Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Shutting the F*ck Up; The General McChrystal Story

We’ve all done it…spoken out of turn. Whether it was to our parents, our teachers or our bosses, at one time or another we’ve stepped out of line and said something – anything – at the wrong time or worse even, to the wrong person. General Stanley Allen McChrystal is the highest ranking soldier in Afghanistan (the Commander, International Security Assistance Force [ISAF] and Commander, U.S. Forces Afghanistan, to be exact). In the Runaway General, an article to appear in the June 25th edition of Rolling Stone magazine, Gen McChrystal mouths off to the reporter about his feelings about his commander-in-chief, President Obama, calling a French dinner they attended to recruit support from our NATO allies, “fucking gay.” He doesn’t mince his words…talk about going rogue. What struck me as odd was that a man who prides himself as a loyal soldier type could disrespect the leader of the free world and his boss by speaking ill of him – to a reporter no less. I questioned whether McChrystal chanced it because Obama was new to the game or because he’s dealing with our first Black President; the reasoning is moot. The utter ignorance of his comments will likely cost him his job – and there was more to the article than just the French diplomat dinner comments; this fool berated the Vice President and other high ranking officials. Which brings us back to the real issue…learning when to shut the f*ck up. Why the expletive you ask? It’s necessary to use the expletive to highlight the sheer curt need to be silent in the midst of adversity, discord, disagreement or dissent. You don’t have to agree with your parents, your teachers or your bosses, but you need to respect the position. Know when it’s a good time to hold your tongue. It isn’t a sign of weakness…it isn’t a show of cowardice. As we mature we can ascertain a situation, draw our conclusions and hold the conclusions for the appropriate venue or stage. Whether you’re right or wrong is not important, but WHEN and to WHOM you choose to run your mouth can make the difference between having folks admire your stoic patience and wisdom and standing disgraced and defeated on the unemployment line.

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Years Don’t Matter; It’s How the Love Grows

Relationships are a funny thing; some folks will tell you that if you don’t have love at first sight, it’s not going to work, while others will tell you that love is a slow boil that starts slows, heats up then bubbles over. The truth is that no one really knows the dynamics of love and what works for one couple may not work for another. What’s definitely a sure-fire thing is that no two relationships are exactly alike. That said, I was a bit shaken by the announcement a few weeks ago that Al and Tipper Gore were separating after 40 years of marriage. I kept wondering what went so bad – 40 years later – that required a split. I asked the same question…was there infidelity? Had they grown apart? It’s at times like these that those of us in relationships examine our own foundation. The story of BD and I is one that can be traced back through my blog to the present day. I actually planned my diary like postings about BD on my blog that way, so that I could read back and never forget anything about my feelings for him…then or now. What I’ve understood as true and real in relationships is that the years together don’t matter, it’s really about how the love grows, how its nurtured and do we respect it enough to do the right thing at all times with regard to the one we love. So what does this really mean? It means that love requires compromise. It also requires a great deal of patience. Love also requires self-control. Love begs participants to look beyond themselves and not allow their pride to govern the situation. As someone who has always been in control, prideful and selfish, love allowed me to grow beyond those traits so that I could receive so much more. Love doesn’t mean you’re a punk – it means that you allow others to also shine in spite of you. One thing is for certain, NOTHING is forever. Whether it be death, uneven growth, different goals, etc. relationships will end. When you get that out of the way early on and accept that fact you can appreciate the person fully…today…for all of their assets and flaws and give your all thereby helping your relationship have a leg to stand on and a means to weather the storms. Now you can boast about how long you’ve been with your partner/spouse, but the truth remains that if you’re not aware of how your love is growing, changing and being nurtured, you risk the same fate Al and Tipper’s relationship met…a tragic end.

Keep passin' the open windows...

Monday, June 21, 2010

$50 Deposit for Cocoa Cruise Due Friday, 6/25

Call 866-773-4563 to book your cruise. Our group name is: COCOA CRUISE
It’s official folks…we are definitely making the Carnival Valor, August 7, 2011 cruise a reality. We are inviting all family and friends – this means your family and friends as well – to join us for a diverse and fun-filled 7-day cruise through the Western Caribbean. As mentioned below, you have over a year to pay off this dream vacation – and at the already-low cost – a monthly payment would fit your budget and make realizing this dream a snap.

Please take a look at the info below and feel free to look at the tour of the Carnival Valor (link attached).

I look forward to having you be a part of this friends and family trip of a lifetime!


Call 866-773-4563 to book your cruise. Our group name is: COCOA CRUISE

Our August 7, 2011, Cocoa Cruise, aboard the Carnival Valor is finally available to you. Departing from Miami, FL, the Carnival Valor’s seven day cruise will take us to Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands; Roatan Island, Honduras; Belize City, Belize; and Cozumel, Mexico before returning to Miami.

