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….

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Morning Edition - 8/17/08

Gone Cruising
I mean... I'm off to my 7-Day cruise. See y'all back on August 25th!

Keep passin' the open windows...

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Morning Edition - 8/13/08

You Are 1: The Reformer

You're a responsible person - with a clear sense of right and wrong.

High standards are important to you, and you do everything to meet them.

You are your own worst critic, feeling ashamed if you're not perfect.

You have uncompromising integrity, and people expect you to be fair.

At Your Best: You are hopeful, honest, and inspiring. You bring out the best in humanity.

At Your Worst: You are intolerant, judgmental, and picky.

Your Fixation: Resentment

Your Primary Fear: Being corrupt.

Your Primary Desire: To be good.

Other Number 1's: Al Gore, Martha Stewart, Gandhi, Celene Dion, and Spock from Star Trek.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Evening Edition - 8/9/08

What We See
I remember the very first time I laid eyes on BD. It was like my heart knew that this was the guy; the one I wanted to spend time with and share my life with. Today as I relaxed, I thought about what we see. Before moving back to NYC in 2003, a Maryland preacher left me with some words of wisdom – a catchy phrase really – that today, I apply to all areas of my life. She said, “If what you see is not what you saw, then what you see is temporary.” ‘Now what the fuck does that mean – exactly?!’ I pondered that line for years to come and reasoned its meaning to be so many different things. My boi Boot in Maryland remembers it clearly because he’s my man-of-the-cloth, if you will, and we’d always say the line and come up with explanations for what the sister meant that morning. Today I look back at that first time that I saw BD…what I saw…what I see today. Is what I saw temporary or is what I see temporary? I know now that to answer that question it is best to look at someone’s history. We all have loved ones who talk a good game and have many goals and promises with their lives – and conversely – ours. The easiest way to know what to believe is to look at what the person has proven time and again. If what you see is not what you saw, then what you see is temporary. Today it means, I may have seen a beautiful, intelligent, loving man who I wanted to spend my whole life with, but if his actions didn’t prove him capable of filling those shoes, then what I see is temporary. What we see is sometimes just what we want to see. What we feel is sometimes just want we want to feel. There’s nothing wrong with wanting more and feeling more, but there comes a time when our wishes must be met with rewards. The greatest reward being that we are living our best life with someone who fits the bill and walks-hand-in-hand in our vision.

On Blast
How has what you see affected who you’ve shared your life with?

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Friday, August 08, 2008

Afternoon Edition - 8/8/08

Post Relationship Bi-Polar Disorder
To say that my mood shifts like the wind is an understatement. At times like these I am cautious of where I go, what I do and who I interact with. I hate folks who take their issues out on others, so I’m careful not to tear someone a new asshole simply because my tolerance meter is set to negative one. One pacifier through my condrama (confusion & drama) has been my ability to turn to drugs. We’re not talking the kind that will get me 5-10 with Bubba on my back, but the kind that may have been prescribed for one pain or another. That’s right folks, I’m living on the edge with Percocet and Vicodin. Now don’t go worrying yourselves thinking I’m going to Heath Ledger on the stuff, I just take enough to alter my mood and allow me to eventually sleep. Creative people – and I’d like to think myself as one – tend to think too much and at times like these when you want to apply considerable pressure to someone’s trachea until their face turns a beautiful baby blue, it’s best to medicate. Last night after popping a few happy pills, I was on the phone with Cas who can, without the use of barbiturates, make me pee my pants, when she tells me her stories – see her blog at
http://bxholdthecheese.blogspot.com/ - I laughed so hard for so long that my stomach hurt for the next hour. No sooner than we hung up than I felt a complete sense of despair; that is, until I hit my DVR and watched my taped Family Guy episodes – then I was crying with hysteria. Finally, after exhausting myself on the rollercoaster of emotions, I showered and fell out unconscious until I heard the nasal Jennifer Lopez crooning “Que Hicistes?” from my stereo. I’m so grateful for this weekend and the opportunity to rest and recuperate following such a ridiculously extenuating week. In my life, adversity and disappointment have been close next-door neighbors; my hope is to return from my upcoming cruise to find they’ve moved.

