was going to the truck, leaving Pedro staring into my now flaring nostrils. I saw him brace himself against my new dresser preparing for the roar. In TWO LANGUAGES, I mentioned that this was not acceptable. They had wasted my day, showed up after the new LATER time and now did not have my complete dresser?! Pedro began to stammer, but I wasn’t hearing it, I began dialing the store, demanded to speak with the store manager who frantically attempted to apologize and begged to speak to Pedro. I handed the phone to Pedro who took the phone as if he was handling hot coals. I heard him say a few careful, “Uh-huhs” before turning to me and saying that I could pick up my dresser handles the next day at the store. I snatched the phone from Pedro and said, “Here’s what’s going to happen. You’re going to deliver my dresser handles and affix them tomorrow by 7 p.m. I am not picking up or affixing anything! Moreover, if I were to damage my furniture affixing the handles you neglected to bring, you will not replace the furniture, so your suggestion is asinine and out of the question!” Long-story-long, Pedro will be returning on Wednesday evening to install my dresser handles. He frightfully extended the delivery slip for me to sign and I pushed it back and said, “Get out now and bring it back for a signature when you complete your delivery on Wednesday!” He said, “…but me leavin’ the dress…” I cut him off and said, “You have one minute to walk out before the little bit of control I’m mustering leaves me.” He rushed out the door just as it slammed behind his sweat-soaked, musty ass.

On Blast
Customer service. When you’re patronizing a vendor it is not a courtesy to receive excellent customer service. I expect it – wait, demand it – from anyone taking my hard-earned money. Likewise, when at work, I strive to give the highest level of customer service to my colleagues. When my dresser handles were not with the furniture, the store manager should have made every effort to have them delivered – that night – PERIOD! - especially, when I had taken great pains to work around their schedule and not my own.
What recent customer service disaster left you on the verge of catching a case?

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Evening Edition - 7/15/07

Imagination; The Breeding Ground of Creativity
The last few months have been all pomp and circumstance for BD and me. We’re enjoying a whirlwind of new emotions wrapped in well-worn packages. Whether we’re engrossed in our marathon love-making sessions or our casual work-to-home train-rides, we have really been doing-it-up. Late last week I realized that BD is also a writer. He shared the first chapter of a story he started two years ago. You’d think this would be a little tid-bit that I’d be privy to early on, but he – like me – didn’t mention it. At any rate, we both shared chapter-one of the stories we, now realize, we’re working on. I was immediately sucked-in to his story, but was even more surprised to see that the main characters of his novella include key similarities to our, then budding, friendship. In his novel the main character meets their “spouse” after their recent move from DC. They share an amazing relationship raising a child that the main character has from a previous marriage. All-in-all, I sat mouth agape enjoying a read that was a sort-of looking-glass into things to come. My story, on the other hand, was riddled with autobiographical morsels that gave BD more than an eye-full of the inner workings of my psyche. What I was most enthralled by was how both stories helped to highlight our creativity, but also how our overactive imaginations are part of what makes us draw the other in with every passing day.

Furniture, Trips, the Pooch…
With my parents arriving on July 24th it was time to buy that dresser and nightstand for my room and finally unpack the boxes that line my apartment walls. Let’s get serious here, I moved on May 16 and it is now two months later! So yesterday I visited a nearby furniture store picked out an amazing cherry wood dresser, nightstand and standing mirror (very old school chic) and kept my entire purchase under $1,000. I then started looking at my upcoming Puerto Rico, Great-at-38, birthday celebration. My intention is not to overspend, but to do the things I love best – time on the beach and a good ultra tan club dance afterward. I’m also easing up on those overstuffed meals I’d been having lately and working on pushing those cardio workouts. Last night as I was at the club wearing these minimalist white yoga shorts, I peeled off my sweat-drenched black wife beater to gyrate and sweat with my friends and I noticed that although I felt good, I had a slight “pooch” of a belly. Sort-of like that lower belly you see on girls when they’re on their period. Lawd! I had to laugh and wonder whether my pooch was due to my consumption of heavy-ass Heineken beers! Long story short, we need to get rid of that atrocity before we hit the Caribbean beaches for my birthday. I did feel sexy as hell though….LOL

