Monday, December 29, 2008

Click; ’09 Holds the Splendor of Grace

Click; ’09 Holds the Splendor of Grace
Grace: the freely given, unmerited favor and love of God

Last night I watched Adam Sandler in Click – a movie that takes a young husband and father of two through a hell ride when he’s given the opportunity to forward, rewind and pause through any part of his life with the use of a nifty universal remote given to him by, who we later find out is, the angel of death. Halfway into the flick I figured I missed this movie with good reason – it was Adam Sandler giving his usual great guy, bad circumstances act, but I was wrong. By the last 30 minutes, I was pulling my tissue box off the nightstand and using every commercial break to reflect on my own life and the times when I didn’t make the best choices. The moral of the story was simple, given the chance, would we fast forward through the difficult times in our lives only to find that it was at these very times when all the excitement and worthwhile living was taking place. As 2008 comes to a close I reflected on my family – BD and the Minnie included – and how there were warm-hearted times to go along with those frustrations that had me wishing for a universal remote of my own. This year showed me that the biggest priority in my life is those I love. I had the honor of caring for my parents when my dad had a recent surgery and this past weekend had me put my money where my mouth is as I spent 22 hours at BD’s bedside during his bout with appendicitis. All said, my loyalty to him was a greater gift to me than all the wonderful material things BD showered on me this Christmas. Our hospital drama gave me the gift of “in sickness and in health” and allowed me to live it, not just say it. I realized that I love BD and it had nothing to do with whether I think he’s the hottest man since baked bread. For all the times that I wondered if I could be the man he deserves, I felt I was given the luxury of earning my man’s heart. He’s now at home recovering – minus an appendix. As for my siblings, my sister hosted BD, the Minnie and I Christmas eve and we had an amazing time opening gifts; our children interacting and playing with their toys. As BD, the Minnie and I slept in front of the fireplace that night, I lay awake thinking how lucky I am to have more than I wished for. Can 2009 get any better? Well, it’s not always a matter of better. I believe that when you give of yourself and give without reservations it comes back to you ten-fold. I never would’ve predicted that 2008 would bring me the many gifts it deposited in my heart, but it did and for that I’m eternally grateful. My wish for 2009 is that the Lord blesses my loved ones and brings us genuine peace and happiness. In the end, it’s really what it’s all about. To my fellow bloggers, thank you for being a part of my extended family and sharing all that my life is with you. May your lives be filled with more happiness than you ever dreamed of and the splendor of grace. Here’s to the shine of ’0-9!

On Blast
With 2009 set to begin, what one thing about yourself do you KNOW to be true for the New Year?

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Educating Ritas

Educating Ritas
One of the benefits of bloggers young-and-old sharing their thoughts is the hope that we come away with helpful information from each other. While the younger bloggers often relay some new fad or youthful mindset to me via their posts, I’ve found that with regard to issues of sexuality, my young Ritas appear to be treading on the dated line of years past. Let me save my youngins some time and effort here – safely enjoy your sexuality and vitality today, so you have no regrets tomorrow. In 2008 gay men should be less concerned with their sexual roles and more concerned with their social ones. As an aggressive man and self-proclaimed versatile bottom, I would strongly suggest that gay men consider how we carry ourselves on a day-to-day basis, rather than whether we decide to lay on our back and hold our own ankles. You see, from the moment I took an axe to my figurative closet door, I’ve always been a very assertive man – one not likely to roll-over for any man regardless of how sexually aggressive he is or his propensity to blow-out my back. I’ve often had to pull back on the reigns of my personality for fear of emasculating my partners and yet at no time have I felt any shame in enjoying bottoming for any of my sexual partners. As I’ve often professed, I love being a man – the rough-and-tumble; the perceived minimalist approach to aesthetic beauty. As I watch my younger brethren press into their jeans, wear cosmetics, slather lip gloss and emulating female runway models, I wonder whether they realize that their hyper-femininity, coupled with their inability to admit to enjoying being passive bed partners, makes them caricatures of gay culture – the very picture every comedian or gay-detractor attempts to paint in their routines. What happened to the boy next door look? Are there any youngin boys next door left? Being a gay man has nothing to do with what you wear; whether you top or bottom; whether you’re extremely masculine or feminine. You are not MORE or LESS gay because of what sexual role you prefer. You can equate being gay to being pregnant; simply because you’re not showing, doesn’t mean you’re not pregnant and one pregnant woman is no more pregnant than the next – regardless of appearance. When in doubt, here are some rules to follow:
* Be proud to be a gay man and understand that being gay simply means that you prefer intimacy with the same sex; nothing more, nothing less.
* Whether you truly prefer to be a top or bottom, how assertive or passive your personality traits are outside the bedroom don’t matter. You can be an aggressive bottom and/or a passive top.
* Have your own sense of style; dress appropriately to work and social functions and recognize when you have become a cartoon of yourself; have you become a joke?
* Be satisfied by your sexual partners. Communicate what you truly like without shame or fear of reprisal. Don’t attempt to take on a role that you feel would be more socially acceptable simply to fit into a mold.
* Accept others. Whether feminine or masculine; top or bottom; black, white, Latino, Asian or other; we are all gay men; same ship, different decks; what affects one, affects us all.
* Don’t engage or cosign gay bashing (verbal or physical) when in the company of our straight counterparts. Today it is them, tomorrow it’s you.
* Live honestly – even if you’re a hookah – and you’ll always have the luxury of holding your head high.

On Blast
What negative traits (if any) do you associate with sexually passive (bottom) gay men?

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Monday, December 08, 2008

Fantasy Freak

Fantasy Freak
Relationships grow and sometimes grow apart. What makes them flourish varies depending on the partnership. The rules of engagement can change as the years progress. I had a conversation with BD this weekend and remarked at how I read an article about how some long-term relationships included everything from freakish fantasy play to third parties to enhance the union. Although we both agreed that a scenario that includes a third party in our particular relationship is out of the question, I made clear that it is my hope that we can always share and explore our fantasies and desires with each other. I began to think about how some partners choose to step-out on their partners using the excuse of being bored or trapped, rather than addressing – without judgment – the advent of fantasy. At virtually 40-years old, I don’t see the need to hold back what my desires are from BD. I’ve been able to stretch the limits of what I thought was enjoyable – even trying things I never tried before – and am enamored with the sense that he shares my desire to explore each other physically and mentally through fantasy sharing and role play.

15 Will Get You 20
In a matter of three months I’ve put on 15 pounds. On my recent trip to Puerto Rico, family members remarked that I had gained weight, but that they liked me better thicker; a sentiment shared by most of my straight friends and family. Although I’m not overweight – probably never will be – I’m not at a weight where I’m comfortable or better – confident. At over 160lbs., I’m a good 10lbs. over my ideal weight. This Thursday I’m undergoing a minor ambulatory procedure and will try to be at the gym again by next Monday. Although my lunch-time workouts would be professional suicide right now, I will make the time to workout in the evening. As luck would have it my gym has opened a location just 5 minutes from my crib.

Annette (Freakin Rican) Sympathy
My deepest sympathy goes out to Annette (Freakin Rican). Freakin’ lost her dad recently and unbeknownst to me, was in Puerto Rico at the same time as I was with my dad. Freakin was a frequent commentator on this humble blog years ago and recently visited the spot to let me know of this tragedy. Thank you for finding the strength to offer your words of encouragement to me during my rough patch. Please know that you are always welcome back at your Not Shady Just Fierce home.

On Blast
Describe one sexual fantasy that you believe is difficult for you to share with your partner(s) or friend(s).

