Signs of Being Human
Like everyone, else I have my days; Those days when I look around and begin to question everything good, bad or indifferent in my life. Am I satisfied with my job; is this the man who I live my forever with; am I really happy? At those moments I get very introspective and pull away – from everyone, all things that are my reality. Last night I sat up in the middle of my bed and just watched brainless TV. Sorting through my thoughts, my wants, and my desires. Is there such a thing as completely happy? Is there such a feeling as fully satisfied? Isn’t life about change, ups-and-downs, triumphs and defeats? My life is a dream for some folks, but as the saying goes, “To one who much is given, much is expected.” (or something like that) This weekend I’m pulling away a bit….regrouping myself mentally and emotionally. See, I recognize that my worth is important to me…that regardless of how good I try to make my man and my friends feel, I sometimes need to recharge my battery because it has become drained charging everyone else’s. So, I’m doing some housework, hanging with myself and then allowing myself the time to dive into my thoughts. I’m going to blow my own head up today and enjoy the fruits of my own labor – I am beautiful, inside and out. Yeah, I’m still here for everyone, but suddenly that little voice inside is begging, “See me today.”
Christina’s Beautiful reminds me of so many things…things I have the tendency to forget.
Regrouping isn’t about being depressed or feeing self-absorbed; it’s about recognizing your worth. Sometimes other folks see us as indestructible - un-feeling even – but we feel.
How do you recharge you so that you can bring ‘amazing’ to everyone else?
Keep passin’ the open windows…
Saturday, September 29, 2007
Signs of Being Human
Friday, September 28, 2007
Yesterday, while frantically trying to get my work done before the close of business – they’ve been working me like a Hebrew slave – I received an odd e-mail from BD. The subject line read, “Which do you like best?” I opened the message and was faced with eight of the most beautiful Tiffany wedding bands. Now, the brand of the bands or the resplendent beauty of this exquisite jewelry would have bowled anyone over, but as the undying romantic, the greater message is what shot out at me. Is he asking me to marry him? Admittedly, our relationship has grown in leaps and bounds, but marriage? Then there’s that little voice in the back of my mind calling me a hypocrite for all the times that I said, “I agree that gay folks should have the right to marry, but I know the institution is not for me.” Now I sat staring at the screen with the biggest smile, thinking how even suggesting the commitment meant so much to me. He wasn’t asking me to be his boyfriend or his lover, he was asking me to be his life-partner and husband. For the record – and before the ignorant start drawing conclusions – we’d both be the husband and groom in any proposed marriage. Rather than choosing my favorite ring, I simply replied with, “Are you asking me something sir?” Two minutes later my office phone rang and I picked up the receiver to hear the heartiest laugh. “Yes, I’m asking you two things. First, I’m saying that I acknowledge that we’re growing toward becoming one and I find myself thinking about spending the rest of my life with you – so, soon I will be asking you to marry me. Gotta problem with that? Second, which band do you think would be best?” I said, “Baby, they’re all beautiful and I love 1, 3 and 4, but I’m completely overwhelmed that you’re thinking this way. Now you know you’re going to have to ask me properly right?” He continued laughing before saying, “You know I wouldn’t do it any other way.” So we went on to debate what bands we both liked and why the ones we chose made perfect sense. We even discussed my dream of us marrying in a beautiful, simple and intimate wedding on the beach in Puerto Rico. As we hung up I took a deep breath and put my head down a moment. I looked up and said, “Thank you for knowing what is best for me before I even know it.” I then shut off my PC, called BD and we rushed to ride home together discussing his printed version of the bands on the train. As I stood up to get off the train at my stop, he winked and said, “I love you.” I looked back and said, “I love you more,” before walking on to the platform. Hey, some may think we’re jumping the gun, but to us we’re already feeling like we need to jump the broom.
Party Over Here!
Summer 2007 was one to go down in history as one of my more fun and positive summers ever. Now it’s time to close the summer out and look forward to fall and winter with some HOT fun. On Friday, October 19th, we’ll be trotting over to LQs – between 47th and 48th and Lexington Avenue (NYC) – for our end of summer reconnect! So join us right after work (5:30 p.m.) for a night of rekindling our friendship fires, dancing and good cheer.
