Thursday, December 31, 2009

God Is Your GPS; You Are the Driver

As 2010 comes in - well, a new decade starts - I'm looking forward to great beginnings. I'm still amazed by the mindset that really trusts in God doing things FOR anyone. It's like some folks take country-star Carrie Underwood literally and let go of the steering wheel in the hope that God will drive. It's my belief that you can trust God to be your GPS, giving you the direction of where to go, but you have the free will to drive yourself in any direction. Accepting responsibility for our own life is difficult. It means that you are crafting your own future - good and bad. It's okay to make mistakes, it's okay to take chances, it's okay to do the things that make you a better you. Ultimately, the time tested opinion is that you will regret all the things you fail to try, rather than the things you try and fail at. It's 2010 - a new year, a new decade; will it be a new you? God, like GPS, is great to have in your life, but HE gave you free will so that you aren't a helpless robot. Trust your GPS, but don't slip into the passenger seat leaving your GPS to drive. Happy 2010!

Keep passin' the open windows...

- Mobile post from my iPhone

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Clarity

Try as you may to shroud yourself in dreams, life has a way of providing moments of clarity. It's in those moments that you are privy to your own life without the benefit of rose colored glasses of love, commitment or call of duty hampering the real-deal of your life. For the last five years or so, I have been living in that clarity. A stagnant reality that is comforting and disconcerting at the same time. I see me - and my life - for exactly what it is. I make a genuine effort to also see those in my life as they are AND love them in spite of it. It's also a bit odd to see how folks see me and their reaction to really 'seeing me'. It's like children finding out that the Boogie Man doesn't really exist or that Santa's a myth. Turns out that even with my rough-and-tumble exterior shell, I do have feelings and I do care. It's pretty extraordinary when they see me and see my true intentions, my heart and that maybe - just maybe - I may not be as heartless as they imagined. So as the holidays roll through, look around you at some of the folks you may not be seeing so clearly. You may be pleasantly surprised to find that without those clouded glasses, there is a clarity that changes everything.

Keep passin' the open windows...

- Mobile post from my iPhone

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

I Bet You Think This Post Is About You

American society appears obsessed with the private lives of others. With better technology, the trend of announcing late breaking, personal information sees no way of satiating the American public's intent on being privy to every tawdry detail they can come across. Dork, self-professed-not-black, pro golfer Tiger Woods has gotten more coverage for working the hoes than the holes and yet the question each time I hear the newest discovery to his private scandal is, 'why should I give a damn'? Aren't there children missing, wars in various parts of the world and Senators stalling healthcare legislation? Don't those stories warrant more attention than some fat cat overindulgent "athlete" with poor judgment? Entertainment Tonight, the National Enquirer and even The View can do an in depth presentation of a celebrity's mistep, but when CNN and NBCs Today Show lead off with extra marital affairs as newsworthy - especially in light of the state of the world - something is wrong.

Keep passin' the open windows...

- Mobile post from my iPhone

Sunday, December 13, 2009

This FAB Old House

Although many thought we were already sharing a crib, BD and I alternate between each other's pad. We recently signed on the dotted line for our shared crib and have spent the last few days turning the house into a home. Admittedly, it's a lot of work - we haven't begun to address the packing and merging of our personal effects, but we've narrowed down decor for the new pad and that's a start. All said, I want us to start the new year finally enjoying a place WE call home. My fears of the unknown have been replaced by the excitment of sharing one roof and having our next logical step cement our dream-come-true commitment. Here's to our very own episode of This Old House.


Keep passin' the open windows...

- Mobile post from my iPhone

Monday, December 07, 2009

Chain E-Mail; The Hemorrhoid On the Ass of Communication

Is there really a polite way of saying, “Don’t text or e-mail me with junk text or junk e-mail messages?” I mean, keeping in contact with friends and family is tough enough, but when I’m excited to see a text or e-mail from you, only to be disappointed to open it and realize it’s a chain e-mail warning me of impending doom if I don’t forward it on to ten more unsuspecting fools, I get really pissed off. I’m really happy to hear from you – via e-mail, text or phone - but if you don’t have a personal message (you know, a message that comes directly from you to me) don’t send it to me. Jesus, Allah and other religious entities don’t operate via these chain communication techniques, so stop using the Lord’s name in vain and moving this sacrilege along. With the enormous amount of spam out there don’t forward that crap, but if you MUST, please remove me from your list of folks you think will benefit from the seven people, in seven days, for seven blessings plan. Ummm….and happy holidays.

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Monday, November 30, 2009

The Weary Face Of Committed Gay America

It seems a bit disconcerting to need to answer this question, but to those who have asked me whether BD or I are the "woman" in our relationship, the answer is simple - there isn't a woman in our relationship. If BD or I wanted a woman in our relationship we would've courted one. I realize that folks feel the need to neatly box and file-away people and things, but put this one in your miscellaneous folder. Gay relationships are as varied as there are gay men. To be clear and helpful to ALL of my friends, it is rude to ask adults what they do in bed intimately with their partner. Gay men don't wish to be women; you're confusing homosexuality with gender identity issues. I'm happy to be a man; never wanted to be female and am very comfortable with being a male friend to my female friends. I recognize that the mass media has long tried to make it easy for heterosexual folks to understand the gay experience, but in oversimplifying the issue for you guys they've led you to believe that one or both men in a relationship is a baton twirling, penis-loathing, sissy girlfriend, and well that is not only untrue but it compromises my ability to be polite when around those who continue with the ignorant comments and questions.

Keep passin' the open windows...

- Mobile post from my iPhone

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thanksgiving For Real

Thanksgiving is such a commercial holiday, but it is my favorite holiday all the same. I always feel that unlike Christmas, Thanksgiving is that holiday where you can give the most precious gift of all - yourself. Folks come together and share a meal while discussing how grateful they are about the important things in life. This year I'm thankful that the stars all lined up - I have my health; a partner who I love; a beautiful son; a supportive family; amazing friends and a great job. Make no mistake, I appreciate each one of my blessings every day. As I look back on trials I've overcome, I recognize their importance; they help me truly be grateful for my life today. It's Thanksgiving for real when you see what could have been compared to the glory of what is.


Keep passin' the open windows...

- Mobile post from my iPhone

Monday, November 23, 2009

Precious; The Human Spirit

The reviews for the movie Precious, a story based on the novel Push, all appeared to identify the flick as a tear-jerker; a movie that highlighted abuse and despair. With no spoiler alert required I can say that precious is actually the story of the resilience of the human spirit. Precious does take you to the depths of abuse, but when you hit rock bottom the consolation is that there is only one way left to go. Gabourey Sidibe is genius. Her acting betrays her experience. Monique is raw in a way that I've only seen in seasoned dramatic actors. Even Mariah Carey exercised a true to character performance that makes Precious a contender for Oscar and for a place on anyone's Best Picture List.

Thanks for sharing the experience with me Mercy! Now don't judge me for being vulnerable! ;)

Keep passin' the open windows...

- Mobile post from my iPhone

Cheese, Wine & Icons; 2009 AMA Review

Last night's 2009 American Music Awards was quite the spectacle. With so many former heavy hitters performing, the event was as touted as momentous as the second coming of Jesus. Janet Jackson, Jennifer Lopez and Whitney Houston - the list of performers seemed ripped from years passed...but then the show started...

