Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Afternoon Edition - 5/27/08

Memorable Memorial Weekend
For many years I took to the road with the other summer-enthused travelers only to sit on a parking-lot-like road or a packed plane to join the “crowd” at the latest hot spot. A lot has changed in the last year – including my need for clubbing, partying and hitting the circuit. Friday night I treated myself to a hot bath – bubbles, candles and the like – followed by a relaxing movie. With the extra day to spare, I suggested to BD that we reconnect with our own friendship circles since I hadn’t seen hide or hair of my friends in weeks and rumor had it that I was suffering from HLS – hibernating lover syndrome. As my eyes popped open just after noon on Saturday, I stretched and felt the refreshing feeling of someone who finally did his body good and turned every sleep-depriving interruption off. I started my coffee, hit the shower for a wake-me-up and fixed myself a real scrambled eggs, bacon and cinnamon raisin English muffin breakfast. After a light tidy-up around the crib, I gave myself a pedicure, a fresh shave and hit the gym for a heart-thumping two-hour workout. Once home I called BD to see if he finalized his evening plans with his pals only to find that he had chosen to chill at home for the evening. I’ve finally reached the point with BD where I prefer chillin’ at home with him than spending an evening burning through cash at a club or bar. It’s this weird sense that I’m having the best time ever and I can actually have a drink, watch a movie, dance and have a sure-fire hot piece at the end of the evening. I know…I digress. So as I jumped into my car and took my trek into the city, I pumped my Keyshia Cole and enjoyed the light traffic downtown; it appears folks had ignored the high gas and airfare prices and had deserted Dodge. Once downtown I stopped at a bar, downed two quick Heinekens and was meeting my friends at the club by 1 a.m. After pumpin’ it out for three sweat drenched hours, we hit one of our favorite breakfast haunts for bagels and lox before returning to the B-X and some much needed rest. My body rhythm doesn’t appear to include overnight drinks and party marathons anymore and boy does it show. By 6:30 a.m. I was feeling light-headed and yawning more than a 2-year old at church. I didn’t wake until noon Sunday and quickly dialed BD to let him know I was coming to get him. With the Minnie at his mom’s house, BD and I played paddle ball for two hours and; several bruised ribs and inflamed ligaments and tendons in my left leg later and the big question remains whether I’m getting older or just so competitive that I just can’t let one get by me…yeah, I’m getting older folks! After a quick after workout romp in the hay, BD and I took a quick shower, laughed about how hard we played and hit Cowgirls (featured in Sex in the City back in the day) for dinner. The food was magnificent – from appetizers, to dinner to dessert, BD and I shared from each other’s plates and just gorged on well prepared southern comfort staples. After dinner we walked around the west Village hand-in-hand and even stopped off for jewelry, a couple of DVDs and some teenage-esque stolen kisses on the strip. We rode home, both feeling a sense that life can be full of good sometimes. A hot bath later and we were curled up catching Boy Culture (I’ve seen the flick, but I wanted BD to love it as much as I do). Once the credits rolled, we did too…several times…before falling asleep sometime after 4 a.m. I woke up to BD staring straight in my face, which quickly had me pull the sheet over myself. He pulled it down and kissed me dead in the mouth; a real no-no for me since I suffer from MPBOCD (Morning Pre Brush Obsessive Compulsive Disorder). I turned on my other side and we lay there spooning until I could no longer hold the morning water. I fixed a great breakfast and we hung out with BD’s friends in the afternoon. By the evening hours it was time to pick-up the Minnie and drive my boyz home. Even with the agony of what feels like broken ribs and a fractured leg, I’ve never felt so complete, so fulfilled and so content. Memorial Day weekend was just that….one to be remembered.

On Blast
You’ve lived; you’ve accomplished so much; you’ve done it all really….then you do next to nothing with someone you love and realize how much you’ve missed.
Can you recall a time when you filled your calendar from Sunday to Saturday in an attempt to keep yourself busy and in-the-know only to find out you were like a mouse face-first on a glue trap – stuck going nowhere, pained by your predicament and beginning to stink to others?

