Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Wonder of You

Every misstep, every mistake
Every hard knock, nightmare and first take
All a dress rehearsal for your love
God’s way of insuring I would look to him above

Physical, emotional, mental bliss
The trophy at my finish line
A life-long first kiss

Celebrating anniversaries is important indeed
But without the daily reassurance of love
The flowers are just a bouquet of seeds

I’m grateful for the wonder that is you
I’m grateful for the wonderful that you’ve made my life
I’m grateful for trusting me with your heart

No one can guarantee a life free of pain or strife
But like Lexus I share the relentless pursuit of perfection
To make you the happiest man, no exception

Happy Anniversary Baby!

Keep passin' the open windows...

Monday, August 23, 2010

Learn to Be Still

Sometimes we are so intent on clearing matters up that we jump the gun on situations. As a proactive and assertive person with no fear of confrontation, I had to learn the hard way that not all battles are yours to fight and more importantly, that the issues are not always what they appear to be. Whether you are feeling challenged at work, in your relationship or with your friends, it is best to step back and listen and observe BEFORE acting on any given situation. I learned this lesson while interacting with our son, the Minnie. Early on in our relationship I was questioning whether the Minnie would accept me and in turn if he could ever care for me as I began caring for him. Once, while on a family day out and about, we were to go back to my place. BD, the Minnie and I didn’t live together at the time, so BD and the Minnie had a choice of going home or coming home with me. As we headed to the car, I saw the Minnie pouting and then he asked me, “Are we going to your house?” Defensive and disheartened that he would want to go home when I believed we were having a good time, I defensively responded, “Not to worry, I’m driving you guys to your house.” The Minnie looked at me, a crushed look on his face, and said, “I thought we were going back to your place. I thought you and I would play video games.” I felt like a complete fool. It was in the honesty and innocence of a child that I realized that I needed to assess situations before I responded to them. Not everything is as it appears and sometimes we turn the tide and convert what could be potentially happy situations, into disasters. Today I wait for confirmation of my feelings OR for the realization that sometimes my mood, insecurities or past disappointments can adversely affect the blessings that await me. Today, BD, the Minnie and I are living our happily ever after and part of that is due to my new-found ability to be still.

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Say Word; Dr. Laura and the N Word

Dr. Laura Schlessinger is a polarizing figure. She has indicated that she believes gay people are biological errors and deviant and most recently found herself in quite the predicament when she used the word “Nigger” eleven times while trying to convince an African American caller on her radio talk show that she was overly sensitive. All said, the argument Dr. Laura tried to make is by her accounts a philosophical point and she believes African Americans use the word affectionately OR in wrap lyrics and comic skits, but her stand did not quell the anger of everyone who felt she was insensitive to the caller, ignorant to the reality that the word “Nigger” has NEVER been used affectionately or received affectionately between African Americans and non-African Americans. Just minutes before her radio talk show ended that day, Dr. Laura realized the reaction her sponsors would have to this type of rant – or wait, as she puts it, she policed herself and realized that she was wrong for what she had done that day – and she issued an apology. The media storm that followed is probably the REAL reason Dr. Laura has chosen to not renew her contract after more than 17 years as a syndicated talk show host and 30 years on the radio. She says that she can no longer be a part of an environment that infringes on her 1st amendment rights. That’s funny…. Dr. Laura can call gays deviants and African Americans Niggers, but the moment someone alluded to Dr. Laura being an ignorant, sexist, racist, they were accused of tampering with her rights. Dr. Laura should sail into the sunset with the realization that more than 30 years after her career began, she is being exposed for who she really is. For the record, words created to hurt, harm, degrade, devalue or oppress any group of people are never okay to be used by anyone. To say that because artists or any other group uses those types of words somehow makes it okay for everyone to use them is absurd. Let’s stop the hatred, the ignorance and the hurtful banter and live in the now…without the focus on race, sex, sexual orientation or religion. The real way to begin protecting our rights is by respecting the rights of others.