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

La Isla Bonita and Temper-Temper

La Isla Bonita and Temper-Temper
Well folks I’m back from seven days on my home turf of Puerto Rico. Unlike most of my other trips, this one had little to do with pleasure and more to do with taking care of my dad post surgery. I’m happy to report that the surgery was a success and he’s recovering well. In the same vein, I’m recovering well too – since I worked like a country mule. Sitting in my office today is my true vacation and my appreciation for not working in a capacity that requires me to perform manual labor daily. I love my parents and would truly do it again – a million times over – but I’m afraid for them. After working seven days straight – everything from cleaning, painting, gardening, cooking and caring for their dog and cat – I realized that I (not yet 40-years old) was exhausted. I couldn’t imagine retirees doing this. Having a home at their age is physically taxing and I suspect it’s a responsibility they won’t be able to maintain for long. I pray the Lord I’m wrong. All this said, I was the parent and as such I was attacked by mom and dad at every turn. The role reversal of saying we were not going out on a given day was odd at best and disconcerting at worst. As has become the norm, BD was my constant anchor in the storm. I can’t thank him enough for being my back bone. I suffered terrible separation anxiety since I haven’t been away from him for any real time for over a year. Let’s keep it real, this man is my 24-7 tireless ying to my yang. One thing is certain; my temper is not what it once was. Maybe it was the added stress of running a house, having two geriden (geriatric children) and stressing about the well being of my dad, but my fuse was virtually nonexistent. I was blunt, coarse and at times terrifying in my delivery. I finally took a deep breath a few days before returning to NYC and said, “Cocoa you’re scaring folks so stop it.” I may have to return at the beginning of the year to check on the folks again. BD made my return to NYC extra special. He surprised me with Chinese food, while I showered and we made love until every last knot of stress was worked away. His thoughtful card, intuitive kindness and calm make me the person I want to be. Thank you happy boi! I now miss mom and dad, but with my sister at the helm for the next week, I’m sure they’ll be okay. To all who prayed for my family a HUGE thank-you!

On Blast
My parents have officially reached the stage where I am anxious about their well being while they live alone. What would you do to minimize the pressure of elderly family members when they live so far away?

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Monday, November 24, 2008

Puerto Rico & Gettin’ My Dick Sucked

Puerto Rico & Gettin’ My Dick Sucked
After adding $1,900 in car repairs to my credit burden, I proceeded to sigh in preparation for my departure to Puerto Rico tomorrow morning. What is normally a Thanksgiving family reunion of sorts, is now also a time to take care of dad who will have surgery in the coming days. A special thank-you to Clent for being there and taking care of Busta for me last minute and to Cas for taking the insomniac task of driving me to the airport at 3:30 a.m. for an early flight. As usual, BD is my knight in shining armor and he’s always there making me feel great even when I don’t want to feel anything at all. I’m so in love with my man and each passing day I find myself more and more attracted to him. This weekend while watching 24 (the first season) we decided to role-play and I was a captive being repeatedly sexually abused by my attacker. Of course, once all was said-and-done, I had just as much fun relaying to BD – who had managed to save me - what the attackers had done to me and how I couldn’t believe I survived all of it…I included all the juicy details of how my assailant looked and how I felt while he was abusing me. I get ‘brick’ just thinking about it. All said, the man just does it for me and I’m amazed at how I’m never bored or ho-hum about enjoying him. Now, this makes this morning’s story that much more ironic. Just before meeting BD at the train for our ride to work, I was walking Busta when I noticed a guy in his late teens-early-twenties cross the street with a puppy pitbull. He approaches me and let’s his pup play with Busta before saying “Hey, what kind of dog is that? He’s so cute.” For whatever reason, I heard my internal alarm ringing like mad. I couldn’t understand why, since it seemed innocent enough. Then suddenly he says, “What’s his name?” Once I responded he quickly jumped to, “What’s your name?” I looked at him annoyed and used my middle name (I never use this and it’s simple enough to remember) Snatching Busta who was pulling toward the guy’s puppy, I said, “I really am running late for work.” He then asked me, “So what are you Dominican?” I sounded insulted and retorted, “No, Puerto Rican.” This bold youngin’ continues without a care in the world, “So my girlfriend says that Puerto Ricans have big dicks and I was wondering if you would show me yours.” I looked incredulously at this guy and felt embarrassed, confused and amazed that he was so out-there to say this to me in broad daylight in the middle of the Bronx! “Well you should have one of your Puerto Rican friends show you one,” I icily responded. I pulled Busta so hard he yelped! Homeboi then says, “Yeah, cuz I like to suck dick and I would really like to suck yours.” Dude was out of his mind! With Busta in a mid-crap squat I was trapped in place when dude says, “So you rushing to work? What’s your number…212-“ I said, “Later…I have to run kid.” I took off so fast Busta was running to keep up. In all my years, I’ve never been propositioned by someone 20-years my junior in the middle of the Bronx at the crack of dawn. When I met with BD, I told him what happened and we laughed about it. What are kids coming to these days?

On Blast
There’s never a reason for violence, but the level of bold disrespect the youngster in my neighborhood showed this morning justifies gay-bashing for some. At 39, I have never propositioned someone on the street. Have you ever been bold enough to do or say something to someone you weren’t sure shared your interest?

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Stop and Get On Your Knees

Stop and Get On Your Knees
Life is full of ups and downs and although some folks may think that the world should always be seen through rose colored glasses, the reality is that those rose colored glasses can sometimes be smoky or worse cracked; such is life. Lately I’ve been feeling very emotional – crying while watching some sappy Oprah episode or having fits of rage; you’d almost think I was manic. I realize that several things are weighing heavily on my mind. First, my dad is about to have surgery to repair a recurring hernia. What should be a routine surgery is actually a bit more involved since he’s now older and it involves working around his intestines. The doctors predict that it will go well and I believe them, but it doesn’t take away the worry of having the man I sometimes view as invincible suddenly appearing vulnerable. Second, working for one of the financial industry giants, I am hypersensitive to the threat of layoffs. I spend a good part of my work day analyzing my boss’ reactions to me in the hopes of figuring out if he somehow knows some clue to what my future holds with the firm. Trying to juggle my immense workload and play clairvoyant to his moods sends me home completely exhausted at the end of each day. So all said, it’s time to ‘circle the wagons.’ I got home tonight and had yet another frustrating incident – not even worth mentioning here – and decided to stop and get on my knees and take it to the only one who can do something about anything. “Lord, you’ve always been there for me and you’re the one who knows my yesterday, today and tomorrow. I’m not going to ask you to do what I want; I’m asking you do what’s best for me. May your will be done in my life and may it serve to make me better; In Jesus name I pray. Amen. …and so it is, that come what may, it will be what is suppose to be and it will be good.

On Blast
Believing in God gives me the resolve to push forward and know that all things work best when left to him. Like the hymn says, “He may not be there when you want him, but he’s always there on time.”
Have you ever been at a place in your life when you’ve looked around and wondered what the Lord had in store for you?

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Monday, November 17, 2008

Minimizing Stress; It’s About You

Minimizing Stress; It’s About You
Call it a case of maturing or simply an attitude that ‘life is too short’ to spend it on self-created drama, but I’m learning to pull back and withdraw from negative behavior that doesn’t necessarily affect me OR negative attitudes that don’t need to suck me dry of all my positive energy; in either case, if you don’t serve to make my life better, then you won’t be served. Sounds really cut-and-dry, but some of life’s choices are really black-and-white. I read some of my favorite bloggers post about situations that ring of self-imposed drama – they create these suspenseful, negative or no-win situations and then live to tell how they were victorious – or not – in combating them. The real question is, why do it to begin with? BD and I recently had a conversation regarding infidelity (a hot topic for so many relationships) and one that I think should be discussed openly in any partnership. As I mentioned to him, I can’t foresee myself cheating at this stage in the game and would more than likely bring any thought of stepping-out to his attention. For me, it boils down to an issue of minimizing drama. If I feel the need to sleep with someone else – and for the record, BD and I are so passionately sexual with each other that I don’t have my sexual interest piqued by anyone outside of our relationship – it would just be simpler to bring it to his attention and either get a go-ahead or a ‘let’s be friends.’ Then there are some basic stressors that can be minimized or extinguished with the simple click of a button. There are folks that are trapped in a negative rut. They call you and ‘bitch and moan’ for what seems like hours with no real solution on the horizon. There’s never really a time that these folks have anything positive to say. You’ll find that you’re consistently interjecting with, “Everything will be okay….” or “no you’re not having a streak of bad luck…” the truth is THEY aren’t – YOU ARE! Now don’t get me wrong, you should be sympathetic and supportive of your friends, but when there is nothing positive and you are simply being used as a back-up battery to recharge your friend with every conversation, it’s time to cut it off. Hit that ‘Ignore’ button and realize that you are being drained of everything positive within you. We’re all entitled to a rough patch, but when that patch becomes a dirt road to nowhere, cut your losses and be still…you aren’t the bad guy for saving yourself. A couple of years ago I had a motto of not taking calls on weekends before noon and not answering my phone if I was in the middle of something important. Since my return to New York I revised my own rules to accommodate my friends and family only to find that I’m expected to answer their calls or suffer their hang-up-call-back repeated calls with insults about my reasons for not being available. This has all changed. This weekend I promised myself to answer the phone when I’m available and only when I’m truly available. This means that when I’m simply not in a position to give my full attention, I don’t answer any calls – save for my mom and my man – who will be told I need to call them right back. Technology and the advent of mobile phones has to be used for what it was intended – a convenience item for ME to use; not a ball-and-chain making me available to everyone 24-7. The ultimate message is simple, whether it’s friends, family or work that drain you, it will continue until YOU decide to control your own life and the exchanges in it. In the end, folks will come to understand that your time is precious and that whether you want to lie on your side for an hour or speak to them is strictly up to you. Like any commodity you are as desirable and popular as you are scarce and exclusive. Make yourself important to you and you will be important to and respected by everyone else.