Janet Jackson...now securely in her 40s, Janet has packed on a few pounds and shed her sense of style. Although her tribute performance a few months ago showed her wearing more appropriate gear, last night’s AMA get-up had a pudgier Janet running around in what looked like saggy ill-fitted sweats and a full (meaning fully-used) diaper. It was clearly Janet's last time being asked to open a big award show. Before the hateful banter begins, let me be clear that I love Janet; I love the confidence she showed during her recent Robin Roberts’ interview; but am realistic about Janet’s future as a lock-pop-and-drop dance icon.

Jennifer Lopez...my Boricua girl from the block always has her swagger. She started her performance like a prize fighter, making her way to the ring (ahem…stage) J-Lo looked confident and ready for the world. Once she removed the boxing robe, many of us expected a sexy Lopez sporting the new svelte physique. Instead we were treated to dumpy boxer shorts and unflattering flat boxing boots. Then La Lopez did the unthinkable – and for a dancer with her experience, the moronic. She climbed, ala stairway to heaven, up her sweaty backed dancers and once at the top of the human stairwell, she looked down with apparent trepidation and she jumped up into the air landing squarely on her flat and wet-bottomed feet. With the sweat covering the bottom of her flats J-Lo saw her feet slip from under her like a little boy skipping stones across a pond. Her hard bounce off her legendary ass was captured for (dare I say) posterity. Although she recovered nicely and followed up with an onstage wardrobe and shoe change, we only remember her gelatinous gluteus hittin' the ground – hard. J-Lo will need to rethink both her feet leaving any stage and with her new thighs to match her rump, let me be your Coqui paisano to tell you, NO MORE FLATS IN PUBLIC. Save the chanclas for the house ma!

Whitney Houston...Her return to the stage is a prayer answered for many of us. Those of us who remember her meteoric rise to the top have nothing but love for our Jersey girl. When we saw early pics of a recovering Whitney, recapturing some of the luster we remembered, we sighed and thanked the Lord for bringing her through. Now, that that’s out of the way, I have a follow-up request Lord, “Please give her back her voice, her shape or the good sense to sit her behind down after this last hurrah.” Look, we can all think it, but one of us needs to say it. She reminds me of Keyshia Cole’s recovering addict mom. You’ve dressed her up and we can see the Whitney of years passed hiding somewhere in there, but it’s almost like a drag-performance. Like the real Whitney is never coming back. So, in the vein of keepin’ it real….I love Whitney Houston. I love that she’s recovering and is blessed with a come-back that shows how much we’ve missed her and wish her well, but it doesn’t mean that this is going to work long term. We are now looking at Whitney following in the vocal footsteps of her famous cousin Dionne. The voice was there back in the day. You are legend. It is gone. Please let us remember you as you were and this final beautiful comeback. To answer Whitney’s question of years ago, “How will I know?”….BECAUSE WE WILL TELL YOU.

Honorable mentions this AMA include Mary J. Blige looking like a housewife from Atlanta, Adam Lambert giving America the finger – I’m not the American Idol, but who’s laughing now bitches?! And of course don’t think you got away with that dry ass awkward performance Shakira…hips don’t lie…you can’t really dance mamita!

The AMA’s were worth watching this year because they highlighted that wine, cheese and icons all age, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they suddenly become a more expensive, quality-driven rarity. Sometimes, it just means they can make you sick.

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Going Rogue In NYC

For years we've heard stories about good people, that in a moment of frustration with the repeated drip-on-the-forehead torture that life's obstacles can present, finally snap and do something rash. Well, I am consistently beseiged by the overwhelming desire to, not unlike Palin, go rogue on my polite life of pleasantries and congenial banter and land at the center of a retributive beatdown. Translation: I'm growing increasingly tired of ignoring the purposeful rudeness and ignorant behavior of those around me.

Here are some of my inner thoughts and how my pressure valve finds release through imaginative thought:

* Commuter Correction: if you speak to a fellow rider or on your mobile phone at a volume louder than a whisper or soft inside voice, we are now entitled to slap your mouth, mush your riding partner for not telling you about it and/or snatch your mobile phone and stomp on it until our inner thighs hurt

* if you board a two-person wide escalator and stand to the left but choose not to walk, those behind you can kick you in the center of your back and hold your face to the teeth at the end of the escalator grate

* if a door is held for you and you choose to walk through and not say thank-you, we bring said mannerless person back to the door and repeatedly slam their fingers in it until a audible crunching sound fills the air.

I'm still on this side of the bars; Fighting the desire to snap. Imagining a world where there are reflex reactions to the consistent bating by the ignorant.


Keep passin' the open windows...

- Mobile post from my iPhone

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Circle of Life

I can think back to my childhood years, my teens and even my thirties. As I enter my forties I'm conscious of my body changing and how the babies I once knew are now becoming adults and having babies of their own. The circle of life; that unstoppable reality that either plows ahead dragging you with it or buries you lifeless before leaving you behind. It's unquestionably the healthier alternative to grow old. To watch your body deteriorate - disintegrate really - and revert to that toothless bald baby you came into this world as is not a thought many of us look forward to. I often look at teens and wonder if I was that rambunctious in my early years and more important, do I resent not having the blinders of youth that make you move forward with an impenetrable fearlessness. It's a quiet secret, but just as the prospect of dying is scary, so is the prospect of growing old; watching as loved ones leave you and feeling a sense of disconnect with the gray-haired man looking back at you from the mirror. It's the circle of life. A short timeline that turns the baby into the grandad and the fashionista into the shuffle board champion. Here's to sharing some of that timeline along the way.

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- Mobile post from my iPhone

Monday, November 16, 2009

Careful What You Ask For

Im not a big religious type, but I do believe in God. If there's one lesson that has proven true my entire life is that God specializes in great outcomes. It's for this reason that my prayer is that he do what is best for me in my life - even when it doesn't appear to be what I want or expect. Praying that his will be done can get tricky. It sometimes means that my dreams are deferred and my plans are changed. That can be quite disconcerting. Conversly, living s short term dream that quickly transforms into a nightmare can be averted with a little divine intervention. If you're like me you struggle to relinquish control, but the beauty of God is that all is done and agreed to by you; the concept of free will. Pray smarter...save a few steps and pray that the Lord delivers what will be good for your heart and soul. Pray that your will is observed but overwritten by the almighty if it is for your greater good.

Keep passin' the open windows...

- Mobile post from my iPhone

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Bringing Shame to Boricuas

NYS Senator and Pentecostal minister Ruben Diaz knows first hand that discrimination is intolerable. A Puerto Rican maneuvering in NYS politics, he should be aware where his career would be if prejudice reigned unchallenged. Diaz has two gay brothers, countless gays he calls friends and yet he has one of the most boisterous platforms against marriage equality. Shame on you Diaz. New Yorkers must show their disapproval by voting for a candidate who supports marriage equality and believes in stomping out discrimination against any group of people. The age of giving candidates your vote based on racial similarities are long gone and ignorant. Support candidates who believe in causes important to you and let ministers with religious agendas preach their veiled hatred from their pulpits without the benefit of our tax dollars. The era of proclaiming your love for a group you willfully oppress is over.

Keep passin' the open windows...


- Mobile from my iPhone

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Alan's Birthday Dinner; 11/7/09

Happy birthday Alan! Here's to many more and the pleasure of celebrating with friends. Thanks for letting us be a part of it!


Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Obama Needs to Do It All - Fast

We handed Bush eight long years and in that time the country's surplus was turned into an enormous deficit, a war began and we were so isolated from the international community it seemed Canada would declare war on the U.S. In 10 months in office Obama has to clean up some really HUGE disasters AND make good on many pressing campaign promises. Yesterday's Dem losses in Jersey and Virginia are seen as his losses; races his mere clout should have carried. Healthcare, gay marriage, Afghanistan - all on his plate. To keep it real, I don't see how anyone would want the thankless job of commander in chief and, short of walking on water, what we expected President Obama to have accomplished in 10 months. I will give him credit for improving our relations abroad and making the healthcare discussion a serious one. For his own sake though, his critics are clamoring he do it all - fast.

