Friday, March 30, 2007

Morning Edition - 3/30/07

Sanjaya Madness; When Being Bad Is Good
Sanjaya Malakar, the 17-year old season six American Idol contestant from Washington State, is causing quite a stir in the entertainment industry these days. The soft-spoken, effeminate teen has managed to single-handedly kick-start interest in the top-rated Fox program and brings to question the ability of the show to really choose the best overall singer/performer among its contestants. When the youngster auditioned for the show, he was joined by his older sister, who also had interest in becoming a contestant. Although they both made it through to the second phase, big sis was promptly cut-off leaving the younger Malakar in a heap of tears before the cameras. Some say it was this genuine show of vulnerability that first endeared, the one I’ve come to call my Golden Sunshine, to the general public. Since then, GS has managed to avoid elimination, even standing shoulder-to-shoulder with better singers who are axed in favor of the stunning lad. Now in the final nine, many are saying that if he won, the American Idol franchise faces extinction. A cruise through the YouTube website shows a slew of respectable adults saying some pretty disgraceful things about the little young man who could, in fact, be the next American Idol. What was even odder was how many adults had waged hunger strikes until Sanjaya either stepped down from his finalist post or was cut from the show. Finally there are allegations of the and Howard Stern’s campaigns that recruit folks to keep Sanjaya’s post on AI secure. To add even more fuel to the fire, NBCs Saturday Night Live, spoofed the androgynous waif highlighting not only his wispy personality, but his young and old, die-hard fans. So, what’s the real deal here? At best, it appears that America is letting off steam at a time when it’s less serious to argue about a sexually ambiguous beauty than to speak of the thousands of men and women dying in Iraq or maybe the Sanjaya disdain can be attributed to a flagrant dislike for flamboyant men getting ahead with the support of the general public… who knows? Moreover, the argument that the person with the MOST talent should win, is absurd. First, America didn’t place Sanjaya in the running, the judges did. Now, those same judges seem incredulous that one of their chosen contestants is moving forward in the competition. Second, if talent were the only criteria for making a star, then Lisa Fischer would be bigger than Madonna and Brian McKnight would be enjoying Elton John’s success. Let’s get real folks, a star is born through a combination of things – not the least of which is a difference from us that keeps our interest. In Sanjaya’s case being bad is so good, but being beautiful and original is better.

Rapidly Fraying Rope
This week’s installment of Rapidly Fraying Rope was inspired by an exchange I had with a young lady on the comments area of another blog. Basically, I mentioned that Kimberly Elise’s face looked fat in the new movie Pride. A young lady commented directly after my comment and said that she didn’t understand why people (I would imagine me) associate fat with ugly and skinny with pretty. When I tried to point out that I merely said her face looked fat and that her own “translation” may be more of a self-conscious reaction, another woman jumped in to co-sign with the first cellulite covered c**+. All said, this installment does not deal with the young ladies or whether they are big or small – to be clear, one of them pointed out she is a size 4. We’re discussing “Knowing your girth.” Girth is simply the measurement around something; for the purposes of this column it means the distance around somebody’s body. Lately, I’ve come across situations that made me believe that there are some folks that either don’t know their girth OR don’t seem to know the effect of their girth on the rest of humanity. It’s as though they woke up this morning and went from a size 4 to a 24 on their way to the train. Here are a few things to keep in mind when assessing your girth:
1. Know your girth…If you are over three feet across, it is not recommended that you stand blocking the doorways to modes of public transportation, elevators or face forward on escalators. You should be mindful that it is impossible for other individuals to get around you and therefore make them more apt to point out your lack of regard for your fellow man.
2. Know your girth… If you have very large legs, you should never buy boots that are calf length or above as your calves may look like footballs shoved into a garden hose. Also, if your weight cannot be easily balanced and carried with grace on higher heels, opt for a more reasonable heel that will allow you to walk like a normal human being. Heels that make you teeter on the brink of collapse only give you the Henrietta Hippo look and we don’t think that’s what you’re striving for.
3. Know your girth…Avoid eating fatback and beef tripe sandwiches as snacks while blurting that you don’t understand why you can’t seem to shed any weight. No one believes it's a genetic or glandular issue - least of all, you. Here’s the reality Clara-Belle, it’s the caloric intake.
4. Know your girth…Confidence. Period. If you intend to keep your voluptuous figure, it is recommended that you learn how to choose clothing accentuating your best features, take the time to do your hair and take pride in your appearance. Big girls are just as beautiful, confident and together as their thinner counterparts, but they need to take the time to package themselves with the same care as women of other sizes.
5. Know your girth…Most important – Do not criticize thinner people simply because they’re thin. You come across as a self-loathing, envious and jealous person. Moreover, it opens you up to the tables being turned and the girth issue being highlighted in someone's blog.

Romancing the HOE
Last night the HOE and I had our last date before he takes off for Peru today. His 10 day vacation will take him through some pretty beautiful sites and we wanted to have a last evening together before our first official separation. We fittingly had dinner at a wonderful new Westchester Caribbean-Southern eatery called Legends and retreated to a quiet evening at his place where we experimented with some new flavorful body oils. He also gave me a wonderful little keepsake to play with in his absence and I had to laugh at his demonstration of how I should use it. In the end, I showed him how I’d use his gift and my show-and-tell delayed my return home for another hour. As I drove home I thought about how the 10 days would give me an opportunity to think about the last two weeks with the HOE. He’s certainly brought me out of my winter funk.

On Blast
Being fat is not synonymous with being ugly, just as being thin does not make you a runway model. That said, are the media’s efforts to make Americans (the largest population in the world) comfortable with their size, making folks think that it is okay to be unhealthy? Are we saying, “Be comfortable in your own skin,” OR “Eat yourself into an early grave”?