Address: Lexington Ave; Between 47th and 48th Street
Time: 5:30 p.m. – Until we find you puking in your girlfriend’s purse
Attire: Business Casual – no sneakers, no work boots
Lowdown: R&B, Hip-Hop, Salsa and Oldies; Must be at least 21; 2-for-1 drinks before 7 p.m.; Free buffet 5:30-6:30 p.m.
The hamster-wheel that is the gym doesn’t stop turning regardless of the seasons, the dating situation or whether or not I feel my body is in pretty good shape. A friend of mine recently mentioned, “You’re really committed to hitting that gym, huh?” I could only think of that Destiny’s Child favorite of mine, Cater 2 U. The song has a line that says, “I promise you…I’ll keep myself up…” I’ve discovered that I’m a “happy-eater.” That is, I actually eat more when I’m happy than when I’m cruising along; Which would explain why I’ve always been at my heaviest when I’ve been in relationships. Of late, my workouts have been very hard – everything from three-mile runs to hip-hop class and even boot camp classes that take me to the verge of up-chucking. All said my dimensions remain the same, but my weight has progressively increased. I’m now tipping the scale at the 160 lbs. range. You can’t really cheat physics. If you eat more and workout harder, you can count on bulking up, rather than just carving your physique. There aren’t any complaints on any fronts – mine or BD’s - but you know that inner voice reminds me that I need to check my happy-eating-ass. My official post-summer weigh-in and measurements will be taken Monday.
We all have body-part preferences we immediately gravitate to when we look at others. Fill in the blank….
I thought this guy/girl I dated had an amazing _______________________ but it turned out it wasn’t great at all.
Keep passin’ the open windows…
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Tired of those pesky homos finding their way into every part of “normal” society? Well now there’s a place where homos are not welcomed – in fact, the penalty for being a homo is death. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran, speaking to a packed house at Columbia University here in NYC, was asked about the recent execution of two gay men in Iran. His response was, “In Iran we don't have homosexuals like in your country." His statement drew laughter and boos from the audience. He polished the line off with, "In Iran we do not have this phenomenon. I do not know who has told you we have it." Of course you don’t have them! If you find them they are promptly executed! Statistically speaking, any given population is at minimum 10% gay. For those homophobes who would like to do the little inflammatory dig about Ahmadinejad having the right idea, let’s just say that some believed the slaughtering of Jews, the hanging of blacks and the obliteration of many other races and cultures was justified, but we can see today how backwoods ignorant all those fools were and how Ahmandinejad has officially gone down in history as either an oblivious moron or a homicidal liar.
Visiting the Shining Star With My Shining Star
There’s no place I love more than the beaches of Puerto Rico. To me, my true home is probably the most beautiful place on earth. Then there’s the feeling of euphoria that I always carry back with me. BD and I are planning to make a long weekend of the shining star of the Caribbean sometime in November. Last night we discussed arrangements; I have to admit that I’m excited to have him join me there. It will be his first trip to the island and my first time taking a true partner with me to Puerto Rico. I’m exploring various options, including a few sightseeing adventures, but more importantly, making a go of it to all the incredibly romantic places the island has to offer. This will be our first “duo” trip.
Pieces Of My Heart
Like the valves to an engine or the limbs to a tree; my nephews – Daylen and Chris – are pieces of my heart. I absolutely adore them and make no apologies for that. I spoil them when I can and know that there is nothing I wouldn’t do for them. They are sincerely two of the most important pieces of my heart. Today, Chris turns 12. I still remember the day he was born and the look on his beautiful face crying at the top of his lungs. He was always a gorgeous baby and he’s grown to be a handsome, intelligent and caring young man. Happy birthday Chris! Tio loves you!!
I realize that anyone is prone to delusions; I’m perplexed as to the misinformation that would accompany a statement like, “We don’t have this phenomenon,” when referring to the existence of homosexuals in your country. Since all heads of state have advisors, is it conceivable that anyone would think that any country could be free of homosexuals? Isn’t that as ignorant as believing that a specific country is free of all brown-eyed individuals?
