Thursday, January 31, 2008

Morning Edition - 1/31/08

Do Right; You Can’t Go Wrong
Last night I felt my heartbeat at my temples. I’m doing everything right…giving my all. This means that everything should be perfect. I should be appreciated. Honest, forthright, patient…yet delusional. Not everything is at it seems. Not all things are received as intended. Your perception may be your reality, but it may be our undoing. Life supplies choices; we supply actions.

On Blast
To thine own self be true…
What self-affirming line do you subscribe to?

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Morning Edition - 1/29/08

Time; Spend It Wisely
It really isn’t where your man is, but where he wants to be… As I jam to Keyshia Cole’s CD and hit that Let It Go tune, I’m sure….sure that this cannot be me. I’m a firm believer in my man being with ME and wanting to be with ME. I won’t speak to where I’ve been, where I was, what I’ve done – we’re talking about the here and now. If he isn’t going to love you or treat you the way he should (or better yet, the way you need him to) then drop it. Which brings me to a conversation I had with MWC (My Wonderful Counselor) last night about my relationship with BD; basically, I was saying to MWC that as beautiful as everything is, we all have goals and should stick to them. These goals include healthy and logical growth in my relationship. I have a mental timeline that I allow to serve as my framework. What happens if BD and I don’t fit that timeline? Simple, I’ll revisit what my priorities are and determine whether my goals have changed or if it is time to make priorities a reality elsewhere.

“If he ain’t gonna love you the way he should, then let him go.” That’s what the song says, but many of us have enough trouble finding the right man and letting the right man go because he doesn’t fit the framework we’ve set seems a daunting task. So, here’s the question…

On Blast
Do you recognize that you may block your blessings (and who that blessing is intended with) if you do not cut your losses with certain folks in your life and move on?

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Monday, January 28, 2008

Morning Edition - 1/28/08

Living In Red
As my close friends will attest, I have been procrastinating on getting my place together since my move last June. Basically, I like to have things the way I want them before I get excited about my place. I absolutely love the space, but I wanted the right furniture. First, I started with my bedroom furniture. I got a new bedroom set sometime last summer and decided the living room was next. Yesterday, resident blogger Caspar – my oldest and dearest friend – took the trip over to one of our area furniture stores for me to take a peek at the living room packages I had ogled at online. Since I viewed the sets online and thought about them at length, the process was simple. We walked in, rearranged the store – I mean literally folks. Cas and I moved cocktail tables and end tables to be sure we liked them with my chosen living room package. Folks began looking at us like we were being nuts, but it was absolutely the right thing to do. Thanks Cas for helping choose the new living room digs. Now for the paint job…I’ll be recruiting some help to get my walls in order. I want color!

Progress; Finding the Fun In Fitness
I’ve been working out harder and really enjoying it. Yesterday evening I broke my record of 4.5 miles in 35 minutes by running 6 miles in 45 minutes. I’m also showing results in my weight loss plan. Since the start of the year I’ve lost 7 pounds bringing my current weight to 156 lbs. This means I only have 6 lbs left to lose before reaching my 150 lb goal. I’ve turned working out into a project that is fun and challenging. I’m now looking forward to pushing harder and breaking all my previous goals…not to worry, 150 lbs is as small as I’d like to get. I’ll have to adjust my caloric intake as I increase my cardio workouts.

On Blast
I was speaking to Baby J yesterday, of The T on Today’s News blogger fame, and he mentioned that men are visual animals and I mentioned that as gay men we are much harder on ourselves than our straight brothers. We appear to care about our physical appearance well into our 40s and 50s.
Do you agree that straight men have less pressure to stay fit than gay men? Do you believe that this lack of focus on physique has anything to do with straight women’s acceptance of straight men as they are…or as they become?