On Blast
They say you should practice saying “No” while standing in front of a mirror until you are comfortable with saying it. You set the rules that improve your quality of life.
What area of your life has seen some stressful twists because of your inability to assert control?

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Sunday, November 16, 2008

In Closing; Sense Through Humor


In Closing
I think she said it best. Sometimes humor conveys the message in a way that makes most sense.

On Blast
Why haven't those attempting to protect 'marriage' outlawed divorce?

Keep passin' the open windows...

Friday, November 14, 2008

My Soul Wifey & 99 Red Balloons

My Soul Wifey & 99 Red Balloons
When she told me she was moving to Germany, I could only think of that 1984 tune by Nena – 99 Red Balloons. An eerie tune that didn’t have much meaning then – really, doesn’t hold much meaning to me now – but had a catchy tune. Marcia Rhodes a.k.a. My Soul Wifey was joining the love of her life in Germany; a move that would put her thousands of miles away and a time zone six hours ahead of mine. Marcia fast became one of my closest friends and confidants when we worked together in Washington, DC more than six years ago. The size zero beauty is more than 10 years my junior, but has such a wealth of wisdom, charisma and natural warmth that I couldn’t resist feeling instantly connected to her. Throughout the years she has been a Godsend; her advice level-headed yet stern; never agreeing just to agree; never blind to my feelings. Marcia appeared to always know what I was thinking – even when I was fuming and hollering or just silent from disappointment. In the end, I knew she had my back A couple of years ago we vacationed in Puerto Rico, staying at my parents house. We hit the beach and the clubs, making my birthday celebration that year one of the best ever. On our last night in Puerto Rico there was a power outage and Marcia and I slept together in the back room of my parent’s house. All the windows open we talked into the wee hours of the night, sweat beading on our foreheads. The Coqui – a frog indigenous to the island – sounded louder than crickets on our pillows. Marcia probably doesn’t recall, but she was also the one who with the most modest – yet thoughtful gesture – brought cupcakes to the office for my birthday on a day when she was off, making me tear-up at the thought of her making the time and effort to make my day special. To date, it is one of the most heartwarming birthdays I’ve had. Although I’m a bit sad to have my girl so far away, I’m extremely happy for her. She deserves all the happiness in the world. Greg – her fianc√©- should thank his lucky stars that I’m gay as a fruit basket or he would have the competition of a lifetime. I miss you Marcia….
99 dreams I have had. In every one a red balloon. It's all over and I'm standing pretty. In this dust that was a city. If I could find a souvenir. Just to prove the world was here. And here is a red balloon; I think of you and let it go.

On Blast
Expensive gifts are eclipsed by thoughtful ones….your heart’s desires are satiated with quality, rather than quantity.
Name a gift you’ve received that holds/held little material value, but is priceless to you.

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Equality; Black or Gay – Does it Matter?

Equality; Black or Gay – Does it Matter?
A recent discussion regarding marriage by same sex couples highlighted an important issue for me. Gays are somehow considered less beholden to civil rights based on the ignorant notion that we have a choice on whether to be gay or not. By saying that the plight of the Black person somehow eclipses that of the gay person simply because the Black person can’t change the color of their skin, is saying that gays can somehow change their sexual orientation. For the record, my misguided straight brethren, my being gay is as embedded in my DNA as your IQ falling in the single digit range is to yours. Which brings us to the next issue – who has suffered more? I guess my question is, “Who cares?” Suffering is suffering. The fact that the struggle for equality by the Black race is a much documented one doesn’t negate the devastating trials the gay community has suffered. Add to this the struggle of being a person of color AND gay. One of the key differences between the Black and gay struggle is that when you’re a person of color, you can call HOME the safe haven from the injustices of your day. For a gay person this isn’t necessarily true. Some gay youngsters (as Norris pointed out in a recent blog post) are banished from their homes simply for admitting to the very people that brought them to this world that they are gay. I haven’t come across a Black or Latino child that claimed to be put out of their home because their parents realized what their race was. All to say that regardless of what the injustice is the ONE FACTOR that should guide our judgment is justice and equality. It lacks common sense to deny folks their rights simply because we don’t agree or take part in their struggle. Human rights and civil rights are a privilege we should insure is shared by all Americans – Black, White, Latino, Gay, Straight, Handicapped – and ANYTHING short of EQUAL rights for all is wrong. We’ve tried the separate, but equal thing in the past and as many can attest, it does not work. There is no need for a separate set of rules when we’re all EQUAL. America is beautiful for its rich diversity – religious differences, racial differences, etc. – but we’re also one of the most judgmental countries in the world. We insist on forcing others to live their lives as WE see fit or in a manner that makes us comfortable. That is not what America is built on. Let’s stop the hatred and ignorance. Let’s stop meddling in other people’s household and take care of our own. Let’s insure that everyone has EQUAL rights to live their lives as they see fit and the RIGHT to make the same choices and mistakes as their fellow man/woman.

On Blast
Do you believe that astronauts landing on the moon should be required to wear briefs rather than boxer shorts? Since you’re not an astronaut, why should your opinion matter? Why do you care?

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Monday, November 10, 2008

Obama Believes in Separate but Equal?


Obama Believes in Separate but Equal?
The recent Obama win has everyone cheering for the enormous step our country has taken to recognizing the ignorance of discrimination based on race, but it has heightened the awareness that many Americans can’t seem to get around the discrimination based on sexual orientation. California’s Proposition 8 is legislation to specifically ban same sex partners from marrying. In essence, the California Supreme Court ruled that providing anything other than marriage for same sex couples would be a means of discrimination – a separate, but equal status, if you will – that does not jive with what America is about. Yet, California couldn’t accept that ruling. They invested over $74 million toward the issue and voted on the very day we elected our first African American President, to outlaw marriage by same sex partners. The ads for Proposition 8 depicted scare tactics showing teachers forced to teach same-sex education in elementary school and religious leaders charged by the state to forcibly marry gay couples. Neither scenario is real. The truth is that supporting equality for all Americans doesn’t erode family values; on the contrary, it enhances family values; the value that should be part of every American family to believe that ALL men/women in this country are equal in the eyes of the law. Sadly, even our President-elect who is enjoying the very concept of ‘all men created equal’ has repeatedly mentioned that he supports gays having equal protections under the law and an institution similar and equal to marriage, but not marriage. How does a black man who required ALL Americans to pump their brakes on discrimination and old school ignorance fix his mouth to say such a thing? I’m disappointed at best and disgusted with the hypocritical belief that discrimination based on race is now viewed as dated and ignorant, but prejudice surrounding same-sex relationships is fair game. Regardless of what your religious beliefs are, gay Americans are not asking you to join them in bed; they are asking that you allow them the SAME rights as every other American. Gay parents don’t want same sex education taught in public elementary schools as much as ANY parent wants sex taught to their children in elementary schools. The state cannot FORCE a religious institution to go against their beliefs to unite gay couples in their sanctuary – know what the facts are people. Here it is 2008 and we’re having some statewide battle on whether we should allow consenting adults to marry simply because they don’t look like the picture of the couple we have in our heads. It rings of the black/white marriage bans that plagued our nation in years passed. Marriage for same sex partners is NOT an issue that should be left to the states, it is an issue that should be approved at a federal level and incorporated into our present marriage laws. The issue does not open the flood gates on marrying animals and inanimate objects; those ignorant comments are so off-base I can’t begin to comment on them. If gays across the country will not be offered EQUAL rights to our straight brethren then we should be offered a cut in our tax liability to compensate for our lack of equal rights. At a time when we should be celebrating an Obama win, it’s disappointing to hear the very man flying on the wings of equality playing a different tune when it comes to marriage by same sex couples.

