Premonition or Day Dream

I was standing there drinking my long island, a Mill long island so it only took one for the night. It had been awhile since I had been in there, barely a sophomore to the city, maybe a junior.
You walked in, I noticed you right away.. your height, your complexion... I poked Rey and nodded in your direction... you maneuvered your way through the crowd and to the bar but on your way through you passed by... I smiled, you smiled.

I changed from my suit to my sweats... another night of tv, dinner, a few chapters of my book and then sleep. Steak was grilling... potato was baking. I sit down to check my AOL email, just Bloomingdales and Monster nothing important. I move on to check the messages on the popular website, you know the one that is like a gay nightclub online... Third message was from you... I think it said something simple like how are you doing, it wasn't much more. I was shocked, I didn't even know you were on there. I respond. I wonder where this will lead. I think back onto the first time I saw you...

I looked in the mirror... not too pretty boy... not too casual. Head freshly shaved.... goatee manicured perfectly. Incense has nearly burned out, as I close the window. The apartment is filled with fresh, crisp air. There is a knock at the door... I open it. You say hello. I smile. You smile. I wake up.

Premonition or day dream

in the background: Be Without You - Mary J Blige courtesy of VH1 Soul

Ok so now that I am pretty much off of work for the rest of '05... I have nothing to occupy my time but sleep, watching Y&R {sidebar: why haven't I seen this in about a month and the storyline hasn't moved... don't see how people can watch this everyday.} and surfing the web.

I have been lucky to avoid any crowds shopping in Georgetown and Pentagon City for the simple fact that I haven't done any Christmas shopping. My boy Donnie keeps reminding me how I have to stop all my excessive shopping if I am going to afford a house in the near future.. he also mentioned something about giving up my digital cable and dvr {sidebar: we all remember a few entries ago my DVR was one of my favorite things in '05... so that ain't happening}. Other than opening the few gifts people gave me... the only thing I have to look forward to is the recently formed tradition of holiday dinner at my house. A few of my friends that are either not going home or do not celebrate Christmas for religious reasons are coming over to my house for dinner. All the good shit... Ham, dressing, greens, candid yams, mac and cheese prepared by yours truly.
I can be domestic at times even though I hate that type of shit.

Today also marks 10 more days till I will be sitting in seat P 108 at the Broadway Theater watching The Color Purple. While I have a few friends that have seen the show and told me tidbits (wow never thought I would actually have to use that word), I have stayed away from the segment on Oprah and most of the reviews. I want to see this show with fresh, unbias eyes. Me and 2 friends will be hanging out in NY all weekend so if you know of any hot spots to check leave a brother a message.

Conversation on Metro

"RED LINE to Silver Spring... next stop Union Station"

"We have to hit Victoria's Secret today," (20something young white female wearing Ugg boots)

"How much have you spent so far?" (20something asian/white female carrying Louis Vuitton purse, breifcase)

"Probably about $800 maybe a little more not sure."

"How much more do you have to buy"

"Oh that was just for me I haven't shopped for my family yet."

"Maybe we should buy something for that family in Carol's neighborhood whose house burned down."

"Didn't they have insurance?"

Farewell... Richard Pryor

After a 20 year battle with multiple sclerosis, a degenerative nervous system disease, actor-comedian Richard Pryor died of a heart attack on Saturday at age 65. While he was most notably known for his stand up routine where nothing was off limits, for me it was his 1986 film Jo Jo Dancer, Your Life is Calling.

In one of my favorite films, Richard Pryor stars as a popular comedian's fall from grace. Jo Jo Dancer is brought up in an Ohio brothel, who rises from his humble beginning to become a popular comedian and film star. Who, like Pryor, throws it all away when he severely injures himself in a drug-related accident. In the hospital, he looks back on the events in his life--from his ascent to stardom, to his troubles with women, to the events that caused his downfall. Although Jo Jo, was inspired by events of his own life, he refused to label it as autobiographical.

While he may be remembered for his stand up or his movies with Gene Wilder.... Jo Jo Dancer will always symbolize Richard to me.

Don't Confuse my Lack of Xmas Shopping for Lack of Xmas Spirit

"Are you done with your Christmas shopping?"
"Well seeing I don't do Christmas shopping I guess so."
"Oh why aren't you into Christmas?"

When did going into debt, spending outrageous amounts of money on gifts, waking up at 3am the day after Thanksgiving to go stand outside in some long ass line at WalMart to get that off brand DVD player for $40 become synonymous with Christmas.

While I don't think I will ever raise my child into believing in the entire Santa Claus theme... I believe the aspect of the holiday is only for kids that do not know any better. For me Christmas and the Holiday season is a time to reflect on the gifts that God has given us, and like the Three Wise Men we should bring gifts to him. For me over the past few years these gifts have been volunteering through my church, Metropolitan Baptist Church, raising money at work to purchase gifts for a needy family with young kids, and cleaning out my closets (yes closets its quite sad at times) to donate clothes and shoes to the homeless. I will never forget last Christmas I went to the DC Central Kitchen, a homeless shelter that teaches and educates the homeless in culinary arts and management, to deliver a turkey after hearing on the news that they were short of what they needed to feed all their people. What started off as me dropping off a turkey led to me volunteering 3 additional hours, and became the most rewarding experience of the season.

So while you are out finding a parking space at the nearest mall or typing in your credit card number into the box... don't forget to give a gift in honor of the birthday boy.

Some of My Favorite Things...

So I am finally back in the District after being away for two weeks catching up on all the shows I DVRed while away. And of course Oprah has inspired another blog entry. I am sitting here on the couch watching Oprah's Favorite Things eating ice cream and brownies... and it has inspired me to give you a list of my favorite things that I have experienced in 2005...

  • Edy's Slow Churned French Vanilla Ice Cream (preferably served with Duncan Hines Double Chocalate Chunk Brownies)
  • Montreal, Quebec ... a beautiful city with so much culture and activities.
  • Mercedes Benz CLS500... once again Benz brings you sophisticated elegance on wheels.
  • The Da Vinci Code ... Dan Brown put his foot in this book... from the first chapter to the end he had my attention.
  • John Varvatos a soft but masculine scent.
  • The Phoenician Spa ... until you have a hot stone massage by the serenity mother-of-pearl tiled pool with cascading waterfalls overlooking Camelback Mountain you haven't lived!!
  • A Brown Sugar Martini... never been a fan of spiced rum but a few of these had me on my ass this week
  • The iTrip... now I never have to listen to DC radio again... 1200 songs at my fingertips.
  • True Religion Jeans Joey Patchwork Style ... finally designer jeans that fit right and come with a zipper!!
  • Monday's Open Mic night at Busboys and Poets... a new coffee house in the famous U Street area of DC.
  • The Treo telephone... call me a workaholic but having my Palm pilot and cell phone with my calendar, Outlook contacts, and email all in one has been a life changing experience. With the new 700 version coming out in the new year... I will be hooked for one more year.
  • Vonage finally unlimited calling, any area code i want... all for under $25 a month.
  • Comcast DVR finally an easy way to record and watch television.
  • Commander in Chief.... the best new show on television. Tuesdays on ABC at 9pm EST.