Hairy Situation
I began shaving my head just as 2000 rolled in. It was a choice that I felt saved me time at the barber, made me look super clean and somewhat hid the reduced number of hair follicles still in production. It seemed an easy choice and I only grow hair intermittently between shaves. During those periods, my hair reaches a good 9 o’clock shadow on my face and head that are quite rough-looking – butch realness, if you will. BD mentioned that he really likes it and wants me to grow my hair out. It’s a scary prospect, since I’ve been gray since my 25th birthday and am now a very-mature salt-and-pepper throughout. I told him I’d consider it, but for now (especially through the next month-or-so) don’t want to consider putting another grooming task on the list – namely, hair management. So, the objective for fall is to see what my new locks will look like after so many years. I’ve already put my hairdresser friend on the speed dial for dye jobs and appropriate cuts. Hey, I’m not really trying to go there on my own. Besides, my hair transforms me from the light-skinned black boy I appear to be, to the immediately noticeable cocoa-skinned Puerto Rican boy opening my mouth makes detectable.

On Blast
Which of your physical changes (hair, body structure, etc.) do you think has improved with time and adds character to your appearance?

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Morning Edition - 7/11/07

I See You In A Different Light
For close to two years, Baby Daddy and I have dated off-and-on. There’s never been any official discussion about our dating and we’ve both dated other folks in that two year period. So what has brought the recent ignited flame in our friendship? I’ve asked myself the same question and have no real answer. What is clear is that we’re both extremely engaged and passionately interested. Yesterday, after our new ride-home routine, BD jumped off the train at my stop and we hopped in my car to have a quaint dinner at Nathan’s – famous for their boardwalk-style NY franks. We sat and had an interesting conversation about our teenage years while inhaling a couple of chili dogs. As the conversation continued I noticed BD becoming more and more intense. His looks of concern were burrowing into me and I stopped to ask, “Are you alright?” He said, “Now I understand.” When I asked what he “understood,” he went on to explain how he felt my sense of humor is so raw and magnetic that it clearly showed someone who had overcome great pains with his will to laugh as a weapon. I was somewhat touched, but continued my story. When I got up to dump the trash (yeah, Nathan’s is that kind of joint) he got up and continued to stare and smile. We decided to do a little shopping trip to Target and while I drove I felt him still staring – hard! I turned and said, “What is it pa?!” He smiled and said, “I just thought I knew you all this time and you’re so much deeper than I ever thought. It explains why I’ve always really liked you. Right now I like you so much more.” Always the break-the-sappiness-king, I responded, “Cut the crap before I drive us into oncoming traffic!” We both laughed and he snapped some unapproved pics of me with his Blackberry. So we’re talking several times a day, riding home together virtually every night and I’m not thinking of where this is going, but how I can continue feeling this silly; this fresh and this at peace.

Enjoying the Coast
Nothing in life is done at full throttle and any attempt at full-throttle-living will leave you exhausted, unfulfilled and distressed. So, it came as no surprise that my six-day a week work-out sprints and healthy eating needed to somehow ease for a little while so that I could catch my breath and enjoy some of the benefits. I’ve reached that mental level where I accept that I enjoy the results of working out; so it goes without saying that it will be a life-long commitment, but I’m also accepting those couple of slow-down weeks when I workout less strenuously and eat more voraciously. All said, I’ve gained a few pounds, but the exhale of letting go for a little while is great. I’m comfortable with my size and can now accept that a couple of weeks of chillin’ cannot blow me up. This week I’m back to my more strenuous workout regimen, but am still eating a bit more – and a bit differently – than I had the past six months. Next week, we’re going back to our usual diet of curbed carbs and increased protein. Hey, my Great-At-38 birthday weekend is now less than four weeks away and I’m trying to sport my new Rio!

On Blast
Revelations. I’m a firm believer in not revealing too much – especially not too much of your sordid past to present potential partners. All said, that type of banter can come back to haunt you as the new beau attempts to make connections between your past and your present behavior. There are, however, times when having a candid conversation that gives someone a peek inside, can serve to endear them and show them your growth and development. What story from your past do you think serves you best staying there?

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Monday, July 09, 2007

Afternoon Edition - 7/9/07

Chi-town Take Out
It was a scene right out of an action-adventure movie. A van being driven along a busy downtown Chicago street allegedly jumped the curb, running head-long into Cosi restaurant. Before creating the not-so-drive-thru window, the driver is said to have run down a pedestrian who was ambling along the sidewalk; both the pedestrian and a passenger in the van are said to be in critical condition, while two other passengers in the van are injured, but not critically. No citations have been issued as yet.