On Blast
Either you take a stand for something or you’ll fall for anything. In what way does the marriage of same-sex couples affect the values of heterosexual families? As a straight man/woman, why do you care if same-sex consenting adults marry?

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Friday, November 07, 2008

Grateful


Grateful
Every one of us has been given so much. Blessings that far outnumber the crushing defeats. Are we grateful? Obama in the White House…be grateful. Gay marriage suffering at the hands of ignorance…be grateful. Our health, our families, our friends, our jobs…be grateful.

On Blast

What will you give back?

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

President Obama...When You Believe

President Obama and the Inspiration for A Personal Campaign
Like most everyone in blogland, I too have moments when blogging just isn’t a priority and getting me together far outweighs getting my thoughts out to others. This is certainly one of those moments. Overall, I’m happy. I have my health, a good job and a great man; God is good. The race for the White House is over and history was made; I now see the infinite possibilities of what can be when you believe – really believe. I am so proud of President Barack Obama and the campaign he ran.

As the weeks progress I’m implementing 5 ongoing projects; my personal campaign if you will…
1. Faithfully returning to and maintaining my regular regimen at the gym
2. Making time to honor myself and my well being – decent rest, healthy food, killing the vices
3. Begin to write my novel – maybe even co-write a novel with BD
4. Get a grasp of my finances and work to create a healthy savings plan
5. Treat BD like each moment with him is my last; insure that he always has my full attention

On Blast
New Year’s resolutions are a crock….What five (5) things will you implement going forward – your personal campaign – to a better life for you?

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Monday, October 27, 2008

REVIEW; Noah's Arc; Jumping The Broom

Remember Love
Noah’s Arc delivered. The short on reviews would be to say, “Thumbs up!” Sure, I can break it down and tell you that Noah’s Arc; Jumping the Broom could have included the theme song – at some point – or maybe even that it would have been nice to know what happened to Wade’s jilted ex-Dre’, but none of those things tarnished the experience of hangin’ with our favorite Logo-boys again. The movie – which played in only FIVE theaters across the country - grossed a very respectable, $161,000 (to put it in perspective, this averages to over $32,000 per location vs. $11,500 for the number one movie this weekend, HSM3) proving Noah’s Arc had the staying power to remain on LOGO and be successful if the powers-that-be weren’t so intimated by color on the network. I mean, let’s keep it real, I read one reviewer say that he was disturbed that the guys of Noah’s Arc have no White friends and that somehow this ruins his view of the show – and the movie. Ummm…. Maybe it’s me, but we sat for over seven seasons of Queer As Folk without so much as ONE black or Latino friend for any of the cast members of that hit Showtime series. Where was this entertainment critic then – and get this, the critic was BLACK! All those cock-and-bull issues aside, the movie doesn’t disappoint. If the title itself isn’t a spoiler then let me put the nail in the coffin and say, YES, the succulent Wade and the wispy Noah live happily ever after, but not before some really creative story writing takes place. The packed audience that sat through the showing we attended cheered, cried and laughed out loud. BD and I routinely shared a kiss or a tight hand-grip at several of the issues addressed by the movie. Although you shouldn’t expect any Academy Award winning performances, no Noah’s Arc fan will be disappointed by this much awaited flick. A must see for gay men of color and their admirers. The movie clearly showed that Showtime or HBO would have made a much more respectable home for the series and our men of the Arc.



On Blast
Put yourself in the casting chair….What character do you relate to the most on Noah’s Arc and why?

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Join Us This Saturday; Noah's Arc The Movie

Join Us; Saturday, October 25th, 9:45 p.m.; Noah's Arc, Jumping The Broom
This Saturday, October 25th at 9:45 p.m. a group of us will make a movie date out of our favorite boys of cable-TV – Noah’s Arc. The guys return for their final hurrah in Noah’s Arc; Jumping the Broom. BD and I have invited a few friends – and any of their friends who are up to some campy fun – to join us at Chelsea Cinemas; 260 West 23rd Street. To purchase advance tickets online click here
and be sure to choose the Saturday, October 25th, 9:45p.m. show.

Keep passin’ the open windows…

____________________________________


They're back to tie the knot--or not? Noah, Alex, Ricky, Chance and their significant others travel to Martha's Vineyard for a weekend wedding getaway. Drama ensues as, one-by-one, their relationships start to crack under the pressure of closer examination. Newly successful screenwriter Noah looks to his friends for advice as he prepares to move his relationship to a more serious level while struggling to keep his first studio movie alive. But the friends are of little help as they juggle their own issues. Elder statesmen Chance and Eddie attempt to scratch their seven-year itch, but they worry their marriages have permanently lost their spark. And playboy Ricky flaunts his barely legal college student fling in the face of his monogamous friends but hides a surprising secret that threatens to rock the house. Add to the mix Alex's crazy-making wedding prep, a closeted superstar rapper, a high-maintenance studio exec and a surprise visitor, and you've got the makings of a hilarious yet potentially disastrous weekend. Can the boys survive it--and each other?

Monday, October 20, 2008

Rosacea?!?!!


Rosacea?!
It’s almost unthinkable to suffer from bad skin late in life. Throughout my teens and twenties I enjoyed fairly clear skin. In the last 2-3 months I noticed I began suffering –from what appeared to be- acne. I tried everything and noticed my face, like my self esteem, was deteriorating. Frustrated and unable to cope with what it was doing to my appearance and my self-confidence I marched to a dermatologist today. After stripping nude and wearing the paper-exposed-booty number they force on folks – I really didn’t expect this at the dermatologist – the doctor (with a trusted resident in tow) went over my face and body with a fine tooth comb. The exam was so thorough that I wasn’t sure if he’d differentiate the redness of humiliation from what was causing this disfiguring condition. Finally, after the bright lights were turned off and the magnifying lenses were removed he announced his diagnosis – Rosacea. Since the condition primarily afflicts Caucasians and women, I was shocked. “You must be mistaken, “I protested. He discussed how he came to his conclusion with his resident, taking care to tell her why he ruled out all other causes for my condition. He asked if my parents suffered from any skin disorders, since Rosacea is also known to be hereditary. All said, I’m relieved to finally figure out what was causing my discomfort and affecting my appearance. I should be all clear in 4-6 weeks, but the good doc cautioned that Rosacea is not curable – only treatable – and I will probably use a gel once a day to keep my face clear. Who knew?


Joe Six Pack
As I was leaving the doctor’s office today I thought about all the cock-and-bull the McCain/Palin ticket has spewed about their ticket having the Washington-outsider interests at hand; basically their rhetoric says that putting McCain/Palin in the White House would guarantee Joe Six Pack was running the country. Here’s the thing though…I don’t think I want Joe Six Pack at the helm of our fair country. I mean, think about it. When I go to the doctor, I want him/her to be qualified to treat me – not be like me. So before you choose your next leader think about whether you want Joe Six Pack to get our country back on track or an experienced, qualified and diverse ticket that has the years at the helm, connections and vision to restore America’s glory. Sorry Joe…just grab me a beer.

On Blast
Do you believe you settled on your choice for President because of their qualifications or because you saw yourself in the ticket?

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Friday, October 17, 2008

An Argument For Better Home Training

What would happen if Obama's daughter were caught in a similar photo op?



On Blast

What do you think the headline would read if Obama's daughter were caught making the same gesture?


Keep passin' the open windows....