Color Purple and New Years!

Last week Oprah described it as a full circle experience. This week I describe it as how I will spend my New Year's Eve. I just purchased tickets to the 7:00pm December 31st performance (center Orchestra of course)of The Color Purple.

It is truly a full circle for Alice Walker. From seeing her story become a 1983 Pulitzer Prize winning novel to a 1985 Oscar snubbed film and now to a Broadway musical. Let's just hope the Tony people get it right this go round. When Oprah read Walker's The Color Purple 23 years ago, her life, she said on her show last week, was changed. When a film version of the novel was announced a few years later, Oprah stated she prayed every night just to be a part of the experience. At that time Oprah was a pretty much unknown local news personality... that Quincy Jones saw star quality in. And now after a $1million investment and lending her name to the marquee the show is on Broadway. Following last week's appearance on the show , ticket sales for Broadway's musical The Color Purple reached more than $1 million in single tickets and nearly the same in group sales, according to Variety.

As the musical's press release states... Spanning over 40 years, The Color Purple is an inspiring family saga that tells the unforgettable story of a woman, who, through love, finds the strength to triumph over adversity and discover her unique voice in the world. I have read the book and seen the movie at least a hundred times. I have seen it tought in women studies and african american literature classes during undergrad and have heard many of the lines quoted and misquoted at least a million times.

Rest assure I will have a blog entry on the day after to recount my experience. And I hope that every fan gets the opportunity to experience this as well. So do you plan on seeing the show? And what are your plans for New Years?

In case you missed it...
Auburn 28
Alabama 18
The fourth consecutive Iron Bowl victory for the Auburn Tigers!!
War Eagle

What a week... o what a week. I am in the midst of traveling but wanted to drop a quick line.

It is 230pm and I have officially ended the largest convention and set of events I do each year. This week was filled with dinners, receptions, mini conferences and the one large conference for about 1000. Everything went well and the powers that be have congratulated me on yet another successful event.

Now that all the participants are gone, I can finally enjoy the Omni Orlando Resort. I am in hotels quite often (at least 15 different hotels this year alone) but this one definitely stands out. The panasian restaurant and the upscale sports bar are definitely not your typical hotel dining outlets. And the spa has proven to be quite a relaxing heaven.

I will lounge here for the rest of the weekend then I will be off to St. Kitts for a week with my paternal family. While they do not celebrate Thanksgiving there, my family will have a memorial service and family dinner for my cousin we lost due to Katrina.

Hope all of your Thanksgivings will be as sunny and beachfront as mine!!

Are You Living in The Truth?

"The biggest surprise on the soulful journey to authenticity, whether as a philosophy or a spiritual path, is that the path is a spiral. We go up, but we go in circles. Each time around, the view gets a little bit wider."
— Sarah Ban Breathnach

What a week, what a week. Two things that happened this week got me to thinking... Am I living in my truth? The first was a conversation with a college friend of mine. He called me on Monday to let me know that he was getting married to some girl he had dated in high school. I only had one question for Lance... "Are you happy?" His reply was this is what he needed to do to be happy in the future. I told him I can accept that and that I will look for the invite in the mail.

Now I met Lance several years ago when I went to the fraternity informational session. Very attractive brother with a degree in Engineering and had been working making crazy dollars at Boeing before being laid off last year. He eventually had to move home to take care of ailing parents and hasn't quite made it back to where he once was. Lance was also (at that time) one of the first bi-curious brother I had ever met.

The second incident came while watching Oprah this week. Her guests were Terry McMillan and her now ex husband Jonathan Plummer. After hearing this story for months, Oprah secured the first interview with them together (I am sure buying the movie options for Terry's latest book didn't hurt). While at first I felt some sympathy for Terry... listening to the story together brought me to the realization that Ms. McMillan is full of shit.

I won't recount the entire show because I am sure you have seen or heard about it by now. However, first she tells the story of how he came out to her, and then begins to recount on how she held him all night as they cried. And then put him up in a hotel. Later in the show both Terry and Jonathan say they've found closure after recently spending some quality time together. Quality time spending the evening together including taking a bath together. While I do not condone anyone hiding their true sexuality from their mate, Terry's anger and rath that she has expressed over the past few months just seems to be a cry for media attention for her new book.

I was left wondering after both of these incidents... are these people being real with themselves? Are they truly living in the truth?

I had to think myself... am I living in my own truth? At first I was like oh hell yes, of course I am. I always keep it real. For some reason this question has not escaped my thoughts... and the more I think the more I realize... I may be living in MY truth, but MY truth is not always the truth.

There are feelings that I hide.... people I avoid... situations I smile through, as I shoot daggers in my mind. There are things that I do that I am not happy about and shouldn't do. There are people in my life that shouldn't be just because I don't want to be alone.

Guess I have some work to do. Are you living in the truth or your truth?

Rosa Parks... Still sparking change

50 years after the tired seamstress' refusal to give up her seat on a Montgomery city bus to a white man, Rosa Parks is still sparking change. If Michigan U.S. Rep. John Conyers Jr. has his way, Parks will become the first woman to lie in state in the U.S. Capitol.

Conyers authored legislation to pay tribute to Parks with a six-hour vigil inside the Capitol on Sunday from 6p.m. to midnight. A vote on this legislation would probably come after the regular session tonight or tomorrow. This special memorial service would be a part of a four day, three city memorial to include stops in Montgomery, Washington and finally Detroit. Mrs. Parks worked in Conyer's Detroit office for several years after relocating to Detroit from Montgomery.

The cities of Detroit and Montgomery, Ala., are reserving the first seats of their buses as a tribute to Parks' legacy. Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick placed a black ribbon Thursday morning on the first set of passenger seats om one of nearly 200 buses where seats will be reserved until her funeral next week.

On Wednesday, Aaron McGruder announced that Parks, who was the subject of a few jokes in an upcoming episode of "The Boondocks,"(set to air on the Adult Swim, November 6) which is based on McGruder's controversial comic strip will be taken out. When the movie Barbershop first came out there were several public and political figures who were outraged about one of the movie's jokes regarding Rosa's role in the civil rights movement.

Just Another Weekend...

Well Desperate Housewives has concluded which means for me at least another weekend has ended. With the stress from work mounting as we approach my biggest event of the year, I crave the weekends. No matter how much work is needed to be done, for my own sanity I leave it at the office on Thursday evenings and try not to think about it again until Monday morning.

This weekend was quite a mix of relaxation and activity. As usual with Howard's Homecoming, the city is flooded with former Alums, partyseekers, and celebs hosting overpriced parties at only the hottest spots around the District. This weekend Darryl Wilson brought SWV to perform for the kids, singing all of their old favorites and claiming that they are back. Followed by a house party the next day, I was left wondering out of all these people in town, how many really have ties to Howard?

My boy from Harlem, Dizyaboy, came down this weekend as well. Most of our weekend we spent downloading and listening to music while having revealing conversations. He asked quite a few questions that made me think. And was probably one of the chillest house guests that I have ever had. None of that demanding for entertainment with constant questions of 'what are we doing next?' He actually sent me out on Friday night alone while he chilled and slept.