Burying the Living?
Today the NAACP held a funeral service for the N-Word during their 98th Annual Convention in Detroit, Michigan. The N-Word’s coffin will have an official burial site and tombstone, taking a hopeful step at obliterating the use of the word by both hate mongers and African Americans alike. "Today we're not just burying the N-word, we're taking it out of our spirit," Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick said. "We gather burying all the things that go with the N-word. We have to bury the 'pimps' and the 'hos' that go with it." In the eternal words of Ned Flanders of The Simpsons fame, “Obie-Kablie!”

July 25; Commonwealth Constitution Day
Puerto Rico, a commonwealth of the United States, created their own constitution and had it ratified on July 25, 1952. Since then, the island has an official holiday to celebrate Commonwealth Constitution Day. Puerto Rico presently celebrates ALL U.S. holidays along with several of our very own, including: Three Kings Day (Jan. 6); Birthday of Eugenio Maria de Hostos (Jan. 11); Emancipation Day – Puerto Rico abolished slavery in 1873 (Mar. 22); Birthday of Dr. Jose Celso Barbosa (Jul. 27); Discovery of Puerto Rico (Nov. 19); Christmas Eve – Noche Buena (Dec. 24); New Year’s Eve (Dec. 31). In all, Puerto Rico has a healthy slew of holidays.

On Blast
How important do you believe the symbolic funeral for the N-Word was today? What impact (if any) do you believe it will have?

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Evening Edition - 7/8/07

On Blast
As I look into his eyes I feel IN that moment... I was made to love him, my arms to hold him...my legs to stand...
It's as if destiny had prepared me for the moment when I'd be his.
After a couple of hit-and-misses, what feelings let you know when it's right?

Keep passin' the open windows...

Friday, July 06, 2007

Morning Edition - 7/6/07

On Blast
What did you dream last night?

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Thursday, July 05, 2007

Evening Edition - 7/5/07

On Blast
I am the man who will fight for your honor. I'll be the hero you're dreaming of. We'll live forever knowing together that we did it all for the glory of love.
Today, who could you sincerely sing this song to?

Keep passin' the open windows...

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Morning Edition - 7/4/07

On Blast
Careful what you ask for... When Nancy Wilson asks, "Where is that someone to watch over me" who immediately came to your mind?

Keep passin' the open windows...

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Morning Edition - 7/3/07

Two Wrongs Sometimes = Right
The debacle surrounding Isaiah Washington and his “faggot” slur on the set of Grey's Anatomy has been spun in every direction possible. It appears Washington now feels he was wrongfully fired, since he “atoned” for his remark and apologized to anyone that may have been hurt by his comment. Some in the gay community have gone as far as to say that Washington has been a long-time gay rights supporter and a friend of the cause, but a question still comes to mind when I think of comments such as these and that is: Why would you utter such a slur if you have gay friends and are such a supporter of gay rights? It brought to mind what would happen if a White man who had a slew of African American friends blurted the word “Nigger” during a heated moment. Would his African American friends see his rant as an isolated incident or would they surmise that he had these racist feelings just under the surface all along. As I read many of the ongoing interviews with Washington, I see he is now pulling the race card and saying that as an African American man he is being treated unfairly, but the fact remains that he is not being punished for something he did not say or do. Now, the details of how the incident occurred may be muddled and whether or not the gay cast member, T.R. Knight, was ever on set when the comment was shouted is irrelevant. Washington admits to making the comment. So, let’s end the argument here and now. Black, White, Latino or Asian, you cannot use the word “faggot” or “nigger” regardless of the circumstances and expect sympathy from the community you hurt and society as a whole. Personally, I forgive Washington. I even accept that he may have plenty of gay friends – some of whom are crossing his name off that proverbial Christmas party list – but it doesn’t make the comment okay. Let’s move on and hope that Washington can learn from this and move on as well. So, should Washington have been fired when others have said worse and kept their jobs? Probably not. But in the unfair world of karma and bullshit, it sometimes works in your favor to not put it out there so it doesn’t come through the fan and back in your face.