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Morning Edition - 3/28/07

On Blast
How do you want to be loved?

Keep passin' the open windows...

Morning Edition - 3/27/07

Say When
You remember back in the day when you’d get ready to pour something in a glass for someone and you’d ask them to “say when.” Basically, we were asking that when the person thought you served them enough he/she would ask you to stop pouring. I’m grateful that the last few weeks have been a time of feast in my dating life. I’m enjoying the great company and the crop of good fellas that have come my way. Last night I agreed to a date with White Chocolate – a man I met close to two years ago. A professional by day and a single father by night, White Chocolate is a light-skinned, full-pink-lipped brother that has always struck my fancy. He’s a quiet, but sexy soul who knows what he’s doing and doesn’t need a lot of fanfare to get the job done. Unfortunately, as many single moms will attest, time is of the essence with single parents and plans can easily be shifted, broken or disrupted. In the last year, I’ve come away from WC because I’m not good at compromising and I don’t take well to having dates cancelled when I’ve looked forward to them. Admittedly, my original date with WC was for last Saturday, but since I was enjoying the HOE, it seemed an act of self sabotage to keep my date and forgo the great time I was already having; so I cancelled and offered-up a brief dinner and some reconnect time for last night. At 5:15 p.m. I dashed from my office and made for the train like Carl Lewis on steroids, I opted for a cab instead of the bus after my train ride and halfway levitated, rather than walked, the dog. I dumped all my junk mail, cleaned my bathroom and ran the vacuum – let me be sure you get the picture here… I could probably do all these things from my couch, since my apartment is about half the size of Barbie’s Malibu home. Just as I was getting ready to freshen up and order Chinese, I heard my phone ring. Do I really need to tell you who was on the other end? Right! WC was calling to say that his confirmed sitter – his younger brother – had cancelled and he wouldn’t be able to make our date. I laughed. When he asked why I was laughing I said, “When!” and burst out into more hearty laughter. He was silent for a moment and then followed-up with some nervous laughter of his own – what can I say, my laugh is infectious. As I caught my breath, I cleared my throat and said, “Don’t worry about it pa, it’s really cool.” He sounded surprised to hear my calm and light demeanor. “Well, get that boy of yours some dinner, I need to jump in the shower. We’ll make time for each other at some point.” He sounded relieved, but skeptical. I reassured him and said, “Hey, it happens. Call me later in the week.” I hung up and laughed some more. I enjoyed an incredible weekend and was greedily scheduling more and more dates as though the idea that I could somehow was more of “I should.” Lesson learned. Know when to say when. It’s okay to enjoy someone and really like them without feeling that by adding others to the mix you’ll protect yourself from focusing your full emotional attention on one person. Now I won’t say that I’m going to somehow confuse dating with becoming serious, but I don’t need a slew of men to help me recognize a good one.

Paris Has Burnt; By the Grace of God Puerto Rico Stands
Every so often, I’ll pull the old documentary Paris is Burning out of the video collection and take a look at the 1980s classic that introduced the world to the Blatino NYC Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Transgender community and the cultural phenomenon known as the ball scene. What strikes me about the film is not what it introduces – I mean, I lived and partied in this era and with these people – but I look at all the faces and realize many of them are no longer with us. I remember dancing in clubs with these folks, going to 12-hour marathon balls with them and yes, even how the hard street life running with some of these folks shaped my life. Last night as I watched my old running mates, I found myself tearing up at the fact that most of them are gone – dead. To say that I had some kind of magic formula that saved my life is a lie. It was the grace of God and the luck of the draw that allows me to be here today. This year I will celebrate my 38th birthday. When I hang out on weekends I’m rarely, if ever, confronted with those familiar faces of years past. Sure, it might be that folks my age have given up on the whole “hang-out” scene, but more often than not, their absence is due more to the catastrophic effect of AIDS on our community. In the coming weeks, I will begin my drive to raise funds for my yearly NY AIDS Walk. I hope you’ll take a moment to help support the cause. God and luck may have been on my side, but there are those that live each day with the reality of HIV and AIDS. It is a difficult and stigmatizing daily struggle that we all must share the burden of if we are to help bring an end to one of the top killers in America.

On Blast
Have your views on HIV/AIDS changed in the 25 years since the discovery of the disease OR do you feel that the facts and information have done little to change your reaction to those infected?

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Monday, March 26, 2007

Morning Edition - 3/26/07

Sera Tu Sonrisa
Elvis Crespo, one of my favorite Latino singers, has a song that says, “Algo en tu cara me fascina. Algo en tu cara me da vida. Sera tu sonrisa?” Translated verbatim those lines are, “Something in your face fascinates me. Something in your face gives me life. Can it be your smile?” This weekend, I discovered that it is in fact, “his” smile. Friday night, the HOE and I had an amazing date that included an intimate dinner, followed by a trip to the cinema where we saw Pride (review to follow). Following the movie the HOE showed-off his planning skills as the sweet smell of vanilla and white tulips filled his apartment. He had paid close attention in our previous discussions and had taken the time to have my favorite cuddle cues strewn around the crib. When we arrived he hit the CD shuffle and my ears were filled with soft ballads. He then lit the candles and dimmed the lights before making us two tasty cocktails and asking me to dance. We danced in front of the full-length mirrored walls in his living room and as I caught glimpses of us in the warm room, I was transported to another place. I became a voyeur of sorts, able to appreciate my own wonderful moment. As our clothes fell to our feet, our bodies melded and our reflections were a priceless moment seared in my memory well after I awoke in his bed at 3:30 a.m. He tried pulling me back to bed, but I mentioned that we both had full days on Saturday and it was best that we tried to get some rest. The idea of sleeping in his bed all night was enchanting, but I realized I wouldn’t be doing much sleeping next to this beautiful man. When I finally got into my own bed, I smiled myself to sleep and was awakened by White Chocolate’s call asking if we were still on for Saturday evening. I quickly said that I’d have to reschedule for late this week and fell back off to dream of the HOE’s smile. I didn’t do much better at keeping my date on Sunday and I cancelled with DJ to rejoin the HOE again for dinner and an incredible end to my weekend. So, yeah…I guess you can say it is his, “Sonrisa.”