Today was also a pretty chill day. Slept in a little and Dizyaboy left in mid afternoon. (Did I mention how he cleaned up the guest room, folded blankets and placed the sheets and towels by the washer and dryer... Definitely my type of guest)I had an early dinner date with Jordan. Now I met Jordan some time ago when he first moved to the city... however we remet 3 weeks ago at a house party and exchanged numbers. Definitely an attractive brother (tall, lite, and nice lips) and employed.

Now Dancerthighs is still around but not front and attention as he once was. While over the past weeks have shown me we have a few different priorities and were not in the same place, he is still someone of serious interest to me.

Anyway now that Desperate Hos is off... its time to get it together for the next week...

In the background: The Pussy Cat Dolls 'Stickwitu'

Noah's Arc (my review)

I first saw Noah's Arc last fall when the HRC had a screening of the show and reception with the cast at their new headquarters. Finally after several months of promoting the show it has finally aired on the Logo network, the gay network that I often forget exists. What some consider groundbreaking, I consider a perpetuation of the negative stereotypes of black gay men. To me the show exhibits two types of GBMs... the queen and the overly masculine DL brotha. The uberflamboyant characters and mediocre acting take away from what could actually be a pretty good storyline.

I was able to catch some of tonight's premiere episode, which was somewhat different from the episode I saw at HRC and at the Reel Affirmations film festival last fall. While the storyline remained the same, most of the scenes were reshot and the sex scenes were quite toned down. For those who haven't seen or heard of the show it is about the lives of four black gay men in Los Angeles and their romantic and professional relationships.

I believe the show has the opportunity and responsibility to be a strong and positive voice for African American gay men. And with a possible viewership of 18 million. It will be interesting to see how the show develops over time, I recommend you at least checking it out for yourself. Noah's Arc airs Wednesdays at 10pm E.D.T. on Logo.

999,999 Man March

So I woke up Saturday morning (ok late morning) ready to get dressed and head down to the National Mall to take part in the Million More March. So I decided to jump online and check out the agenda to see what time the lined up speakers went on. Now I had been checking for this agenda for the past week... to no avail.

It amazes me that this national movement's web site has little or no information. It doesn't amaze me that a black national movement's web site has little or no information. One day we will stop being so half ass. Strike 1.

So I turn to the coverage on CSpan, to see none other than the hatemonger Willie Wilson giving a speech on unity. Now is this the same man who was adamant against a speaker representing homosexual people of color. Speaking on unity, how ironic. Strike 2.

As I ate my breakfast, I continued watching the coverage. Nonsense topics from nonsense speakers. The two that stood out the most were... one Muslim woman who was advocating marriage, (I can agree with this one... let me turn it up) her reasoning for this was 1. women shouldn't have to force men to be a part of their child's life emotionally or financially (ok i can agree with that) 2. women should stay at home to nurture and take care of their families (stay at home? she should have stopped while she was ahead)

Another speaker spoke on how if the Government would give them 14% of the health care dollars... they would be able to medically take care people of color better than the government is currently doing. Of course no evidence to support this claim, just endless rhetoric. Strike 3.

Most people that know me know I have very little patience. And definitely patience for bullshit. So after all of that I decided my time would be better spent in bed sleep, rather than trekking down to the Mall to listen to this nonsense. Only to come to find out a few hours later that after being invited, Keith Boykin, was disinvited Saturday morning by Willie Wilson who would later stand before the crowd and preach unity.

A late Saturday morning in bed... Saturday afternoon shopping with my bestfriend. I must say it turned out pretty relaxing.

Farewell.... Dr. Viola Coleman

Many of you will not know of Dr. Coleman but for those that do will know what a remarkable woman she truly was.

Every since I was a few months old, twice a year, my mother and me or my grandmother and me would make our trek to 500 S Carver Street to see Dr. Viola Mary Johnson Coleman. Dr. Coleman had been our family physician since my mother was in grade school herself. No matter how many patients she had she never forget one detail about the Fitzgerald-Morris', she had become more than just a doctor but a family member.

But it wasn't until Dr. Viola Coleman, a brilliant and determined physician still practicing in her eighties, who led the fight to desegregate the schools and the small oil town of 50,000. Midland, the former home of George and Laura Bush, was much like the rest of America, segregation in Midland created a social atmosphere where black doctors and lawyers and business owners became the notables of the local black community. When Dr. Coleman and other black leaders began organizing sit-ins at a few of Midland's favorite lunch spots, the town's white business community was so eager to avert the same spectacle that has been occurring across the south that most of the restaurant owners quietly agreed to open their doors to blacks.

Dr. Coleman's activism didn't stop there. In 1970, she successfully worked with the Department of Justice in desegregating Midland's schools, the same schools my family and the Bushes attended. In the 80's, the city acknowledged her by naming a new high school after her. Her recent work included working to end the paramount Hispanic drop out issue.

While growing up, Dr. Coleman was just my doctor and a family friend. Now that I know more about this amazing woman, I feel honored to have been her patient.

"You survive and go on to do those things that you have the ability to do and the willingness to pay the price for," Coleman said in a 1985

Farewell.... August Wilson

Another legend has passed. The Pulitzer Prize playwright died of liver cancer on Sunday in Seattle. Wilson was diagnosed with cancer in June by his doctors in Seattle. The disease proved too advanced for treatment, according to his hometown paper, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, which broke the story of his illness. Wilson's work primarily focused on the African-American experience in the 20th century. His 10 play epic dealing with each decade of the 20th century, was mostly set in his hometown of Pittsburgh. His most famous plays are Fences and the Piano Lesson which both won Pulitzer Prizes; Ma Rainey's Black Bottom and Joe Turner's Come and Gone.

In 2002, while working at the Kennedy Center, I had the pleasure of meeting August Wilson at the premiere of his King Hedley II starring Brian Stokes Mitchell. From the brief conversation we had the one thing I remembered him saying was, "who would have thought all of this for a high school drop out. Don't let anything stand in your way."

In a true testament to his greatness Broadway's Virginia Theater will be renamed the August Wilson Theater later this month.

"I've lived a blessed life. I'm ready," Wilson spoke of his cancer in the Post-Gazette in August.

Metro Opens Doors

Ok so it was 8:50am and I was just arriving at the Brookland Metro station (for those not from DC... the metro is the subway). At a far distance I saw the former or current boyfriend of a friend , lets call him Tee (one of those relationships when you are never quite sure). Nice young guy, but if you only knew the stories I knew. I hadn't seen him since a early August when were both at a house party, so we played the obligatory lets catch up. Told me all the new things going on in his life... dropped a few hints that him and my friend were back together much not to my surprise. My stop came first so as I said my enjoy your days see you around soon... I departed the train and made my way to my office.

It was on my half a block walk that I started to thinking. Tee always complains about the nonsense that him and his partner are going through. But yet they keep going back to each other. And if I could tell you some of the crazy ass stories I have heard... you would only wonder. My bestfriend told me that I am far too impatient and usually end a relationship at the first sign of trouble. I always refute his statements with simply saying I have no time for bullshit.