Eating It Can Make You More Prone to Cancer
Maura Gillson of John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health has concluded a study that found individuals who had oral sex with more than five partners were 250% more likely to develop throat, tonsil and other mouth cancers. This was due mostly to the human papilloma virus (HPV) that can also cause cervical cancer. By comparison, the study showed that drinking and smoking only increase the risk by threefold. Tonsil and throat cancers affect two in 100,000 adults in the U.S. Last year a vaccine against HPV was developed, but not enough is known for everyone to feel at ease administering it to young women. Researchers are attempting to develop a new spit test to test for the risk of cancers in the mouth and throat. In the meantime, be mindful of your koochie eating and keep your partners to a minimum.

Busta; The Update
Busta got up on all four legs yesterday; restoring my hope in his oral treatment working. There are still over five days of oral treatment left, but the future looks brighter now that he’s up and moving. My fingers are still crossed, but I’m grateful for his recovery so far. Thank you for the well wishes.

On Blast
Many of us consider oral sex very intimate and will only engage in it with our spouses or life-partners, while others consider oral sex a fetish to be enjoyed with as many partners as possible. I’ve heard that it is more difficult to tell if a woman is unclean before oral sex; while a man’s external parts make for easier inspection in these situations.
All said (keep it real) do you use protection when having oral sex or do you only enjoy oral sex raw?
Keep passin’ the open windows…

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Afternoon Edition - 7/1/07

My Comforter
Sometimes when you’re feeling down you have to turn to the one person who can really pick you up – and fast! My nephew and cohort, Daylen, is my boy! He knows how to take advantage of me, abuse me and make me feel silly… all in the name of fun! He brings out the innocence that is being a child and the beauty and freshness in life. Since I’ve chosen never to have children, Daylen and my other nephew Chris are my heart. Today, I went over to sit with Daylen while my sis went shopping and he and I decided to raid the kitchen for prohibited snacks and soft drinks. He went on to tell me that my dog was old and kind of stinky. Not exactly what I was looking to hear about Busta, but enough to make me laugh out loud! Daylen has a personality that outshines even that of his uncle – and coming from a one-man show like myself, that’s a BIG compliment. Oh…almost forgot to mention! Daylen got his first haircut in April for his second birthday, so he’s sporting his new do. As many of you may recall, Daylen’s hair was down his back just a few months ago. Thanks Daylen! You made your uncle lighten-up a bit! I’m keeping your first pony tail and having it framed for my foyer. I’ll be sure to show all you friends when you hit that awkward teen stage.

On Blast
Sometimes in our issues and drama, we fail to see the beauty and cheerfulness in someone or something else.
Who/What stands to be the one person/thing that cheers you up the fastest?

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Morning Edition - 7/1/07

Paralyzing Fear
Since Wednesday night, my right-hand man Busta has suffered from a severe limp. I checked his paws and legs thoroughly and found nothing, but by Friday, my boy could barely stand. By Friday night, Busta was spending much of his time lying down. My premonition said that it was serious. I mean, he wasn’t pulling away or reacting to my inspecting his legs and yet he couldn’t sustain himself on his back paws. Saturday afternoon, right after Caspar and I had our cars inspected, we rushed Busta over to the vet where the prognosis left me shocked, disheveled and with my stomach in knots. Busta is suffering from paralysis of his hind quarters – possibly brought about from his jumping off of furniture and having several of his discs compressing key nerves in his back. The doc gave Busta a steroid shot and gave me anti-inflammatory pills to give him for a week. His future depends on how well he responds to this treatment. You see, if the inflammation around his spine does not subside and allow him to walk again, Busta will require risky surgery that may render him completely paralyzed. As I stated to the doctor, I will not subject my trusted friend to that type of torture. So, my fingers and toes are crossed in the hopes that my baby will respond to the treatment. The cost-prohibitive treatment of having my son cut open without any guarantees is not something I will undertake. I couldn’t do anything else after the vet appointment outside of coming home to spend time with Busta and cry. The funny thing is that Busta found the strength to come off his make-shift bed to lick my hands and comfort me while I cried. I picked him up and carried him around all evening.

On Blast
Is it inhumane to subject our pets to grueling and uncertain surgical procedures to keep them around or should we do everything possible to keep them in our lives?

Keep passin’ the open windows…