Lacking Pride
Pride, the new movie starring Terrence Howard, Bernie Mac, Kimberly Elise and Tom Arnold takes us back to the 1960s and a time when black men jumping into a pool would render it useless and dirty. It is based loosely on the life of Jim Ellis, an out-of-work college graduate who once had dreams of being a swimming phenomenon. After a disappointing run at finding work, Ellis is given a menial position with the Philadelphia Department of Recreation (PDR) where he transforms a soon-to-close facility into a place of dreams recaptured and lives transformed. Now this may sound like a speedy review, but the storyline is a good one. All the feel-good qualities and requisite tear-jerk moments should be there, but they’re not. You’ll find that Howard’s cry-on-command performance leaves you dry and Elise’s 70s inner-city councilwoman’s hard-edge, don’t connect. What we’re left with is a worthy story that would have been better served as a one-hour documentary on the Biography channel. As for the eye-candy value of the film, the tight fitting clothes of the era will make you sigh for a time when men were okay showing you what they were working with, while the bathing suit scenes make you rethink that farfetched notion that you could be a towel boy, but in the end, your pride should take over and you’ll be disappointed that you didn’t just purchase the Guys Gone Wild DVD for the same price as those two movie tickets.

On Blast
What movie stirs the most heart wrenching emotions for you and why?

Keep passin’ the open windows….

Friday, March 23, 2007

Morning Edition - 3/23/07

Long, Long Ago In A City Far, Far Away
Pittsburgh, a city known for being a hard-edged, bitter-cold, steel town is the birthplace of one of the hottest men in America. They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder and this beholder has had his eyes on this red-bone, guy-next-door for over 12 years. It all started back in 1995 – picture it, a crowded Washington, DC cafeteria, a saucy Puerto Rican twink holding court with the ladies who lunch, and a freckled, svelte and obviously arrogant man who didn’t have the good sense to use the words, “Excuse me…” before interrupting a conversation. What could have been a very disruptive moment was instead a rude awakening of all my senses that captivated my essence. Through the years he has been my heart’s greatest joy and most excruciating pain. Today, he continues to be the man I compare all others to – but most important, he remains my closest friend. He is a man who has been tried in the past few years and has emerged a better person – someone I admire and am proud to call a piece of my soul. Happy birthday Robert. My prayers are that you are blessed with your heart’s desires and that I never know life without you.

On Blast
What interesting, quirky or funny bookmark in history occurred on your birthday?

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Morning Edition - 3/22/07

Mawage; Yeah, It’s a Joke
Wikipedia says that marriage is an interpersonal relationship with governmental, social or religious recognition, usually intimate and sexual and often created as a contract. The earliest recorded “marriages” predate recordkeeping, so no one really knows exactly when or where they began. Here in America, one thing is certainly clear – the institution of marriage has been on a steady decline for over four decades. Today, fewer than half the number of couples marry as back in the 60s. It was less than three years ago that the first gay couple sparked a debate and gained rights to marry or have civil unions in the U.S. and remarkably, right-wing America would have you think that gays and lesbians are attempting to ruin the institution of marriage. Newsflash folks…straight America has done a great job all on their own. A more important topic is the priority the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender (GLBT) community have at acquiring the right to say, “I do,” since heterosexuals are coming away from the institution of marriage and living together, bearing children and having productive households. I understand that the GLBT community should logically be entitled to have the SAME rights as every other red-blooded, adult American, but is the GLBT community concerned about the rights associated with marriage or the idea of being married? Ultimately, the issue is simple – all adults should have the SAME RIGHTS, but when there are so many more pressing issues in the GLBT community (gay bashings, workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation, etc.) I suspect the GLBT battle shouldn’t be the right to have a big ceremony and wear the monkey suits, but who is entitled to keep property, care for sick partners and keep our hard-earned accumulated wealth within our partnerships. As one comedian said, “The most damaging thing to the institution of marriage is not the gay community, but divorce. Outlaw that and you may just save marriage.”

The HOE and I
The HOE has quickly become my leading candidate in the dating foray. Now before you begin to peddle advice about how I should be with a more respectable person – the HOE is simply an acronym for Head of Education. Yes, the man I’m dating is not only stunningly beautiful, but has quite a head on his shoulders to boot. To give more info may render his identity public and you know me and protecting the anonymity of my dates. This Friday, the HOE and I are making plans to have dinner and catch a flick. Meanwhile, Diaper Jo (DJ) is intent on using all of my 1000 monthly text messages in a 24-hour period. He’s truly a nice man, but the consistent text messages, telephone calls and e-mails is beginning to feel like someone slowly rubbing sandpaper against my prostate. Today, I asked him to please allow me to call him when I got home and he sent at least six text messages to basically say, “Sure, we’ll talk when you get home.” Bless his obsessive compulsive needy ass. In an odd double-booking incident (yeah, I’m getting worse than the airlines) I agreed to touch-base with White Chocolate (WC) aka my freckled baby daddy on Friday as well. I suspect he’ll become a Saturday afternoon date since DJ has announced that Sunday is our “magical” day. I haven’t heard the word magical in the same sentence as hangin’ out since I sat down to an episode of Sesame Street in 1974.

