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…

Monday, June 22, 2009

The Happiest Man In The World

Perfect timing is everything. As I planned how I would ask BD if he’d give me the opportunity to spend the remaining days of my life trying to make him happy, the anxiety was rapidly building. When should I ask him? Where should I ask him? …alone or with friends present? In the end I chose a quaint little spot we enjoy that feels like home – Cowgirl. I invited two of his closest friends and one from my tight knit group and VOILA – the stage was set. The first day of my favorite season combined with the holiday that celebrates two key assets of BD – loyalty and commitment to his son – Father’s Day, made today the perfect day. I don’t know if BD actually knew what was happening, but my stomach had been sick with the jitters for days. After taking our seat and having the surprise of seeing his friends, I proceeded to ask and he accepted. As Beyonce’s Single Ladies says, “If you like it then you should have put a ring on it…” I love it and I did. Baby, thank you for making me the happiest man in the world. I love you. A special thank-you to Baz, Maria and Slugger for sharing in our special day. Having the ones you love celebrate your commitment to your soul mate – PRICELESS!

On Blast
How do you view commitment – a celebration of soul sharing or social exile?

Keep passin’ the open windows…



Sunday, June 21, 2009

Thank You Dad

My dad isn’t a man who received a higher education and I suspect that combined with his conservative Latino upbringing, it made him a much more reserved dad. My father showed me love, was dedicated to his family and he taught me responsibility and respect for my partner...all by example. He didn’t have to tell me to have a good work eithic – he got out of bed every day and went to work; he didn’t have to show me to respect my partner – he treats my mother with such care that it is obviously the only way to show someone you love how you feel about them. All to say that although my dad and I aren’t pals and that I may not be the picture of what he wanted in a son, all that is great about me is a direct result of the job he’s done. As I interact with the Minnie and show him love, my hope is that although I may not be what he envisioned as a parent that he can see that being an upstanding man has less to do with someone’s education, how much money they make or who they’re sleeping with and more about being an honorable man; showing your respect for your partner, your children and humanity through your actions and being someone that nurtures and supports those in your circle. I love you dad...thanks for making me the man I am today.

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Greater Than; Less Than

The past month has been a lesson in what I give greater importance to and what I simply could care less about. The one positive thing that came out of the death of one of my closest friends has been my drive to enjoy my life and see the beauty in things around me. I’ve had moments when I consciously look around and say, “Bobby you missed a great sunset today.” No matter what happens in my life, I understand that I’m so very blessed. A little over a week ago I mentioned that my new laptop arrived and that I was so excited about it. Today the laptop sits unopened; the box occupies my chaise lounge. I stopped and bought 3 new work outfits to fit my new larger frame – they hang in my closet; tags still on. My point is that I’ve been so blessed that even the things that would bring me great joy, now occupy a second-place to my need to be comfortable and live at my own pace. I take great pleasure on taking a long run at the gym, enjoying quiet time with my man and watching a movie with my Mini-Schnauzer Busta. If I didn’t know myself, I’d say I was somehow coming over another hill in my life; ahead are peaceful rolling plains. Do I think that all change is over in my life? Heck no. I’m celebrating some key positives – from my battling nicotine addiction and winning to returning to the gym and living a healthier life. My need to be 140 lbs is replaced by my greater desire to live every day like it’s my last; I now have the clarity to see what holds a greater place in my heart and all else is less than I care to invest my energy on.

On Blast
Life is as busy, fulfilling, exciting or relaxed as we want it to be. Whether we choose to be party animals or couch potatoes, we are the masters of our domain. Live your life fully.
Has there been an instance in your life that has made you appreciate your life for everything that it is?

