Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Monday, October 29, 2007
Friday, October 26, 2007
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Life can sometimes give us a swift kick to our backsides and leave us feeling like we're not entitled to the better things - or even better people - in life. It is at these times that we should take a deep breath and realize that we are worthy of all that life has to offer. Miki Howard's Love Under New Management was a song that pulled my heartstrings back in the day. Today, I can actually sing the song with my soul - mainly because I'm living it. Yes, there were dark days, but right now, I'm enjoying my love under its new management.
Do you understand what it will take for you to experience love under new management?
Keep passin' the open windows...
Saturday, October 20, 2007
Last night I had an amazing time with friends. I realize that God (yeah, I said God) has blessed me with an amazing family, incredible friends, a strong man and the health to enjoy them all.
I won't complain....
What/Who in your life helps you say, "I won't complain"?
Keep passin' the open windows...
Friday, October 19, 2007
Yesterday, I had an odd conversation with my older sister. After talking on the telephone about some courses she’s taking, the topic of evolution came up. Both my sister and I were raised Pentecostal and still believe that God exists. I say this because I recently read an article that piqued my interest. Not because I full-out accepted what I read, but because it had some valid questions – first, why would a God who knows all, has all and can do all create a being with the choice to betray him? Second, since God is omnipotent (infinite in power) why does he need a fallible being – namely our asses – to worship him; wouldn’t that prove God to be a flawed narcissist? Third, since we’ve established that God controls everything, would he be considered a sick voyeur for allowing and watching the tragedies that millions of innocent people suffer each year? Sure, there were more questions that raised my eyebrows and mentioning them to my sister incited her frenzy that ended with, “There are issues that our finite minds cannot understand.” I reiterate, I believe in God and have experienced his mercy first hand, but I certainly felt that as responsible Christians, we can’t be blinded in the name of respect for God and prevent ourselves from asking these types of questions. It isn’t sacrilege to be inquisitive. If you’re going to worship God, it would be a good idea to feel you’re doing it for the right reasons. Get to know, “I Am.”
This Is Our Night
Tonight, we’re turning to LQ for our ‘let loose’ after work party. It’s not often that we bring colleagues, friends and acquaintances together to enjoy good food, 2-for-1 drinks and something to shake our booty to. Don’t miss out on an inexpensive good time that won’t take you off your commuter route.
Where: LQ; Lexington Avenue, between 47th & 48th Street
When: Tonight beginning at 5:30; 2-for-1 drinks end at 7 p.m.
How Much: Ladies free before 7 p.m.; Gentlemen $5
Attire: Business casual; no sneakers or work boots
Whether you’re a Christian, Muslim or Atheist, do you believe the above mentioned questions – and inquiries like it – are relevant when referring to an entity (God) that is worshiped by millions? Is it sacrilegious to question the reasoning of an almighty God?
Keep passin’ the open windows…
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
Is There Anything Worse Than Being Gay?
Last night Idaho Senator Larry Craig sat down with NBCs Matt Lauer and discussed his June solicitation arrest at a Minneapolis airport. It’s a story of a conservative senator who admittedly says he disagrees with the gay lifestyle, but now faces judgment as a man who was soliciting sex from another man in a public restroom. To complicate matters for the senator, he pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of disorderly conduct and never mentioned the incident to anyone – not his wife, not his state, not his lawyer – for close to two months. Just moments before the media broke the story, Craig told his family of what he alleges occurred that June day. The skinny is that Craig says that although he mimicked all the tell-tale signs of men who solicit sex in public restrooms, these were coincidence – some details he doesn’t recall at all. On Monday, he filed to withdraw his guilty plea and fight to prove his innocence. It would appear that as a man who feels unjustly judged, scrutinized and pigeonholed, that he would more clearly see the plight of the gay community he has shunned for so long. Whether true or not, he is experiencing the cold-shoulder and discrimination suffered by many gay men and women everyday. When Matt Lauer asked Craig what he felt about the gay life, he said he does not agree with the ‘lifestyle’ and his vote has always shown this. I nodded my head and had the eerie sense that sometimes life allows folks to plunge from their pedestals because their large heads tend to lean sharply over in judgment of others. Like Clinton’s “I did not have sexual relations with that woman,” statement, Craig asserts that he is not gay or bisexual. Meanwhile, The Statesman, an Idaho newspaper has reported of the more than twenty years of speculation surrounding Craig’s sexuality. Where there’s smoke, there’s fire. All I can think of is how American society still judges virtually any crime, life choice and bad decision as a better plight than being a gay man or woman. It brings back the haunting memory of a tearful conversation I had with my mom and dad when I was about 15 years old. I asked if they would be happier if I were a murderer. There response was a simple, “I don’t know.” Here we are at the end of 2007 and the question remains, is there anything worse than being gay?