So as I walked from the metro.... in between all the meetings... and as I walked back to the metro this evening... all I could wonder was... What is too impatient??


It has been about a month since my last entry and what a month it has been....

First dealing with the aftermath of Katrina and Rita and the havoc it has taken on my family still leaves me speechless. In total I lost two family members to Katrina. Several others are still dealing with emotional and pyschological scars that will probably last a lifetime. My uncle, once a vibrant trial lawyer that could tell a story as well as any Southern Baptist preacher, barely utters a word. Seeing his grandchild ripped from his hands and claimed by the flood waters, has proven to be a silencer.

Material things take an entire new meaning, when you see nearly everything that your family owns washed away.

Secondly, travel... travel... and more travel. This month I have been to Atlanta, Phoenix and Denver. Once again I spent more time away this month then I did in my own house... however it was good to see friends and college classmates in Atlanta (more on this later). And the Phoenician spa in Phoenix was absolutely amazing. Imagine getting a massage as the sun sets next to a cascading pool and waterfall overlooking a set of mountain ranges.... damn I love my job.

Third my bestfriend goes to closing on his house tomorrow. Two years ago we talked about what needed to be done to accomplish this and to see him reach this goal is such a great feeling.

Fourth.... work... work and more work. Frustrations of dealing with people that have no appreciation or concept of what you do is beginning to take its toll. I should have stayed on contract instead of taking this position full time. If things continue to progress the way they are now... I will be looking for a corporate conference and event management job in the DC, NYC, ATL and Miami areas so keep your eyes open.

Well that is all the updates for now.... time for dinner.

In the Background: Access Hollywood

Never let an opportunity pass without telling those in your life that you love them.
Never let the sun go down on your anger.
Never take tomorrow for granted.

Nigel Alexander Baptiste-Williams
March 12, 1989 - August 30, 2005

Katrina... 3 days later

It was Monday when Katrina hit. It was early Tuesday morning when the levees broke allowing Lake Ponchatrain to engulf the city. Gas prices have hit record highs. People have lost everything that they have ever known, including relatives and friends.

It has been 3 days since I have spoken to any of my family members there. It pains me to watch the continuous coverage on every news channel, yet I do in hopes to see an alive face or story of my kin. It had to be the 30th time I dialed 1-504... and it was the 30th time I would get a busy signal or a message from the operator telling me my efforts would be fruitless yet again. Last night something told me to try a text message this time. To my surprise it went through.... and even more to my surprise my friend Steven responded letting me know him and my other friend from New Orleans had made it safely to Baton Rouge. Exhale.

Another friend sent me this message from her blackberry today:
I am alive, but I have nothing but what is on my back. I have lost everything, it is all gone. Please call Mark [her husband] at the number in Shreveport and let him know that I am going to a shelter and will be in touch. Our New Orleans is no more. I have lost everything. Keep praying. - M

Three days letter and still no word from my family.

Today standing in the Rose Garden, President Bush said, "This recovery will take a long time. This recovery will take years."

"I'm confident that with time you'll get your life back in order, new communities will flourish, the great city of New Orleans will get back on its feet and America will be a stronger place for it," Bush said. "The country stands with you. We'll do all in our power to help you," he said.

I can only hope that he is right.

Sweet NOLA

I have many ties to New Orleans. When my paternal family migrated from St. Kitts and St. Croix several decades ago, that is where they made home. And oooooh what a home it is. Imagine a parcel of land just west of New Orleans with an oak lined drive that ends on a cul de sac with just three homes. One uncle and two aunts of my now deceased father's total 6 siblings live on this amazing piece of land. The few visits during the childhood summers, was always a highlight and sure to be a topic of discussion in the What I Did Last Summer speech.

Now that I am an adult, the trips to New Orleans have taken a different meaning. Hanging in the French Quarter with my cousins and friends and my all too frequent business trips there have given me a new appreciation of the Crescent city.

The aftermath of Hurricane Katrina went from good news to bad. Immediately after the storm hit it seemed as New Orleans had been spared the level of disaster that was once expected. I had spoken to one of my cousins and a friends and all reassured me that they were ok. However waking to the Today Show this morning, I was alerted that several levies had broken and now the city often compared to a soup bowl was flooded with water.

I have unsuccessfully tried reaching any of my people in New Orleans all day while maintaining a close eye to the news reports to stay abreast of the situation.

Anti-Gay Church Protests at GI Funerals

What a way to start my Sunday... so it is 7:20am. I am sitting at my desk drinking my orange juice, reading the online news before I head out for early service at my church Metropolitan Baptist. And the second headline I get is Anti-Gay Church Protests at GI Funerals.

Members of a Westboro Baptist in Kansas say God is punishing American soldiers for defending a country that harbors gays, and they brought their anti-gay message to the funerals Saturday of two Tennessee soldiers killed in Iraq. The Rev. Fred Phelps, founder of the church, which is not affiliated with a larger denomination, is made up mostly of Phelps' children, grandchildren and in-laws. The church members carried signs and shouted things such as "God hates fags" and "God hates you."

Are you serious? God hates? I grew up in the church and in my twenty-something years, I have never once heard the phrase, 'God hates..' in reference to anyone. God is love.

After reading about the actions members of this Westboro church have taken, it makes me wonder if this is a case of inbreeding or just plain stupidity. While I totally disagree with the war, I feel protesting a soldier's funeral should be considered treason, especially since they may have been there against their will. But then again you just got to love that damn 1st Amendment.

You just don't fuck with Oprah...

Chicago Defender I hope you are listening because I will only say this to you one time... YOU DONT FUCK WITH OPRAH!!!

Recently Roland Smith, executive editor of the Chicago Defender, wrote a column published in the Chicago Defender, a historically significant black daily newspaper, which questioned why Winfrey didn't attend John H. Johnson's Aug. 15 funeral in Chicago. Former President Bill Clinton, the Rev. Jesse Jackson and many notable black media personalities attended the service.

In retaliation of the article, Oprah contacted Mr. Smith and informed him that not only was she not in town when Mr. Johnson died or was funeralized but she had sent notes and flowers to Eunice Johnson, his wife and Linda Johnson Rice his daughter. But in the response article published Aug. 25th, she made a statement for me that ended the entire controversy. Oprah stated, "I didn't have a personal relationship" with Mr. Johnson, she also said that she had the utmost respect for him and the company he built into a $500 million powerhouse.

If Oprah was not a personal friend to Mr. Johnson making comment of her nonattendance to his funeral becomes a mute point.

Perhaps Mr. Smith should be reminded of the Texas cattleman case against Ms. Winfrey back in 1998. In that lawsuit, the cattlemen claimed the 1996 show on mad cow disease, which suggested the disease could spread to people, Winfrey exclaimed: "It has just stopped me from eating another burger!" caused the cattle market to plunge to 10-year lows and cost them $11 million. Well in 2002, Winfrey was found not liable for damages and left the cattle industry with yet another black eye during an already low period for trying to go after the Queen of Daytime.