Keep passin’ the open windows…
Monday, September 24, 2007
Now you don’t have to be a legal American citizen in New York State to acquire a driver’s license. In an effort to bring down automobile insurance rates and identify ALL drivers, NY Governor Eliot Spitzer announced a new law that would allow illegal immigrants who present a photo passport, with a NYS driver’s license. The new program is said to bring the, close to one million, illegal immigrants in NYS out of the shadows. As many of you will recall, the 9/11 terrorist also had legal driver’s licenses that facilitated their renting cars and booking flights that ultimately cost legal citizens their lives. The new license policy is set to go into effect in December 2007.
Silent Forever; Saying Nothing Never Sounded So Good
Marcel Marceau, world renowned Mime legend, has died. The French-Jew was 84 years old. Inspired by such legends as Charlie Chaplin, Marceau created his alter-ego Bip in 1947. He went on to perform his silent art for such luminaries as Lyndon Johnson, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton. Married three times and survived by four children, Marceau was said to be very talkative when not performing his Mime act. He was even quoted as saying, “Once you get a Mime to talk you can’t get him to shut up.” No funeral plans have been made as yet.
A Time To Chill
BD and I shared a magnificent weekend of “we” time. Far from lacking spontaneity, BD and I spent the weekend together, setting only the framework of meals and movies at home. The rest of the romance-filled spontaneity was up to our imaginations. It’s my opinion that regardless how long a relationship has been going on, it’s important to make time to ignite the flame of intimate sharing. Many times we lose sight of the many things that brought us to our mate and neglect the romance, silliness and fun that builds the intimacy foundation in our relationship. It is the lack of this bonding that can allow for the distraction of either or both partners. BD and I chose shared cooking experiences, sensual massages and a physical boundary exploration mission – don’t ask – to make our time to chill hot and relaxing. After dropping BD at his crib last night he sent me a text that said, “Thanks for a magnificent weekend, I’m drained! LOL” To which I responded, “Just walked the dog and getting in the bed…I can’t keep my eyes open. Love you…”
It’s a catch 22 scenario to provide driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants. On the one-hand we are able to document all the drivers on our state’s roads, but on the other hand, we are providing a nationally acceptable legal document to use for other purposes.
Do you believe that NYS’ opinion of the greater good being served by documenting and providing licenses to our illegal immigrants increases or undermines national security?
Keep passin’ the open windows...
Thursday, September 20, 2007
America is built on a policy of inclusion, opportunity and the celebration of diversity. Regardless of race, religion and most times, sexual preferences, Americans know that we are a country built on the freedom to be you and expressing your own personal beliefs. What happens when our core values are challenged by a hate-totting, terrorist-harboring tyrant who expresses an interest in taking a look at the effects of his wayward beliefs on our fair nation? Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will be visiting New York City and the United Nations and requested a peek at Ground Zero. Ahmadinejad is said to be harboring bin-Laden’s son, has made threats against our nation and is in the process of making nuclear weapons. His very visit to the United Nations is to determine whether further sanctions should be waged against his historically terrorist country. Yesterday, the City of NY gave a resounding “NO!” to his request, but sources say he still intends to visit the World Trade Center site. Strangely, all heads of state are provided a secret service detail and Ahmadinejad will also have our men and women protecting his life while visiting our country. Will they accompany him – against orders – to Ground Zero? Stand back and watch this little fiasco unfold. Ahmadinejad is due to arrive in NYC on September 24th.