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Monday, May 19, 2008

Morning Edition - 5/19/08

Pappy Dearest
So maybe I’m a great friend and a not-so-great parent. Truth is, I never wanted kids and after watching some of my friends raising some, I’ve come to the realization that it’s not an easy feat. After realizing that moving-in together would have to wait a bit longer, I suggested to BD that we spend weekends together to get acclimated to the idea of living together. I especially felt that the Minnie and I needed some getting acquainted in the cohabitating area. I mean, it’s obvious BD and I will have no issues living together, but bringing a child into the mix usually changes things – shoot, it changes things in straight married couples who have their own biological offspring, so why wouldn’t it have an effect on ours? For dinner Saturday night I opted to take the easy way out and just served Stouffers Pizza – straight from the box to the oven to the dinner table. The Minnie loved his casual, easy fare, but began picking the green peppers from the Three Meat and Pepper variety I served. As I sat, slightly disgusted by his picking the pizza apart, I finally asked, “Why are you pulling stuff off your pizza and even fishing stuff out of your mouth to put on the side of your plate?” He looked at me matter-of-factly and announced, “I don’t like the green stuff.” I looked at BD and then back at the Minnie wondering whether this would be an appropriate time for a little old-school Cocoa-parental-hand-me-down to take place. “First of all, have you ever had green peppers before?” A nonplussed Minnie shot back a simple, “No.” “Then why are you pulling them off? They’re actually delicious,” I tried. “Well, I don’t like them,” he retorted. I thought about the delicious sugary snacks I bought the night before and how he wasn’t going to touch a thing if he didn’t have this pizza. “It’s rude to pull things out of your mouth in front of company and if you must there’s a way to do it. More important, if you don’t eat your dinner, please don’t ask for any dessert or snacks afterward.” The Minnie is very strong-willed and shot back a quick, “That’s fine, but I’m not eating the stuff I don’t like.” Not to be outdone – especially by an 8-year old – I gave him a steely glare before informing the Minnie, “If you’re done, you can wash your hands and be excused.” He took a few more bites before jumping up, washing his hands and returning to his video games. As I washed dishes in the kitchen and talked to BD about appropriate home training – including the issue of the Minnie not having his regular meals in their entirety and then wanting snacks to quell his hunger later, the Minnie sauntered back into the kitchen. “I’ll have a donut now please.” The sneer that comes with redemption crossed my face. I turned off the water from the sink, grabbed my dish towel and dried my hands before responding, “No, you won’t have anything else, since you already said you were full at dinner.” BD respected my interaction with the Minnie and never intervened. “I didn’t say I was full. I said I was finished,” the Minnie corrected me. “Well, you’re completely finished here as far as I’m concerned. You’re going to learn – at least with me – that you can eat snacks and desserts so long as you don’t waste our regular meals. You will not throw away good food only to have sugary snacks. Please go play your video games and don’t bother coming back to the kitchen until it reopens tomorrow morning.” He paused as if ready to say something else, but thought better of it. He returned to his games and I returned my attention to BD. “That is the way it works. He should be eating regular meals along with these fill-in snacks.” BD assured me that the reason his eating habits were off could be attributed to his grandma (BD’s mom) feeding the Minnie anything he wanted; whenever he wanted. “Well you’re the dad and there is some home training that needs to be established,” I continued “He cannot be allowed to pick his food apart at the dinner table, place his feet on furniture and basically run uncontrolled in the home.” BD agreed and I felt a sense that although this won’t exactly be a piece-of-cake, it can certainly be worked-through to bring about some structure. As I dropped off the BD and the Minnie at their house last night and got out to hug the Minnie, he kissed my cheek and I hugged him tighter to me. I drove home deep in my thoughts. Just as I began to wonder whether imposing my own home training on the Minnie was appropriate, I realized that I unconsciously had answered my own question. Yes, it’s appropriate. At the very least, the Minnie is a guest in my home and at best, he’s my future step son. We have to have a semblance of structure if we’re going to coexist.

On Blast
Have you encountered a spoiled child first-hand that forced you to react in the absence of control by their parent(s)?

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Friday, May 16, 2008

Evening Edition - 5/16/08

Sis Makes Me Proud
Although many would say that I am the hard-edged strong child of our sibling bunch, my sister Evelyn has proven time-and-again otherwise. After suffering some devastating blows in her personal life in the last two years, she mustered the strength to put her problems aside and climb up the corporate ladder to a very prestigious executive position at her firm, finished-up her degree (graduation is May 28th!) and just bought her second home in the suburbs of upstate New York. My chest swells with pride as I see the true measure of her strength and resolve. While I consistently talk a good game and appear to conquer the world, my sister quietly sits at the head of her table, a woman who speaks less and does more. Congratulations sis. You are truly to be admired, respected and looked-to as the doer of our bunch.

Give Me Body
At 160 lbs. I’m hardly obese, yet I’m not exactly in that svelte summer shape I believed I would be in by late May. One week ago I injured a ligament on top of my right foot. The excruciating pain left me unable to run, jog or even walk properly. One week of serious Ibuprofen and rest and voila! I’m almost fully recovered. Tomorrow I am scheduled to hit the gym for an extended weekend workout. Starting Monday I’m reducing my caloric intake and removing some unmentionables from my diet. The objective is to be at 150 lbs. by mid June. Ten pounds in one month doesn’t seem like an unreasonable goal, but the key is to do it right. The consensus – well, at least here in NYC – is that I look better at my current weight than at my thinner goal. Go figure…