On Blast
Emotionally speaking, who would you say are your neighbors and what relationship do you have with them?

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Evening Edition - 8/7/08

Insult to Injury
At his request, I met BD for coffee this morning. When I answered his e-mail and asked if his conversation was urgent and necessitated us meeting during work hours he replied, “Yes.” As we sat at the outdoor benches and I faced BD he immediately started with, “What happened Tuesday?” I looked around confused by his question. I mean, last I remember the man was with me when all the events unfolded, so why was he now asking me what went down? Seeing my disgust, he blurted that he was angry that I could be so confrontational that dreaded birthday evening and was enraged that I could accuse him of spitefully refusing to spend time with me. To spare you the torture of the entire discussion, suffice to say that most sentences he mentioned began with “I…..” or “My son….” or the best one of all, “To call my mother and tell her that I, again, changed my mind and would need her to watch the Minnie would have had me in the middle of a confrontation with her…” So let me get this straight, 1. He believes he had every right to be upset the night of my birthday and placed his anger over celebrating my one special day of the year 2. Although she watches the Minnie on our spontaneous ‘freak-week nights’ he’d like me to accept that his own mother would become confrontational if approached about keeping the kid a few extra hours that fateful night and that he would rather endure a confrontation with me, than his own mother 3. He would also have me believe that although I come second to his son today, as time progresses (and Gosh darn it, it has been over a year of our being serious) he would have me take the leap of faith of living with both him and the Minnie in the hopes of being bestowed with an ‘equal’ status that, depending on the occasion, may grant me priority.

Okay, so I sat in disbelief and wondered to myself, ‘Is dude really listening to himself or is he running his mouth without regard to what comes out of it?’

I sat back, took a deep breath and felt the knot in the pit of my stomach finally relax away. “You’re in luck my friend,” I said, “You won’t have to listen to my ‘fuckin’ arguing’ again because it’s over.” Yes folks, my birthday neglect was the straw that broke the proverbial camel’s worn back. Admittedly, I had some responsibility for the outcome. I had failed to relay the many times I felt slighted, ignored and taken advantage of in the hopes that BD would naturally see what I believed to be obvious – that I care and was giving 100% and therefore, he should do the same. It was a belief in teach-by-example. I was mistaken. Sadly, my attempt to communicate my feelings on Tuesday were met with a tongue lashing about loving to “fucking argue.’

I love BD and contrary to what he believes now, I love the Minnie as well. Going forward I hope we can be friends. True love never dies, but I’m up on my feet again, so the days of allowing BD to trek back and forth over my overextended ass are officially over. On the last post comments ShawnQT asked what should be done? I think I just answered your question bruh.

The moral of the story is simple: To give of yourself never requires to give-up on yourself. Once you relegate yourself to a position of #2 you risk damaging your self esteem and losing respect for the very person you’re trying to accommodate.

On Blast
There are two sides to every story. In light of the special event and what you’ve read, is there any way to justify the choices BD made on Tuesday night? (Yes, Jump-Off Joe…I heard you…. LOL)

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Evening Edition - 8/6/08

Any Given Tuesday

As many folks know yesterday was my 39th birthday and I planned a sushi lunch with BD and some close friends. It was a minimum-effort and expense event to avoid any grandiose birthday celebration. Quite honestly, I wasn't up for it the pomp-and-circumstance this year. My close friends know I'm not much of a materialistic person

I’ll preface this story with a conversation I had with BD last November regarding Christmas and birthdays. It highlighted how BD considers Christmas a very important holiday - probably the most important gift-giving time of the year. I iterated that I believed Christmas was for children and that it is highly commercialized, but he wouldn't hear of it. He said that Christmas to him and his folks is a production of sorts. It ended with my accepting that you can't change how folks feel about any given holiday and that if this is how he felt, I would need to get on board with making Christmas special for him. Conversely, I mentioned that birthdays are more important to me since it allows me to focus on one person and dole my attention, affection and finances to making that one-day of the year special. The conversation ended with my feeling that it didn't really matter - my man was going to be treated special whether it was Christmas or his birthday.