But in case that is not enough, let me remind you Mr. Smith of the recent snub Oprah faced by Hermes. Before having dinner with Tina Turner, Oprah wanted to dash into Hermes to purchase a watch for her dinner companion. While there were still shoppers in the recently closed stored, Winfrey was denied access. Management of the Paris store were allegedly quoted as stating that they had recently had problems with 'northern Africans." Although Oprah has never herself claimed racism, Winfrey’s friend, Gayle King, who was there, told Entertainment Tonight, “Oprah describes it as ‘one of the most humiliating moments of her life.”’ Harpo says Winfrey plans to discuss the incident in the context of race relations on her show this fall.

So with that said Mr. Smith, while your little newspaper may reach millions... Oprah reaches billions every day via her shows, her website, or her magazines. So be sure to have all the facts straight before you piss off such a powerful woman.

My Pet Peeve

I like to think of myself as a work in progress. Continuously evolving and growing. As any work in progress there are a few imperfections, I stress the word few. One of those few imperfections is my lack of patience.

This lack of patience leads to my biggest pet peeve, which is someone being inconsiderate of my time. I think that happens to be one of if not the rudest thing you can do to a person. I hate making plans with someone and for some reason they don't follow through. I totally understand that shit happens... but a responsible and considerate person should have the sense to call that person up and let them know they won't be able to follow through. And calling after a set time doesn't count. At least give me the opportunity to rearrange my afternoon to do something else.

From now on I will put a disclaimer on all my plans to let them know that if they don't follow through within 15 minutes I am moving on to something else.

So as I step off my soap box... I want you to step up there and let me know, "What is your biggest pet peeve?"

In the background: You Move Me - Cassandra Wilson

Kanye West Calls for End to Gay Bashing

Just wanted to share a "news story" that caught my eye today....

Kanye West Calls for End to Gay Bashing

AP - Kanye West says "gay" has become an antonym to hip-hop and that it needs to be stopped. During an interview for an MTV special, the 27-year-old rapper launched into a discussion about hip-hop and homosexuality while talking about "Hey Mama," a song on his upcoming album, "Late Registration."
West says that when he was young, people would call him a "mama's boy."

"And what happened was, it made me kind of homophobic, 'cause it's like I would go back and question myself," West says on the show, "All Eyes on Kanye West," set to air Thursday night (10:30 p.m. ET).
West says he changed his ways, though, when he learned one of his cousins was gay.

"It was kind of like a turning point when I was like, `Yo, this is my cousin. I love him and I've been discriminating against gays.'"

West says hip-hop was always about "speaking your mind and about breaking down barriers, but everyone in hip-hop discriminates against gay people." He adds that in slang, gay is "the opposite, the exact opposite word of hip-hop."

Kanye's message: "Not just hip-hop, but America just discriminates. And I wanna just, to come on TV and just tell my rappers, just tell my friends, `Yo, stop it.'"

West, whose debut disc "The College Dropout" won a Grammy for best rap album, will see his second record in stores on Aug. 30.

My personal opinion: I had the opportunity tonight to catch MTV VJay Sway's interview of Kanye West. The 30 minute interview covered interesting topics from his childhood growing up in a divorced home... to art school... to one question that caught him off guard.

Sway: Do you think siding with Jay [JayZ]... was disloyal and in a way of turning your back on Dame [Damon Dash] the person that discovered you?
Kanye: (after several minutes of silence and a dumbfounded look on his face) Yeah.... Yeah

Also in the interview, Kanye veryadamantlyy condemns the prevalence of homophobia in hip hop and encourages other rappers and his friends to stop the discrimination. He relates a story of how he became homophobic trying to distance himself from his 'momma's boy' image in high school, until he found out that his cousin and his friend he brought to Thanksgiving dinners was gay. Finally a celeb is not afraid to publicly take a stand.

It will be interesting to see what comes of this statement and this interview. Will othercelebritiess speak out? Will people distance themselves from his comments? Hopefully others will notdismisss these comments and take the ignorant view of Kanye's stance as a coming out of the closet. But for what it is an African American man realizing that bigotry and discrimination is pointless.

All Eyes on Kanye repeats several times this weekend on MTV . I definitely encourage you to check it out. And check out Kanye West - Late Registration (Def Jam) August 30th.

Being Gay and Having Religion Part 1

I say part one because I know that there is no way I can cover everything that I need to say, want to say or can think to say right now.

However after visiting Intellifreak's blog, I was exposed to this Yahoo news article, Atlanta Has Become Mecca for Black Gays. Well I use to live in Atlanta, so from the title I wasn't expecting to learn anything new. In the article, the very attractive David Malebranche, a physician who teaches at Emory University, said many black lesbians and gays settle in Atlanta because they "feel ostracized from the white gay community because of racism. People will migrate to a city where there is a lot of black people in general, and then within that you find your niche."

Dr. David Malebranche

But again none of that was new news to me seeing I once lived there. What was surprising to me were the thoughts and comments by Bishop Eddie Long of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church. In my Atlanta days I attended Bishop's Long megachurch before it was quite mega... when it was still meeting in a closed shopping center before the new megafacility was even built. The entire time I attended his church I never once new or heard his objections to gays and gay marriage. I often recall and share a fond memory of a service one Sunday....

Me and two of my friends were sitting their praising and worshiping along with the rest of the masses, slightly tired from hanging out the night before. Service had been going on for at least 20 minutes, when she walked in. Heads were turning and the men were gawking... and the kids went to whispering. As she took her seat, 2 rows in front of us with who I came to find out later was her birth mother, I knew this was going to be one ole service. The person that had caught the attention of nearly every man in service was none of ther than the transgender legend of Jasmine Bonet. As we stood in prayer, we watched the eyes of the men around us... and how they examined and lusted after Jasmine right there in service. We could only say if they only knew.

Anyway I digress, what made me want to blog this morning was the fact that a few of my friends in Atlanta are still going to New Birth. Even after their pastor and church has made a stance against them. Which reminds me of Greater Mt. Calvery Church here in Washington. The pastor and copastor have preached against and bashed homosexuals on more than several occassions.
I recall the one and only time I ever stepped foot in that Traxx with a sermon, the copastor Susie asked for men volunteers for the their mentoring or tutoring program, can't recall now, but she then went on to say "We need real men to help these kids... not any of you other men." obviously hinting to the huge gay population within the church. When she finally began her sermon her bashing continued... and all around me and all in the choir stand these homos were saying their Amens. On my way to my truck after the service right on the front steps of the church, I was approached by one of the male members asking me what was I getting into after service.
But please do not attack this church or any other church like this because the homos I have come in contact with will defend their church and gaybashing ministers to the end.

While I have grown up in church and understand that you must read the Bible and have a personal relationship with God... I have also learned that you can't believe 100% of anything that comes out of any man's mouth. But I have also learned that I shouldn't support those who do not support me. Can someone explain to me the rationale of staying in churches that preach out against you? Can someone explain to me the rationale of staying in churches that offer healing to your homosexual affliction? Are we that pressed for inclussion that we subject ourselves to unecessary treatment? Does the Bible say, "Judge not... unless you talking about homos"?

Whatever happened to them?