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Senseophobia

Senseophobia – the Unreasonable Fear of Making Sense
Maybe I’m just too close to some issues and fail to understand how ANYONE can come to different conclusions when faced with facts. It’s almost like putting someone’s hand over an open flame, allowing them to suffer third-degree burns and asking the onlookers if they understood why the person suffered the burns, only to hear several different reasons. The fact seems apparent – the burns were caused by holding the person’s hand over intense heat for a prolonged length of time. Would we be a bit shocked to hear different cause-and-effect explanations? Well, such is the case with the Lofton family of Florida. Steven Lofton and Roger Croteau have been partners for over 20 years. The registered-nurse pair met in college where they both prepared for their work in the pediatric AIDS ward of a Florida hospital. After witnessing first-hand the devastation of AIDS in the 80s and the rejection infants suffered during this time, Lofton and Croteau took on the daunting task of being foster parents to six foster children – five of whom still reside with the Loftons today. All the Lofton children were basically toss-aways of society. Lofton recalls how some of the AIDS babies would cry in their cribs and nurses would ignore their wails ignorantly afraid to interact with them. The Loftons have done an amazing job of raising a beautiful and diverse family of five – only one baby succumbed to AIDS-related illness when she was six-years old. For the record, experts predicted the AIDS-infected infants would all be dead before the age of 5. Through bouts of illness, state-wide indifference and societal judgments, the Lofton family always thrived. Now, with two of their children preparing to enter college, the Loftons faced another hurdle. The state of Florida explicitly prohibits adoption by gays. Simply put, the Loftons could keep the castaways in their care while serving as foster parents, but they could never hold the hope of adopting them. One of the Lofton children, Bert, 12, now tests negative for the HIV virus and guess how the state of Florida celebrates this little miracle? The state now suggests that Bert be removed from the Loftons since he is now deemed “adoptable” by a “normal” home. Bert has been with the Loftons since he was 9-weeks old! The self-righteous right-wingers say that ALL children fair better when raised by a two-parent, male-female arrangement, but few in this hypocritical group take on the task of providing foster care or better, come forward to be adoptive parents to the MILLIONS of children who wither-away in orphanages around the country. Various psychiatric and psychological groups have clearly stated that there is NO evidence to show that children fair better in male/female as opposed to male/male or female/female parent families. Moreover, studies have concluded that ONLY the stigma suffered by children of same-sex parents in the form of judgments spewed by outspoken opponents of the arrangement. Gays make loving parents, caring role models and supportive caregivers. Any child would opt for a stable home environment where they are loved and nurtured than the ward of an orphanage facility. As to the argument that gays/lesbians will unfairly sway these children to be gay and/or lesbian, the notion is not only unfounded, it is ridiculous. If this were the case we could say that those of US that were raised by heterosexual, male/female parents would be straight – and by golly, I’m not. It’s a case of sensophobia – folks having the overwhelming fear of situations making sense – even when we disagree with them.

On Blast
What benefit would be served by removing a teenager from a healthy gay family unit to place him/her into a heterosexual family unit when the teen recognizes the gay family unit as his own since infancy?

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Weak


BD,

Because every time I hear your voice
See your face
Or feel your touch
I’m weak
Thanks for being my strength

Cocoa

Monday, October 06, 2008

Back At One


Back At One
Relationships take work. Many times in life I’ve wondered if I have what it takes to make a relationship flourish and have it be everything that I want it to be. Sure there’s the romance, but there’s also the feeling of security that comes from a partner that understands your needs, recognizes your insecurities and accepts your many flaws. Warren Buffet – a billionaire revered for his wealth and wisdom – recently remarked that ‘the measure of success in life is the number of people you want to love you who do love you. And the way to be loved is to be lovable.’ We don’t always have the luxury of having those we love to truly love us in return. I’ve often commented to BD that we both suffered some pretty awful slights in life so that we would really appreciate each other today. Somehow I believe that if I met BD just five years ago, I wouldn’t have been ready to recognize the treasure that his love really is. As I read some of my favorite bloggers talk about their foray into dating and relationships I can’t help but think that their journeys have a purpose. Assuming they’re taking steps to be ‘lovable’ – not in some whimsical way – but truly lovable in the marketable way, then their struggle to love and be loved will be rewarded. Rather than setting materialistic standards and hurdles for our partners maybe we should be setting standards for who we want to be to someone. Are we ready to commit to a partner through the many episodes that our lives will have? Losing jobs, gaining weight, illness, even the natural aging process all present serious obstacles that can only be met and surpassed with the belief that you can always start ‘back at one.’ You know…that place where you first felt those butterflies in your stomach for your partner…when you left silly voicemail messages that contained a love song to punctuate your emotions…none of those emotions die of natural causes; we murder them with familiarity. As BD and I shared a romantic weekend together doing much of nothing, I looked into his face and saw the man I saw the very first time. The eyes that immediately caught my attention again held my gaze. His soft skin under my fingertips melted my heart like whipped cream over a hot cup of cocoa. I want to love him for life and that means that I need to consciously make an effort to start back at one.

On Blast
Forget your ‘baller’ salary and your tricked-out ride…think of yourself outside your designer threads and your $25 undies….fuck your power-pad and your color-coordinated appliances…what do YOU bring to the table to make you ‘lovable’?

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Givin' Up


On Blast
Givin’ Up by Jennifer Holliday is one of those songs that tears at the sheer curtains of my soul. What melodramatic love ballad still evokes a good candle burning with a glass of wine for you every now and then?

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Friday, October 03, 2008

So the Bitch is Tolerant?

So the Bitch is Tolerant?
After watching the Vice Presidential Debate between Joe Biden and Sarah Palin last night, I was in awe at how ignorant Palin really is and how out of touch with the issues she appears. I shuddered to think that, if elected, a woman who managed to fast-talk herself up the ladder of a state with a population a smidgen larger than ONE municipality on the small island of Puerto Rico, would be charged with running these United States. Her interview with Katie Couric – heavily spun on all media outlets – highlighted how truly out-of-touch Palin really is. Unable to quote any Supreme Court legislation that has passed – well, outside of Roe v. Wade.; unable to identify definitive examples of her ticket’s stand on foreign policy; and worst of all – unable to identify the very publications that she reads on a regular basis, that keep her informed of the issues. That aside, the woman has spunk; well, that and apparently an uncanny ability to stick to the script. I’d say she’d make a better candidate for lead actress on a revamped version of NBC’s West Wing, than the real-life White House. Last night as she asserted her tough stand on issues within her 670,000-some-odd constituents, I couldn’t help but wonder if anybody cared that she was the equivalent of having your office janitor coordinate the clean-up for the Exxon Valdez oil spill. Best of all, was when she was questioned about gay rights and the right to marry. Now, in fairness, Biden also mentioned that his ticket is AGAINST gay marriage, but this two-bit, former runner-up beauty queen with the knocked-up-‘fuck-abstinence’-hookah-of-a-teenage-daughter went on to say that her ticket is “tolerant” of gays. TOLERANT? Let me put this in perspective for you folks; if I told you there are two-or-three women in my office and we’re extremely “tolerant” of them, people would be in an uproar. Yes, I believe in tolerance, but this is 2008. I need a Presidential ticket that is sensitive to the issue of diversity and believes in EQUAL rights for ALL Americans; not a ticket that is “tolerant” to my ‘kind’. It’s one thing to not support gay marriage, but to listen to this back-woods, script-reading ditz say that she isn’t a Washington insider and speak of it with the zeal of someone who believes this to be a positive point on her resume had me think-and-rethink the desire to toss my Blackberry at my television screen. Look, it’s clear Obama doesn’t have the Washington experience of say, a Joe Biden, but he does have SOME Washington experience and yes, Obama may be a bit green on foreign policy issues, but he chose a candidate that compliments his ticket. When I look at the McCain-Palin ticket I see the old-and-blind leading the aggressive-and- ignorant. This is a new America. An America that is rich in diversity and hurting from mismanagement of our tax dollars; an America that is ready to reach across the aisle to make REAL changes to the American economy; an America that is ready to repair its reputation abroad; and finally, an America that has enough sense to see through the glamour, glitz and hoopla of a ticket that is running on yesterday’s values, yesterday’s views and yesterday’s idea of equality – I think they’re calling it “tolerance”?

On Blast
In your view, what is the core difference between being “accepting “of diversity and being “tolerant” of it?


Keep passin’ the open windows…

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

The Death of Role Playing


The Death of Role Playing
There’s a sense in the majority of gay men I come across, that we somehow must assume the masculine or feminine role in our relationships. In the past I’ve found myself at odds with the role playing, since I’m assertive, somewhat athletic and yet love feeling safe with my partner – sometimes even relishing moments where I can cradle him in my arms or rest peacefully in his chest. As I’ve mentioned before I love being a man – the whole rough-and-tumble of it all – but can seriously enjoy being tenderly caressed and coddled. As I was enjoying BD this past weekend, I was amazed at how everything about him turns me on – front-to-back and top-to-bottom. Whether that boy sleeps on his stomach or his back I’m mesmerized. To watch the little dip in his top lip as he’s speaking or to sniff his armpits when he’s not watching…yeah, I know, it’s a bit repulsive. All to say, that I wonder if sometimes we gay men limit our choices of great-match partners because we have a vision of masculinity or sexual role play that disqualifies so many potential partners. Whether you’re extremely feminine or straight-acting (whatever that is) the fact remains that, as gay men, we’re all male; capable of taking on whatever sexual position we’re inclined to take at any given moment. It’s actually one of the things I love most about being a gay man; we don’t need toys, we don’t have to have rules and we have limitless possibilities to enjoy our partners – physically and spiritually.