I took this cruise a couple of years ago and was amazed by the breathtaking beauty offered by each of the stops. Having an entire day to spend at each destination, without the worry of hotel rooms or issues with local meals, makes this vacation a real deal. The food on the ship is top quality and continuous. You will be served breakfast, lunch and dinner. Only alcoholic beverages are billed at an additional charge. There are nightclubs, spas and shopping on the cruise ship and plenty of activities to keep you busy while on board. In addition, on the nights when you want to party, there is available childcare so your child will have fun with the kids, while you club-it-up with the grown folks.

This is intended to be a family/friends vacation. Please feel free to share this invite with your family and friends.

The Available Cabin Inventory & Pricing Structure is As Follows:

Number of Cabins Held Cabin Type Cabin Category Number of people in cabin Rate per person...

16 Interior 4B 2 $820.32
14 Interior 4C 2 $830.32
20 Ocean View 6B 2 $930.32
16 Balcony 8B 2 $1080.32

PAYMENT METHODS: Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover Only (No checks or Money Orders are accepted for payment.)

Call 866-773-4563 to book your cruise. Our group name is: COCOA CRUISE

Payment guidelines:
Initial Deposit $50.00 June 25, 2010
Second Deposit $200.00 February 4, 2011
Final Payment Balance due May 13, 2011


*Cabins are held as double occupancy but can be converted to triples and quads based on availability. Once the present cabin inventory is exhausted, more cabins can be added to our group as needed.

Once 8 cabins are booked to our group, each cabin will receive a $75.00 on board credit.
Our itinerary is as follows:
**Please click on the destinations in our itinerary for detailed info on each location

Sunday: Miami, Florida; 4pm departure
Monday: A day at sea
Tuesday: Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands; 7am-4pm
Wednesday: Roatan Island, Honduras; 11am-6pm
Thursday: Belize City, Belize; 8am-5pm
Friday: Cozumel, Mexico; 8am-5pm
Saturday: A day at sea
Sunday: Miami, Florida; 8am arrival

Call 866-773-4563 to book your cruise. Our group name is: COCOA CRUISE


Room assignments, triple and quad occupancy rates and availability cannot be guaranteed until full deposit is applied to reservation.

Balance due date is date that full payment is due and also when penalties begin.
After initial deposit is paid; passengers are welcome to call in intermittent payments as often as they would like.

Please visit for the most up to date information on passport requirements.

Rates are per person based on double occupancy; 3rd/4th passenger rates apply to passengers traveling in same cabin.

Carnival Cruise Line reserves the right to reinstate the fuel surcharge for all guests up to $9 per guest, per day, if the NYMEX oil price exceeds $70 per barrel.

Room assignments, 3rd and 4th occupancy rates and availability cannot be guaranteed until full deposit is applied to reservation.

Rates are not guaranteed until under full deposit, and are subject to change and availability.

Call 866-773-4563 to book your cruise. Our group name is: COCOA CRUISE
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Thursday, June 17, 2010

REVIEW: Dancing With the Devil by Taylor Siluwé

Taylor Siluwe's Dancing With the Devil takes readers on a journey through a dark, raw, yet realistic account of passion and pain as he explores the collision between lust and common sense. The protagonists feel picked from a familiar urban corner in America and each story is woven with enough detail to paint the clearest picture. If you’re in the market for a sizzling summer read, Dancing won’t disappoint. While many books in this genre are poorly written or edited, Siluwe’s short stories are crafted with expert precision and amazing detail. Turning the last page will feel like breaking up with your first love…you won’t want it to be over.

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Monday, June 07, 2010

Some Things Need Not Be Discussed

Have you ever walked up to your mom and asked her if she remembers where and how she got pregnant with you? Have you ever cornered your dad and asked him if he remembers the first time he slept with your mom? Have you ever sat your parents down and asked them what their favorite sexual position is? All of these questions seem absurd to ask our parents (or they should seem absurd) and more important, they have no relevance to your relationship with your parents. It is in this same vein that I tell my fellow God fearing-God loving homosexual brethren to stop trying to explain why you’re homosexual or what homosexuals do in bed to folks who have NO need to know these things. As a group, homosexuals are sometimes asked questions that are inappropriate, but worse even, is when they volunteer information in an effort to have others understand where their mindset is. A recent article I read regarding exorcising the demons from homosexuals brought to the forefront the relationship I share with my parents. More than twenty five years ago I came out of the proverbial closet and declared that I was homosexual. Since then it has been a rocky road to foster and maintain a relationship with my Pentecostal parents, but one thing has rung true – I refuse to run back into that closet or to trivialize my life to make them feel better about their religious beliefs. This may seem like a difficult thing to say, but I am not seeking the approval of my parents, my siblings, my friends or any religious sect. I am a homosexual man and they may be heterosexuals men/women and for all intents and purposes we can enjoy each other as family and friends and enjoy what we offer each other OR we can simply withdraw from each other’s life. Sounds simplistic? Well, you will find that when someone really loves you they are willing to put their beliefs aside to share in your life. I don’t necessarily agree with everything my heterosexual loved ones do, but I love them in spite of it. Basically, that’s all I ask. Love me for ME – the real me – and leave matters that need not be discussed alone. I’m happy to say that once I practiced that relationship method with my loved ones all else fell in to place. Life is too short to be spent trying to change people’s mind about who we are or worse, trying to reconcile that with who they’d like us to be.