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Friday, June 12, 2009

No Ways Tired


Forward to 1:10
The road to 150 lbs is not easy. I haven’t been strict with myself, but that doesn’t mean I’m not hard on myself. Does that make sense? Long story short, I can cut back even further on the consumption front – and I intend to starting Monday – but I’m hitting the gym really hard. My stamina is slowly-but-surely building and I’m able to run and power walk over three miles in 30 minutes. Hey, it’s going to be a little while before we’re pushing through 4 miles in 20 minutes. I really don’t know if I’ll make my goal by the first week in August, but I’m happy to be back at the gym and I feel great about myself already. Hey, I don’t feel NO WAYS TIRED.


On Blast
What short term summer goal are you pushing to reach?

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Monday, June 08, 2009

Weight loss; The Update

On Saturday, May 30th, I returned to the gym and a semblance of healthy eating. Have I completely given up on all my favorite foods? No. I occasionally have a pork chop and even some tostones, but now I respect the power of moderation. The biggest mistake I made in the last year was growing my portion sizes to 3-4 times an average adult serving; coupled with my gym-abandonment, my body fat climbed to what it is today. I’ve been at the gym sweating like a diabetic at a Häagen-Daz plant, but the work is steadily paying off – 6 lbs. down to date. This really isn’t a bad return on a one-week investment. There are no celebrations yet. My goal is to be down 20 lbs. by August 7th, but I’ll settle for simply reshaping my body…flat stomach and reduced love handles. I honestly like some of my new curves, but recognize that I like being relatively thin. I was looking back through some pictures (last year's ski trip above left) and recognized the difference in my general size in just one year. Wow….what a difference a year makes.

On Blast
Luther Vandross often said that although everyone loved FAT Luther, he embraced the thinner version of himself. In some ways I have the same problem. My family and friends embrace the heavier me, while I feel at my most confident when I’m smaller.
What about you do others admire that you can do without?


Keep passin' the open windows...

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Vinecia Celebrates Her 11th Birthday

My pumpkin's baby-girl Vinecia celebrated her 11th birthday in style at Dave & Busters in Nyack, NY yesterday. A group of her family and friends joined her to make this a memorable occasion. Below is the story in pictures.


Monday, June 01, 2009

Health By The Numbers

While I can track my weight struggles back to my teens, I’ve chosen to let go of a lot of my harsh self-judgments and work strictly by the numbers. After more than SEVEN months of chillin’ out and ignoring my gym membership, I mustered the courage to return in time to – I HOPE – be presentable for my beach-birthday-getaway in August. I’m now officially more than 25 lbs. heavier than I was last summer. Amazing, but expected, since I stopped smoking and took on eating as a hobby. The truth is, I’ve never really been this heavy and was almost amused by how different my body felt and appeared. It wasn’t until I couldn’t fit my clothes that I became alarmed. My dimensions changed stretching my enviable 29” waist to a bulging 34”, while my behind and thighs now threaten to tear my underwear to shreds. The one plus out of the whole deal is that my face somehow filled-in and wrinkles were pushed out from around my cheek area. Someone once said that you reach an age when you have to choose between your face or your body. If you gain weight your face will look younger, but if you keep a fit body, then your face will betray your youthful efforts. I accept that I’ll need to sacrifice the face because being this large is simply uncomfortable. I lumbered on to the scales at the gym on Saturday to give myself a starting weight – and contrary to what anyone thinks, I’m not ashamed to share it here – 179 lbs! At 5’7”, I’m thick and happy. Many friends and family have surmised that I’m somehow healthier than I was when I was thinner, but I’m not. I guess sometimes folks see fuller as healthier. My man also makes me feel great at any size and that has helped me be more comfortable in my own skin as the numbers climbed. Sunday I returned to the gym and knocked-out 60 minutes of cardio before getting re-acquainted with my toning exercises. It will be a while before my stamina, strength and flexibility return, but I’m glad to be back. As the weeks go by I will provide updates on the changes – including those I’ve taken with regard to my food intake. The present goal may be a 40th beach-birthday weekend, but the true long-term plan is to be healthier in general.

On Blast
The numbers don’t judge…they just state what is. Reveal your current height, weight and waist size.

Keep passin’ the open windows…