Keep passin' the open windows...


-- Posted from my iPhone

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Good Parents vs Gay Parents

When news reports broke that youngsters were accused of gang raping a girl at a high school homecoming game, the newscaster never mentioned if the parents were straight. A young boy set his classmate on fire and still no clue as to whether there were heterosexuals running the show at the alleged attacker's home. All to say that as a society we should care more about how a child is raised than the sexual orientation of the folks raising him or her. I was recently asked about the parenting of our 10-year old and whether I believe he will be affected by having two male parents. The answer is, I hope so. We deliberately teach him to respect others, to celebrate diverse races and cultures and that religion is an individual's belief in a higher power that he has no right to challenge. Our son is encouraged to ask questions, to learn how to be a responsible member of society and yes, we even answer questions about girls and dating. When all parents realize that there isn't a Gay Parents vs Good Parents argument, we can get down to the business of being one society striving to be good parents. It's high time logic kicks in and we all demand we raise kids with respect for their fellow man, a love of life and the ability to appreciate differences. As a parent, the sexual orientation, race or religion of the parents seems a moot point; either you're a good parent or a bad parent.

Keep passin' the open windows...


-- Posted from my iPhone

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

NYC Subway; A Disaster In Waiting

More than one hour and twenty five minutes, on what should be a 20 minute ride, I was still trapped underground on NYC,s Subway. I quietly reflected on how one train malfunction or one sick passenger can easily cripple the world's largest train system. It is for this reason - among others - that terrorist and crazies alike target the Big Apple's aging mass transportation system. I have only one wish with regard to this...that my loved ones and I are not on the train when (and I absolutely mean when) the BIG disaster happens. NYC's transit system is ill equipped, poorly run and a sitting duck that WILL suffer many victims when the horror of a real emergency occurs.

Keep passin' the open windows

-- Posted from my iPhone

Friday, October 23, 2009

More to Come; TV News Today

Things aren't always as they appear. As the news breaks revealing facts that didn't seem initially plausible, our sensibility deteriorates. Affairs with God fearing men, murders by mothers, even heads of state being forced to fess-up to marital mayhem. It is now commonplace for many of us to look at newstories with a raised eyebrow. Maybe the question marks were always there. I'm sure society hasn't had a bout of moral decay that has rendered us coniving animals. What has definitely changed is technology. We now can pan to the video feed of Bill leaving Sally's crib or the mobile phone records of Maria calling 911 two days after strangling her kids. Shows like CSI, NCIS and Law and Order are near accurate portrayals of the amazing unraveling precision law enforcement agencies now use to solve crimes. Watching the news is only part one of current events. All newstories should offer-up the disclaimer that there is more to come.

Keep passin' the open windows...

- mobile post

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Nails In the Personal Hygiene Coffin

Personal hygiene. Seems like a universal concept, but in reality it is a learned behavior that some, well, haven't really learned. Today, as the trained chugged along I gazed upon a human hand with claws extending more than three inches from the end of each finger. Unable to make something as basic as a balled-up fist, please tell me how this person wipes after using the bathroom? Assuming there's some freakish method to accomplishing that, where do they work? Can they type or pick up a small item? Aside from checking frequently, how are they sure there isn't residue lingering under these pint-sized machetes? I'm all for accessorizing - for God's sake I'm gay - but when form defeats function and you willingly render yourself disabled OR worse, a breeding ground for ecoli, I believe it's time to maybe invest in a charm bracelet and leave the unsightly potential pooper-scoopers to the guys walking behind elephants at the circus.

Keep passin' the open windows...

Monday, October 19, 2009

Fact vs Non Fiction

No matter how you put it the truth is the truth. The last week or so I have been very physically uncomfortable. Work slacks wouldn't button, shirts felt constricting and last year's coats felt like grandmas shawl...snug. When I considered buying jeans to fit the new size, I realized that it wasn't just the numbers on the waist that would change, but also my dedication to keeping a healthy size. I dumped both pairs at the nearest rack and marched out of the store. Instead I told myself to tell the truth. Happy or not, I don't care for buying clothes because I'm eating irresponsibly an treating my body carelessly. Today I left the house with an extra bag...my gym bag. For years I made time for myself and hit the gym during my lunch hour. It will start again today. The truth is the truth and I honestly can't accept a compliment or a good word if it doesn't ring true to me.

Keep passin' the open windows...

- mobile post

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Running Your Trap

As i ride the train each morning I realize that I'm increasing my iPod volume to new heights in an effort to drown the chatter out. Now, I like to converse as much as the next guy, but the persistent chatter is irritating - especially when in closed spaces. It then struck me that many of the folks afflicted with Verbal Brake Failure (VBF) are complaining about being single, the disappointment of getting played, the bitch at work that "don't" like them and so on. I wondered if the chatter started because of the issues or were the issues directly related to the consistent running of the mouth. Do some folks talk too f*cking much? Could it be that part of the despair these folks are in can be traced to not knowing how to shut their trap? Well, the jury is still out, but take note, if by 10am you're already on your third 30 minute conversation, you may need to consider that the reason you're having issues with folks at work, school or even your disgruntled partner are a result of running your mouth.

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- mobile post

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Todo Cambio


Sometimes it's hard telling folks that you love them. The alternative is that they spend valuable time trying to figure out if you do. Sometimes it's hard to show someone you care and ultimately, time extinguishes the opportunities to ever have a glimmer of it reveal itself. I've promised myself that it will not be the case with BD. Every day I tell him how much I love him. Every day I tell him how important he is to me. Todo cambio (the song featured above - words included...lol) conveys these thoughts. They tell of how everything changed when I met BD. My black and white life is now in color. Tomorrow is not guaranteed...I choose to tell him today. Baby, everything changed when you came into my life and it's all good.

Keep passin' the open windows...

Friday, October 09, 2009

Mojo Back? Pres Wins Nobel Prize

On the heels of, what many considered a failed attempt at securing the Olympics for the U.S., President Obama wins the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize. What struck me as comical is how various media outlets quickly lined-up their firing squads to criticize how undeserved Pres Obama is of this prestigious honor. It would appear that the divine O - not to be confused with media mogul Ms. O - can't do right by some folks. The reality is that the Nobel Peace Prize solidifies the President's apparent universal charm, respect and golden-boy persona. Say what you will but we now have a President with the Midas touch. His wins far outnumber his loses and whether he's the antonym to the worldwide disdain for Bush or held to a side-by-side comparison with successes of any other historical figure, President Obama is a man to admire, praise and behold with wonder. Congrats to the once underdog to the Presidency who today can celebrate being a stellar father, a revered President, and now, a Nobel Peace Prize Winner...not bad for a guy who many thought had lost his mojo.