Let Loose Friday at LQs; Friday, October 19
This Friday we’re making our way to our end of summer let-loose party. Please join us at LQ for a light buffet, 2-for-1 drinks until 7 p.m., and some salsa, hip-hop, R&B and oldies. Ladies pay no cover charge before 7 p.m. and men fork over only $5. So relax, let loose and generate some heat to last you through those cold winter months. LQ is located on Lexington Avenue between 47th and 48th Street.
Soliciting sex in a bathroom is NOT synonymous with being gay, just as being straight is NOT synonymous with buying sex from a prostitute. Do you think the bigger issue is that Senator Craig was arrested for solicitation or the allegation that he may be gay?
Keep passin’ the open windows…
Monday, October 15, 2007
Felix Najera, 49, found himself in a bad predicament. He was a homeless alcoholic man who routinely begged for cigarettes and slept in a cardboard box in front of an East Harlem church. The parish fed Najera, who associated the front of the church with home. On October 5th, Israel Torres, 29, set the cardboard box where Najera slept on fire. With 40 percent of his body burned Najera struggled with his injuries. On October 9th, Najera lost his fight to live. Torres is charged with assault and attempted murder. His charges have not been upgraded to murder since Najera’s death.
Mr. Telephone Man
Saturday night BD, the Minnie and I hit the theater to see the Dzul Dance Company in a beautiful performance that was a combination of Alvin Ailey meets Cirque du Soleil. The story was a tale of love, infidelity, death and a return to love. The Minnie and I sat glued to the actors and our second row center seats offered a reach-out-and-touch view. He and I whispered that we were going to leap on to the stage and take over the performance, but were asked by BD to pipe it down…but hey, we’re actors and we won’t allow the establishment to keep us down. Afterward, we joked and laughed through the streets before grabbing a late-night bite. When we returned to the car we strapped the Minnie into the backseat and he quickly fell asleep as we drove home. BD held my hand and he mouthed, “I love you,” when I looked in the rearview mirror and announced, “The baby’s asleep.” As they were getting out of the car, the Minnie gave me a tight hug and I performed my, “PLEASE DON’T GO…YOU CAN’T LEAVE ME!!” while hugging him tightly. He laughed uncontrollably and looked back after BD closed the car door. I winked and he winked back. Yesterday, as I was preparing to have BD for lunch… I mean, over for lunch…my telephone rang. Seeing BD’s number on the caller ID, I simply answered and said, “Yeah Pa, are you on your way?” I heard a giggle and then a familiar voice said, “Hey, are you going to come over?” Thinking BD was with him, I dramatically asked, “Who is this?” He laughed again and coyly asked, “Who do you think it is?” I said, “A smart kid who refused to take the stage last night.” He jumped right into character and yelled, “I told you, I’m not performing and I quit!” I sighed and said, “Well then I’m suing you for all your PS2 games for breaking our contract.” He laughed and said, “I’ll see you in court.” Our little charade over, he went right back to his initial question, “Are you going to come over and hang out?” I said, “I don’t know. We’re going to need to ask Daddy.” “He’s going to want me to go to bed early for school tomorrow so you have to talk to him,” he interjected. “Where is daddy?” I asked. He quickly said, “He’s at the store buying groceries.” I smiled and said, “Well, when he comes back tell him to call me and I’ll talk to him.” He said, “Great. Hope to see you.” As I hung up the phone I realized that the Minnie had found my number on his own and actually called me to invite me over. It gave me such a warm feeling. I filled the tub and took a hot bath, waiting for BD to arrive. As he came in and we sat on my bed – uh…talking – I mentioned the Minnie’s call. He was about to apologize and I said, “No, it was so cute….” He said, “I was so surprised that he looked for your number and called you. I didn’t spank him because he was so excited to talk to you.” I realized that my friendship with the Minnie is growing. I really enjoy him and it makes my relationship with BD a full family experience; one that I’ve never experienced before. We made love for a couple of hours and laid staring at each other in the dim light. BD ran his finger over my lips and said, “Thank you for making us so happy.” I hugged him and simply said, “Well, I feel like the big winner here. I get a baby without the stretch marks.” We hugged tight and drifted into a soft afternoon haze.