On Blast
Honestly – are you irritated by men whom you consider attractive, but do not fit the masculine- or feminine-acting role you have preconceived for your future companion?

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Monday, September 29, 2008

...And Then There Was One


…And Then There Was One
Seven weeks after my relationship with BD spiraled out of control with three separate entities struggling to be heard and understood, we’ve emerged as ONE. Yeah, I can go into all the details of what transpired – and Lord knows, you’ve been privy to lots of it – but what it really boils down to is that BD, the Minnie and I are now operating as ONE unit. Contrary to popular belief, we have instituted the belief that if he and I are committed, devoted and respecting of each other, we are the most giving and present parents to the Minnie at all times. Yes, we read the comments that demanded that I step aside and allow BD to raise his kid; we even understood where the fear of parents who put new partners first and leave their children to suffer a damaging second place, stems from. All relationships operate under their own rules and incorporate what works for them. For us, the answer was clear – the Minnie fairs better with the love, devotion, support and PRIORITY from both of us working in tandem. It is a system we’ve seen work in both - my parent’s long standing 45-year marriage and BD’s grandparent’s life-long partnership. As BD and the Minnie joined me for my nephew’s birthday party this weekend, we were a family - one unit. As the kids played together, BD or I would periodically check on them and when the Minnie was roughed-up by one of my nephews during play, I was able to pull him aside and reassure him that no matter what, ‘Cocoa is always here for you, so you can come to me if someone bothers you.” To be honest, one issue that will always be at the forefront of my worries – is never having the Minnie suffer a slight because some fool – or their offspring – has an issue with non-traditional families. As BD got on his knees and again presented me with that gorgeous diamond ring he intended to give me on my birthday, it meant so much more; it now shines more brightly and weighs heavier on my hand because it represents the love, honor, commitment and spirit of our ONE family.

On Blast
Drinking your coffee black because you’re afraid to ask for milk and sugar seems absurd. Yet, whether at the coffee shop or in your relationship, failing to ask for what you want, will literally – or figuratively – have you drinking bitter black coffee in silence.
Although there are compromises that need to be made in your life, there are times when you must stand up for yourself and what you believe in; most importantly, playing second-fiddle with your Stradivarius doesn’t make you a benevolent soul; it makes you a moron.
Can a couple compromising in silence to make a relationship work fair better than one tackling volatile issues head-on?

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Saturday, September 27, 2008

If I Gave You Love



On Blast
Does everything that starts have an ending?

Keep passin' the open windows...

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Fools Rush In


Fools Rush In
Deciding whether to remain friends with BD or to return to our committed relationship is one that weighs heavily on my mind. In the last six weeks, I’ve seen a change in BD that has renewed my belief in sharing my forever with this man, yet there is one last piece of the puzzle that would, I believe, put my greatest fears to rest. What is it, you ask? Well, unfortunately, since BD is now one of my blog readers, this isn’t an issue that I want to unfairly influence. It’s important to me that his decisions be made autonomously and more important, that his decision shows intuitiveness for what is important to US. Suffice to say that I’m prepared to hinge my final decision on how this issue is handled. The great thing that has come out of our weeks apart is a genuine appreciation for what we mean to each other and what’s really important. BD is such a beautiful, charming, intelligent and loving man that the very thought of having to make a decision not to spend the rest of my life with him seems unfathomable. So why place such a heavy burden on one decision you ask? It’s a decision that I see as a direct indicator of the respect he has for our relationship. I’ m not nit-picking, but let’s keep it real, only fools rush in. I dread the thought of going back on a decision, so if I’m going to reconsider my decision to be apart, it has to be because there is credible evidence of success for our relationship. Love is beautiful, love is kind, love sees all, expects all, forgives all – but I know love will not keep me happy if I have doubts about my man’s commitment to me and our relationship.

On Blast
You’ve heard it on this blog a million times – The road to hell is paved with good intentions. Do you agree that love is blind, but not making the most informed decision about who you build a life with would reduce love to blind, deaf, dumb and ignorant?

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Dr. Primetime


Dr. Primetime
Every so often throughout the year I’m forced to go to the doctor for my allergies. I’m allergic to everything – fruit, paper, bullshit – you name it. I don’t subscribe to clinics of any kind, so my allergist, regular doctor – even my dermatologist – are at the same hospital. Today, while visiting my allergist, I commented that I have had difficulty sleeping for months and that I could stand to be prescribed a sleep-aide or some antidepressant of some kind. For the record, I’m a former pharmacy technician and can probably prescribe my own medication, but I like to make my doctor feel empowered. That said, my doctor suggests I visit a friend of hers – a psychiatrist on staff – to discuss what may be the underlying reason for my insomnia and maybe provide greater insight on getting myself back on track. With the greatest of ease, the allergist dials the head doctor a few floors away and asks if she would squeeze me in for 30 minutes. Let me preface this little piece by saying that I have never visited a psychologist – much less a psychiatrist. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with it, but I just don’t think the alleged pros can provide me with any greater insight that I provide myself (I know, delusional) and really don’t like talking about the BIG issues with anyone who isn’t really invested in the nuances of my life. So I stroll in to see Dr. Primetime who quickly ushers me back to his comfy office. Once there I sit on his sofa and he sits in a chair adjacent to me and smiles before announcing, “I’m going to ask you a few questions to get acquainted, please answer as honestly as possible.” I shrug and say, “Sure,” thinking that at this point I’ll settle for a hammer and a fifth of Scotch to get my rest. Midway into the questions, I find myself becoming more and more animated, my hands joining my colorful stories – the picture of a Puerto Rican mime explaining the theory of relativity. Doctor P had stopped writing anything on his trusted pad 15 minutes earlier and yet he seemed completely engrossed in my story. At one point I answered a quick telephone call before returning to my elaborate storyline and Dr. P never even shifted in his seat. More than 45 minutes later, I realize that he hadn’t asked me a thing in quite some time and yet I was still yammering away about my sitcom of a life. Realizing this man wasn’t following the time limits I’ve so often seen on televised psych sessions, I stopped and asked, “Hey doc, how long is this little introductory session suppose to go?” He laughed heartily and said, “Have you ever considered writing a book?” My face must have said it all because he quickly caught himself before saying, “You have quite the interesting life,” his pen now writing furiously, “I’d love to see you regularly if you’d like.” My head felt light, but I stood up and announced, “I actually would prefer you gave me a sleep aide and maybe I’ll just forward you a copy of my book when I write one doc.” He smiled nervously and apologized profusely for his choice of words before settling on a simple, “Please consider coming in again.” I thanked Dr. P and reluctantly went to the drug store to get my knock-out pills. Seems like even the professionals think my life is some sort of entertainment.

On Blast

Do you believe repressed feelings surrounding life experiences have an effect on your daily interaction with others?

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Monday, September 22, 2008

Is All Fair In Love?


On Blast
When all is said and done, is all in love fair?

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

A Culture of Cowardice

A Culture of Cowardice; Gays, Take Your Rightful Place In Society
The gays have been nurtured to be passive participants in their own lives and live diluted in the notion that somehow by being colorful, witty, funny and congenial we smooth-over the truth of accepting second-best, almost-good-enough rights and realities our entire lives. While reading comments from my well-meaning blogger family about how I should accept that BD should make the Minnie his utmost priority – forsaking me in the process – I went from questioning my value system to feeling disappointed at being asked to be a defeatist. I asked myself, if I were female and BD and I were the biological parents of the Minnie, would folks advise that I demand to be given my time and respect and together nurture the Minnie in a sound household? Wouldn’t most people point to a spouses’ neglect as the very reason for the failure of their relationship? Let’s keep it real. Gays are taught to take second-best in the hopes of keeping the peace and finding acceptance in society, but history teaches us that cowards have never reached true equality and fulfillment. Women may have been pleased as punch to be allowed to take their position in the workplace, but today, most women will tell you that being compensated at 80 cents for every dollar of their male counterparts is unacceptable. Equal compensation eventually took center stage over being accepted into the same positions as their male colleagues. Blacks and Latinos may have been content to work the mailroom of the corporate sector, but they also realized that they are as qualified, savvy and worthy as the White man and have now taken their place in corporate boardrooms around the nation. The issue of marriage was a HOT button issue for quite some time and the heterosexual majority somehow came up with the brilliant idea that civil unions were separate, but equal, and should be good enough for gays to feel validated. Thankfully, there are some who will not sit down and be relegated to a “similar” right. They demand to be given equal rights that do not deviate in form or function. Well friends, gay relationships are no different than straight relationships. We are entitled to proudly bring our partners to every function our straight counterparts enjoy as a couple. We have the right to be MARRIED – not “civil unionized”. We have the right to be treated as equal spouses within our households – requiring all the attention, love, respect and priority as married couples enjoy. We are worthy enough to live our lives as openly as every other red-blooded American without regard to who we choose to love and what we do in our bedrooms. I refuse to sell myself short simply because I can’t impregnate my male partner. I will not find myself second or third on the list of my spouses’ priorities because asking to be first somehow appears to make me selfish or incomplete. Until gays recognize that we can do - and should do - everything straight individuals do, we accept that we are somehow not good enough. Stand up for yourself, take your rightful place in society and let folks adjust to your truth. You see, every time you accept a separate (albeit equal) set of rules than mainstream society, you engender a culture of cowardice; a culture we pass on to generations of gays to come.