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- mobile post

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Save A Child; Shop Online

Zappos.com and Overstock.com are my mainstays. I just don't have the patience and foot arch to shop retail. To make the pot even sweeter, saving more than 30%-70% each visit is an incentive I just can't turn down. I have a pretty colorful personality, but my office and casual attire are very tan and grey. Now I know there's some queen from my earlier club days that's reading this sucking her teeth like she just ate corn, but on the real, those club-wear days are long gone. Replaced by love handles that have love handles, I have learned that certain trends are left to the Desperate Housegays and not a middle-aged man who spends the bulk of his time with white collar America. It's also a great feeling when I sit at my desk with a cup of espresso and page through various websites and not have to interrupt an irritated teenager forcing them to text their BFF how she is fishing a pair of extra large cords from the stock room for an irate former legend-in-his-own-mind. Now, instead of soaking my feet at the end of a long shopping day, I can soak my hands to prepare for that manicure courtesy of that nifty mani-pedi kit I bought online. Yeah, I take the occasional stroll to a retail store every now and again - I mean even an aging kitty needs a scratch post to keep those claws sharp - and when I do it's pure entertainment. The Minnie thanks me for not dragging him from store to store and those kids working retail, well they get to be lazy another day.

Keep passin' the open windows...

- mobile post

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Trojan Horse of Relationships

I can cop to being possessive when it comes to my partner. Do I act insane, inappropriate or odd when questionable scenarios present themselves? No. I think I'm mature enough to discern what issues need to be called to question or slid under the harmless-flirtation rug. There are also ways to mitigate lots of the drama that can asail your relationship by slimpy staying away from potentially volatile situations. Some of these can include:
1. Frequent visits to establishments geared toward facilitating the meeting of new folks (clubs, bars, lounges). These venues are great if you're single and ready to mingle, but as a committed partner these dens of iniquities (lol) tend to encourage irresponsible behavior. The free flowing alcohol doesn't help make better judgment calls either.
2. Secrets or the what-he-doesn't-know theory can be deadly to the trust and loyalty fostered in a relationship. I've learned to not say or do anything that I wouldn't say or do in front of my partner. Questionable talk and actions have a way of mysteriously traveling to the one person you're keeping it from. If you conceal things from your partner you should prepare yourself for the imminent end of a healthy relationship.
3. Your friends don't need a ringside seat to all that happens in your partnership nor should they be in a position to be very familiar with your partner. Now many will disagree with this point but trust me on this one. Your friends should be cordial and respectful of your man not his best buddy on speed dial. Familiarity breeds contempt...most times, a contempt for you.

Jealousy is not healthy, but sincere and conscious caution is. If you have strong pangs that something isn't right, it probably isn't. Trust yourself first and foremost. You're the one you have to live with until death has you part.

Keep passin' the open windows...

- mobile post

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Escape the Matrix

Could it be that at the clearest point of our lives, the matrix that was our lives, fights to have us question our sanity? As children we sing out loud, joke with imagination, dream in color and trust with abandon. Slowly we are worn down to individuals afraid to show any real emotion. Skeletons of our youthful life. Taught that smiling at strangers is freaky and dancing when we hear music is uncool. In many ways I've come full circle. I refuse to wait until my bones are brittle before I return to that happy abandon. I sing and act silly wherever and wherever. I joke about the most serious subjects - hey, it's never that serious. Maybe it has changed the direction my soul was taking. Crippled by adulthood many of us suffer from love-of-life atrophy. Ingest the cure. Abandon the road map that sent you down Miserable Avenue and recognize that One-Shot-At-Life Highway runs more smoothly, has less jarring stops-and-starts and can even be driven in cruise control at times. See ya' at the destination...hopefully you considered making it a comfy ride.

Keep passin' the open windows...

- mobile post

Monday, October 05, 2009

Heartprints As Gifts

Before you go spending the big bucks or busting that credit card up, think of this little fact. It's the meaningful, personal and heartfelt gifts that are most appreciated and remembered. Throughout my life, slices of kindness ring true, not that new Pontiac Trans Am that I ultimately paid in self respect for. Marcia's cup cakes delivered on her off day, Colleen's ride to the airport at 5 am and even that framed picture of my, now deceased friend and I, skillfully wrapped by Clent on my birthday; they all left indelible heart prints. At a time when folks are struggling to stay afloat in the midst of drowning bills, it's a good time to consider giving with your heart. Long after the economy turns around, your gift will stand out as a show of love and not lofty spending.

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- mobile post

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Unhappy Birthday Bobby

I hear myself speak and I remember back to a time when you stayed with me and folks couldn't tell us apart on the phone. Today you would've turned 45 years old. So much of my history went up in smoke that day last May when you died, and yet, by the look of things, you live on in my heart. It's an unhappy birthday! I miss you.

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- mobile post

Friday, October 02, 2009

Dog Gone It

I’m no stranger to bad decisions. As you might remember, it wasn’t long ago – January of this year to be exact – that I adopted Bruce, a Weimaraner pup. Bruce was beautiful, but he was more than a handful to care for. At over 70 lbs., at just 5 months, I realized Bruce needed lots of space and a boat load of exercise. Lately, I’ve had this overwhelming desire to add a new pup to my one dog family; one that would be easier to care for than the likes of Bruce, but have a little spunk to him/her. I narrowed my choice down to two breeds – Dachshunds and Basset Hounds – and even the decided I’d like a female dog, since I already have Busta – a male Miniature Schnauzer. Today, I narrowed my choice down further and will be deciding between the two female dachshund pups pictured below. The larger pup is 5 months old, while the smaller pup is almost 4 months old. Both are healthy, purebred pups with a lot to offer. Rather than skew your initial thought, I’m curious to which pup you would choose if asked to pick one. On Monday, I’ll tell you what pup I’m leaning toward to make part of my family.

1)










2)










3)
None. Wait until your Schnauzer kicks the bucket.




On Blast
1-2 or 3...Pick a pup…which pup do you like best? (top, larger pup OR bottom, smaller pup)

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Checkmate

It's sometimes difficult to accept that, in general, life is selfish. I say life because whether you're interacting with folks at work or just chiilin' with your friends some core rules should be observed. Now you're not going to agree with all of them and this is obviously not a complete list, but if you remember these you'll have the framework for success.

1. What's in it for me? That's right, folks will want to know how your new way of handling a project, choice of club or suggested eatery benefits them. Anticipate your suggestions and ideas with a plan of how they benefit those they are being presented to. In the end, it's unlikely that anyone will care how your ideas make YOUR life easier to manage.

2. How does your idea have more value? The green still has an enormous effect on the decisions folks make. In America, money - making and saving it - play a huge part in swaying which direction people will take. Know how your suggestion adds value by showing how your colleagues and friends are getting the best quality for the least money.

3. Even cucumbers can be pickled if they sit long enough. Be slow and steady. Stay firm and cool after you've presented your ideas. Don't hound folks and don't flip-flop about your well-thought out plan. Sounding shifty can sway someone hinging their decision on your confidence and resolve.

Give it a shot. See how these three ideas work for you. There are a million ways to walk, but swagger begins with something as basic as putting one foot in front if the other.

Keep passin' the open windows...

- mobile post

Thursday, October 01, 2009

America; Love It Or Leave It

There's a lot to be said about a country made up of so many different cultures, religious beliefs and social differences. Americans are in a cocoon of virtual safety with regard to their civil rights. This isn't to say that there aren't injustices we'd like to see resolved. It simply means that America is a country that acts like it gives a f*ck. For all the complaints made about her, America allows her citizens to vote on who will represent them and their interests. I guess when we're feeling down on our country, our President, our laws, we should take a look abroad. America isn't perfect but it cares to try. Somehow that's what makes our country the richest democracy; a country people die everyday to reach; the land of milk and honey for all. For all our differences we should defend America's reputation for striving to do right by all.

Keep passin' the open windows...