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Friday, January 25, 2008

Morning Edition - 1/25/08

Looks So Cheesy Today, But…
As I was perusing You Tube last night I came across a show my grandparents and I would often watch. It was the Iris Chacon show. Strutting in next to nothing, tossing around a naturally bodacious 40, 25, 44 killer bod, Chacon was no lightweight. She easily dwarfed J-Lo’s allegedly big butt. The dancers that were depicted with her on her weekly show struggled to toss her around and she still showed some flexibility while towing all that ass. I remember being mesmerized watching her then; although last night I felt a little sick to my stomach. Go figure…All said, I think her show had less to do with Chacon’s dancing ability and more to do with the fascination of watching all that stuff move around.
Enjoy the weekly intro to her show posted above; it was a show in itself.
Sidebar: In retrospect, this may have something to do with my being an ass man.

On Blast
What present day diva was easily trumped by an old school heavy weight back in the day?

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Morning Edition - 1/23/08

Whoda Thunk It?
On Sunday morning as I felt the slight nausea and joint pain coming on I assumed it was just a sign of my breaking the body down harder than I should have. For the record, I’ve been running 4 to 4.5 miles per day, 5 days a week. Yes, I’m trying to burn off the hard-gripping holiday girth I managed to load on since late October. I have a tendency to put on weight pretty quickly and lose it just as quickly. I don’t need to be told about the dangers of yo-yo weight changes, but it seems to be my body’s natural reaction to increased calories and/or increased caloric burns. That said, I went from a svelte 148 lbs. in late September to a Rican-thickness 163 lbs. by my last weigh-in late December. Was I shocked? Yeah, I was. Especially since the goal had been to take it down to 145 lbs. – not up to the 160s. Let’s keep in mind that while most of you are sporting over six foot frames, I stand 5’7” and it’s difficult to not show weight on shorter frames. …but I digress…the subject of this Whoda Thunk It is how after taking a flu shot in November and eating healthy, working out like a post-partum A-list celebrity, I managed to get bagged by the flu! I spent MLK weekend having a dream of feeling physically well again. I missed work yesterday and spent the bulk of my time between delirium and diarrhea….yeah, not a pretty sight. The good part is that by about 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday night my body began rebounding. I had enough strength to get up, get bathed (and we won’t talk about smelling like Campbell’s Onion Soup and Garlic Plantains either) and get my clothes ready for the morning. I can’t really complain about my two-and-a-half day flu run-in. Now, I hold my breath for my baby. When he left the office he was throwing up and having hot flashes. I’ll keep my distance…I mean, my fingers crossed.

Jared?! Nipple Twin Power, Activate!
My baby from B-Mo’, little J-Shan pointed out that he didn’t realize I was pierced – even mentioned that he was pierced as well. About two years ago, I had one of those amazing epiphanies and wanted to get tattooed and pierced; both on the same night. Two hours later I came out of the shop with a new look and a new lease on life. The tat and the piercing signified my being as young, relevant and alive as I wanted to be. To this day my tat and my piercing bring a mischievous smile to my face every time I look at them. So, celebrate your piercing Jared! You definitely showed your resilience early on…in many ways it’s what I most admire about you. Your ability to say what you think, do what you want and live without reservations. Much love pa!

On Blast
Can the older gay community serve as mentors to the younger gay men or are we more like Crocodiles, ready to devour even our own young?
As young gay men, do you really give a fuck what the older gay community says or thinks?

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Monday, January 21, 2008

Evening Edition - 1/21/08

Mmmm Good
I woke up Sunday morning with aches, pains and a temperature. Unable to accept being sick, I dragged myself out of bed and cooked a great breakfast, walked Busta and settled down to relax. I felt nauseous and could feel my head beginning to throb. I OD’d on NYQuil and Alleve and took a hot bath before lying down for a nap. My baby came over and believe it or not, his visit made me feel so good. This morning, I still have the body and joint pain and a temperature. I guess I’m just going to have to ride this one out. I’m not good at being a patient, but I’m sure as heck not in the mood to be out for the count. Now, it’s time to keep it down so that I can rise and shine for work in the morning. It goes to show you that even after a flu shot, rigorous exercise and good nutrition, you can always get bagged by some errant virus.