On Blast
Gay, Black, Female, etc.; Remember one occasion when you knew you were accepting disparate treatment just to get along.

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Mas Sabe El Diablo Por Viejo, Que Por Diablo

Mas Sabe El Diablo Por Viejo, Que Por Diablo
In the vein of Spanish sayings of yesteryear applying to my life today, “Mas sabe el diablo por viejo, que por Diablo,” holds a special place in my heart. It simply means that the devil knows more because he’s old, than because he’s the devil. Typically, this saying is meant to say that our age and maturity should have us make better decisions – even in light of our education and position in life. Recently, BD and I caught up on the many changes going on in his life. He has come out to his family – including the Minnie and has even had a conversation with his ex-wife regarding who he is and how they can work to insure the Minnie has a positive outlook regarding his parents. BD has made some monumental advances in his personal life; positive changes that will benefit him as he lives in his truth and draws strength from living honestly. As we conversed about how far he’s come in such a short period of time, I couldn’t help but wonder why some folks wait until it appears too late or after they suffer some insurmountable loss before they actually forge forward with changes to improve their lives. After offering over a year of encouragement and advice, BD had seemingly handled it all – and handled it well – in just over a month following our break-up. BD and I are in the same age group, so being intuitive to those around him is not a new skill set. I almost feel that he is polished, together, intuitive and astute in all matters unless they relate – or related – to us. Which begs the question, did BD not take me seriously when I shared how important it was for us to act as a team – us against the world – to succeed in our relationship? Did he believe that I would simply sit around and be slighted by his family, his friends – damn, even his ex-wife – because he couldn’t live in his truth? Most important, if we reconciled, would it mean that each time that we encountered a serious issue in our relationship it would take a debilitating break-up to have him take positive steps forward to strengthening who we are and how we’re perceived by others? While many folks believe that the Minnie should be the most important person in BD’s life, I feel differently. You see, I believe that the partnership has to be the priority and that bond will show itself in our love and care of the Minnie and our interaction with the outside world. If we are united and strong, we can collectively overcome anything. Otherwise, BD should consider that the Minnie be his priority and wait until the Minnie is an adult to resume his social life. At present, I don’t know what the future holds. A part of me wants nothing more than to embrace BD and rejoice in his accomplishments. He has shown that he finally gets it. The other part of me says that a reconciliation will only send the message that my word means nothing and that to effectively communicate our partnership must be in a volatile state. I also don’t know that I have trust in BD’s ability to be sensitive and act intuitively with regard to my feelings – characteristics that are non-negotiable if he is to be my partner. As a mature man, I have to be true to myself. My feelings matter. I also must live in MY truth. This far along in my life I can say, “Mas sabe el diablo por viejo, que por diablo.”

On Blast
Is it more important to you to win at all costs or to lose sometimes, while maintaining your dignity?

Keep passin’ the open windows….

Monday, September 15, 2008

Pale In the Face Of Palin

Obama Critics Step Forward
Those who criticized Democratic Presidential nominee Barak Obama’s inexperience should be choking on their venison steaks when they take a look at Sarah Palin’s record and her lackluster background. First, she’s governor of Alaska for two years - a state that has a smaller population than my hometown of the Bronx (683,478 to 1,332,650 respectively). Palin is a lifetime National Rifle Association (NRA) member and a staunch supporter of banning gay marriage and the right of health benefits for domestic partners. If you’re still scratching your crotch thinking you could care less about those issues, then maybe you should also know that Palin opposes abortion – even when the pregnant female is the victim of rape. She also subscribes to abstinence-only education in schools, yet is presently grappling with her pregnant teen daughter. I guess you can say that there's some disagreement on her stand on the issues at home. When most mothers of a baby with down syndrome would consider spending more time with their little one, should she win, Palin would be forced to leave his care to nannies and the like, while she tends to the nation’s issues. Hey, this is 2008 and I don’t believe that any woman should have to choose between her career and her family, but it seems that there are plenty of issues in the Palin household already. If you’re wondering what may have prepared Palin for the office of the President of the U.S. look no further than to her other state’s politicians – NOT ONE Alaskan politico has been named to any major Presidential ticket in history – EVER! She’s not only breaking new ground as first-woman on a Republican Presidential ticket, but also the first Alaskan. She does have a lighter side though, she admits to experimenting with marijuana during a period of time when Alaska decriminalized the possession of the drug. She later said that she didn’t really like it – uh, yeah, I didn’t either girl. I’m not quite sure, but I’m trying to sort out how her second place runner up title at the Miss Alaska Pageant and her win as Miss Congeniality in the same competition helped build that all-important political resume. She can even call sporting events with the boys club, thanks to her experience as a sports reporter in Anchorage. All to say, Palin’s resume lacks some political weight. So ask yourself, where are those pesky little Obama critics now?

On Blast
It’s good to pay close attention to both sides – the Democrats and the Republicans – to see where the candidates stand on the issues that matter. Also, it’s important to go with the candidate that has the preparation to act under fire. Pick one issue that matters to you and identify how the opposing team has actually benefited or championed your cause.

Keep passin' the open windows...



Keep passin’ the open windows…

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Tapando El Sol Con La Mano


Tapando El Sol Con La Mano
Often in life I have to smile to myself how many of the sayings I heard throughout my childhood come back to mean so much in my adult life. Most recently, I’ve thought about the saying, “Tapando el sol con la mano.” Basically, it means to “Cover the sun with your hand.” In short, it’s meant to say that sometimes we act as though just because we’ve placed our hand between our line of vision and the sun, somehow, the sun has disappeared. Well, I have to be honest and say that I feel as though I’m doing this. Seeing BD go through pain following our break-up has me forgoing my own pain and better judgment. My main concern has turned from being the disappointed and dejected ex to the comforting friend; desperate to have my best friend feel better. Ultimately, I question whether he feels much better and consequently, whether I’m kicking myself in the ribs taking on such a feat. Break-ups are difficult and can seem devastating to the parties in the midst of them, but trying to actively take on the role of ex and counseling friend is somewhat of an oxymoron. I mean, how do you really counsel your best friend regarding yourself? How do you give words of encouragement that will help your friend, if the same words need to diminish you as the ex? As we attended my sister’s housewarming party yesterday and I found myself weaving BD and the Minnie into the fiber that is my family and close friends, I wondered if I was creating havoc and damaging my best friend further. BD’s outburst last week, where he feared our friendship would change once either of us meets someone new, is a real one. I suspect BD and the Minnie would not have been a part of yesterday’s festivities if I had a new partner or prospective partner. What does this say about our friendship? Am I not an enabler by allowing us to continue this commitment-less partnership to continue and slapping the label of “best friends” on it? Who is this charade benefiting? Don’t get me wrong, I know that BD and I love each other, but it is this very love that begs a separation to scab over and heal to allow us to be true friends. Right now we’re simply lying to each other if we don’t admit that our friendship is short term comfort to a long term pain. I’ll be the first to cop to the reality that not having BD there is scary, but I can’t have my cake and eat it too. Although I believe BD recognizes what led to my decision to end our relationship, I believe he hasn’t quite found a way to either remedy those issues OR (and I respect this) doesn’t feel he needs to make changes to these facets of his life. In the end, if we will be friends – real friends – it will take disconnecting from each other; making ourselves whole again; and coming together as individuals offering a friendship that isn’t tainted with ulterior motives. Anything short of this is simply, “Tapando el sol con la mano.”