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

5 More?!

My parents returned to Puerto Rico and I gave myself yet another week off from the gym and my new Take-human-bites program. I returned to the gym yesterday. Like most people, I know my own body and can feel the extra layer of cushion presently enveloping me…from both ends! After a strenuous workout (and feeling everything jiggle like a bowl of Jello sitting atop a blender) I lumbered my ass over to the gym scale to see where my starting point now is….the drum roll was more like a deafening civil war cannon….186 lbs! How in God’s precious mercy, did I pile all of this on to my 5’7” frame?! Okay…the truth, they say, will set me free. I’ve uttered the truth. I’ve accepted my responsibility for where I am physically and I now will do something about it. Stand clear…there’s nothing to see here.

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Walking Out On Your Life

Consider that approximately one million people commit suicide every year worldwide – 30,000 of those right here in the good ‘ole U.S. of A. So the concept of walking out on your life may actually be the healthier alternative – well, at the very least, one that offers fixes along the way. When I was younger I always considered walking out on my life and I often did escape some dire situation I felt I couldn’t conquer. At 40 the prospect of walking out on my life is slim, but the reasons why I would are there…and a reality that I can do something about.

** Recognize What You Are Really Seeking
I sometimes think that I want to pack a week’s worth of clothes and just hit the road. Keep driving, hitting different towns and meeting different people. When these thoughts flood me I can now interpret what my unconscious is trying to tell me….namely, that I feel trapped and seek newness and/or adventure. The problem is we’ve allowed movies and books to create a fantasy that we will not encounter if we work on impulse and hit the road. I now recognize that I need to visit the gym more often, take on a new hobby or make time to hang with friends. Sometimes, reconnecting with old friends can calm the feeling overwhelmed OR that you have lost yourself. The truth is your life is happy overall and making erratic changes will simply serve to undermine the hard work that got you this far.

** It’s Hard to See Perfect When It’s Always There
Defining perfect can be tricky and some of us associate money, property and the like as glimpses into perfection. The truth is there isn’t a rich person in the world that can attribute their happiness to their wealth – actually, the majority of them would tell you the opposite. Recognize what is perfect about your life today and roll with it. Your health is nothing to sneeze about; your family and friend network isn’t a give-in either. Appreciate what is working and stop highlighting the negative

** Take a Trip; Preferably Alone
If thoughts of running away from your life overwhelm you, take a nice trip - preferably by yourself and settle into the short-term notion of how you feel when separated from everyone you love. Are you having a blast in some remote state with no network of friends? It’s easy to see if the grass is greener by just taking off your shoes, climbing the fence and walking on it.

** A Problem Is Never As Permanent As a Solution
It’s a classic line in the movie Torch Song Trilogy (a movie I recommend everyone watches). The main character’s mother advises, “A problem is never as permanent as a solution,” and the obvious is clear that while problems seem hard to overcome at the time, they are there to teach you about life, toughen you up and take you to your next stage of development. A problem has a beginning and an end. Oh sure, it doesn’t seem like it at the time, but like mankind, problems are finite; they have a beginning and an end. A solution, however, can be permanent. Look at your life and recognize that what you deem as solutions can very well haunt you forever.

It’s not rocket science…it’s life. Sometimes, we feel like we’re on cloud 9 and sometimes we think the universe is conspiring against us. Ultimately, we have to realize that each phase of our life is temporary…you aren’t a teen forever and your twenties will soon be met by the responsibilities of your 30s. Once you feel like the dust is settling, you see that 40 is upon you and as you’re telling folks that you are now comfortable with who you are 50 comes along to remind you that time marches on. You tell everyone that 50 is a vibrant awakening and as you wait for folks to buy-into the notion, you hit 60. The beauty of it all is that you’re here….you can tell about it. Navigating every stage in your life.

Walking out on your life may never have crossed your mind OR maybe it crosses your mind every day. Whether you are physically contemplating it or figuratively do it by not caring for yourself or the things that grace your life every day, you’re still missing out on all that is there for you to be a part of.

Keep passin ‘the open windows…