On Blast
Have you ever used sex as a remedy during illness?

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Morning Edition - 1/20/08

Chico Debarge; Before he was a thug he was also an...

Easily-Swayed Straights
It’s been quite a few years coming, but the latest clothing craze has got my jock-strap in a bunch. It appears that the straight population has no spine, creativity or leadership qualities with regard to fashion. I’ve accepted men running around with eyebrows like McDonald’s golden arches OR the insanity of pink and neon green footwear, but can we take a breather with the “Skinny” jeans?

For those who are not familiar with the skinny jean concept, it is similar to what we in the golden era referred to as cigarette pants. Any casual onlooker would need to now assume that the thuggish-looking guys are the gay ones and the flamboyant, tight-pant, pink footwear-wearing ladies are the heterosexual men. Well lick my pierced nipple… I’ve had it! I’m disturbed by the allegedly straight men rocking pencil-thin eyebrows, pom-pom hair poofs and skinny jeans. I’m even more concerned by the girls and women who find these men attractive. All said, what is really going on? I’m all for individuality, creativity and forward thinking in fashion, but can the straight men stop being such followers? I’m sick to my stomach to watch as straight men turn into 80s school girls.

On Blast
What current male fashion trend makes your stomach hurt – BAD?!

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Morning Edition - 1/12/08

No Bad News; Mable King; The Wiz

On Blast
I hate to say it, but I'm beginning to share Mabel King's sentiment in this number. In 2008, if you're going to bring me something, bring me something I can use, but don't nobody bring me no bad news.

What will you ask folks to withhold from you in '08?

Keep passin' the open windows...

Friday, January 11, 2008

Morning Edition - 1/11/08

Be Alone Tonight; School Daze

On Blast
Irrelevant, but have you ever wondered if Tisha Campbell missed the dress fittings that the other girls obviously showed-up for? Anyway, the Be Alone Tonight number from School Daze has always been a favorite of mine for movie music interludes.

What is one of your favorite movie music interludes?

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Morning Edition - 1/10/08

On Blast
It’s day 10…This moment is yours…mine.
Are you taking advantage of the moment? Waiting? Wishing?
Make it happen.
Are you living in the moment?

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Morning Edition - 1/9/08

A moment of levity; the primary season

Election 2008
If you haven’t decided on which candidate will get your vote this November (and I’m assuming you’re not giving up your right to vote) it’s time to begin looking at what the candidates allege to stand for, who has the greatest possibility of delivering on his/her promises and who has the most experience under their belt. Barack Obama has really brought his A-game, but don’t count the battle-scarred, stress-ready Hillary Clinton out yet.

On Blast
So far, who is earning your vote? Why?

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Monday, January 07, 2008

Morning Edition - 1/7/08

Like You’ll Never See Me Again
Every time you hold me

Hold me like this is the last time
Every time you kiss me
Kiss me like you'll never see me again
Every time you touch me
Touch me like this is the last time
Promise that you'll love me
Love me like you'll never see me again

Loving like we’ll never see each other again has been a study in true appreciation for BD and me. Rather than lose interest, lose passion or feel the ‘been there done that,’ itch creeping in, we love each other so thoroughly that I can only reflect in awe at what a difference a good man makes. Strangely, I have to believe that I’ve become a better man because of his love. The holidays and most recently, his new appointment in my firm, have brought us to a new plane in our relationship. Yesterday BD and I spent the day shopping, being silly and sharing moments of naughty closeness; ending with a celebratory dinner at Outback Steakhouse that had both of us waddling to my car. An hour after dropping BD off at home he called and asked if I was up for some company and I could only smile and say, “I’m always up to seeing you.” I ran a hot bath, let the bubbles wash over me and threw on my Keisha Cole CD. :::Sidebar: I’m absolutely living off my Keisha Cole CD::: I toweled off, applied my J&J Shea & Cocoa Butter lotion and slipped into a pair of yoga shorts and an AC/DC tank top. A few minutes later BD was at the door and we shared a night of requited, HOT, butt-naked….uh….love. All said, as we cuddled, spent from the truly-inventive lovemaking, Alicia Keys came on the VH1 Soul channel and sang, Like You’ll Never See Me Again. I kissed BD’s neck and whispered into his ear….Every time I have you with me, I promise to love you like I’ll never see you again. We drifted into sleep with that thought in mind; the realization that nothing is promised and love is fleeting; so love like you’ll never see your heart’s passion again.