Rapidly Fraying Rope
Welcome to the first installment of instances, moments or scenes that take me to the edge of the legal system and have me dangling perilously at the end of my rapidly fraying rope. You know, those moments when you know you’re seconds from committing a violent and masochistic crime. Today’s issue… Rush hour.
In most major metropolitan cities, rush hour is defined as those crucial morning hours and evening hours when large amounts of people are attempting to shuttle from one place to another and accomplish this move in a short period of time. The concept is not one that most of these people (commuters) enjoy, but we all try to complete a task we dislike, do it in the most efficient way possible and follow some general rules to make this dreaded task less cumbersome. By following the following easy procedures, you can help keep someone who’s at-the-brink-of-psychosis from ending your life as you know it:
1. If you’re lost, need to apply make-up are illegally using your telephone or would like to travel at 25 mph or less while looking in all directions (but the one you’re traveling in) please pull to the lane furthest to the right and insure that no vehicle attempting to pass is trapped behind yours.
2. When riding up or down on an escalator that is wide enough to accommodate two persons across, the person riding on the left-hand side MUST walk – be it up or down. To stand lazily and allow the escalator to carry your portly frame to another level, please use the right-hand side of the escalator.
3. When riding in confined spaces – trains, buses and elevators – conversation should be kept to a minimum. If conversation is necessary, it should be done is a respectable manner, including words such as, “Please, excuse me, thank-you, etc.” If you are partaking of casual conversation, your voice should be at a low level, so that only the person being spoken to is privy to the conversation. Please note: If you have been speaking to someone for over two minutes without a response you should discontinue the conversation.
4. Piggy-backing on the riding in confined spaces rule, there are positioning rules that MUST also be followed. Short of inciting your death, you should keep your penis, vagina, breasts and armpits off fellow riders. This may take some torsion, but you should turn your body to guarantee that no one is rudely exposed to your genitals. When touch is necessary, booty-to-booty contact is preferred.
5. Never stop or pause on walkways, passageways, hallways, etc. that require easy passage to rushing commuters to greet or converse with others – this includes cell phone conversations or meaningless loitering of any kind.

Please use the above five rules… the life you save will certainly be your own.

On Blast
What is your biggest pet peeve of rush-hour commuting?

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Morning Edition - 3/20/07

I love you this much
By Ms. Kahlua

Enough to do anything for you.
Enough to give my life, my love, my heart and my soul to and for you.
Enough to willingly give all of my time, efforts, thoughts, talents, trust and prayers to you.
Enough to want to protect you, care for you, guide you, hold you, comfort you, listen to you and cry to you and with you.
Enough to be completely comfortable with you, act silly around you, never have to hide anything from you and be myself with you.
Enough to share all of my sentiments, dreams, goals, fears, hopes and worries-- my entire life with you.
Enough to want the best for you, to wish for your successes, and hope for the fulfillment of all your endeavors.
Enough to keep my promises to you and pledge my loyalty and faithfulness to you.
Enough to cherish your friendship, adore your personality, respect your values, and see you for who you are.
Enough to fight for you, compromise for you, and sacrifice myself for you if need be.
Enough to miss you incredibly when we're apart, no matter what length of time it's for and regardless of the distance.
Enough to spend the rest of my life with you, be there for you when you need or want me, and never ever want to leave you or live without you.

I love you this much.

On Blast
As I read Ms. Kahlua’s poem I thought to myself how difficult it would be for me to actually say those words. I believe my pride and dignity would probably choke them away from me before they’d escape into the unknown…the fearful place where we await an honest, but genuine response. The hope is that the response would be a dream-like romanticized happily ever after.
If the response wasn’t clear…if the answer could be unfavorable….could you / would you step out on the ledge of life and say these words to your true love OR would you be more comfortable living in the safe unknown of unrequited love?

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Monday, March 19, 2007

Morning Edition - 3/19/07

The Young Become the Old
This weekend was straight out of my twenty’s era – full of party-behind-party-behind-party. First, Friday evening’s snow storm did not deter the folks that wanted to celebrate Ev’s milestone birthday. The vivacious Evelyn held court with some of her closest friends and admittedly, I had one of the best times I’ve ever had hanging at LQs. Special thank-you to Damaris C. and Dava B. for helping to organize the event and my own selfish thank-you to Lawd-Have-Mercy, for making me feel like I’m still one of the sexiest guys around. Ms. Mercy’s dance technique will have a brotha rethinking why he gave up women to begin with. A Dancing with the Stars shout-out to Kristin L. for bringing sexy back to salsa. Girl, you need to stop lying about not knowing how to shake that thing. Saturday held a quite different experience. After a mega two-hour workout with Linda and Juanita, my neighbors, I came home to freshen up, threw on my India Arie Video song on repeat and was out the door to party once again – this time with my boyz. What transpired next has left an exhausted, but satisfied, smile on my face. For some odd reason I was on super HOT mode and my simple black tank top and charcoal jeans appeared to do the trick at giving me that I-really-don’t-give-a-hoot-look. Once on the dance floor I was dancing with so many folks I began to feel like I was on a speed-date-for-dance-spin. Suddenly, I was standing next to a gorgeous cinnamon brotha with a body that could melt dry ice. Initially, I turned away from him because I knew that my anti-poker face would betray my instant blush of oh-my-goodness-this-man-is-flawless. When I turned back to face him and he smiled, the heavens opened, angels began to sing and Whitney Houston’s dentist said, “I can’t even make teeth look like that.” His smile was so astounding, that defenses be damned, I found myself reflexively smiling back. This turned out to be his cue, and brotha man stepped forward and began dancing with me. Not one song later, we were completely consumed by the music and to be quite honest, I never saw anyone else for the rest of the evening. When we paused between songs to get refills on our drinks, I found out that this curvaceous cutie was 45 years old and certainly proving that there is a finesse and charm that comes with age. At the risk of being stoned, I’ll keep some of the remaining details of our evening and subsequent morning secretive for now, but suffice to say that I barely had time to rush home to shower and change for my Sunday at 4 p.m. date with my 20-year old twink. Our date took us to an Italian restaurant where we consumed a very tasteful Arugula and antipasto salad, a three cheese pizza and an exquisite Merlot – all at his request. Yes, I was impressed. Diaper Jo did his homework and passed dinner with flying colors. We proceeded on to his choice of flick – Premonition, starring Sandra Bullock (review to follow) – where DJ leaned in massaged my thighs and even kissed my ear during a shy stolen moment between scenes. When we left the theater we walked to a nearby Starbucks, grabbed a late-night Macchiato and walked to my car – no car seat needed. When I dropped DJ at his crib he gave me a few sexy kisses before exiting the car and never thought twice about his boyz chillin’ in front of the building. We agreed the evening went well and said we’d catch up during the week. So all in all, the back-to-back dates taught me that you can have your aged wine and your fresh salad in the same weekend and be all the better for it.