- mobile post

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Kidnapping As A Tool

Maybe I'm just making light of a very serious issue, but the news media is highlighting several cases of men who have lost their children to mother's who have fled the country to places around the globe that do not participate in treaties to grant these fathers their paternal rights and help return those kids back home to the states. Repeatedly the camera pans to distraught fathers on a mission to be reunited with their babies. I'll admit that to date I've only seen White men featured in these news reports and it got me to wondering if maybe the key to bring about support and participation by Black and Latino men is to have baby mommas take the kids and leave the country to a place far, far away. Would Pablo suddenly appear on the Today Show pleading the return of his six kids to the states? Would Tyrell cry and beg that Katie Couric use her influence to have his four baby mommas bring Laisha, Ronquiece, Quaraisha and Lexus back to Wagner Houses? hmmm... The experiment is novel at best, but it begs the question of paternal rights and paternal drive.

On Blast
On average, are the Black and Latino communities doing enough to nurture the paternal drive in our boys?

Keep passin' the open windows...

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Getting It In

I was talking to a friend last night about how some folks appear in a desperate rush to nail everything that's moving. It's almost as though they see the aging process as the end of the line to a lifetime of 'getting it in'. We all know that humans - though we try to fight it by appropriating 'player' and 'cougar' titles - must follow the natural circle of life. The younger bull will eventally jostle into position and the droopy uddered cow will give way to the perky nippled one. I'm at that point in my life where I stand back and watch in wonder at why we wouldn't make a greater effort to make meaningful connections than simply resorting to doubling our bed partners. I'm not knocking getting laid; I'm just thinking that once you're no longer the hot breeder on the block does the evolution of your life and the beauty of blissful partnership ever come to mind. After our conversation I watched an episode of Golden Girls before going to bed and laughed at how ridiculous Rose Nylund would have looked running around and partying with the likes of Paris Hilton. Evolving...isn't it as important as getting it in?

Keep passin' the open windows...

Friday, September 25, 2009

The Young Become the Old

It isn't a bad thing to age...well, gracefully. As my nephew celebrates his 14th birthday today I'm amazed at how fast time really goes by. Remembering the day he was born is as easy as my recalling last night's dinner. I rushed to the hospital to see his little crinkled face screaming at the top of his lungs. My sister was exhausted but celebrating the birth of her first baby. Four days later I moved to Maryland where I spent close to ten years; my life evolving; the experiences placed safely under my belt. I watched - sometimes from up close and sometimes from afar - as he grew, matured and became the handsome and brilliant young man he is today. He's taller than me and my prayer is that he reaches heights in his life that dwarf my own. Isn't that what life's about? The young become the old and it isn't such a bad thing when it means we get to watch the treasures that are our loved ones grow, mature and live.

On Blast
The circle of life...have you had the benefit of seeing it happen right before your eyes?

Keep passin' the open windows...

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Mackenzie Phillips; Okay You Win

Yesterday's Oprah Show finally saw the queen of talk-and-one-upmanship frustrated with her inability to do Mackenzie Phillips one better after Phillips revealed that her childhood drug use and her incestuous relationship with her father, legendary John Phillips, started since her tender age of about 11. Mac's new book, High on Arrival, details the actor's start on drugs, her sexual encounter with Mick Jagger and her 10-year off-and-on sexual tryst with her dad. Throughout the show O appeared disgusted and uncomfortable at times asking questions that could have been phrased in a kinder, softer way. The relief for our Lady of Daytime came when surprise guest and former One Day At A Time cohost, Valerie Bertinelli joined Mac on stage to support her during this difficult revelation. Mac says that the book and subsequent interviews should unearth the hushed issue of incest that she believes oftentimes strives to protect the reputation of the abuser.

On Blast
Should the issue of incest be discussed openly, as it was in Mackenzie Phillip's book, or should this issue have remained within the walls of her family unit?

Keep passin' the open windows...

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

It Really Isn't a Contradiction

I haven't looked back on them, but throughout the years, I’ve had several blog posts that dealt with my reconciling my religious beliefs with my sexual orientation. As I watched yesterday's Tyra Show I was reminded of the ignorance, condescension and ungodly characteristics so prevalent in Christian churches. It stands to reason that folks who spend so much time close to the word of God and attending church services should be God filled and ready to impart that love to those around them. More often than not they are judgmental and ready to preach hell and brimstone; their interpretation of the Bible apparently fitting their lives perfectly, but sadly demanding that everyone else change some facet of their life to fit their belief of the word. What I ask all Christians to do is to believe in God, reflect his love and consider if they would serve God if HELL wasn't part of the equation. You see, when you serve God because you are appreciative of his son's sacrifice on the cross rather than the threat of the burning embers of hell, you can share his loving sacrifice with the world without looking down your nose at any of God's children. Reflect God and goodness and leave the relationship others have with God to them. You see, being Christian and gay isn’t a contradiction, but being Christian and judgmental is.

Keep passin the open windows...

Jesus Loves Jeff Just As He Is; Tyra Commentary

Commentary on Tuesday, September 22nd Tyra Show Guest; Jeffrey, 16


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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Before the Panicked Rush Begins

I'm a firm believer in doing all that's within your power to keep your job - including battling mass transit delays to get to work, but the stress New Yorkers exhibit trying to make their way to the office, I believe, rivals the panic of any other city in America. I'm learning to be still and breathe deeply believing that I'm precisely where I am supposed to be at any given moment. Sometimes I think we're rushing to the grave. Stop and consider that your delay may be divinely scheduled. You may be surprised to discover that your disturbed commute is the buffer between you and disaster.

Keep passin' the open windows..

Monday, September 21, 2009

Celebrate the Moments

Celebrate the moments of your life were the first few words from an International Coffee commercial. I remember that even back when I first heard those words that they made perfect sense. Last Friday a group of friends and I did just that. We left the office after a busy day and shared in dinner and dancing. The diversity of our group added to the spice of an already beautiful night. It doesn't happen often in NYC, but every so often folks can manage to escape their busy schedules and celebrate the moments of their lives. One day we'll look back and if we're lucky, these will be the instances we remember. A special thank you to Keith, Enid, Carmen, Leona, Mercy, Paula, Margaret, Isabel, Pumpkin, Evelyn, Clent, Wanda, Kisha, Liz, Martin and Fred for celebrating the moments of their lives with me.

Keep passin' the open windows...

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Recurring Pain

I’ve talked about this subject on this blog, I’ve talked about it with my close friends and even BD has gotten an earful, but I still can’t get over the recurring pain of losing my friend Bobby. After a friendship that spanned 24 years, it stands to reason that I would have some issues with moving on…I just didn’t think it would be part of my daily thoughts. It took more than three months to take the program of his wake off the cocktail table in my living room. Finally, when my sister visited a week ago and asked why I still had the program out in the open, I looked down and I realized that it was painful to put my last memory of my friend in a drawer. His telephone number is still in my cell phone and as crazy as this is going to sound, I’m sometimes tempted to press “dial” in the hopes that we’re all wrong and Bobby answers. It’s a recurring pain. I know I live with more confidence and with less reservations because I feel that Bobby would have wanted to be here to enjoy these very moments…how dare I squander any of them away, right? I’ve never lost a friend I held this close, so I don’t know when the recurring pain will go away or if it will subside a bit. I miss our coming home from the club or an event and comparing stories. He would always remind me of the details I seemed to forget. “Bitch let’s hope I never die because you’ll have amnesia, “he’d say. Ironically, the one thing I’ll never forget is him and our friendship. I sometimes cry at movies, but I’m not a water sandwich when I recognize others need me to be strong. Consequently, I did a great job of not crying openly at Bobby’s wake. Yet privately writing this blog, I am brought to tears. Most of my blogs end with a point…an admonition….some advice…this one ends with nothing more than a longing for a friend that I can never speak to again. I guess I should accept that the recurring pain is Bobby’s last reminder.