Fast forward to a month after our discussion - December - and I was a little out-of-sorts and was anxious about buying BD a gift for Christmas. I debated what he would like and opted to shop with him while he picked out gifts for other folks. Call it an act of God - or pure old-fashioned manipulation- but BD saw a bag he really liked at the Coach store and was ready to plop-down his credit card to purchase it. Once at the counter I decided to take-over and purchase this gift for him, since it was obvious it was something that he really wanted. Five months later (May) when my baby's b-day rolled around I found my way to BD’s favorite jewelry store to put a down payment for a diamond ring we both agreed was perfect for him. One month after that the Minnie celebrated a birthday and I was sure to be there for him as well. At no time did I second-guess my choice to get my partner and his baby these gifts.

I have taught myself to be selfless and as the partner with the vehicle I frequently pick-up, drop off and make special trips to make my man comfortable. A few months ago BD's son inappropriately joked "...our personal cab is here!" while sitting in my car. He giggled and was joined by BD for a hearty laugh. It was a hit below the belt for me, since I have all sorts of issues with feeling taken advantage-of and this was waving all kinds-of red flags for me. I didn't address the little one's comment or BD’s reaction to it.

I sent BD an instant message from the office on my birthday afternoon and said that I was feeling a bit melancholy and that maybe we should put-off our little intimate celebration until Thursday night when he could (maybe) stay at my crib. Fifteen minutes later BD responded with one word, "Cool." I was a bit surprised since he never even asked if I was okay and seeing that it was my birthday and he should want to make the night special for me, the question should have been a logical one. At 4:45 p.m., I hit BD up again and said that maybe we should go forward with our birthday-night plans and I'd like to see him to which he replied, "No, Thursday is fine."

BD appeared upset that I had suggested changing my plans of spending my birthday night with him, opting to spend it alone. Seeing him after work changed my mind and I suggested we go forward with our plans to spend my birthday night together. I assumed the issue of changing my mind was history - especially in light that his intention should have been to make this ONE night in the year, a happy one for me. When we reached my house I asked BD to walk the dog while I freshened-up and he said, "No, I'm going to go ahead and get a cab home." Stunned, I said I would drop him near the grocery store, since I would probably just head out and pick up a couple of beers in preparation of my birthday night alone.

All said, I was shocked that BD would leave me alone on my birthday - seemingly out of spite for attempting to change our plans so while driving him home, I simply said, "It's really spiteful of you to leave me alone on my birthday night...the ONE night in the year where you should make every accommodation to insure that I'm okay." His outburst left me speechless, "You love to fucking argue.” From that moment on we silently rode to BD’s crib where I dropped him and he left me with a simple, "Goodnight."

He never called to check if I returned home okay – 24 hours after dropping him off on MY birthday night, he hasn’t so much as said, ‘suck it up sucker.’

I didn't care that BD had NOTHING for me for my birthday - not even the decency of covering my lunch - but when he refused to give me something as basic as his time, it was a slap in the face for me.

On any given Tuesday this situation may have been blown-off as a bad day at the office and an unfortunate event, but on THIS specific Tuesday BD did the unthinkable; he highlighted that I had placed myself in a position of ‘giver’ and was somehow unworthy of being a ‘receiver’; even on such a momentous occasion. It is an error in judgment that he will soon realize has irreconcilable repercussions.

On Blast
In light of my age I can only think of one saying we have in Spanish….Mas sabe el diablo por viejo que por diablo. Translated: The devil knows more because he’s old than because he’s the devil.
What old saying would you say best describes this disastrous event?

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Morning Edition - 8/5/08

Thank You for 39 Years…
Thank you God for granting me 39 incredible years with folks that have helped me live a truly amazing life. In my late teens I didn’t think I would get to this point, quite honestly, my belief in reaching my late thirties was pretty sketchy until about last year. Today, I know that I’ve lived a full life; one that has allowed me to experience all the colors of life and all the emotions it has to offer.

Thank you to my tight-knit family…my two sisters and two brothers who have been supportive, loving and kind even when I haven’t been.

Thank you to my life-family; you know, the ones that this journey has designated as my family – Colleen, Marcia, Evelyn M., Taqua, Clent, Slugger, Leona, Juanita, Linda and Herbie.

Thank you to the love of my life, BD. You’ve given me an opportunity to love myself and offer that love back to you. I am forever grateful for all that your love gives me.