I Have A Feeling It Left Me Hanging; Premonition
A mix of A Beautiful Mind and Groundhog Day, Sony Pictures’ new movie, Premonition, starring Sandra Bullock as Linda Hanson, is 110 minutes of jarring back-and-forth reality vs. reality that will tire you out before you figure it out. The premise should be a simple one – Hanson foresees her husband’s death and in doing so, has the ability to alter events to prevent it. Problem is, her premonition is only a premonition on some days – on others, it’s a bitter reality of a shattered widow who is unable to cope with her husband’s death. Got it? Uh, you probably don’t. In the end, it doesn’t matter. For all your effort to keep up with the plot and ultimately to figure it out, you realize that your questions are answered at the end – but are they? That’s the thing. Premonition is so hell bent on being a mind boggling thriller that a more apt name would be Recognition – the ending will make you recognize that you should’ve spent your $10.50 elsewhere.

On Blast
Have you ever had an uncanny premonition that came to pass just as you envisioned it?

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Friday, March 16, 2007

Morning Edition - 3/16/07

Milestone B-Day for Ev
Tonight, we’re gathering at LQs in midtown Manhattan to celebrate a milestone B-day for my honey Ev Maldonado. The invites are out and snow storm be damned, the party is still on. So join us beginning at 5:30 p.m. as we show our love and appreciation to a woman who personifies the word "friend." Here are the details: 4, 5 or 6 train to 42nd Street (Grand Central Terminal) – walk the 5 short blocks over to 47th and Lexington. Ladies are free before 7 p.m. and gents will put out $5 after 6 p.m. See ya’ there!

Hard Lesson #1 of 2007
Four years ago I moved back to NYC from Washington, DC, reconnected with my old buddies and melded with my family. It hasn’t been easy – especially not the melding with family, since as adults, we have to accept that we don’t necessarily have to like our family members. A short while ago when I discussed the subject of family, many of the blogger family felt that family comes before all else and that regardless of what they throw at you, you should turn the other cheek and take it. I’ve taken your advice, except the cheeks I’m turning to them aren’t the ones on my face. I’m a loyalist. I believe in being the ride-or-die to my family and close friends, but I’m also a staunch deserter when I’m betrayed or when it’s apparent that you are on the road to perdition. All said, my siblings and I are simply not meant to be close friends. I love them, but now accept that it’s time to move away from the drama to my own space and allow them to run their lives as they see fit. Back when this issue was discussed, some of you also mentioned that if I moved away from them I should still stay closely connected so that I could catch them when they finally do fall on their faces – again, not so. I believe catching them before they’ve actually fallen on their faces in the past has facilitated their recurring foolishness – I say, fall and fall hard, get hurt, and maybe then the scars will remind you not to get on that ride again. So my first hard lesson of 2007 is: Mind your business so you don’t turn love into a tool for facilitating poor judgment.

On Blast
If 30 is the new 20 and 40 is the new 30, etc., at what age should men and women expect to be stable and responsible adults with settled lives? What age do you believe signifies the end of flightiness and indecision?

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Morning Edition - 3/14/07

FM vs. JT
Last night’s American Idol competition made clear that if America votes solely on vocal talent, FM and JT will go head-to-head in a battle of voices for queen of American Idol season 6. For those just joining us, former background singer Melinda Doolittle who has wowed anyone listening since her first audition, will heretofore be referred to as the Flying Monkey or FM and Lakisha Jones who let us know early on that she was “not going” has earned the honor of sharing NFL player, JT’s initials, for her massive talent with shoulders and back to match. The two are proving that the Lord is a fair God. He said, “Guys, give those two these amazing voices, I was all out of necks and lady’s backs.” On another front, Sanjaya Malakar will now be known as Golden Sunshine or GS. All talent be damned, GS is just astounding to look at. Last night the AI hair and make-up staff apparently blew a fuse using a curling iron on the angelic GS. The Kodak Xanax moment goes to superdiva Diana Ross who coached the final 12 for their performances as they tackled (no dig on Ms. JT) many of Ross’ hits. Tonight Ross herself will perform at the “chop” show, where one of the disciples will be sent packing. FM can let the poppies make her sleep…she has it in the bag.

Friday the 16th
So it doesn’t have the impact of the horror thriller, but the action set to take place this Friday at LQs in midtown Manhattan will certainly serve as a depression killer. Evelyn Maldonado celebrates a milestone birthday and her coworkers and close friends will congregate to be sure she never forgets it. Simply mention that you’re attending Evelyn’s birthday bash at the door and join the fun. The party begins at 5:30 p.m. and we dare not mention an end time. Gents will fork over $5 as an entrance fee and ladies are free before 6:30.