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

My Place

As I converse with friends and hear reactions to Oprah's Whitney Houston interview, I'm again grateful to where the Lord allows my spirit to be today. Was Whitney lying, covering, revealing or dodging? To be honest I felt, like many of us, she told as much of the truth to paint the picture she wanted portrayed. She understands that the obvious lies and omissions will no longer go over well with a public that has prayed for her deliverance and was smacked with her indifference in previous years. To effect a comeback she had to give what some felt they needed to hear. To simply see her recovered and doing well just wouldn't do. Yet the criticisms persist. We can't please everyone. I'm happy by Whitney's apparent place today - mentally, physically and spiritually. I recognize that my place is to enjoy her gift and leave all other speculations regarding her personal experience to her and the higher power in her life. I accept that her gift is what has been shared with me and that her celebrity is what her public has imposed.

Keep passin' the open windows...

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Smear Tactics; Don't Die Of Shame

Anal cancer is over 35% more prevalent in gay men – 80% more prevalent for HIV+ men – and yet the shame of talking about having a simple male pap smear exam is avoided because of the shame of having a medical conversation about our ass. It’s really ironic, since gay men – many men in general – are big ass fans. Well, it’s high-time we seriously talk ass health. Gay African-American men have the highest increase for anal cancer and the lowest survival rates for the disease. Before the medical community included female pap smears for women over 18, cervical cancer had a higher death rate as well. The pap smear exam – for both men and women – screens for the HPV (Human Papilloma Virus) one of the most common STDs in the world. To set you gentlemen at ease – the exam uses an eight inch q-tip (Dacron swab) inserted only 4 inches into your anal canal to collect a swab of cells. The exam is relatively pain free. Anal cancer is highly preventable and very treatable if caught in time.

So here are the facts…
** If you are a man who has sex with men, you should have a male pap smear
** If you have a history of anal or genital warts you should have a male pap smear
** 65% of men – 95% of HIV+ men – carry HPV in their anal canals
** There are more than 100 different subtypes of HPV
** HPV Subtypes 6 & 11 cause 90 percent of genital warts
** Subtypes 16 & 18 are far more dangerous because of their precancerous potential


We’ve become a community that openly speaks about our sexual trysts and the beauty of our bodies. Let’s become a community that also talks about keeping our bodies – and those of our family and friends – healthy for years to come.

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Monday, September 14, 2009

This Battle Is Not Yours

Last night’s outburst from Kanye West at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards was not the first of his public speaking shockers. His well documented “George Bush doesn’t care about Black people,” left Americans with mouths agape. Somehow, some believed that it was high-time someone said what many at that time were thinking, but we didn’t really look ahead at how that same behavior - unchecked and encouraged – would become disastrous. Moreover, it’s one thing to feel courageous enough to take on the leader of the free world and something rather cowardly to snatch the microphone from a teenage girl making a nervous acceptance speech. West delivered an apology, but short of using a butter knife to sever his testicles and use them as click-clacks at the end of a wire hanger in front of the same millions who witnessed last night’s VMAs, it was too little too late. This leads us to the real point of this entire article, which is the importance of choosing your battles. It is my opinion that Kanye has a good heart, but because of circumstances unknown to us, he lacks the filter or gate that prevents him from championing every cause he deems before him. You see, he may have believed in his heart that Beyonce was suffering an injustice by having Taylor Swift win the first award for Best Video – Female, but somehow he should have saved his comments for his appearance at Jay Leno’s primetime premiere tonight. The stage would be his and he would be joined by none other than Mr. Beyonce himself, Jay Z. All said, it’s a mistake he will spend the rest of his career – assuming he still has one – apologizing for. Whether he's bringing attention to the folks who suffered at the hands of an apparently ambivalent President or he's taking a stand against-the-grain for millions of gays oppressed by the hip-hop community, West hasn’t always been the bad guy. Unfortunately, this little tirade may have been the greatest lesson of them all for West – Sometimes it’s best to WAIT and ANALYZE a situation thoroughly to insure that getting behind an issue or cause warrants your support. No, Beyonce doesn’t need West to sing her praises – she even went on to win for Song of the Year the very same evening – but not exercising appropriate decorum led West to make a fool of himself and diminish the power of his words. If we’re to learn anything it should be that all battles are NOT ours to fight and that pausing to ascertain which are worth fighting is the difference between being thought of a hero or a coward.

On Blast
Have you ever thought you were championing a worthy cause only to find out you were stepping out of line where your support was not warranted?

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Truth

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Living my truth is the most difficult, yet the most rewarding experience. I don't think I would've moved forward in my life - grown, fallen in love or felt satisfied - if I lived outside my truth. I may not always know the answers and it may one day feel that truth brings about an outcome that is different from what I hope for, but I know it is what should be. Truth will allow me to live my best life because all things are fertilized by that which is honest, real and irrefutable.

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Transit Trauma

Riding NYC transit every day, I’ve come across a cast of characters not unlike any movie set in Hollywood. No make-up or costume department can duplicate the authentic horror stories that commute with me every day. This brings me to the boisterous, hairy-legged, gnarled-toed woman sitting in front of me on the train this morning. As the train conductor made an announcement about delays, the loud talking Monster Paws – heretofore referred to as MP – loudly chatted on her cell phone about anything and everything that crossed her mind this morning. Unfortunately, I had trouble hearing her, not for the saving grace of my IPod, but the distraction that was her unsettling bottom half. Women, pull your note pads and pens out now. Write this down. You DO NOT have to shave your legs, but if you choose to force them upon unsuspecting onlookers and reside in the developed world, we will ask you to forgo your rebellious Chubaka-esque style and partake in the following services:
** Shave or use a depilatory on any/all portions of your leg that will be exposed
** Wash your feet, trim your toe nails and run an alcohol soaked q-tip under the toe-nail tips
** Moisturize all exposed portions of your limbs; reapply as necessary

Of course you can ignore the general public’s idea of common sense and personal grooming, but be reminded that the picture you see here could be of you…on a more widely read venue.

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Monday, August 31, 2009

Unsolicited Rude Honesty

It has probably happened to everyone – or maybe that’s what I tell myself to lessen the blow – but at one time or another in our lives we encounter someone that whether by ignorance or pure cruelty has the unmitigated gall to share some pearls of rude honesty. Today was my day.

More than a year after my work team moved from one location to another and now to a third location, I returned to my original stomping grounds to have lunch with BD. After raking more than eight ounces of beef tenderloin to my plate, I shoveled a few hearty tablespoons of mac and cheese and sealed the deal with a generous serving of corn; picked up some tasty Diet Dr. Pepper and I was all set. Once at the register, I recognized one of the cashiers who I hadn’t seen since my initial move. I waved and heard her yell back at me, “Where have you been?” I waited until I got slightly closer and smiled before responding, “Oh, I’m at the new building across the street.” The words hadn’t quite left my mouth before I heard the nails-upon-the-chalkboard-next-statement that bellowed from her, “You’ve gotten so fat!” Caught off guard I looked around nervously, two-shades darker than a bottle of Heinz Ketchup and attempted to give her – or maybe myself – an out, “I guess I’m just happy.” She frowned and shot back, “Well then don’t be so happy then. You were so attractive when you were fit. You need to lose that weight.” To add insult to injury she shook her head and tapped the cashiers nearest her to look as I walked away.