On Blast
What pitfalls have you experienced in your quest to transition your ex into your friend?

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Evening Edition - 9/7/08


To Thine Own Self…
Even when break-ups happen under bad circumstances the parties normally have trouble disconnecting and making a clean amputation. BD and I didn’t break-up over, what many would consider, ‘dirty’ reasons. Ours is a simple case of finding we’re operating at different places in our development; my having issues with his ability to be intuitive to our needs and standing up for them; and the reality that a couple with children from previous relationships has to consistently communicate to insure a strong family unit that respects all parties. These aren’t issues I take lightly and throughout our courtship I attempted to steer BD – whether through advice or example – to make the choices that would give our relationship a fighting chance. Ultimately, you can lead a blind horse to pasture, but you can’t make that equine eat, right? Many surmised that because I could make such a definitive decision, that it meant I didn’t love BD or felt no pain ending our relationship. They couldn’t be further from the truth. It has been a debilitating time for me. I haven’t seen the gym in a month, have smoked more than a Minneapolis chimney in winter and can’t get passed the exhaustion I feel three hours after my day begins. So I took a step back and asked myself if I was doing the right thing. The answer is as clear as it was the day I made it, “yes.” You see, if you really love someone – and I do love BD – you do what’s right for the relationship. Remaining in a relationship that frustrates you and goes against your core beliefs is a mistake. BD is a great man – my very best friend really – but that all important facet of our relationship would have been eventually compromised had I negated how the relationship began to make me feel devalued. BD is in the midst of a lot of growth right now – learning who he is and hopefully, learning how to take control of his life. They say ‘never say never’ to any possibility. I am more of a realist and I have difficulty seeing any possibility of reconciliation. I do, however, see that I have lessons I can take from this relationship too; To never relinquish my power and most important to follow my old mantra of, ‘To thine own self be true.’ Last night after returning from hangin’ with my boyz, I sent BD a text and remarkably he was still up. Tipsy and speaking a sober mind we chatted for a quick minute before I offered that he call me. We spoke for a few minutes and he mentioned that he hasn’t slept well in over a month. I offered to have him come over and maybe enjoy a few hours of restful sleep that would comfort both of us. Needless to say he came over and having him cuddle-up next to me was right as rain. We awoke to a tenderness that soothed my soul – and yes, the body was weak as hell too. Later, as I fixed us some tasty scrambled egg sandwiches I mentioned to BD that this was not the norm and that it wouldn’t help our budding friendship to engage in any physical intimacy. We both agreed that we really needed this and that the beauty of being grown men is that there are no rules. We need to set healthy boundaries. I’m aware that to grow past our intimacy and share an honest friendship, we have to refrain from saying one thing and living another. Actions do speak louder than words. All said, it was great to hold him in my arms and feel his so familiar warmth in my chest. Love takes time to heal when you hurt so much…well, that’s what Mariah said.

On Blast
I don’t believe in using alcohol as an excuse to do or say anything that is in your heart to do anyway. Tell of an instance when you feel alcohol impacted the choices you’ve made.

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Friday, September 05, 2008

Afternoon Edition - 9/5/08


…A Round of Applause
Labor Day Weekend in Florida was superb. The weather cooperated for the most part and BD, the Minnie and I spent five wonderful days together; the best of friends; the slight tension and awkwardness that comes from suddenly not sharing intimacy lingering between us. BD was the perfect gentleman – sometimes even challenging my own perception of what he should have been doing. I was a bit surprised when he didn’t immediately use this time to make his point; to establish his case. By our final night in Florida I realized that BD was saying more by not speaking about the relationship, then if he spent every day and night dwelling on it. You see, there are times in our lives where we are meant to be still and silent and there are moments in your life when you have to stand and fight with everything you’ve got. Now, I don’t want to sound like I wanted BD to fight, argue and claw his way back into my heart - anyone who knows me knows that fighting me only serves to have me systematically destroy you – but I got a sense that he allows his fears to paralyze his call to action. As I settled-in to the work week I couldn’t help but think that the BD and Me love story may very well be winding down. After lunch a couple of days ago – Yes, my crazy behind still can have lunch with BD, vacation with him and know that I love him dearly – BD asked me if I believed there was a chance of us getting together again. The question hurt me because I know what the answer MUST be. “I would never create hope or have you wait for me, so I’ll say no. I don’t believe in using ‘never’ – especially in love – but I hate for folks to string people along, “ I said. “I’ll have to say no.” As the words left my mouth I knew I couldn’t take them back. I felt honest and knew that I could never be wrong when I live in my truth.

If you’re like me and like to reserve your judgment of situations until you can weigh both sides, you're in luck. BD has his very own blog. For BD’s point of view click here

On Blast
When can being honest with your partner bring about more heartache than healing?

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Morning Edition - 9/3/08


The Nothing
It’s an odd time in my life. The details are many and the retelling too uncomfortable to take-on. You see, I’m at a place right now where I feel ‘the nothing’ has taken over. It isn’t a matter of the loss of my relationship – details on my trip to Florida to come in the near future – or even my disappointment and the sense of despair that engulfs every aspect of who I am. To be clear, I’m not a victim or a complainer; I’m simply recognizing that I have to be honest and recognize that ‘the nothing’ has somehow drained my spirit. As is always the case, I will regain my footing and get it together, but sometimes folks believe that there are those of us that don’t suffer depression, anxiety or a sense of disappointment with our environment, or worse, with our reality.

On Blast
Having challenges is a fact of life and overcoming them serves to make us stronger. How would you describe ‘the nothing’?

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Morning Edition - 8/26/08


…and Back To Reality
Seven full days of fun and sun have me refreshed and feeling full – both physically and emotionally. Grand Cayman, Belize, Roatan (Honduras), Cozumel and Cancun (Mexico) were absolutely amazing. The splendor of the planet’s natural beauty in all its color and warmth were represented. Whether I was gazing upon the expanse of ocean around our cruise ship or taking-in the crystal-clear waters in Roatan, I was filled with an overwhelming sense of how small a speck we are in this world and yet each time I stared into the faces of the children in some of these third-world countries begging for a morsel of our undeserved riches, I felt ashamed at how much our privileged asses complain. This vacation was by far my best ever for so many reasons - not the least of which was the opportunity to appreciate my life TODAY. If I can leave each of you with a piece of advice, it would be to take some time to see the world outside of the U.S. and understand how truly blessed each of us are.

Oops, There Goes My Tooth…Oh My!
I chipped a molar and figured I’d wait to return from my cruise to get it fixed. Thanks to Cas I got an emergency appointment with her dentist. A few x-rays later and I was laying flat on my back with my anxiety-ridden fingernails boring holes into the sides of the dentist chair. Three Novacaine shots into the deal and the good doc was drilling in my mouth as he skillfully performed a root canal; patching it up until I return from my second vacation this Friday to Disney. I left his office with a grateful goodbye and the promise to see him after the Labor Day holiday. It was another two hours before I stared into my bathroom mirror in disbelief to realize that the good doc actually gave me a root canal on a molar at the back of my mouth, instead of the jagged molar that drove me to his office. I left a voice mail on his service explaining the ungodly mix-up and am waiting to hear what will be done to correct this freak show of a story. In all my years, I’ve yet to experience such a medical error. As I told Cas last night, “I feel like I went in to have my tonsils removed and got castrated!”

BD and Me
Following the untimely break-up of me and BD I suffered some serious depression. I wasn’t hungry, couldn’t sleep, but was sure I did the right thing by ending our relationship. More than anything, I miss my best friend. We were more than just lovers, we were the closest of confidants and not having him there to bounce anything off of was devastating. This Friday, BD, the Minnie and I set-out for our second Disney vacation. We’ve discussed the basics – including sleeping arrangements and my renting a separate car. Last night as BD and I talked about my recent cruise and our prep for Florida, there was a sigh of relief on both our parts that maybe – just maybe – our friendship may weather the storm and we can redirect our love into a connection that outweighs romantic entanglements.

On Blast
My tooth story is one that strikes panic. How can a mistake have such serious implication? Tell of a mistake you suffered that, to this day, makes you shiver in horror.

Keep passin’ the open windows….