Baby Fag
Yesterday we spoke of X who has been quickly filling up my voicemail box with the proposition of showing me how many times 24 goes into 37. Unfortunately, my math isn’t that bad and after a quick pencil and paper session, I’ve figured out it only goes in once – hence, his calls haven’t been returned. Now, in yet another Twink-Gone-Wild episode, I’ve been propositioned by a 20-year old Pear, or some other fruit, PC salesman who has gone from polite pleasure seeker to Effie-wanna-be in a matter of a couple of days. Now, the you’re-gonna-love-me greenhorn (Jo) thinks that the old man is just going to roll over and play dead because I have regrets older than he is. Case in point, he called last night and said I should allow him to come over, lest I lose points with him. “Pa, I’m the scorekeeper and right now, you’re a high school team playing an away game against the Harlem Globetrotters. You need to fall back.” He tried to begin an attempt at a comeback, but I said, “Grown folks have to work tomorrow, so we’ll chat on Friday.” There was that long Cingular Wireless commercial dropped call pause, before I said, “Good night,” and hung up the phone. Okay…where are my grown and sexy folks this spring?

On Blast
Are women more likely than men to accept disrespect, dishonesty and tomfoolery to make a relationship work? Is there a different agenda / rule book for men and women after break-ups?

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Morning Edition - 3/13/07

The X Factor
On a cold winter’s night, over a year and a half ago, I met a 22-year old man named X who was sexy as hell and had a fire all his own. I figured it was just a casual romp that wouldn’t amount to anything. As luck would have it, X was equal parts affectionate and sexual and his need for my undivided attention proved fatal to our budding friendship at the time. Not to mention that at 22, I was easily a teenager when he was born and I somehow felt a bit advantaged – meaning, my life experience would have me working circles around this kid. And so it was that X began blowin’ my cell phone to smithereens and leaving more messages than a commission-based cold caller. I grew weary of his immediate latch-and-destroy demeanor and simply refused to take any of his calls. Six months later, I ran into X at a bar and he made the fatal mistake of trying to make me jealous by flirting with a close friend of mine. His feeble attempt left him humiliated and feeling like the new kid on the playground. Less than three months later, I ran into X again – this time I was alone- and he was slightly intoxicated. Like the saying goes, a drunk mind speaks a sober heart, and X had plenty to say. He mentioned that he was sorry that he stepped out of line when he saw me last and that he really liked me and couldn’t understand why I didn’t feel the same about him. I said, “I like you, but I don’t like to be toyed with and you proved my fear of dealing with you because of your immaturity to be a very real issue.” He repeatedly apologized and I left it at, “You’re a nice guy and you really need to find someone your age to grow with.” Six months later he called (December 2005) and, as some of you will recall, I was dating T. I picked up the phone, realized it was X and stammered to find the words – especially when T was a raving jealous loon who didn’t appreciate my taking a 3 a.m. call when we were having “quality” time together. I abruptly said, “Look, this isn’t a good time and I’m presently dating someone, so I can’t talk.” I hung up the phone, argued with T for an hour and didn’t hear from X again…..well, until Sunday night. I was enjoying the 2-for-1 drinks at Chi-Chiz in the West Village when someone bear-hugged me from behind and as my feet left the floor and my head went back I saw the unmistakable pearly whites of X. I turned around and he hugged me tight again and said, “It’s been a while.” As I gave him the escalator look I noticed that this was a revised X. He was trim, fit and still had that bangin’ booty holding his jeans just so. “I would ask what you’ve been up to, but boy, the body is speakin’ for itself. What did you do?!” X looked pleased to be getting my full attention and honest inquisition. “I lost more than 50 pounds!” For the record, X was a healthy boy when we met, but he wasn’t obese. To lose fifty pounds and still look like he was ready to pull doors off hinges, made me smile. “You look great kid.” He said, “Yeah, but do I look great enough for you to take me home?” I felt the blood rush to my face and was saved by X’s friends who joined in to ask who I was. I was promptly introduced as the man who “stole my heart and refuses to give it back.” I shook everyone’s hand, excused myself and proceeded to get a beer at the bar and catch my breath. X joined me at the bar and said, “You know I mean that shit right?” I smiled and said, “Stop being silly boy. I have to run and meet friends at the club up the street.” He grabbed my shoulders and held me in place. “I’m going to call you this week and you’re going to take my call this time. I just want to hang and be friends. I don’t want another year to go by before I see you again.” Humor to the rescue, I said, “Yeah, just let me recharge the battery on my cell.” I laughed… he didn’t …he’s left two messages since then.

On Blast
Some say age is only a number, but with age - MOST times - comes experience and wisdom. There’s also a sense of having a skewed sense of reference and relevance when the gap becomes too wide. When (if ever) should adults consider age a factor when dating?

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Morning Edition - 3/10/07

I Am Ready For Love
India Arie

I am ready for love
Why are you hiding from me
I'd quickly give my freedom
To be held in your captivity

I am ready for love
All of the joy and the pain
And all the time that it takes
Just to stay in your good grace
Lately I've been thinking
Maybe you're not ready for me
Maybe you think I need to learn maturity
They say watch what you ask for
Cause you might receive
But if you ask me tomorrow
I'll say the same thing

I am ready for love
Would you please lend me your ear?
I promise I won't complain
I just need you to acknowledge I am here

If you give me half a chance
I'll prove this to you
I will be patient, kind, faithful and true
To a man who loves music
A man who loves art
Respect's the spirit world
And thinks with his heart

I am ready for love
If you'll take me in your hands
I will learn what you teach
And do the best that I can

I am ready for love
Here with an offering of
My voice
My Eyes
My soul
My mind

Tell me what is enough
To prove I am ready for love

I am ready

On Blast
So I am in one of those odd emotional states… I’ve been listening to India Arie’s Ready for Love on repeat for an hour and feeling kind-of ho-hum. Yeah, it’s just this kind-of hormonal imbalance that will have a brotha one Martini in the wind, on a corner-stool-in-a-bar breakdown.