BD wasn’t privy to the incident and quite honestly, he does such a great job at loving me for me, that I may have ignored the bigger pant purchases or the cutting underwear and needed to hear the truth from an impartial party, but I wonder if I needed to hear it like this.

So as I sat down with BD and some friends, I told them what just happened and did what I do best…made a big joke of it. No one laughs more at themselves and is more critical of their own physique than me. As I walked back to my office I was gripped by the realization that this ignorant bitch’s unsolicited and rude honesty was just what my fat ass needed to get serious about getting back in shape.

On Blast
What was one of your most unsolicited, yet motivating, instances of rude honesty?

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Family, Friends and the Future


The unwritten rule is that we go above and beyond for our family members, cherish our friends and think about the future when handling situations today. That said, I walk a fine line between giving the shirt off my back and wanting to haul-back and slap someone to the ground for the overt lack of regard for said shirt.

I think back to a time when I lived in Washington, DC for ten years. There were moments when I felt very alone – downright disconnected really – but was consistently comforted by knowing that no matter how good or bad things were with family and friends, I wasn’t geographically close enough to be relevant. I was frequently omitted from drama and issues simply because I wasn’t in the line of fire.

Every couple of years my close friends would visit and we’d have a blast. They always seemed more respectful then, since we didn’t have the daily contact that breeds familiarity. By virtue of having such a limited time to spend together, we made the best of all situations.

You’ll notice that if you live long enough time heals all things. Instances that appeared to take your breath away, all seem almost silly today. Personally, it’s now a math problem of sorts. When someone appears to be subtracting your positive energy and do nothing to add to your life, it is time to simply drop them. Too simplistic? Apply these rules to your social interactions for one month and see how it works out:

** You can discuss matters with friends and family, but constant arguing is not healthy or productive. Yelling back-and-forth assures no one is really listening. Attempt to stay calm; state your case; hear their side without interruption; agree to talk about it once you’ve thought about it calmly; set a date/time. If you’re still finding reasons to argue, drop it. This relationship needs to die in silence or be reborn once a sense of respect and mutual understanding can be achieved between the parties.

** Give, give, give, but never receive…. Here’s the reality of things. You should NEVER give with the objective that you’ll be compensated or that folks will eventually reciprocate. Give from the heart expecting nothing in return, but don’t be a fool. If you are constantly putting out cash, your assistance, your ear, etc. and the receiver never volunteers the same, the chances are you are being taken advantage of. Drop this relationship and move on. Even public assistance has figured out that able-bodied people should work for the benefits they receive.

** You suggest mutually beneficial scenarios for your friends and family members – babysitting arrangements, housing, employment, etc. – and they decline your offer as lacking benefit to them, but once they analyze further and figure out they stand to gain most from your suggestion, they back-pedal and attempt to have you rekindle your offer. Once, maybe…twice, rarely… three times – never…take a walk. If your friends and family only want to support ideas that benefit them and do not consider you in their decisions, drop them. You can do badly by yourself – and you can do GREAT by yourself as well. Stop roping losers into your blessing – they didn’t earn it.

In all instances you should let your friends and family know how you feel and why you’ve taken the decision to step back. Be clear – not accusatory – and firm in your stance to separate from the one-sided relationships. Clear your head. You’ve done nothing wrong when you consider your own interests first. Misery loves company and if you don’t believe me, look at a fly strip; you never see a fly stuck on a strip yelling to other flies, “Go around!”

On Blast
Do you think yourself selfish when you demand to be treated with respect?


Keep passin’ the open windows…

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Cocoa Cure; July 21, 2009

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Early Birthday Gift Pulls Heartstrings

Clent, previously J’Moo on the Not Shady Just Fierce blog comments, has been one of my closest friends for over 25 years. He formed a third of the holy trinity that was Bobby, he and I. Both Clent and I will be away for my August 5th birthday and so I asked him to join me for dinner last Thursday. He attended and brought along a wonderful gift – a framed picture of Bobby and I taken some years back. When I stared at the picture in the cherry wood frame I felt my eyes water and looked up from it to see Clent’s eyes were glassy too. As UN-mushy as I am, I really was pleasantly surprised and touched by such a well-thought out gift. Following this, Clent called me at the office Friday and offered to treat me to see the Clark Sisters at Riverside Church in Harlem last night. The VIP seats – shoulder-to-shoulder with Phylicia Rashad no less – were GREAT and the Clark Sisters (a longtime favorite gospel group of mine) did not disappoint. As we laughed and chatted throughout the concert (yeah, we’re rude like that sometimes) we both thought about how much Bobby would have loved the Clark Sisters last night. Turns out he did because our chatting about him made it feel like the three of us were there. Thank you for a great birthday gift.

On Blast
It’s like he was there…we joked about Bobby – even used lines he would have used at certain times during the concert last night. I think our ability to make light and make Bobby present keeps him alive for us…
Do you find yourself speaking of a dearly departed soul in the present?

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Thursday, July 16, 2009

The Price Of Bravery; Counting Back From 40

I’ve never boasted about being brave and in light of some of the stories I’ve heard from folks who came to the U.S. from other countries, I know that there are varying degrees of what bravery really is.

I remember being 15-years old and being asked by my parents – in a good cop-bad cop way – if I was gay. The two people I feared most in life discovered evidence that pointed to my being gay and confronted me in an inquisition that ended with an ultimatum. My father insisted I give it up – being gay – or leave his home.

Even then, leaving the only home I’d ever known to live on the streets of NYC seemed like an easier prospect than denying who I was. It just seemed that I had finally taken a deep breath after having hands around my throat and allowing those hands to take hold again was unthinkable.

The next three-to-four years of my life were difficult at best. I bounced from friend’s homes, to well-wishers to folks who will prey on children in the name of charity. I suffered indignities that I succeeded in repressing so far in my unconscious, that today, the very thought of speaking them out loud hurts my chest.

When I finally met my first partner, I endured a physically abusive relationship in the name of having a stable home. Dangled outside a 4-story window, precariously held by a belt loop from a car moving at 70 miles per hour and having my face slapped so hard I wished I’d passed out so that my nose didn’t hurt so bad – all in the name of normalcy.

Living my life as an out and proud gay man was a choice that came at a very high price. While I have an open mind toward folks who do not share a respect for diversity, I have a difficult time sitting back while someone is disrespected or treated inhumanely. Similarly, I cannot relate to someone who in adulthood struggles with coming to terms with who they are and living in their truth.

As my 40th birthday approaches, I’m filled with a sense of pride at how far I’ve come from that frightened 15-year old boy that was cast to the wolves. So many of the youngsters I remember sharing the street with are long gone, consumed by drugs, disease and despair. It is by God’s will that I’m here. It is by God’s will that I have the resilience to show bravery as the man HE created.

To my fallen friends who didn’t have the luxury of a fourth decade of life, I acknowledge that I’m here because of you. Your bravery taught me the skills to survive and, at times, you took the blows intended for me. Today, I can only live in pride and truth because the price of bravery is too high to squander on present day pleasantries.

