Friday, February 29, 2008

Morning Edition - 2/29/08

Wits End
There are times in our lives when we look around and think how has so much shit happened in such a short period of time. Just a month ago everything was coming up roses and in just the last week I am on a countdown to find 7-year old state tax returns or risk paying over $10,000 in taxes; one of my closest aunts lays unconscious on her deathbed; and I have a total of three, recently unemployed, friends. We won’t go into how I’m feeling about my physical fitness progress or whether there’s a disconnect between how I feel about my professional and personal relationships and what the reality of these is. All said, I’m at my wits end. Luckily, it’s Friday and I have the weekend to self medicate, sulk and get it together. Hey, it’s life not a hay ride.

On Blast
It’s always darkest before dawn. Every cloud has a silver lining. You never get more than you can bear.

What other line, thrown around during hard times, makes your skin crawl?

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Evening Edition - 2/24/08

Celia Cruz; The Icon
One of the best things about living in NYC is having Broadway and off-Broadway shows around the corner. Friday, I and a group of friends were mesmerized by the life and times of Celia Cruz – playing at New World Stages, 340 West 50th Street. The play – really the musical – comes to life in both Spanish and English version performances. We caught the Spanish version to make the experience more authentic. I’m a hard critic – especially when it comes to the portrayal of a legend that I witnessed since my earliest memories. Xiomara Laugart as Celia Cruz and her supporting cast in Celia was amazing. The vocals channeled the icon so thoroughly that I found myself in tears and filled by the uncanny portrayal of this amazing woman. Celia Cruz lived such an honest and forthright life. Her music, her life, her love all combined to make her the larger-than-life persona she ultimately became. By the end of the close-to two hour performance our group was hooked. This is an incredible show that deserves its place on Broadway. A must see…A story long overdue.

Never Complain; Never Explain
Various folks have been quoted as saying, “Never Complain; Never Explain. Ultimately, I’ve attributed the quote to Katharine Hepburn, who was said to have said it to a Redbook reporter. It really is a quote that I’ve embraced as a way of living and a way to keep myself sane. Complaining, though great for releasing pent-up frustration, can also be a silly spinning of your life-wheels; a whining compilation of resignation. I allow myself moments of brief complaining, but I think they serve as ways to hear myself and what’s bothering me. To continue any prolonged complaining does nothing to fix anything and so I hate doing it and more importantly, I hate hearing it. I’ve seen myself make drastic decisions based solely on ending the complaining and creating a change that moves me in a different direction. Also equally important, I don’t necessarily feel the need to explain my decision to anyone – family, friends, BD...they are important, but they don’t need my reasoning for all conclusions Cocoa. So, as I look to my last year in my thirties one important character trait has emerged; the ability to enjoy my life without the burden of complaining about what doesn’t appear to be perfect OR explaining my thinking to others.

On Blast
Do you find that you spend a great deal of your time complaining about your current state of affairs and/or explaining your life to others?

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Morning Edition - 2/20/08

H&M; The Horror
Headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden, Hennes & Mauritz AB – better known to Americans as H&M – has 1,500 stores and 60,000 employees worldwide. It was one of these employees that heard my horrified screams as I attempted to get size 30 slacks over my hips, thighs and butt at the new H&M store in midtown Manhattan late last week. The absurdity of this story is that I had just slipped out of my very own, size 30, Brooks Brothers slacks just moments before. When the young lady that stood outside my fitting room asked if everything was okay, I hollered back, “No! I apparently have grown in the past 5 minutes!” I stepped out of the small room, my thighs bulging through the fabric, my penis contorted into an odd flattened shape, my buns pulling every inch of thread holding both panels together. Her fearful stare was broken by my accusatory, “This tag says these pants are a 30, but they fit like a 20! What the fuck is going on here!” She took a deep breath – with the self-assured look of disgust reserved for someone who has witnessed this scenario before and said, “Oh, our clothes are European, so you’ll have to get them 2 to 3 sizes larger than what you actually wear. “Oh really! Well, I’ll be damned if I’m going to sport a 34” waist to fit into some cheesy inexpensive Euro trash!” I tossed every pant I brought with me into the dressing room into her return bin and stormed to the register carrying only socks and tops. Moral of the story: Don’t move to Europe; Americans are porkers there!

The Lion Roars No More
Probably one of the most hated Leos of all time – Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz aka simply Castro - resigned his post as Commander In Chief and Prime Minister of Cuba. His rule spanned a period of 48 years. His announcement comes just five days before his mandate expires. Although there is optimism by Cubans now living in the U.S., most believe that Castro’s step down is just a formality and that the system of government and how it operates today will not change.

The Money Train
Tracy Bumpus, 40, a biological male transgender woman, was about to take her ride on the A train when her metrocard malfunctioned. When she attempted to get help from the transit workers at her station, she was ridiculed and even called a “dyke.” Attorneys for the New York City Transit Authority (NYCTA) thought they’d found a little loophole that would’ve prevented Bumpus from suing NYCTA saying they are protected or immune from liability under the city’s Human Rights Laws. Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Robert Miller felt otherwise and said, “By riding the subway, a transgender person doesn't become less of a person and lose the protection of the Human Rights Law." Looks like Bumpus won’t need that metrocard ever again after all. ::::Being called a dyke when you’re a transgender man transitioning into your life as a woman – PRICELESS! ::::

On Blast
The horror of feeling you are trapped in a body that does not represent who you believe to be has to be a nightmare. Throughout the years I’ve struggled to understand the plight of the transgender community and now accept that their strength is so awesome; forgoing ridicule, verbal and physical abuse, odd stares, etc. to be who they know they are.
What do you believe is the core reason society feels such strong feelings toward the transgender community?