Do you have days when you’re tired of being strong and resilient and just want to crumble into someone’s arms while listening to a romantic ballad?

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Friday, March 09, 2007

Morning Edition - 3/9/07

No Sayonara for Sanjaya; American Idol Top 12
American Idol season six is well underway and whether you admit it or not, you’re watching. Truth be told, I’m DVRing the darn show this season. Last night, America narrowed the contestants down and although some would say that there were two flagrant surprises, most of those axed were expected. One pleasant surprise – for me – was Sanjaya Malakar. The 17-year old Malakar beat-out resident boiled ham, Sundance Bighead…I mean Head, for a place in the top 12. Say what you will, but Malakar could be mute at this point for all I care, as long as we keep that angelic face and coy persona front and center each week. My pic for the win is powerhouse background singer, Melinda Doolittle. Wednesday night she performed Woman and blew the house down – see
Okay, so she may resemble one of the flying monkeys on The Wiz and harkens images of Stephanie Mills – the misshapen body and pre-cosmetic work look - but her voice is destined to take her to the end of that gold-brick road.

On Blast
Who is your favorite Idol contestant this year and who is your pick to win?

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Morning Edition - 3/8/07

Clash of the Titan…Life 180
Over the summer and through to about November of this past year, I spent some time with a gym partner that escalated into a full-blown flirt-fest. The intended flirtee was a 6’7”, twenty-something brown-skinned prince with a few hidden issues that soon surfaced to challenge my maturity and confidence. Before matters heated up and the character flaws were exposed, Big Youngin’ – yes, that’s the nickname I gave him the moment we met – would walk by me at the gym and he would nod, smile and do the “Wassup…” as we would pass each other. Soon, I realized that his greetings were more than just casual colored-men camaraderie. Finally, two weeks into the little lunch-time coincidental passes, I was alone in the sauna, stretching out a solid three-mile run, when through the door entered the mountainesque Big Youngin’. He sat across from me and remarked that he thought my tattoo was cool and asked if it hurt getting my nipple pierced. I smiled and said, “Like the dickens…” before promptly tightening my towel around my waist and bidding the big guy a good afternoon. Our midday gym encounters continued for the next few weeks before Big Youngin’ caught me exiting the gym and asked if I wanted to meet him for our noon-time workouts, since gym partnerships make working out easier. Of course, this necessitated my exchanging numbers with him and there began the real sexual tension. I agreed, dug through my wallet and gave him my business card before acting extremely rushed to return to the office. :::Quick break here to mention that although I’m extremely outgoing, I have a very hard time being aggressive in romantic pursuits::: I will more likely let an opportunity slip through my fingers, rather than risk rejection. The next morning, like clockwork, there was an e-mail from Big Youngin’ asking if we were meeting at the gym at noon. From that day forward, I had several e-mails from Big Youngin', before and after our workouts and before leaving for the day. It was several weeks before our conversations focused on the people we like to date and what we do on our weekends. I’m not 15 and am well aware that there was an interest on Big Youngin's part, but I didn’t want to volunteer information that hadn’t been asked of me. Close to a month after our e-mails began, I mentioned that I was going on a date with someone that I wasn’t too comfortable with. Big Youngin' replied by saying, “You really shouldn’t go out with her/him if you’re not comfortable.” Well, I took a moment to think about his response. I knew this was the AHA moment. This is when I would have to either be up-in-arms that he left the gender of my date in the air OR clearly mention whether I was seeing men or women. I went with the latter. I responded, “Yeah, I think I’m going to cancel with him.” For the next few days I felt slightly uncomfortable when we would meet at the gym and he was perceptive enough to catch on and speak on it first. “Look, I’m cool with you being gay if you’re alright with me being straight – but liking men. It’s something I struggle with.” From then on it was on. We flirted, made passes and teased. When the frenetic endorphins reached their peak we were faced with a conundrum of sorts – his religious beliefs made him pull back and say that he couldn’t move forward with consummating our little courtship. As an anti-rejection tactic I quickly retorted with a “Do you…I’ve been where you are and it’s a rough place. You seem cool, so no love lost.” He looked shocked. It was almost as though he expected me to convince him to get some of my stuff; uh, not in this lifetime. I shut down. I made an emotional about-face and treated him cooler than I would a casual acquaintance. His e-mails weren’t always responded to and our gym meetings became fewer and far between. Finally, he confronted me after work one night and said, “I’m really feeling you and want to be with you, but it conflicts with everything I believe in.” I said, “You’re a fraud. You pursued me and now you’re a coward who’s hiding behind his religion. You will have your gay encounters, but probably in the church restroom stalls. Like I said before, do you!” He became irate and said that maybe it was best that we didn’t hang anymore. I agreed and wished him luck, but not before mentioning, “Do yourself and those around you a favor. Don’t get caught out there destroying innocent lives with your conflicted ass.” He looked completely distraught, but I pivoted and proceeded down the subway steps. I hadn’t heard from Big Youngin’ since – that is, until today. He sent an e-mail that said, “Hey man. Thinking about you and hoping you’re okay. My last day at work is March 31 and I wanted to say that I still have your voice in my head. Can I call you sometime?” I took a moment to reread the e-mail several times before I hit the “reply” button. “Meet me at 6:30 in front of the Starbucks,” I wrote. So we talked for over an hour as we walked through the chilly midtown streets. We stopped for a cup of coffee, where he smiled wide and told me how he missed seeing me. “Yeah, I miss seein’ you too,” I cautiously responded. As I prepared to walk down those same subway steps, I turned to see Big Youngin’ standing there. He made his hand into the universal phone sign, placing it to his ear. I simply nodded no and smiled. I took off down the stairs and realized that the steps where the perfect metaphor for where we were in our acceptance of ourselves… on different platforms.