Well I know it has been quite some time since I have talked about the fellas from my trip to Puerto Rico and others in my life so here is an update. SoontobeSoutherner moved to Atlanta not long after our return from the beaches of Condado. While he has been getting adjusted to his new apartment in Buckhead, his new job, the night life and boys of Atlanta... we still talk almost every day. Our conversations have covered every subject imaginable. It is funny how I can talk to to someone online for months if not years... but it takes meeting face to face for those conversations to end up having substantial meaning to me. Meeting in a Puerto Rico has been one of the few highlights of the summer. I am looking forward to spending some time with him later this month in Atlanta. And now that he is down south I guess his name must change as well to ... KravingAtlanta.

Then there is Mr. WindyCity... I saw him a few weeks ago on a business trip to Chicago. A few telephone conversations, one dinner and a dance or two at the club. But nothing more was good seeing him and we have talked once since. It is always good to have friends around the country.

SoontobeEx... is official 10 times over. We haven't spoken since the last day he was in Puerto Rico. He sent a few text messages until I asked him to stop. No need in continuously riding a ferris wheel of nonsense... that is where I got off.

The past few weekends here in Washington, I have the opportunity to get out and hang out with friends that I haven't seen much and along the way met a couple new friends... in that time I met a pretty decent person. Always open to new friendships... well most of the time. Anyway we were supposed to go to the movies this Sunday with some other friends to see 4 Brothers... but it ended up just being us. We had a good time and talked most of the night until my sinus headache got the best of me. Anyway I guess I need to name him so I can reference him in future posts so he is officially..... Dancer'sThighs.

In the Background: Loose My Breath: Maurice's Nu Soul Mix - Destiny's Child (dedicated to KravingATL)

I ain't having sex with you...

Well like I needed yet another reason not to have sex... I got one last week. A friend forwarded me a press release from the DC Appleseed Center, a public policy and research center here in Washington. When I read the title, DC Appleseed Calls for Major Changes to District of Columbia's Response to HIV/AIDS Crisis, I was immediately like ok this is old news. Everyone who knows anything about DC and HIV knows there has been a crisis going on for awhile. But yet like voting rights... it always goes overlooked. So of course I didn't read the press release because this was old news to me.

So this morning as I am standing in line at the post office... I hear NPR in the background discussing this new report by DC Appleseed. Hearing the discussion made me want to read the report as soon as I got back home. Some of the most disturbing lowlights of the report were:

  • The District's annual rate of new AIDS cases is over 10 times the national average and is
    believed now to be the highest of any major U.S. city.
  • Unfortunately, even these numbers fail to capture the extent of the epidemic because
    they do not include HIV-positive people in the District who have not developed AIDS.
  • District public health officials estimate that 1 out of every 20 District residents is infected.

While those facts are surprising the most interesting part of the report discusses the District of Columbia's efforts in addressing this epidemic. The report details how the District is not systematically collecting and analyzing data about the epidemic in a way that would allow it to plan prevention and care effectively. It also states that the current HIV/AIDS services are not sufficient for the population including efforts in schools, jails, and among drug users.

With all this said... get tested, ask your partner, and use protection... just like you wear a seat belt, look both ways before crossing a street.... take the initiative to protect your own life.

Time to let go...

Me and one of my bestfriends and his boyfriend for two years were leaving a party a party a few weeks ago, when we started discussing my ex that appeared at the party with his new beau. I was quite upset that he would bring this new person and try to appear so happy in a party I organized without at the very least giving me a headsup. What made the evening even more disturbing was the fact that in his hug goodbye his hands went to places that would have gotten him knocked out if it didn't feel so gooooood.....

Anyway back to the car ride home... we were discussing my perpetual state of dating someone for a few months before casting them to the side because they do not live up to my expectations. It was on this ride home that he said something that I can still here ringing in my ears, "Just as like we sit here discussing other people at the party... someone is discussing us and you as well. Have you ever thought that the reason people are not coming into your life is because they can see all the baggage you are carrying."

I sat there in complete quiet just saying over and over.. "damn ..... I never thought about that."

So that conversation, the trip to Montreal, yoga this past Saturday and the conversations I have had since I have been home, have driven me to finally let it go. I have tend to give so much of myself in relationships that I always feel the desire to keep the exs around if for nothing more than friends. But at the same time always wondering what if.... Sometimes this has brought nothing but headaches but yet I deal. But not anymore I am letting it go... releasing that energy that is binding me and opening the window to the new opportunities that have recently presented themselves.

Damn I hate the first of the month...

Ok so I left work early today (what else is new) to meet a friend for lunch. At the last minute I decided that I would cook instead (don't ask me why because everyone knows domestic work isn't me). So I go to the Safeway not far from my house (why I have no clue I never go to this ghetto ass store but for some reason today I was being lazy). As I walked around the produce looking for some potatoes, I started listening to a conversation next to me.

Woman #1: This baby stinks... did you change her diaper before we left.
Woman #2: No she didnt stink when we left.
Woman #1: Well she stinks.
Woman #2 walks off to another aisle

about 3 minutes later I am searching for some fish in the seafood section only to be encountered once again by the women and kids....

Woman #1: Yes Sheniah (0r however you spell those shenene names) u stink
Woman #2: Why you broadcasting to everyone that she smells
Woman #1: Shit everyone can smell it.
Woman #1 adds 3 packs of bacon to her nearly full cart.

I never understood why people wait till their pantry is nearly empty to come to the grocery store and stock up with an overflowing basket of food. Lucky me the ghetto Safeway only has 3 lines open and once again I find myself with my 12 items behind the women and kids....

Cashier: Do you have a bonus card?
Woman #2: No but let me enter my phone number instead.
Cashier: (several minutes later) Your total is $298.23
Woman #2: I have my card (she swipes what looks to be a credit card but has no visa or mastercard logo... hmmm food stamps)
Cashier: Your total is $36.12
Woman #1: You need to put something back... put those pampers and plates back we can get some from the dollar store up the street.
Cashier: (obviously annoyed)... umm hmm your total is $22.84

God knows I hate the first of the month. Damn I forgot the dishwashing liquid.

In the Background: some annoying reality show

GoGo'n Home

Let me begin this by saying I love my job but damnit it is so good to finally be going home. Yeah home... after Montreal, Kansas City, St. Louis, Minneapolis, and Chicago all in a week and a half, it is finally good to be going back to Washington.

Yeah good ole Washington... the seasonal home of our favorite and least favorite politicians... home of GoGo music and mambo sauce...

The highlight of this trip was not only meeting a new friend in St. Louis but connecting with friends in Chicago which I don't get to see that often. But it is going to be good to finally get back to my apartment in the city, my bed, my empty kitchen, my DVR, my washer and dryer, my... well my everything.

I am also looking forward to going home Sunday because me and KCK are going to check out Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. He has been in quite a funk lately. Unhappy about his job, unhappy about past choices regarding school and the out of the blue end of his relationship. While part of me is happy that nonsense is over, the new selfless side of me is more concerned with being his friend through this time. Just trying to do my part, my asinine actions last summer caused more heartache and stress on him than one should have to deal with. So lately I have just been trying to be the best friend I can be to show him that I am not a total asshole just 1/4 quarter.

