Monday, April 21, 2008

Evening Edition - 4/21/08

1st Annual Blogger Family Reunion; Assessments
Preparing for an event that brings together men from different geographic areas, different cultures, different age groups and all with different interests – save one (blogging) – can present a logistics nightmare for many planners. Before anything is said, first and foremost, a HUGE thank-you to Warren Jones for making the details of this event seem effortless and low cost – even cost-free for some…but that’s another story. The truth is, I’m sure Jones spent a pretty penny booking a beautiful suite overlooking Baltimore’s Inner Harbor and another grip to provide the behemoth, gas guzzling Suburban that carted many of us around. Although Darius Williams and I spent some time coordinating the event, Jones was the mastermind securing our meeting headquarters and shared transportation – thank you Jonesy! You’re a class act.

The Assessments; In Order of Appearance

If there was ever a disservice done by a pic on someone’s blog it is certainly That Dude Right There; aka Norris. Norris’ blog picture is reserved – almost aloof and defensive; the reality is Norris is hysterically funny with a southern warmth and charm that immediately draws you in. I felt at ease with Norris from the moment we met and had a nonstop chuckle from his many witty sayings.
Same as blog:
Norris’ ability to see things for what they are and not give the negative the power to overwhelm him are qualities that transcend his blog and are ever-present in his live persona.
Different than blog:
Norris’ sense of humor and charm make him magnetic in person. His blog needs to be changed to reflect his personality and infectious spirit.
Assigned Nickname Post-Meeting:
Southern Comfort

Warren is the college room mate I never had. Smart, funny, direct and together, Mr. Jones aka Warren Jones is the go-to guy when you want someone to give it to you straight, yet have the sense to know how to deliver it. Whether we were shopping, partying or just shooting the breeze, Warren felt like an old friend. His ability to be strong AND vulnerable made him an instant friend and a potential trusted confidant.
Same as blog:
Warren is fearless. Whether he’s tackling criticisms, delivering wisdom beyond his years or making someone feel included, Warren takes it head-on.
Different than blog:
Warren cares. It may not come through that he’s a true people person and for all the sharp-wit and ability to decimate his opponent, Warren, more-often-than-not, chooses the high road and makes everyone feel important.
Assigned Nickname Post Meeting:
B’Mo’s Finest

Eric aka E is a clear case of a man who lives through his blog. Silent to the point of invisibility, many of us struggled to drag E into our conversations, but we found that his answers were few and far between. Don’t be fooled…when he did answer his commentary was hysterically funny and you got the sense that there was so much more to the man than meets the eye.
Same as blog:
The cartoon holding the spot on E’s blog may very well be the person writing the thing…imaginary.
Different than blog:
Everything. E is an imaginary persona who sent his introverted brother to the blogger family reunion. LOL
Assigned Nickname Post Meeting:
The Lamb

I didn’t have much contact with Andre’s blog pre-reunion, but he appeared to be one of those guys that knows where the party is. He was one of the first to arrive at the venue and the first to kick-off his shoes and settle right in.
Same as blog:
Different than blog:
Andre’s blog gives the impression that he is an event guru and one who is an A-list type socialite. In reality, Andre appears adept at maximizing his opportunities to get the most out of the event at hand.
Assigned Nickname Post Meeting:
Lottery (Dollar and a dream)

For close to two years now I have felt like the older sibling – let’s keep it real here, more like a parental figure for Jared. I’ve felt protective of him and have watched with great interest how he moved from blissful innocence to a more explorative young man. At close to 19-years old, Jared is the baby of our blogger family and my heart was full to finally meet him in person. He’s a confident young man and I felt that chest-swelling pride to hear him growing into his own – as a man AND as a gay man of color. Jared is smart, witty, fun and responsible all rolled into one. Definitely one of my most anticipated meetings of the weekend.
Same as blog:
Jared is extremely forthcoming and his live personality and his blog do nothing to muddle the feeling that Jared is telling you exactly what he is feeling. There’s a sense – whether online or in-person - that Jared has drawn you in and harkens the teen in all of us.
Different than blog:
Jared is much taller in person. His blog picture gives a sense of a waif-like child, but Jared towers over many at 5’11”. He’s slightly shy and it makes him all the more endearing.
Assigned Nickname Post Meeting:
BJ (Baby Jared)


Joey aka Joey Bahamas is a Bahamian prince. This isn’t an attempt at a dig. Joey carries himself with a regal peace that is neither condescending or patronizing – it’s simply an air of distinction. He’s able to interact with all with an ease that comes from polished social skills. Still in his early twenties, Joey has a grounded understanding of life, what’s important and especially how to let your confident REAL self shine.
Same as blog:
Beautiful inside and out; eloquent; poised.
Different than blog:
Great height; legs that extend to his neck; Not at all pretentious or conceited.
Assigned Nickname Post Meeting:
KAI (King and I)