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Choosing My Battles

I’m not quite certain if I’m making better choices regarding what battles are worth fighting OR I’m simply suffering from age fatigue, but I’ve finally reached that point where I’m not likely to fight everyone or every battle that comes my way. The lesson to walk away from some of those nasty fights has been learned. Here are a couple of recent examples and the outcome of each…
1. My parents – my mom specifically – is a horrible money manager. Regardless of how much money she has, mom can burn through it. Recently, we discovered that she may be making covert decisions regarding their home in Puerto Rico. Decisions that can affect our ability (as her children) to inherit the house in P.R. When I heard of this, I was about to hit the roof. Suddenly calm came over me and I realized that the house is theirs to buy, sell, mortgage, give away, etc. I don’t have an interest in debating an issue that doesn’t directly affect me or my interests. Battle averted.
2. BD and I were having a discussion during lunch today RE: Facebook and our shared pictures being seen by our friends who may not know we’re a couple. I could care less, since I live openly and don’t feel I have any explaining to do to anyone. BD, on the other hand, recently asked me to remove pics that showed us together (simply standing next to each other) because his Facebook friends may deduce that we’re a couple. I let it go then, but as the conversation played-out today, it hurt my feelings…mainly because I thought he was beyond this…not so much, I guess. All said, I let this battle go too. I chalked it up as an issue he needs to work through. Does it change the way I feel? Yes, somewhat. It undermines my ability to feel that I live an open and proud relationship that commands the respect of others. Does he see this? Probably not. At this stage in my life, even this has become a battle I’m not inclined to fight. It is BD who should be concerned about the effects those types of blows have on our foundation as a couple.

What does all of this mean? It means that situations will arise that appear to be important, but under closer inspection they aren’t worth your time and aggravation. I choose to invest my time in THE MOST important person in the world – ME. It isn’t conceit, selfishness or delusions of grandeur that should bring each of us to the healthy realization that if you choose to make yourself happy first and back away from battles to force others to hold you to a higher regard, you’ll prove that the task of making you the top priority is best handled by you.

On Blast
It takes practice…a conscious effort to NOT fight. Sometimes it’s harder to turn and walk away from a fight then slugging it out for nothing other than a battle of wills. Upon close inspection, do you recognize one instance in your life where you’re fighting tooth-and-nail and you should be walking away from the fight?

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Wedding on Independence Day

Jessica Rivera got married to Michael Qualter this Independence Day. The ceremony and reception were absolutely beautiful.

On Blast
Have you considered what your wedding ceremony would be like?

Keep passin' the open windows...

Friday, July 03, 2009

Cocoa Cure; Happy 4th of July Weekend!

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On Blast
What will you do - extra special - for your birthday this year?

Keep passin' the open windows...

Do You Know Your Own Strength?


On Blast
Do you know your own strength?

Keep passin' the open windows...

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Already Done


As I look around I realize it’s already done. All of my needs God has fulfilled. It has less to do with my material needs and more about all the needs of my soul. See, the odd thing is that throughout my life while others prayed for a new house, a new car, a new man or a new job, I’ve prayed, “Lord, please help me feel completely happy.” Oddly, I’ve had the new house, the new car, the great job and now the dream man and all I ever prayed for was happiness. What that says to me is that our happiness has less to do with anything we can buy or acquire and more about honest fulfillment. I don’t presently have that house, my car is no longer brand new and I work in an industry plagued by layoffs – but I’m happy because my happiness isn’t anchored in any of these things. So, keepin’ it real and simple tonight I wanted to share something from the old PK (preacher’s kid) treasure chest…know that it’s already done. Believe it…and stop asking for stuff that has such finite value. Know what to ask for…ask for real spiritual fulfillment…honest happiness...and believe that it’s ALREADY DONE.

On Blast
When things are not as they should be it’s harder to have faith in the God of my childhood, but repeatedly he’s proven that he’s there…and it’s already done.
Do you accept that the only thing standing between nothing and everything is you?

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Cocoa Cure - 1st Ever Video Blog

video

On Blast
I have to be honest, videos and photographs aren't my thing, but technology will move forward - with or without us. In light of that, I've posted my first - of hopefully many- video blogs.
Do you find you are more critical and cruel with yourself OR do you enjoy an easy hand when judging yourself?

Keep passin' the open windows...

Thursday, June 25, 2009

R.I.P MICHAEL JACKSON; THE DEATH OF AN ICON



On Blast
Do you remember the first time you ever heard a Michael Jackson song?

Keep passin' the open windows...

Do Minorities Believe in Protecting Their Rights?

The Supreme Court today ruled 8-1 that then 13-year old Savana Redding’s 4th amendment rights were violated when her school strip searched her looking for prescription strength drugs they believed she was holding. What struck me as odd in this ruling is that ALL, but one justice found Redding’s rights had been violated EXCEPT Justice Clarence Thomas. Even today, Thomas’ name conjures cackles from folks who remember the scandal that surrounded his confirmation hearings. Thomas is no youngster and must remember the struggle of minorities to enjoy the same rights as White Americans, yet he is the judge who repeatedly appears to rule in favor of obliterating an individual’s rights OR ignoring when they’re being violated. As I read the ruling, I was filled with sadness that the only glaring supporter of strip-searching a 13-year old girl after documents showed she waited more than two-hours outside the office of the school’s Vice-Principal’s without so much as a call to her parents was Justice Thomas. Justice Ginsburg wrote, “Abuse of authority of that order should not be shielded by official immunity.” Justice Thomas simply said that the majority’s finding second-guesses the measures that educators take to maintain discipline “and ensure the health and safety of the students in their charge.” When a man of color believes that giving up rights to ensure safety is a plausible course of action something is definitely wrong. I ask myself if it matters whether we’re speaking of a justice on the supreme court or a person flipping burgers at Burger King, "Do minorities feel worthy of having equal rights?" To be clear, there wasn’t any mention of the race of Savana Redding; my concern is from the standpoint of a Supreme Court Justice upholding actions that minimize or obliterate someone’s rights.

On Blast
Clarence Thomas succeeded Justice Thurgood Marshall – the first ever African American Supreme Court Justice. Do you believe Justice Marshall would approve of Supreme Court decisions made by Justice Thomas?

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

I'm Just Not That Into You

From group e-mails, to Blogger, to Myspace, to Facebook, to Twitter…there’s always a new way to stay in touch with your friends and family efficiently. Of all these medium, I’ve found that Facebook does the job best and here’s why:

** Facebook easily allows folks to connect and reconnect via shared schools, jobs, neighborhoods and organizations; and even the friends of friends who belong to the same

** Facebook allows you to update your friends, while keeping you posted on what others thought regarding the advice you gave your friends; yeah, it really makes you think it’s all about you

** Facebook puts you in the driver’s seat…how much your friends know or don’t know about you, is all up to you. The privacy controls are just enough to make it fun while keeping the stalkers at bay

** Facebook integrates your other passions – whether reeling in your Blogger posts or keeping your photos in order, Facebook doesn’t make you feel that you wasted four years plugging away in Blogger to toss it all away now


Ultimately, Myspace never struck my fancy…just seemed more for the kids. As for Twitter, unless you’re Beyonce, I can’t see why anyone would think that others give a HOT shyt if you got a manicure or peeled a grape – hey, we’re just not that into you! I’m not one of those people that knock it before they try it; I tried the Twitter thing, but even I wasn’t interested in my every move.

As someone who feels there’s too much on his plate, I won’t keep you posted every second of my day and frankly, I don’t want to. I still love Blogging and I like that Facebook doesn’t make me work twice as hard…it just grabs my Blogger post and keeps it in my Facebook Notes. Technology is suppose to make life easier, keep me connected to my loved ones without adding undue pressure and stress about whether I ordered a Blue MuthaFuckah at the club and the bartender was wearing a Gucci rope belt that didn’t match his visible thong.

Sorry folks…I’m just not that into ME and certainly not that into you…see ya’ on Facebook.

On Blast
What’s your favorite medium for staying connected and why?

Keep passin’ the open windows…