Studies have shown that many Americans – even those that seem wealthy – are just one paycheck from homelessness. How do you honestly view the homeless men and women you pass everyday? Do you believe they are homeless because they choose to be?
Keep passin’ the open windows…
Friday, October 12, 2007
We Touch Our Fly and It Shows
Well, that’s not quite how the Delta slogan went; the slogan was actually, “We love to fly and it shows.” Unfortunately, an 11-year old girl flying alone from San Diego to Atlanta is alleging my fictitious slogan sounded more like her experience on the airline. Now her family is suing Delta for failing to protect the youngster by allowing a child molester to slip into the seat next to her during flight where he allegedly fondled her while touching himself. The airline says they strive to serve and protect all their customers. Delta is now at the center of a lawsuit. In 2001 a Northwest Airline flight from Detroit was the stage for yet another alleged molestation that cost that airline $500,000.
So Much Changes; A Lot Stays the Same
A child, an ex-wife, a man that loves me without reservation – all things that I never experienced before and all require me to open my mind and heart to a learning experience beyond what I could have planned. The variables aren’t always heartwarming, but the rewards have proven priceless. With so much to learn, there are times when I become frustrated; no one changes overnight and I’m no different. I’m a short-fused person – quick to show my emotions, but just as quick to resolve them and move on. All my preconceived notions of keeping my composure and tallying scores before rendering judgment have proven impossible. It’s not like me to hear, see or feel anything without sharing it with BD – good or bad. At first, I was afraid that it would make me appear unpredictable, hot-headed or dim-witted. I could not have been more wrong. Our communication is amazing – we discuss things openly, laugh, even get a bit irate, but in the end, the proof is in the pudding and my man ends up being sweet and smooth. Yesterday, I was fuming at my desk after telling BD that I was afraid and that I felt unprepared to deal with a life that included more than a man – a family. I could barely concentrate and answered my incessantly ringing telephone to hear the lobby receptionist ask me to come downstairs for a package. I sighed loudly took the elevator down and aimlessly walked over to reception. As I asked her for my package she smiled warmly and pointed to the receiving table near her station where a beautiful bouquet of flowers peered from a tasteful vase. I pulled the card nestled in the center of the array of colorful blossoms and read two simple words, “I’m sorry.” I felt the tears well in my eyes and felt suddenly silly for feeling that BD didn’t realize how frightening it can be to adjust to this new type of relationship. I reached my desk and set-up my flowers in my office before calling him at his office. “Thank you. The flowers are absolutely beautiful. I’m sorry I get so bent out of shape sometimes.” He didn’t skip a beat before he said, “No baby, I’m sorry for taking for granted how much you mean to me and not seeing when you hurt.” I didn’t want to spoil the moment with any more words, so I quickly said, “Well, the flowers are incredible. We’ll talk more later.” I sat back in my seat and thought about how different he and I can be sometimes and when it comes down to it none of our differences matter when we share one thing in common - love.