On Blast
My mom called and told me of a visit she had from a cousin of mine. Apparently this cousin lost her husband to a massive heart attack. He was only 35. She nostalgically explained to my mom how she was having lunch with her husband before he left the table to pick up their daughter from school. He was about to hug their daughter when he fell to the ground dead. She tearfully said that three years later, she wonders if she’ll ever accept that he won’t be coming home.

No one says you should be obsessive about your partner, but you should certainly appreciate each other and work to make each moment count.

Single or committed, how will you love this year so that folks don’t have to look around protective walls and barriers to see the beauty and depth of who you are?

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Friday, January 04, 2008

Afternoon Edition - 1/4/08

The PR Machine
Anyone who works in public relations or experienced the need for public relations professionals knows that a person’s image is as important as their message. How the public perceives an artist or a politician can sway sales, votes and a person’s livelihood. That said, we’ve seen what can happen when someone who should only speak when advised by a public relations professional takes a stab at it on their own. There was the infamous Whitney Houston call to Wendy Williams – a half-baked NY radio shock-jock who revels in her ability to paint any picture just as she wants her listeners to see it – by the end of that unsolicited radio interview Whitney Houston had stooped to physically threatening a D-list radio personality and Williams uses the tirade in her promos to this day; instant credibility to Williams; severely damaging to Houston’s image. This isn’t to say that being a hot-head or foul-mouth thug can’t be good PR. As many a rapper will attest, catching-a-case is the equivalent of positive street-cred; a badge to be worn with pride; you’re real, raw and hard. As someone who worked in the PR field for over 12 years, I would argue that it does NOT sell more records, make you sexier or encourage viewership by the masses, to announce that as a male artist you were sodomized by your manager. It isn’t attractive to mention that your “ass hurt,” from the abusive anal sex. Female fans do not flock to your next project because you can point out that you “got fucked,” while in your boy band. Unless Raz-B intended to NEVER work again and simply damage the reputation of his ex manager and cousin, Chris Stokes, it would be counterintuitive to utter those allegations or cosign his brother’s assertions. From the look of things, Raz has (or had, in light of the recent theatrics) a deal to do a reality show. I’m sure the producers of that show can think of a million other marketing ideas than, “Hey, wouldn’t it really make folks want to watch our project if you were sexually abused when you were 12?!” As I look at and listen to comments that regard the allegations of the Thorton men being a “cry for attention,” or a ploy to garner viewership for their new show, I think, ‘Wow, maybe folks are that dumb.” Most artists, sports figures, politicians and corporate heads have image consultants and spokespeople; PR professionals paid to protect an image and a brand. Barack Obama is not just a talking head and the rough-edges of the rapper, The Game, aren’t coincidental thugishness. Those personas are carefully crafted to maximize the potential for the best possible image and continued financial success. So, if you believe that Raz and his big brother just wanted a little attention by alleging they were raped and/or sodomized, it’s probably the reason you’re paid to work in a profession outside of public relations.

On Blast
Tell of a glaring example of what you considered poor public relations; where no amount of damage control could fix the public figure’s image.