Ty, of the Aspire blog fame, is not one to have catty blog postings and often has blog postings with entries calling for creative participation. In person there’s a strange sense that his quiet cool can easily be replaced by a much more aggressive sexually charged man OR a no-nonsense professionalism. In either case his personality is that of a well-rounded chameleon; able to be anything he’d like to be.
Same as blog:
As smart and engaging as his blog suggests.
Different than blog:
PHAT ass…sorry, got side-tracked…he’s a very funny in person. A feeling of warmth and understanding that isn’t conveyed in his blog is evident in person.
Assigned Nickname Post Meeting:
SS (Shape Shifter)

Fuzzy aka Daniel and the author of I Wonder can at times come across as genuine, yet aloof. In person Fuzzy appears coy and flirtatious. He appears to have no issues expressing himself and letting folks know how he feels. A great heart.
Same as blog:
Appears to genuinely care.
Different than blog:
A lot more relaxed than the somewhat regimented feel you get from his personality on his blog.
Assigned Nickname Post Meeting:
Emeril’s Nem

The heart at peace with the mind; that’s the thought that kept crossing my mind every time I looked over at Shawn. His somewhat colorful and creative persona from Dreams In A Fitted becomes quiet, still and tan in real life. Does it conceal the creative side of the dreamer? No.
Same as blog:
Great sense of humor and a sense of child-like innocence.
Different than blog:
Not a party animal; not really a heavy drinker.
Assigned Nickname Post Meeting:
Quiet Storm

Promiscuous X
Xavier aka Promiscuous X exudes sex appeal and luscious street corner boy. His boyish grin gives way to a bust yo’ face snarl…all in a matter of moments. In the end, you get a sense that X is a fun-loving below the radar kind-of guy. He’s quiet, but will speak his mind when asked. All said, he’s what was referred to in Paris Is Burning as “Up and comin’ legendary.”
Same as blog:
The look on his blog is the man you will meet in person.
Different than blog:
Nothing…he’s a leopard with spots unchanged.
Assigned Nickname Post Meeting:
XTM (X to many…LOL)

Another case of change that blog pic applies to this character as well. Darius Williams comes across as a low-maintenance high-revving character on his blog, but his real life persona is quite the opposite. D is light-hearted with an undercurrent of “let’s spark it.” Case-in-point, during breakfast D managed to visually notice the difference between cheddar and American cheese on his eggs, wanted his meat cooked more thoroughly and noticed a spot on his knife that couldn’t be seen with the naked eye, but had the waiter handle all of these issues – pronto! In my 38 years on earth I’ve been called colorful, raw, direct, funny, witty, but never raunchy….D holds the title for the only person to mash all my personality traits into one giant negative. Bless his heart! LOL.
Same as blog:
He’s as tall as he tells you he is. I’m wearing a neck brace following an attempt at a lengthy face-to-face conversation.
Different than blog:
D may tell you that he’s a rough and tumble man, but we saw the teddy bear come through…even if the teddy wore a teddy at times.
Assigned Nickname Post Meeting:

On Blast
What perception of yourself did you hold near and dear only to find that everyone who met you at the blogger family reunion didn’t see quite the same way?

Keep passin’ the open windows…


That Dude Right There said...

First of I must say that this line:

"even cost-free for some"

had me chuckling for a few minutes!!

And damn! When I tell you that you gave a Thesis on everyone there!!!!!! Now that's what I call dedication to blogging!!

On Blast-I can be the biggest bitch known to man. But i've been trying to keep that part of me under wraps. Many people don't see that, and i'd like to keep it that way.

E said...

Your assessment of me is on the mark. I'm better at writing my thoughts than expressing them. Hence why I blog. But I'm a real person.

And there were times that I did speak but most of what I said wasn't memorable and other times I don't think I was heard. I'll bring a mega phone next time..*LOL*.

E said...

I take it back...I did have one memorable moment...well at least for a couple of the bloggers..."CLITORIS" was worthy of a few chuckles.

That Dude Right There said...

I'm still laughing that you called Darius "Mabel"!!!

Ty said...

All right for running down through the list. lol I think you have it about right in your assessments. I just have to ask, is shape shifter for my weight or personality. lol

Andre J. Allen II said...

good assessment for all.everyone was kool peeps and it was good everyone got along well.

Bullet Proof Soul said...

Thanks Cocoa for the thesis. I felt like I was there. I will definitely hit it up next year unless you all decide to do it semi-annually.

j_shanlin said...

I love you with all my heart Unc! Thank you for making my weekend so fuggin memorable. This is something I will look forward to in years to come. I think everyone was right on part with my description, I was just surprised that everyone said I was crazier in person.

ShawnQt said...

(in a deep voice)
Ladies & GentleMen... the Quiet Storm.