Buying the Cow
The old adage, “Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free,” is not as far-fetched as some will have you believe. For years I was the owned cow and gave some good milk, but then I decided the single life was working out for me well and besides, why should this cow be trapped grazing from one pasture when I could have several farms to feed from. In the end, I was creating a calcium-rich circle of farmers who never had to contribute to the well being of this cow. Well, you don’t stay young and beautiful forever and quite honestly, my udders were growing tired; not to mention the effort it was taking to shift gears between farms. In my effort to not belong to any one farm I was allowing myself to be milked dry by farmers who were simply out to get their next glass of milk from the next passing cow. Whether you believe you’re the farmer or the cow, there really isn’t a positive spin to the “gettin’ that cream” concept. See, as the cow, you are seen as an easy glass of milk. You’re allowed to graze a quick moment, but then you’re expected to move on to another pasture. As the farmer, you own nothing. You’re as likely to end up with a gallon of the white stuff or have to settle for a cup of water. I look at the set-up now and realize that yes, being the free cow has its benefits – no one farmer or pasture to be committed to – and its negatives – the realization that you’re not in the mood to put out some milk simply to get a good graze going. So where’s the balance? Recognize that the old cow is allowed to continue grazing long after she discontinues milk production – a sign of gratitude by the farmer who feels the years of service warrant letting the cow live-out her years in peace. As the farmer, recognize that you may not be able to tend to your cow the way you used to, but the fact that she comfortably sits in your farm buys you a chance at a glass of milk when no other roaming cows see a point in a pasture-less farm. The moral of the story is simple… A smart farmer will buy his cow, respect her needs and keep her happy because the reciprocated long-term benefits far outweigh the excitement of trying all the different milk presently available only to find you’re a bone-poor farmer hoping you don’t fall to pieces.
Since America is built on the belief of freedom of expression and the like, are we guilty of going against our own fundemental values by denying Ahmadinejad free access to Ground Zero?
Keep passin’ the open windows…
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
My past has shown me that I can’t trust folks to know what I'm thinking or better, that they will put themselves in my shoes to do what appears to be right. Case in point, I had been holding back important information from BD in an effort to appear the cool, calm and collected brotha that’s as easy as “Sunday morning”. Instead, issues that stood to irritate me and drive a wedge between us began bubbling beneath the surface. I felt trapped. If I spoke up I believed I’d be viewed as zany or off – when in fact, I’d simply be steering him in the right direction and giving him the opportunity to rectify issues that were making me uncomfortable. By the time the puss-filled pimple came to a head late last week I was hotter than the dry season on the Serengeti. I waited too long and had no emotional reserve to buffer my concerns with tact. I poured out my concerns and frustrations and discovered that BD was unaware of the extent of my anxiety. I accepted that I can’t expect him to intuitively know what works for me and that I have the responsibility to tell him what I’m thinking and feeling. I’m not going to “front,” I did feel that common sense should have served as his guide in some instances…but whose common sense? Mine? Or is common sense supposed to mean that there are issues where we are all expected to use the same reasoning? At any rate, the issues appear to have been immediately resolved. I’m a happier person for it and more importantly, we took another step forward and had our first real serious conversation. I closed that chapter with one promise to him and myself – I will always communicate what I’m thinking and feeling so that nothing ever festers. He’s now also aware that giving me time to think doesn’t calm me; actually it allows me time to simmer. For those of you who are dating a Puerto Rican man (moreover, a Leo at that) this is a deadly mistake; one that we’re now aware doesn’t work in our relationship. If you’re wondering, we’ve reached Phase 3.
Doling Out E-Coli
Dole, a manufacturer best known for their pineapples, is now facing a second recall for salad products tainted with E-Coli. The new outbreak affects their Heart’s Delight salad with a “best used date” of September 19, 2007. Last year three people died as a result of Dole’s E-Coli tainted spinach. No illnesses have yet been reported and the recall is purely a voluntary action taken after a sample of the product tested positive for E-Coli.
Shake Yo’ Ass; No Need To Watch Yourself
Reclast or Zometa, a new drug by Novartis used in post-menopausal and elderly patients, is showing amazing results – 28% fewer deaths and 35% fewer fractures. Each year 300,000 people experience hip fractures and 1-in-5 die within the first year of their fracture. No other osteoporosis drug has shown such favorable results in over 15 years. It is expected that Reclast will be the new prescription drug of choice for the prevention of broken bones and more important, fewer deaths.
Do you believe that common sense is a direct result of life experience or more an indicator of someone’s intelligence quota (IQ)?
Keep passin’ the open windows…
Monday, September 17, 2007
There are countless singers – talented, soulful, triple-threats. We have our favorites, but there’s that one singer that touches your soul. For me, that singer has always been Jennifer Holliday. I remember the first time I saw her perform. She sang I Am Love. The song pulled at my heartstrings.
Can you remember the first song you heard your favorite singer sing?