One Year Later
Exactly one year ago today, I signed the lease on my apartment. Since then I’ve furnished my bedroom and living room and even received a few pricey gifts along the way. As I’ve mentioned in the past, I really love my place. Yes, there’s the issue of living on the ground floor in the ghetto that can have your nerves shot the first three months, but I’ve adjusted. The voices and sounds that, at first, sounded like they were coming from inside my apartment are now correctly identified as just outside banter. The panic induced by the occasional roach visiting from outside or a not-so-clean neighbor is now obliterated with a simple call to the exterminator; heck I probably see one every six months…I know, one too many. So, it can be said that I’ve settled in. I love the layout of my apartment and it really is the perfect size for me. What has been a persistent annoyance is that one year later it doesn’t have the “homey” feel I know is characteristic of the way I like to live. The simple reason is I haven’t invested much time in organizing, setting up or decorating any room in my house. Right now it is a fully furnished apartment that looks as though all the deliveries were made today and I haven’t arranged and set-up the furnishings. This weekend, I’m doing my wash, thoroughly cleaning – hands-and-knees in bathroom; hard brush scrub of the kitchen floor; arranging my living room furniture and buying a level to assist my not-so-handy ass in hanging my artwork. I’m also considering taking a few photos in the coming weeks that I will have blown up to poster size and used around my apartment – narcissistic maybe – but I want to be surrounded by happy pictures me surrounded by the folks I love. All-in-all, I have about five weeks before mom and dad visit me for their yearly 2-3 week stay. Since a sofa bed is now part of my living room set-up, this year should be a cinch cohabitating with the folks. I’ll keep you posted.

On Blast
The strength to look adversity in the face and use the momentum of life’s blows to propel you forward – rather than to shrivel and curl into a ball – is an amazing quality. Is there someone you have the highest admiration for after witnessing their incredible struggle to arrive where they are?

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Monday, May 12, 2008

Afternoon Edition - 5/12/08

Trust In the Lord
I’m not a fanatical Christian, but I do believe in God. The son of a Pentecostal minister, I have faced many situations in my life that have proven God to be real and REAL important in my life. So, it should come as no surprise that when the issue of my moving to a larger house with BD and the Minnie came up, I put all of it in God’s able hands. My prayer was simple, “Lord, this seems perfect; a storybook relationship; a fairytale bond between BD, the Minnie and I; and a unanimous decision between us to live together. Let your will be done, so that what is BEST for me transpires.” Well, today, the strangest thing happened. I called my rental office – the last folks on my list to contact – to inquire what the details of my move meant to my lease arrangement, etc. Well, I was in for a BIG surprise. The entire scene could be checked for the Lord’s handprint, since it was so polite, swift, but to the point that there was no anger, resentment or bitterness of any kind with the parties involved. It turns out that since I signed my lease sometime in February, for the June 2008-June2009 season, I am bound by the agreement to stay in my place until June 2009. Breaking my lease – even while forewarning management - would mean losing my security deposit (a hefty bundle) and the risk of a suit by management to recoup the amount left to be paid on said lease. Well, my brothers and sisters – Brother Cocoa doesn’t quite have it like that. So, with heavy heart, I phoned my baby and we sat for lunch where I told him the details of the call with the building management folks. We both agreed that the impending move did not hold us together – our love does. We’re going to switch to Plan B. BD and the Minnie will stay with me often and we’ll proceed with getting to feel completely at ease with living together. All said, I trust in the Lord.

On Blast
It’s hard to say, Thank you Lord,” when you don’t feel that you got your way or what you wanted. That said, the beauty of trusting in the Lord is that you believe that he has done what is best for you – LONG TERM.

That said, have your plans been altered, where you later realized it was what was best for you in the long run?

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Friday, May 09, 2008

Morning Edition - 5/9/08

Happy Birthday Baby
Tomorrow is my baby's birthday. One of our favorite things is watching comedy movies and shows...we just love laughing. Of late, we're hooked on LOGO's Big Gay Sketch Show. Below is one of my favorite skits...Love you pa...Happy Birthday!!

On Blast
Do you have a friend or family member that says the most inappropriate - yet hysterical - stuff? What's the funniest thing that comes to mind?

Keep passin' the open windows...

Monday, May 05, 2008

Afternoon Edition - 5/5/08

One Year Later; Is Moving-In the New Marriage Equivalent?
Just one year ago, I moved into my new apartment. Admittedly, I should be further along on the decorating and lived-in feel of the place, but I’m not home enough to really concentrate on what needs to be done. The great part is that all the required pieces of the puzzle are now there. I purchased my new bedroom furniture one month after moving in and just a few months ago, had my new living room suite delivered. What’s really left to do is to organize things the way they belong and insure that my artwork is hung strategically throughout my home. Not to mention that I want to include some personal pictures as poster-size art for my place; yeah narcissism at its finest. So it may come as no surprise that I am having cold feet surrounding my in-depth discussion about BD, the Minnie and I biting the bullet and living together. To heighten my anxieties about the matter, the perfect place has opened up and would require BD and me to hasten our plans and be moved-in by August 1st. We’d discussed many of the details – including my new role and responsibility as parental figure in the household. Although I never wanted children before, I really love the Minnie and we have a great relationship. My concerns are as follows:
1. BD has not spoken to the Minnie regarding our specific romantic situation AND possible upcoming move (yes…I realize the kid isn’t blind, but he’s also only eight)
2. BD has NOT come out to his family – including his own mom who presently shares the responsibilities of raising the Minnie
3. Although I appear to get along famously with the Minnie, I’m afraid that once the daily routines kick-in, I may not come across as Mr. Laugh NFun anymore

On Blast
Given my short list of anxieties, which would be the most serious for you and based on an August move, which do you believe is most urgent on the list of priorities?

Keep passin’ the open windows…