Let it be known that, if we did hit the club, I would have been the first one on the dance floor doing a "Ciara on Your Azz" LOL. Music makes me lose control, other then that, The Clark Kent within Superman chills and watches all the other Queens act up, lol.

and let that be the reason! lol

Darius T. Williams said...

WAIT a minute...not Mabel! Ha, now that's what I call fucking hilarious!!!

Cocoa Rican said...

Yeah Norris...I figured I'd hit it up while everyone was still fresh in my old head...and you have to admit, the nicknames - though unexpected - were a better summary than anything else.

Ty - shapeshifter can only refer to your personality...we won't talk about weight in this forum...not until I drop 15

Andre - Be sure to check the train schedule carefully for PR...I hear there are extensive delays gettin' out there

E - you're right...a megaphone would help at our next gathering...bitches get loud when they get together...LOL

Jared - you know you're my kid...let somebody come up on my baby and Uncle Cocoa will shred some ass

Shawn...I can def see you rockin' out on some a boy a boy... LOL

Now...I'll be posting a sample rate sheet for what the costs associated with next year's trip can be expected to be...ALL - please note that you will want to make adjustments for your specific travel location, party funds and accommodation needs.

Promiscuous X said...

Lol I still trying to figure out the definition of my nickname lol.

Your a kewl dude Cocoa word up..

LMAO off at Mabel LMMFAO

Andre J. Allen II said...

wow coco train schedule-interesting.

fuzzy said...

I Think you have me pegged just fine! I do come across as flirtatious and I am just a bit coy. I would say initially coy though. I am a lil afraid of being judged right on and i reserve myself until i know who or what I am dealing with. I began to break out of that rut towards the end as I became more comfortable around everyone. I am not sure how to translate regimented to me but i it means some kind of set order then I think I understand that too!

I had such fun hanging out with everyone and I wish the weekend did not have to end, but work and Dollar $ign$ awaited!!! Just wait for the next one, you will not be able to shut me up and my coyness will be undone!!! :-)

Joey Bahamas said...

Cocoa...I was looking forward to meeting you most of all. I would like to say that what you said about me is right, but I feel as if that would be so very conceited of me. I'm glad that was what you saw though, and I feel like I now have one more friend I can all on....

All I have to say now is that you bitches are shady, BOOTZ. But Cocoa, that's the old school shade that, "I don't have to tell you you're ugly because you know you're ugly" kinda shade that I love soooo much. And, I'm getting my everlasting rottens off of it!!!!! LMAO

Cocoa Rican said...

Awww Joey...thank you. You and Jared were my #1 priority meets! You certainly do have a friend 'til the end in NYC. ...granted, I'm the friend you call when you know someone's gonna catch a case, but you know the drill...LOL
I had an absolute ball...and from my ancient perspective, that says a lot! You guys made getting 5 hours total sleep for a weekend enjoyable!!
See ya' in NYC!

Mr. Jones said...

You're so multi-faceted. I love that you keep revealing more and more layers of your self.

Thank you for the kind words...seriously. You really made me tear up. I may be a class act, you're at the head of the class. Front row. Chillen. Drinking Starbucks. LOL.

You seem to have gotten everyone's summary down pat.

yet another black guy said...

damn sounds like mad fun! i gots to make it to next years no doubt. San Juan? Puerto Rico? simma down nah!

One Man’s Opinion said...

This is a great post, CoCoa. Great isn't even the word, it is damn god. I feel like I was there. Thanks for the way you spoke about each person and for the pictures. Kind of wish I had set time aside to hang with the boys. I'm too introverted anyway.

Anonymous said...

I have a few assessments of my own...and if I dont mention your name do not be offended...ater alll, we dont know each other, have never met. My assessment is based upon the photos...
Joey Bahamas - drop dead gorgeous. B. Scott type gorgeous. Like, DAMN!!!!!, type gorgeous. It aint fair, it aint right and I think I'll have a chat with God about this when I pass through the pearly gates. Joey, baby, WORK IT!!!!!
Jared - lil cookie puss baby boy fo sho!!! Just edible looking in the most innocent way. A doll baby.
Warren - I love your name. LOVE IT. You look like someone who should be named Warren - someone who would go to war for those he loves without a second thought.
Darius - I want to LICK your face and then hug you. Beautiful big brown skinned god that you must be who Jody Watley wrote that song about "Some Kind of Lover" MMM Hmmmmm.
Shawn - you make my sides hurt in advance...not only should you be one of Janet Jacksons fine azzzz dancers, you seem the type to keep someone up all night laughing...
Fuzzy - I know why thats your give folks a fuzzy feeling inside? Yes, You are nice to look at...
Norris - you and Cocoa compliment each other standing together. VERY NICE. HANDSOME.
Eric - you have a very sweet and handsome face and I would imagine you to be hilarious.
Thats all I got for now....

Chet said...

Reads like a well written novel.