Keep passin’ the open windows…
Friday, September 14, 2007
This has been an especially trying week for me. In the end, this too shall pass.
What overwhelming pain have you endured that, at the time, felt like you couldn't overcome, but looking back now you realize it has passed?
Keep passin' the open windows...
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
Preliminary data from the New York City Health Department shows that HIV infection in men who have sex with men has increased by 33% in the past six years. What is even sadder is that HIV infection in teens, 13-19, has doubled, while men over 30 have shown a 22% decrease in new infections. New infections in the under 30 age group now account for 44% of all new cases. Still not phased by the new data? Well, how about 232 vs. 101? That’s the difference between the reported Black vs. White new cases in 2006. Oh, don’t breathe a sigh a relief for the Latino population either; Latinos had 55% more HIV diagnoses than Whites. Although Manhattan showed a 57% increase in infections, specific neighborhoods – such as East and Central Harlem – showed increases of up to 115%. Here’s what all New Yorkers should know. First, you can be tested for free and receive free treatment regardless of your health insurance situation by visiting one of the 10 NYC Health Department STD clinics. In addition, all NYC public hospitals as well as various agencies will provide free HIV exams to anyone asking for them. Youngsters should know that anyone age 12 and older can receive a free, confidential and anonymous HIV and STD screening and treatment without parental notification; they don’t even care if you’re an illegal immigrant. If you have or believe you may have HIV or an STD and believe you may have exposed someone, the NYC Contact Notification Assistance Program (CNAP) will do the job of informing the person for you. NYC residents should call 311 for more information. Most important, please feel free to use some of the three million free condoms distributed through clubs, bars restaurants and other venues each month in the Big Apple. 30 may be the new 20, but 20 doesn’t have to be the new stupid.
The Pitfalls of Intimate Friends
I recently discussed intimate friendships with both a straight female friend and a gay male friend. In both instances, it appeared that the intimate friendship – defined here as a friendship that includes sexual intimacy – can turn into a minefield; littered with more issues than either party cares to tackle. There’s the issue of respect. How much should the parties share about their other intimate activities – if anything at all? When is it okay to bring someone you’re dating around your intimate friend? How much priority does the intimate friend have over other friends or individuals you’re dating? All said, the aforementioned questions have different answers depending on the intimate friends you ask, but more important, when the answers are different within the intimate friend pod, the relationship gets sticky. In the end, intimate friendships – unless handled with kid gloves – can prove fatal to the core friendship of the duo. Mainly because the lines of what’s appropriate become blurred leaving someone disillusioned. Most important – for me – I found that my intimate friendship(s) were preventing me from opening myself up to true love and a concrete and healthy relationship with someone who could be a partner and not just a great time and a hot screw. Can intimate friendships work? Of course they can. There are so many variables to these types of “friendships” that there is someone bound to find it a perfect arrangement. Maybe it’s just my personality type or my Latino man demanding his worth is valued, but my days of giving someone the gift of an intimate friendship are long gone.
The Caguas Zoo
Cas, Mercy and I had the opportunity to meet Kitty when we visited my mom and dad for my birthday last month. Now, my parents have adopted a 3-month old Labrador Retriever they fittingly named Brownie. Now Kitty, 6-months old and the new puppy have turned the homestead in Caguas, Puerto Rico into an Animal Planet adventure house. While speaking to mom on the phone last night she mentioned that Brownie and Kitty had managed to knock down more furniture than Hurricane Katrina. My next visit to the folks is in November and I’m afraid of what the rambunctious duo will have in store for me then.
In your opinion, what are the positive and negative qualities of having an intimate friend?