On Blast
I’m single, and quite frankly what I’ve always loved most about being a gay man was that I didn’t feel I was held to the same negative connotations associated with casual sex that riddles straight folks. Why do I feel that allowing Big Youngin’ some of my goodies would only serve to demean me as a gay man?

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Morning Edition - 3/6/07

Ski Trip ’07; A Moment Of Silence
Last weekend over 600 individuals from the northeast corridor joined for a ski weekend in Altoona, PA. As many of you know, ski trips are rarely used for the actual slopes – come on, you know minorities don’t really care for snow. The reason these weekends are so popular is because they feature an adult themed weekend with plenty of other activities that allow for lots of fun and even some hookah behavior (if you’re so inclined). Luckily, the 50 folks that call themselves a family and ride the “Bronx Bus” are of a different ilk. We believe in partying to the tenth power; and party we did. My roomies this year – Enid, Giselle and Mercy – proved that Three’s Company too, was short a girl, because we certainly had a ball. Special thank-you to Enid for sharing a bed with me and allowing me to fondle…uh, wait a minute…what happens in Altoona…well you know the drill…but seriously, my roommates were the absolute best. Between the Pajama Party turned Wear What You Dare function at our arrival and the Pool Party and subsequent all-night Dance Party, we were wasted. The highlight of our trip came from one of the visiting “playas” who, as he browsed the vending machine before retiring to bed, told his hoochie, “Baby, you can have the Hershey AND the Pepsi. You know when you wit me, you don’t need to buy nufin’… I got you.” We must’ve relived that moment for the entire ski trip. Special thank you to my corporate wife, Ev for making the ski trip a blast, start to finish. Apparently, there won’t be any future ski trips, but the word on the streets is that we’re trying to hit the Caribbean for a similar festive jaunt. Stay tuned.

As We Get Older
It’s been said that inside every aging person is a young person looking at the mirror in shock. This weekend highlighted how difficult it is to have a party weekend and not look like you got your faced beat in. Waking up after a night of drinking, swimming, dancing and partying becomes all the more difficult with every passing year. Yesterday, I took the day off to recover from my weekend away and was amazed at how I could probably sleep all day. I didn’t have many of the pics from the weekend, but as I perused at what was available I saw the signs of long nights, alcohol and exhaustion plastered on my face. Oh well, I now know what my gift to myself will be for my 40th… close on the horizon; it’s some cosmetic work. I’ve accepted that growing old gracefully does not mean you have to endure being unhappy with how time marches on – right over your face.

On Blast
I’m clinging to an icy mountain ledge and holding tight, but feel my fingertips losing grip. Without sounding preachy…what do you do to find focus and plug back into life?

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Monday, March 05, 2007

Morning Edition - 3/5/07

Still in recovery from the '07 Ski Trip, but wanted to put some of the "shareable" pics out there for you.

Keep passin' the open windows....

Friday, March 02, 2007

Morning Edition - 3/2/07

I Appreciate You
Today, as I was rushing to do my procrastinator-pack to embark on my ski trip this afternoon, J-Lo’s Get Right came on the radio and a smile unconsciously took over my face. There’s always a song we associate with a period of time and sometimes, a person. Fluff aka Philip and I were at the height of our heavy hanging out and getting reacquainted when this song was at its most popular. Just wanted to take a moment in the midst of the craziness to say, “I appreciate you boi! Thanks for getting me. It means the world to me.” That’s all…carry on folks!

On Blast
What song have you heard in the last 24 hours that brought a smile across your face and made you think of someone special? Give us the context.

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Morning Edition 3/1/07

Banning Alien, Nigger
Florida state legislators are debating SB 2154 that would ban the use of the words “illegal alien” in all state documents. Frederica Wilson, D-Miami, says the word “alien” makes undocumented immigrants sounds more like they’re from out of space. Wilson also says that American born children of undocumented immigrants find the word embarrassing. Meanwhile, Queens, NY councilman Leroy Comrie has introduced a resolution that would ban the use of the word nigger. "It's my hope this resolution will spark a dialogue in all communities and begin to move our society, especially in our entertainment culture, toward a place where the n-word is simply unacceptable to be used in any context," Comrie said.

Aneros; The Super O
Your key to pleasure or your road to pain, the Anero MGX is a prostate stimulator developed to help heighten male orgasms. Since women seem to have the corner market on adult toys, the Anero isn’t advertised widely. It is said to be extremely comfortable – although men who are not accustomed to anal-prostate stimulation might find it rather intense. The product comes with a safety handle to help manipulate the toy once inserted and hey, maybe it’s that year you (or your man) can try something new. The Anero MGX sells for $48.00.

Ski Trip 2007
This Friday we embark on our 2007 Ski Trip Extravaganza. The theme this year is different in that rather than centering on an R&B Soul theme, it will focus on Salsa and Latino culture. I’m digging through my closet trying to find my Caribbean winter wear – oxymoron, huh? Well, we’re all excited about the planned parties, shopping sprees and yes, even attempts at skiing. I’m definitely taking my digital camera, so stay tuned for the ‘approved’ pics from our ski weekend.

On Blast
Should government step in to stop the use of certain words – nigger, alien, etc. – or will society evolve to abolish these words as politically incorrect words, unacceptable in any context?

Keep passin’ the open windows…