With 4-6 flight attendants tending to over 100 customers, do you believe it’s safe to send children on flights trusting in the supervision of preoccupied air waiters/waitresses? Would you consider leaving your children with the IHOP waitress for hours on a Sunday morning?
Keep passin’ the open windows…
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
I can’t put my finger on the precise moment when it all started, but for as long as I can remember I’ve suffered from what I now know is BDD. It has been both a painful negative and a driving positive. BDD or Body Dysmorphic Disorder is a preoccupation with a real or imagined physical defect. My BDD is specifically focused on my weight. I’ve always felt that I was too heavy and have lived my life as an obese person. Last year, I began making a point of trying to come away from the torture of never seeing my body for what it is. Next month will be four years since fighting and winning my battle with Anorexia. At my lowest point, I was 118 fragile pounds and remember the horror of hearing my doctor say that my body was in starvation mode and had begun eating muscle to survive. At the time I was working out 6 days a week and eating 500 calories a day. Today, I look at my 5’7”, 155 lb. frame and I remind myself that for a 38-year old man, I’m doing okay. This past weekend I went clothes shopping and was slightly disappointed to find that my waist is holding steady at 29 inches. I felt that all my efforts were in vain. Just as I heard those nightmarish voices beginning to say, “You will never get to where you want to be,” the man in the dressing stall next to mine stepped out of his stall and waited behind me to look in the shared mirror in the hall. He said, “You need to eat. I haven’t seen a size 29 since elementary school.” The voices stopped and I crashed back to reality. I don’t have the option of allowing the voices and I can’t afford to continue the mental beat down. Taking care of me is important, but never feeling good enough is just as bad as not giving a hoot. Heck, I’m a work in progress…there are good days and bad; I just need to be okay with me – inside and out. I’m a strong man, but the person who has always been the cruelest to me, is me.
Love; Can It Just Be Easy?
Love is tricky. To enjoy the greatest love of all you have to allow yourself to be vulnerable. You have to be open enough to let love in and head-over-heels enough to compromise on issues you would normally carve new assholes for. I’m a strong-willed person and with that comes the knee-jerk reaction to jump the gun and say – nah, I’ll pass. It isn’t about that though. I found it odd that the very book I once felt condemned me and my life held the greatest pieces of advice….1 Corinthians, Chapter 13, v. 4-7…
4. Love is patient. Love is kind. Love isn't jealous. It doesn't sing its own praises. It isn't arrogant. 5. It isn't rude. It doesn't think about itself. It isn't irritable. It doesn't keep track of wrongs. 6. It isn't happy when injustice is done, but it is happy with the truth. 7. Love never stops being patient, never stops believing, never stops hoping, never gives up.
We all have an inner voice – sometimes more than one. What is the cruelest thing your inner voice has ever said to you?
Keep passin’ the open windows…
Tuesday, October 09, 2007
No one is free of sin, forgiveness and the occasional foul-up. Unfortunately, when your life is lived under a microscope, your sins and foul-ups become fodder for public debate and your forgiveness and road to recovery are not always juicy enough to make news. In the case of Bishop Thomas W. Weeks III and Juanita Bynum we have a story of an opulent one-million dollar wedding, a successful book on healthy relationships, a wealthy ministry, a record label and, unfortunately, a failed marriage that landed both in the public eye as estranged spouses who had a tragic public assault in a hotel parking lot. The story is embarrassing at best, but does it stand to solidify the belief that Christians can be some of the most hypocritical and phony individuals to utter the name of God? Now Weeks and Bynum are at the center of a very public divorce – their reputations tarnished, their rhetoric on perfect relationships a show of smoke and mirrors – but is the entity most affected by their discord, Christianity? Time will tell, but for now, Weeks is asking for the court to equitably divide his and Bynum’s debts and assets.