And thank you to all the folks who have come into my life to make my 39 years feel like life is always worth living; consciously.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Evening Edition - 8/1/08

Okay Lord…What Is It?
As the story goes, I was about six months old when my mom visited some friends, one of whom was an avid Christian evangelist. At sometime during the visit the evangelist stopped in mid-sentence, pointed at me as I lay in my carrier and said to my parents, “I know this is going to sound a little crazy, but the Lord has asked me to tell you that your son has a great purpose and the Lord will use him in a spectacular way.” At the time my parents were not church-going folks and my mom, who was a bit of a rebel rouser, simply shrugged it off as kind words about her first baby boy. By the age of eight-or-so my parents were fervent Christians and strong believers in God and I recall the story being retold to me in one of those snack-time-hair-raising after service talks. Fast forward seven more years and I was the most rebellious of the Cruz clan and found myself on the hard streets of NYC doing things that I’m sure were as far away from the purpose that was foretold. My teenage years were ripped from the pages of some high-grossing summer blockbuster script, but through it all I recall never suffering a calamity that took me too far from the values my parents instilled in me. My twenties saw me regain my footing in life and an ambition that allowed me to be a homeowner in my early twenties and a man who was grounded, but still knew how to have a great time. It was shortly after my third decade began that some of my slick choices came home to roost. It turns out that karma and the laws of life’s reciprocations would show me that material things, deceptive practices and living dangerously can sometimes have you start, as Brian McKnight once put it, “Back at one.” During my parent’s stay in NYC last month, I took them to visit an old friend of theirs – a first lady of one of the first churches they attended decades ago. My parents – now the Reverend and first lady of their own congregation – sat and talked to the woman for over an hour. I looked at the old woman and drifted to another time. My memory of her was of a much more vital, strong, statuesque lady. She now sat feeble and slightly broken; reeling from the death of her husband just 18 months before. As the visit came to an end my parents hugged the former first lady and she turned to me and said, “Please feel free to visit with me whenever you’d like. I’m here if you need to talk.” Blessed with my mom’s social graces I turned to face her and she held both my hands in hers. Her face changed from pained-loss and lit-up to a warm smile. “I hope you haven’t forgotten what the Lord predicted for you,” she said. My confused look gave way to my asking her, “Excuse me, I didn’t understand what you said.” She then pulled me closer and without missing a beat said, “He told you that he had great plans for you when you were just a baby and you may think that he’s forgotten, but he hasn’t. The calling is still there and no matter what you do and where you go, your purpose awaits you.” Any summer sun that had once decorated my face drained away before she returned to her normal demure voice and sullen expression, “The Lord has spoken to you. Please take him seriously.” Without knowing what to say next I gave her a big hug and said, “Thank you. I won’t forget.” Strangely, she responded, “Yes, please come and see me anytime.” As my parents and I reached my car, my heart was racing, but I didn’t know what to say first. As I pulled out of the parking space, I looked at my mom and asked her, “Remember that evangelist who said I was destined for greatness,” I smiled. My mom looked at me quizzically and said, “Yeah, why do you ask?” I stammered on, “Did you ever tell the good sister about that conversation. My mom smiled and said, “No. As a matter of fact that seems like so long ago that I almost didn’t remember it myself.” My throat went dry and I stared from my rear-view mirror to the streets around me. “Are you okay,” my mom curiously asked. I replayed the words I heard moments ago in my head again, but simply said, “Yes. Just a little nostalgic from seeing the sister tonight. I was just wondering if you still told that childhood story.” As I dropped off my folks at my house and parked my car I sat for a moment and my eyes welled-up. The neighborhood now blurred by the tears that held in place and refused to give way and stream down my cheeks, I looked up and said, “Lord, I don’t know what it is, but I sure hope you would reveal it to me already.” So as I reach the last year of my 30s in the next couple of days, this is my birthday wish…that I know my purpose while I still have the vitality to execute it.

On Blast
Not everyone knows their purpose in life; some don’t even believe that everyone has one. My heart tells me that everyone has a purpose; their reason for living.
Do you know what your great purpose in life is?

Keep passin’ the open windows…