In the Background: Change Clothes - JayZ

Unrecognized Racisim

As I laid in the bed overlooking Minneapolis (Day 6, City 3 if you are keeping up) this morning, reading the USA Today I quickly became enraged. I had briefly heard about the recent disappearance of the 24yo, pregnant mother from Philadelphia. However this article on page 2A, informed me of two details about LaToyia Figueroa, that I had never heard on the sporadic news clips I have seen.

1. She was the mother of a 7yo girl.
2. She has been missing for eleven days.

Eleven days and she still isn't a top news story on any channel or major paper. However little fast, drunk ass Natalee Holloway has entire afternoons on CNN dedicated to her drunken disappereance in Aruba. And let us not even go back to Laci Peterson and Chandra Levy. What is the difference between the two stories. Now what is the difference between the two stories LaToyia is black and hispaninc and Laci and Chandra were two white females.

An acquaintence of mine said it best in this USA Today article, " They report on on missing persons who are white, female and attractive. The focus ignores the fact that men account for slightly more than half of the nearly 50,000 active missing persons cases in FBI files and that blacks account for nearly 30%, although they only make up just 13% of the population."

Hopefully the Philadelphia mother will be found safe. Hopefully America will continue to overcome the hidden, unrecognized racisims.

In the Background: Cater to You - Destiny's Child on the Today Show

Welcome to the Durty.. Durty

"St. Louis would like to welcome the arrival of Southwest flight 2667 (DONT ASK LONG STORY). Your bags will be located on caraousel 3."

I knew this was going to be an eventful day. When I arrived at Kansas City's airport which reminds me of what a Barbie airport would look like... very minmalistic. I have never seen baggage claim located right next to your arrival gate. Anyway, I was forced to fly Southwest (what I like to consider the Hyundai of the sky) because that was the only direct flight that I could get to St. Louis. Now I would have taken a connection flight to avoid this but the cities I had to choose from were Chicago or Atlanta. I hate Southwest... I always feel like I am rushing to hopefully stand in Line A for a welfare check. The damn plane wasn't scheduled to depart for another hour but people were lined up under that big letter A waiting to be first on board to grab that first class seat. Oh yeah "every seat is First Class on Southwest" as they like to tell you.... or everything is coach as you soon begin to realize.

So I find my seat... store my bags.... turn the Ipod up so the guy next to me won't even begin to talk to me. Before we were off the ground good... perky little black Kelly (mind you it is 8am) begins to take drink orders. So as I turn down the Ipod... I overhear the gentleman in front of me order... "A sweet ice tea please". I was like damn when was the last time I flew this airline... they are really offering alot when others are cutting back. Perky Kelly went to Ghetto Kelly in 15 seconds flat and needless to say the entire front section of the plane now knows they don't serve ice tea on any airline.

So as I descend the escalator to baggage claim in search of the driver, I notice this frumpy man holding a sign in the distance. Wrinkled short sleeve dress shirt (Lord knows I hate short sleeve dress shirts), oversized black pants and dusty shoes. In desperate need of a cut and shave, I noticed his sign was bearing my name. Now this is the third driver I have had on this trip and the first black one... why must he be the one that looks the most unprofessional. As he starts the car was comes blaring out at me but Lil John (Don't get me wrong I am from the durty but this is business), he quickly changed the station but yet and still.

The Hyatt Regency... magnificent. The Presidential suite... fitting. Lunch... damn good. Time to hit the streets and explore the city.

In the Background: Hot in Here - Nelly (hey had to get in the groove... meetings are over)

Sons... (a book review)

One of the few positives from my trip out west (besides hanging out with and meeting new friends), was running into Alphonso Morgan at the infamous beach party. I had just arrived at the beach and as I was complaining once again about how brown the waves were crashing against the beach, we walked past an abandoned vendor's stand with several books stacked up. Now all my friends know that I am constantly reading something and always try to pick up literature from gay writers, regardless of how bad it may be (see the A House is not a Home post). So as I was reading the reviews on the back of the book, one raving review from an acquaintance in NYC... Alphonso walked up, introduced himself and told us a little about his book while being intentionally vague to stir interest. Well it worked.. I forked over the few dollars that would have been a couple drinks and committed myself to reading it on the way back to the east coast.

Well before the plane had reached cruising altitude, I was on Chapter 4. I was totally engrossed in the lives of the two main characters. Two young men in Brooklyn struggling to accept and realize their sexuality while falling in 'love' or at least going through the motions.

My review: Now I am a hard critic when it comes to books but this is definitely one to pick up. You will definitely not be disappointed.

In the Background: So Amazing - Luther Vandross


So I just got back from Montreal... wow what a city. This is one of those trips I like to call a business vacation. I was there for a couple business meetings but most of the time was spent enjoying the city and French Canadian culture.

I invited my ex, KCK, to join me in the all expense paid trip because he had expressed interest in being in my industry and thought this could be a great learning and networking experience. While me and KCK's breakup was far from easy we have been working on our friendship for the past year, although it has been difficult at times. I must admit I did also see this as a time to see if there was anything still there.

After the meetings with different hoteliers and tours of the city, we had plenty of time to take advantage of our host city. We had the opportunity to go JetBoating in the rapids, the Just for Laughs comedy festival, and a nightclub that was spinning 80s and early 90s hip hop and R&B.

We hung out mostly with 2 females also from DC, who were quite interested in me and KCK's past and future. The conversations made us both think... and when my marriage proposal went unanswered (Gay marriage is legal in Quebec and most of Canada) ... it left alot of questions and thoughts go unanswered.

Now we are back in DC... KCK is back with his current and I am off on another business trip tomorrow.... Kansas City, St. Louis, Minneapolis, and Chicago here I come.

California Dreaming

Ok so I have been in California now for 5 days and I am already counting the hours down to get back to the east coast. Now do not get me wrong.. I am having a great time with my friends that choose to live on the left coast. However this spot is definitely not for me.

Let's start with my first stop in California... San Diego. After my meeting, I hooked up with one of my good good friends from back east that is attending grad school out here. He took me to the one club that actually had a "hip hop night". When I tell you I had never heard the music or it was from the early 90s. San Diego has no flava at all... you would think since it was so close to Mexico it would but it is as whitewash as you can get.

Next stop LAX... and they say NYC is dirty. The city is filthy, you can't see the sky, the hills, or the hollywood sign for all the smog. It takes an hour to get anywhere as long as there is no traffic... if there is traffic you can forget it, might as well take a nap at the wheel. I had the opportunity to go out twice... once to BoyTrade which was cool and then First Fridays which was lame. A dance club in a low budget sex club, with two dance floors that play the same music. Brilliant. I will say one thing about LA... there were quite a few attractive men.

Anyway I write this to say I am happy to be returning to DC and the right coast .... I will see my friends again but it won't be in Cali anytime soon.

A Chair is still a Chair... (a book review)

But A House is Not A Home is a sad example of contemporary fiction. Now when I was first exposed to James Earl Hardy and B Boy Blues, I was just coming out. I had finally accepted my own truth and was veraciously devouring every gay novel I could find. Soon E. Lynn Harris and James Baldwin were finding their way along side my Accounting Principles and Economics books on the bookshelf. However that was over 7 years ago and unlike me Hardy’s writing has not evolved.