If Not For Him, For Whom?
Keeping the flames of passion, intrigue and fun alive in long term relationships can be a challenge. I believe that one of the key reasons for partners stepping out or being distracted by outside parties is that they provide a source of fun and spice sometimes lacking or dead in their current relationship. Although many will shout that there is no reason to cheat, it is human nature to feel drawn to someone who is paying you attention and singing your praises. In my current relationship I have made it my duty to be the MAN to my man. This means, I sing your praises, I pay close attention and I even am that try-everything-once freak for my man. Case in point – funny story – BD and I spent the Columbus Day holiday chilling at my crib, where I agreed to wear undies he chose. My leopard print see-thru fitted boxers included an open seam that allowed for some incredibly amazing toe-curl work. Undoubtedly not intended for daily use, I filled them to the brim and BD did a great job at using the seam as he saw fit. For him, I opted for a much simpler, jock-strap that highlighted just the areas I wanted to concentrate on. I suddenly felt a pang of jealousy at the thought of anyone at the gym seeing my baby in this contraption and kept his little gift in my underwear drawer for his future visits. As I told BD, I am your freak and your sneak around piece. I am all those things for you because it’s fun, safe and if not for him, for whom?
Separation of church and state; basically, a rule created to keep matters of religious beliefs separate from those of civil rights and liberties. With Weeks and Bynum now asking their fair state to separate their debt and wealth, isn’t it funny that these same individuals would not agree that gays and lesbians should have the civil right to marry even if their Christian church chooses not to perform such unions? Have they considered that the vows taken during their wedding specifically stated that what “God brings together, let no man put asunder?”
Keep passin’ the open windows…
Friday, October 05, 2007
Dip it low… We all have our favorite little intimate thing we like to do. For some kissing is the ultimate high, while others feel that “poppin’ that thing” is what does it for them. If we asked your intimate partners, what would they say was the hottest move in your repertoire? (Feel free to post anonymously if you're feeling shy)
Keep passin' the open windows...
Wednesday, October 03, 2007
Yesterday I laughed when I realized that some folks believed that my post may have something to do with BD and I, when in fact, the first paragraph regarding a Leopard’s spots centered around me and a recurring issue with some friends and family. Although BD and I are two strong minded individuals, our desire to keep each other happy has helped us overcome issues of priority and position. I’ve pretty much settled into the dynamic of a relationship that involves a young child and now address any arising issues pretty swiftly. Love is truly a two way street and stepping across the double lines can have the drifting partner damaged by the oncoming issues. We pretty much agreed that when issues arise we try to speak about them openly. Yes, I still have my moments when I feel that it’s best to wait and feel out where he’s coming from, but normally, BD has been on point when it comes to delivering the goods – pun intended. As for the Pearls to the Swine rant, I’m disturbed by my younger sister’s steady path to destruction. She seems hell-bent on tempting the devil, fate or whatever other negative force you’d like to believe in. I’ve chosen to step aside, since I’m living by the Maya Angelou admonition – When someone tells you who they are, believe them. At 18, she believes that she knows everything and that her family will always be there to catch her before her face hits the pavement. For her sake, I hope she realizes that I’ve put away the safety net with regard to her. She has reiterated to anyone trying to give her advice that she is an adult. I agree sis…you’re grown and you get no arguments from me. Please be sure to refer back to that assertion when the feces hits the fan.
Boot – It’s Almost That Time; How’s This For Being Early?
Boot aka my southern muffin Parker, is celebrating a birthday this week. Born and raised in North Carolina, Boot brings that southern charm that warms your heart and soothes your soul. When we dated years ago, I was in a rough place mentally and emotionally and wasn’t the best person to Boot. Today, in a very public forum, I want to take a moment for a two-fold public post – First to loudly yell, “Happy birthday Boot! You deserve all the happiness life has to offer. I caught a very small sliver of the polished, intelligent and kind-hearted man you were evolving into and I’m sure you are now the catch of the day in the DC area. Be true to yourself and others and everything you share will come back to you.” My second point is one that is harder to express, but equally important. “My sincerest apology for not being a better man to you and a better caretaker of the love you bestowed on me. Your love taught me that to receive all that someone has to offer, I need to open my heart – even to the point of vulnerability. Your love wasn’t in vain and today I am a better man for it.”