Keep passin’ the open windows…
Monday, September 10, 2007
We’ll never be the same again. For those of us from the NYC or DC areas, we will forever have that flinch that comes from someone struck when they weren’t watching. I still remember that fateful day. I was living in DC at the time and was already in my office when I received a call that one of the Twin Towers were struck by a small plane. As I was watching the news report on our conference room television, I witnessed the second plane hitting the towers. My hairs still stand on end thinking about it. I ran back to my desk and grabbed my bag. I called my friends in my building and we agreed to meet outside. It was then that the third plane hit the Pentagon. Terrified, I exited the building with my friends and rather than taking the Metro, we were directed to walk out of the city. We walked for miles – bewildered, shattered, confused. The rest of the story is similar to that of so many other folks that day. We struggled to connect with our loved ones – most of mine in NYC - and for the first time in our history, we experienced an attack on our soil. Even those who saw the tragedy on television will never know the first-hand shock and horror those in the NYC and DC area suffered that day. I don’t think six years has done anything to minimize that pain – don’t think six years more will. With every horror story comes a positive spin. That day America knew unity and solidarity. We sincerely cared for our fellow man and joined together as Americans to survive – physically and emotionally. Today, as we cross the six-year mark of that tragic attack on our nation, I hope we can all conjure-up that feeling of unity. You see, whether you’re White, Black, Latino, etc., it doesn’t really matter; you’re living in America; sharing the American dream and therefore privy to the American nightmare that was September 11. We are a living testament to the triumph of a proud spirit. We are the scarred Americans who will forever remember that day. Hopefully we all realize how precious our country is and how strongly those who don’t understand our blessings feel about us.
What was your first thought when you realized what was really happening that dreadful 9/11?
Keep passin’ the open windows…
Sunday, September 09, 2007
Friday, September 07, 2007
Thursday, September 06, 2007
My Florida vacation ended this morning and all I can think about is that I don’t know how I will return to my usual day-to-day after enjoying such bliss. Everything that could go right did and the little things that could easily have gone wrong never materialized. BD was amazing – romantic, attentive and oh-so-beautiful, while the Mini and I bonded like best friends on a playground. What made me and the Mini’s interaction even more great was that it was effortless. The Mini proved to be brilliant beyond his years and his sporadic comments that included: walking between BD and I holding our hands and saying, “We’re a family,” or surprising BD and I with Oscar trophies at a gift shop – BD’s read, “World’s Greatest Dad,” while mine read, “World’s Greatest Boyfriend.” I said, “Stop being silly boy,” but BD and I looked at each other like, “Wow, the kid is perceptive and thoughtful.” We took Disney World and Universal Studios by storm and had a couple of ‘family’ pool days. The Mini lost his fear of the water and he and BD even managed to wrestle my bathing suit off and videotaped a segment they entitled, “The naked guy in our pool.” It was very funny, and not the least bit humiliating; it even brought out some I’m-completely-at-ease-with-you fun. The highlight of the trip for me was sitting and watching the park-closing When-you-wish-upon-a-star fireworks show at Disney with BD and the Mini at my side. As the words softly echoed in my ears and the boom from the display lit the sky my eyes filled with tears…my dreams really did come true. So, I looked up and closed my eyes, the warm stream drifting back to my ears and made one more wish. If it comes true, I’ll always be as happy as I am today.
My picture taking was sporadic and I’m still wrestling with what photos would be appropriate to share; ie. I don’t want the Mini exposed throughout the world wide web.
Yet Another Black Guy? Nah, He’s The Man
While visiting the Sunshine State, I thought I’d take a moment to visit one of my favorite bloggers, Yet Another Black Guy, a.k.a. Royce. I’ve read his blog, The Excitable Bore, for a while and it seems that the brotha’s exploration and development are sincere, raw and endearing. Anywho, I called Royce shortly before my departure and quickly mentioned that it’s sad that so many of us read each other’s blog everyday – well everyday we write – but never make an attempt to make a physical connection. The truth is, we share so many personal tid-bits that sometimes our blog readers are privy to lots of information that may not be readily available to a lot of our friends. Royce turned out to be a sincere funny man and someone that instantly gave me a sense that we were old ‘boyz’ kickin’ it and laughing at so many ironic stories. With my tight schedule, I missed the opportunity to meet Royce face-to-face, but have extended the invitation for him to visit NYC and crash at my humble crib when he’s ready. Fo’ the record Royce, you sound like a lot of fun - an intelligent and down-to-earth brotha. Don’t be so hard on yourself and others in your dating quest. To me it would just take you being yourself for the right guy to do the right thing.
Do you feel that your consistent blogger reads are folks you would want to know –in person – or would you rather keep your interaction strictly virtual?
Keep passin’ the open windows…