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Monday, August 16, 2010

Decisions; They Are All Yours

It should come as no surprise that the decisions we make are ours to live-down long after the dust settles and the army of folks who weighed-in on your decisions, are gone. As I look back on the many choices I’ve made, I can say without a doubt that each of them has had a lasting effect – sometimes a lifetime effect. As I look around I’m amazed at how easily folks make life-long decisions on a whim. Buying a home, having a baby or getting married are all decisions that can be made at the drop of a hat, but are likely to be with you a lifetime. Alas, it is best to consider…

1. Can you handle the financial, emotional and physical aspects of your decision without the help of anyone else? If you need others to realize your dream, you are probably setting yourself up for failure. Your dreams are yours to enjoy and execute. Do not buy a home, entertain a marriage or have a baby, with the thought that someone will help you. Never make a decision counting on the support of others. The likelihood is that some of our dreams involve the support of others, but you will find that your decisions are most important to YOU and no one else.

2. Accept that your decisions don’t require the buy-in of family or friends to be realized. Throughout my life I have made decisions that the majority of people in my circle did not agree with me on. It is at those times that I have been forced to carefully analyze my decisions to insure that even if everyone important to me were to turn their back on me, I would be happy with my decision. Recognize that your decisions may be frowned upon by others.

3. Your family and friends don’t love you any less just because they don’t wish to live YOUR dreams. My decision to live my life as an openly gay man in a committed relationship is not one that is celebrated by all. That said, I don’t believe my family and friends love me any less for it. Accepting that all of your decisions will NOT be accepted by your friends AND that they still love you, can sometimes appear to be a contradictory concept. Learn to take responsibility for your decisions and to NOT blame others for not co-signing everything you want to do with your life.

Your life, your decisions, your dreams are yours and yours alone. No one is putting a gun to your head and forcing you to make your decisions – and if they are, call the authorities. Make decisions that you can live with and respect yourself for. Be proud of the decisions you make and others will have an easier time respecting you for them. Most important, make decisions knowing that win or lose, pass or fail, dream or disaster, they are all YOURS to live with.

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Mortality and Showtime’s The Big C

Since the death of one of my best friend’s last year, mortality has been at the forefront of my thoughts. I guess his passing was a signal that I will, in fact, die. Silly right? We go through our younger years without a care in the world and then something happens – hopefully to someone else (I hate to say) – that highlights how vulnerable and fragile our lives really are. Now, I’m conscious of my mortality. I live knowing that I can become one of those anecdotal stories of the “younger” guy who toppled-over at the office from a sudden heart attack. Crazy? Probably, but tragic things do happen. Which brings me to Showtime’s The Big C with Laura Linney and Gabourey Sidibe. The show follows Cathy Jamison, a conservative and stuffy Minneapolis school teacher who receives the tragic diagnosis that she is dying of cancer. The horrific shock inspires her to live in the NOW. Showtime is hocking the first episode for free on either iTunes or click here, so be sure to check it out. The storyline is funny, but like me, you may come away with a sense that we’re putting too much emphasis on the unimportant things in our lives – our home, our possessions and what others think of us. Hopefully you’ll realize that a plate of gravy may be initially flavorful, but the lack of any real substance or nutrition will kill you. It brought me back to how I felt last May when my friend passed away…life has so many possibilities, whether you’re 15 or 50…and when you stop caring about what you own or the peripheral chatter, you can actually feel genuinely fulfilled.

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Monday, August 09, 2010

Germans, Monsters and Twins

What appears to be a title detailing a quirky version of Clash of the Titans is actually a description of my birthday weekend. My baby surprised me with a well-planned, excellently executed dinner at Peter Luger – a famous German steakhouse rated number one by Zagat Survey for 24 years in a row. A reservation is required months before a visit and judging by our meal on Saturday evening, this is certainly a reservation worth making. We dined on two painfully plentiful ‘Steak for 3’ platters and several side dishes. A special thank-you to our dinner guests – Mari Payano, Roosevelt Davis, Herbie Lebron, Nancy Torres, Maria Bonas and Tony. Dinner was all the more special shared with you guys. Following dinner my boyz Herbie and Roosevelt (Slugger) took me out on a night on the town to one of our West Village haunts – the Monster. Six hours later we were all partied-out and ready for nap time. Sunday didn’t allow for much of a reprieve from the celebratory spirit of the weekend and we joined Mari and Ani Payano for their ‘Melrose Place’ neighborhood BBQ, The late afternoon gathering melded an eclectic group of beautiful people to eat, drink and be merry in the warmest way. The twins – Mari and Ani – served up the steak, burgers and charm. We laughed so hard my sides hurt. Thank you BD and all you incredible folks who made my birthday weekend one to remember.