Mean it or don’t say it. Being able to apologize from your heart and not expect anything in return serves several goals. Two important goals are: 1. It frees your soul from the guilt, defeat, frustration and chains that bind you to a negative instance. 2. It shows growth and the ability to recognize your mistakes and their impact on others.
When (if ever) have you chosen to withhold an apology and found that you’re not only wrong, but feeling a long-term bind (tie) to an issue or individual? Is (Was) it worth it?
Keep passin’ the open windows…
Tuesday, October 02, 2007
Truth Is; Leopards and Their Spots
It is often said that a leopard can’t change his/her spots. I’ve often related this to instances where someone with negative traits will not make a positive change and become a better person; they will simply change temporarily to achieve a set goal. The saying doesn’t necessarily have to be aligned with a negative connotation, since the leopard in question could have positive spots it can’t change either. All said, my current internal debate is whether I’m able (or even willing) to change a personality trait that I believe is an intrinsic foundation block of who I am. My past has shown me to be a giving person, but one who is also very priority driven – that is, I tend to focus my attention and affections on those that mean a great deal to me AND those that I appear to hold an equally important position in their lives. I don’t invest much time in people who don’t appear to have much time for me. By doing so, I feel the greater good is served. I am reciprocating and cultivating strong bonds with like-interest individuals. Like-interests in that we both appear to have a vested desire to be important to each other. However, there are times when people come into our lives and we find ourselves working a different method – a change of spots, if you will. We give, ask nothing in return and even accept a position of less priority in an effort to be selfless and make the relationship work. I return now to my first point – a leopard cannot change his/her spots. So what happens when I realize that my attempt to appear selfless isn’t rewarded or it becomes a consistent jostling for first place in someone’s life? I’ll tell you what happens…red-line frustration. I used this weekend to think about this dilemma. Like Donnie McClurkin, I’ve chosen to “Stand.” This means that until I establish that this isn’t a passing phase or recurring issue, I won’t roar in that see-me outburst that demands anything – least of all, attention I know I will willingly receive from other parties. Yes, there are instances when we must defer to a specific person or situation and accept that we are not the priority of the moment – ie. parents, children, fires – but there are also moments when you have to realize your worth and say, I am the priority or this interaction doesn’t work for me. Turns out, this leopard won’t change his spots. They’ve served me well just the way they are.
Throwing Pearls to the Swine
There’s a passage in the good book that mentions casting pearls to the swine – a metaphor for repeatedly attempting to deliver the word of God to folks who have no intention of paying any mind to it. In my life a parallel metaphor has repeatedly occurred and I have held to the same logical train of thought. There are people in your life that don’t get it, never got it and will never get it. They make no bones about their inability or refusal to hear your concerns. In cases like these, my experience has taught me to ‘cut and keep stepping’. That’s right folks. You can repeat things to some folks until you’re blue in the face, but when they choose not to acknowledge you, it’s time to roll. Recently, I had a sibling of mine mention that I am a cold-hearted bitch that doesn’t care about anyone. It was their reaction to my applying my ‘cut and step’ program to our relationship. You see, I don’t really play favorites when it comes to the ‘cut and step’ program. Whether it’s siblings, my man or my best friends – the program is still the same. I believe in telling you how I feel, helping you understand how you make me feel and going forward, what we can do to make it better, but if you choose to disregard me, I take that as non-verbal communication – a ‘fuck you’ if you will. Hit up another jeweler for those pearls.
The greater fear…Is your fear of cutting someone out of your life, greater than the fear of losing yourself?
Keep passin’ the open windows…