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Morning Edition - 2/19/08

Content vs. Fulfilled
As Valentine’s Day rolled around, I had a conversation with BD about how I felt that the made-up and commercial holiday is nothing but a ploy from retailers to make an extra buck off of folks who don’t regularly treat their partners the way they should the other 364 days of the year. Hey, that’s how I feel about it. If you treat your partner with love, respect and care then Valentine’s Day feels pointless. Unfortunately, although that reasoning makes perfect sense, VD has become so ingrained in our romantic entanglements that even when you’re affectionate and present all year long, you have to make some kind of gesture to insure your partner is aware that you celebrate your love for him/her. So, BD and I exchanged cards, pleasantries, but found that our dinner plans were rearranged – well, you do remember that little single-parent thing? Well, our plan B was so much more fun-filled than a Valentine’s Day dinner. We opted for a Valentine’s Weekend – which included two dinners, a romantic walk through the city; on an unusually warm night in New York – and a sense that we can never get enough of each other physically. We watched Dirty Laundry, Why Did I Get Married and spooned more than a fat lady with a quart of Breyers. We then looped back to pick up the Minnie and headed over for a movie – the Spiderwick Chronicles. While dropping my boyz at their crib, the Minnie quickly asked if I could sleep over and BD told our little disappointed tyke, “He has to work…” When it was all said and done I returned home to clean up and prepare for the work week and exchanged text messages with BD; the gist of which is how happy we really make each other and how each shared moment makes the moments without each other that much more difficult. My last text message was simple but honest, “I was content before you and now realize how much better it feels to be fulfilled.

Two Months & Counting
If you’ve been reading my blog and a host of my other blogger family’s blogs, you may have seen the announcement (now residing at the top of my blog page) that we’re having our first ever Blogger Family Reunion. The gathering will host a group of bloggers that have shared their lives via the web for over two years. We’re inviting everyone who writes or reads blogs to share the live experience of interacting with bloggers you may think you already know from reading their work each day. The rules of the event are simple – come with an open-mind and the desire to have fun and network with a diverse group of folks. There are no race, gender or orientation requirements; simply the desire to have a great time!

On Blast
In an effort to be players, some folks destroy the love a partner has for them. I thought about how there were countless people around me who had taken the unconditional love of folks in their lives and slowly, but surely, stomped it out.
Do you live by the theory of ‘a bird in hand is better than two in the bush’ OR do you subscribe to the belief that ‘there’s always something better waiting around the corner’?

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Morning Edition - 2/13/08

On Blast
The concept of an all-giving, self-less love is almost unheard of. Outside of the stories of desperate moms placing themselves in peril for their children or the odd sibling that finds themselves caught between pushing their loved one out of the way of danger only to find they’re in the path of harm, it’s hard to find instances when we would (without a second thought) place ourselves in harm’s way.

What story of love that places itself in harms way has stayed with you?

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Friday, February 08, 2008

Afternoon Edition - 2/8/08

Educating Rita
It has been a few years since I was in a serious relationship and an even longer time since I felt the need to AGAIN educate my straight brethren on proper etiquette when interacting with gay couples. When in doubt – treat gay relationship as you would straight relationships. Do not deviate from your observed levels of respect, as doing so usually results in awkward moments.

If you’re still a bit confused, here is the hard and fast rule: If you would be uncomfortable or you would be thought of as disrespectful by pulling said stunt with your straight friends, know that it is EXACTLY the same reaction felt by the gay community.

So, for the record…
** If as a straight man, you would not care for your girlfriend/wife to be manhandled by her straight male friends, chances are gay partners don’t care to have their partner pawed by the masses.
** If it would annoy you to have your boyfriend go out with girls from his neighborhood on the slide – even if they were ‘lipstick lesbians,’ - then chances are, gay partners would be irritated to have straight folks take their partner out on the town.
** If an argument or disagreement ensues with you and your girlfriend you want friends in your circle to be sympathetic. Well, as it turns out, gay couples would like the same thing. Gay relationships aren’t any more or less important and therefore the SAME feelings are being experienced by the partners in question. Be empathetic and sympathetic that they are going through the same thing you would.

All said, strive to treat ALL couples, equally and show ALL couples equal respect. The misunderstanding you may avert may be your own.

On Blast
Female couples appear to have more serious issues dealing with straight men that disregard female-female relationships, but don’t sleep on the females, they too can step out of line with one or both male partners.
Tell us of an incident when you’ve witnessed a straight person stepping out of line with regard to a gay relationship. (If you’re straight, tell us of an incident involving a disrespectful gay counterpart.)

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Morning Edition - 2/6/08

On Blast
What celebrity disaster story highlights the waste of good-fortune?

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Morning Edition - 2/5/08

Working-out Update...

On Blast
What does your workout regimen involve?

Keep passin' the open windows...

Friday, February 01, 2008

Morning Edition - 2/1/08

On Blast
Tell of an odd experience where an alleged straight guy did something, said something or alluded to something that came across as REALLY gay?

Keep passin’ the open windows…