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Afternoon Edition - 1/2/08

Real Men, Pedophilia and Ephebophiles
The widely-publicized and circulated allegations by B2K member Raz B aka De'Mario Monte Thornton and his older brother, Ricardo Thorton, brought to light some very sad, but interesting issues. The first is the all-too-common incidence of pedophilia and ephebophilia involving young male victims. It seems when we think sexual abuse, we tend to think of female victims. That said, it is a long time coming – especially in minority communities – to address the issue of sexual abuse against young boys and young men in our community. Do I believe the allegations made by the Thorton men? Yes. Statistically speaking, 67% of all reported sexual abuse victims are under the age of 18. If this number isn’t shocking enough for you, then maybe the fact that 34% of those victims are under the age of 12 might alarm you. If you’re still drumming your fingers on your desk, then consider that one-in-seven victims is under the age of 6! If that number doesn’t strike a chord with you, then stop breathing now because you’re a waste of oxygen and are already dead. You see, the prevalence of pedophilia and ephebophilia is much more widespread than many of us ever imagined. Michael Jackson may have skirted charges of sexual abuse and R. Kelly may still garner your support, but they are just the tip of the iceberg with regard to sexual abuse. You should note that 1-in-7 men will have suffered sexual abuse before they reach the age of 18. What’s equally sad is that many took the B2K story and turned the Chris Stokes and the B2K boys’ and the abuse allegations as a gay story. Let me be very clear here….Pedophiles, abuse victims and gays are not synonymous. There is no correlation between being gay and being an abuse victim or abuser. We’ve all heard the statistic that says that the majority of pedophiles are heterosexual white males and NOT minority gay men. That said, there is also a complete knowledge void with regard to the difference between pedophilia and ephebophilia. The latter refers to the abuse of adolescent or teenage minors. The distinction is important, since statistics now break-up the two. Pedophilia only refers to prepubescent minors. In the alleged incidences involving Stokes and the Thorton men, the boys at the time were adolescents and Stokes, a self-proclaimed married straight man with children, flouted his heterosexuality as his get-out-of-male-booty card. In the end, the details are less important than the outcome; the Thortons were allegedly molested and sodomized. Some comments that were posted in response to this allegation were that the very fact that they were sexually abused confirmed they were gay. This is as ridiculous as insinuating that a female rape victim is a confirmed whore. Let’s stop the insanity and more important, let’s stop making our young men believe that they need to keep the crime of sexual abuse secret because the advent of bringing the perpetrator to justice will suddenly make you gay for being abused. A man who sexually abuses boys is not gay, he’s a pedophile. Let’s not confuse the two. Second, I was horrified to hear Raz B say, “I’m not gay; I’m a real man.” NOTE TO RAZ: Gay men are real men. There is a misconception that gay men are somehow ½ or ¾ of a whole man. Let me be clear that being a successful and well-rounded gay man in a society that has so many issues with who we are forces gay men to be even stronger than our straight counterparts – just to survive! There is no shame in being gay, but there is great shame in preying on minors as sexual partners – gay or straight. Therefore I challenge everyone to take a moment to recognize pedophilia and ephebophilia as crimes against society and that gay or straight the perpetrators need to be tried and punished. Let’s keep our doors open to our youngsters, so that they don’t feel that they can’t talk to us about ANYTHING. Let’s not attach shifts in sexual orientation based on abuse or have unsubstantiated beliefs that straight, married men are free from the illness or predilection for sex with minors – male or female. Watch your children, open your eyes and ears to see and hear signs of abuse and most important, stop trying to establish a specific group of men or women as having the potential to abuse children. Child abusers come in every sexual orientation, every profession, every age group, and every color. Don’t further the abuse of our youth with the ignorance that they are somehow responsible for being abused or have had their sexual orientation altered because of it. Finally, Raz et al…a real man stands by his convictions and his beliefs; a real man will not be deterred by threats or defeats; a real man lives responsibly and honestly; a real man understands that his sexuality and sexual orientation do not hinge on the acts and perceptions of others, but the desires of his heart.

On Blast
Prior to this post, many of us weren’t aware of any difference between pedophilia and ephebophilia. Are you surprised to discover that there may be folks in your inner circle that would be considered ephebophiles?

Keep passin’ the open windows…