Keep passin ‘the open windows…

Thursday, August 05, 2010

I’m Still Standing

Throughout my life my mortality has always been at the forefront of my thoughts. When I was younger, I really believed that I would not see the age of 30. Today, as I celebrate my 41st birthday, I am grateful for the many blessings that have brought me this far. It isn’t a coincidence, a fluke, a miracle even…it is divine intervention and purpose that have brought me this far. While many of the people I ran with push up daisies, I have been chosen to remain. Today, I celebrate my parents who did a great job at raising a happy, healthy boy, my siblings who are everything a brother could wish for and the friends who became my surrogate family over the years. I am not here by chance, but by the nurturing I received from each of you. We don’t know where life will lead us, but we know that we are here today…with another opportunity to be happy and make a difference. I received a note from someone who reads my blog the other day and she is undergoing a difficult time following a break-up. To her I say, please know that each day is a gift and that some people or possessions are removed from our lives to make room for greater blessings. Your email touched me because I know where you are…the pain seems unbearable. The truth is, you will get through this and you will emerge a woman who is stronger, wiser and ready to do the right thing when the blessing that awaits you arrives. There’s a hymn that says, “I could’ve been dead down in my grave, but HE told death to step back and behave…” You are here. You are healthy. You have all the opportunity to create your happiness. Thank you for reading and thank you to everyone who makes each day another of my blessed moments here. You have made all 365 of my days of the year a time for celebration.

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Monday, August 02, 2010


Our expectations for our own life are sometimes changed by our circumstances. This was highlighted in a dinner conversation with friends last night. It appeared that after suffering some personal setbacks, one of my friends felt that his focus should change from ‘wanting a gratifying relationship with a partner’ to settling for a complacent relationship with friends and the occasional passing ‘good time’. To be clear, I have no judgments with regard to how folks meet and the nature of their relationships, but was somewhat disappointed to think that someone with so much to offer had relegated themselves to a life behind a figurative wall – protected from the pains and disappointments that can arise from relationships that fail to satisfy or fulfill us. When I tried to interject that there is NO age where love and its entanglements cease to be an option, they interjected that their life’s circumstances had made it clear that they would never receive the love they so willingly share with their partners. Admittedly, I once was where my friend is. It’s a place of despair and disillusion; when we have shared of ourselves only to have that love taken for granted and mishandled. The opening theme song to the sitcom Alice has a line that says, “I’m going through the world with blinders on, it’s hard to see…” My truth is that my expectations cannot be trumped or stifled by my circumstances. Had I closed myself off from the world and relegated my future interactions to mere friends and casual trysts, I may have missed out on the most amazing man I’ve met to date – BD. …but alas, this isn’t about me. It’s about my friend. You see, your expectations of life shouldn’t be side-tracked, but enhanced by your circumstances. I can now see that my previous relationships served as the sandpaper to smooth-out my rough edges and make me a more experienced and realistic partner to my soul mate. Life’s circumstances can be hard and suffering a broken heart at the hands of folk’s too irresponsible to treat our hearts and souls with respect can render us numb to the reality that we are NEVER too old to meet the partner of our dreams and that our expectations are realized when we are active participants in seeing possibility in all of our interactions. I’m not a subscriber to losing hope or permanently changing my expectations to fit a temporary setback. My expectation is that my friends will work through their pain to see that there is a lid for every pot and their expectations for a reciprocal and loving relationship is always on the foreseeable horizon.

Keep passin’ the open windows…