The story is billed as the sixth and final installment in this hip hop homo love story. For those of you unexposed to this story here is a brief synopsis:

Mitchell ‘Lil Bit’ Crawford meets Raheim ‘Pooquie’ Rivers in a gay bar in Greenwich Village in the summer of 1993. Mitchell is a 27-year-old journalist; Raheim is a 21-year-old bicycle messenger and stereotypical B-boy. Their smoking-hot sex develops into strong mutual need as Mitchell discovers that underneath his tough exterior, Raheim is smart, talented, and a loving parent to his five-year-old son. Raheim's major flaw is his violent streak. When Mitchell nudges him to accept his homosexuality, Raheim nearly knocks him out and leaves. Violence is an inescapable part of their world. Raheim's best friend is gunned down in the street; Mitchell's best friend becomes a victim of gay-bashing. However Hardy calls for a happy ending and has Raheim and Mitchell make up and declare their love.

Fast forward ten years and we have the two lovers broken up again after Raheim’s gambling addiction drives a wedge between the two. And that is where this unbelievable (and not in a good way) novel begins. While I understand this is a fiction novel, this is totally a land of make believe. The things Hardy comes up with make the story so fictional that it is hard to follow. Everything from Mitchell’s 50yo mother giving birth to a daughter who she gives to him to raise because she doesn’t plan on spending her retirement years raising another child… to the characters in the novel being featured on every major syndicated news show, magazine cover, and feature movie released in the past 10 years. The writing also reads like it did 10 years ago, and while my naivety to gay fiction overlooked the high school level… it wears on me now and makes what usually takes me a few days to read two weeks.

While I do not want to spoil the story for those who have not read it, the ending isn’t as developed as it needs to be. Which is quite disappointing for this to be the final installment.

My review: If you have read the other 5 episodes, go ahead and pick it up or borrow it from someone. If you haven’t skip it.

There's No Place Like Home....

My current career calls for me to travel quite a bit. Like May, I was only home for 10 days but I am not complaining because I like the opportunity of seeing the country and visiting friends all over, on someone else's dime.

Well that brings me to what is on my mind... have you ever left a club or party in your home city and been like damn I wish I could go somewhere else. Or been like the dudes/girls/whatever floats your boat.. are so lame here, I need to move. Well for since Saturday, I have had the opportunity to visit and experience Philly. Two of my boys from DC drove up on Saturday to share my suite and hang out since none of us had done that here. Well the lack of a black night spot led us to just walk down to the gayborhood, have a drink and take in the sights. And what a few sights there were. From men walking around in wigs, pretending to be drag queens; to the unkept long beard; to the long tshirts that look like dresses. I will leave Philly on Friday morning thankful to head back to a city where there is some sort of style and grooming. And the ability to hold a conversation and at least look like they have a career (not a job, but a career big difference)

Now I am sure all Philly gay residents are not like this and like I said we were novices to Philly night life but everyone we asked pretty much gave the same story that there wasn't much to do at all. So far the highlight of the trip has been vibing with my colleagues and staying at the Loews which is very art deco and in a great location.

Definitely sending an open call to anyone in Philly that can introduce me to the places where upwardly mobile, educated, cultured mid 20s to mid 30s hang!!

Puerto Rico Hoooooo!!

Well it has officially been a week, since I have been back from the warm, sandy beaches of Condado in San Juan. The comments about my tan each day I come to work or hang out with friends just conjures the memories of laying out on the beach, sipping on a cold frozen drink, listening to the waves crashing against the shore, and watching the boys that have been working out hard for the past few months to tighten it up.

Now this was my 4th trip to the island and my second time for the SanJuanBrotha's event. I have been asked by everyone which year was better and I must say last year definitely won in my eyes. Don't get me wrong this year was nice. Having the nightly parties at different clubs around San Juan was much better than everything being at Eros last year. However the crowd of people in 2004 was a lot more younger than this year's. The concert performance by Angie Stone was quite rememberable rather than the chick this year, who till this day I still can't remember her name. But above all it was a great opportunity to get away and get drunk with my boys from DC, Chicago, Atlanta and LA.

Now of a course a single guy can't go to a paradise-like island filled with other single or single for the weekend guys and not have some fun..... well there was the SoontobeSoutherner who not only kept me dancing (or was holding me up cause I was quite intoxicated and don't remember) and snored in my ear two of the four nights. While I had chatted with him online for quite sometime meeting face to face was well worth the wait. We had plans to walk the beach at sunset but that never happened maybe later this summer when he visits me in DC.

Then there was SoontobeEx. Me and SoontobeEx have been dating off and on since December 2004. Nice guy with good things going on, but when it comes to relationships he isn't ready. He is the type that wants you to himself... when he is wants you and wants you to be waiting when he is ready. Well we all know that, that isn't me.. so when I got a text message that he was heading to the airport (please note we were staying the same hotel less than 5 floors between us), that nailed the coffin shut and he became a part of my dating past (please reference the post Romance is dead because this might as well be a ditto to that).

And finally there was Mr.WindyCity. Now this one caught me by total surprise. We actually met last year. We shared a mutual friend, which led to us hanging out often last Memorial Day as well as running to each other a couple times throughout the year. This year we shared a few hidden moments, a few whispers, a few hugs, a few laughs... but most of all a mysterious open ending. Will be very interesting to see will this harmless flirting (maybe a little more) become anything more.

The trip to Puerto Rico was quite fun but the fellas who I have named the Brothers of Kinloch from ATL, LA, and Chicago have all decided to do something different next year, but definitely together.

Welcome to Fucking America

I know I may sound like a total racist after reading this post, but oh well!! Thanks to the Constitution I can say what the hell I feel.

Picture it a 90 degree day with at least 75% humidty in the Nation's capital. I decided that I was in need of a nap and would leave work a little early to accomplish that. As I leave my office in downtown and stroll onto the Metro Red Line in the direction of Silver Spring, I catch a glimpse of one of a few remaining seats and claim it as my own. Lucky for me because at the next stop the train filled up and it was standing room only. Still not packed as it will be when the evening rush still picks up, but there were no empty seats on the train. I sit on the cool train deeply engrossed in the Invisible Man, when I notice a filthy arm go in front of my face and grab the bar in front of my seat. I look up to see this apparent construction or day worker standing closer than need be, smelling like sweat and dropping dust everywhere. When I ask him to move over, he gave me this look as if he didn't understand a word that came out my mouth. I asked again and the middle aged hispanic woman he was with said something to him in a latin derivative language that I didn't understand. But whatever it was he moved over enough to give me breathing room.

As we arrived at the Brookland Metro Station, I quickly took my annoyed ass down the escalator and to find that it wasn't working (but if you are from DC you know this is nothing abnormal). As I reached the bottom of the incredibly dark station, I as well as all the other passengers noticed that the station's power was out. The gates leading out were open, since the card scanner was out of service as well. Passengers are just flowing through the gates and making their way outside except for the person in front of me. She stops and tries to force her card into the machine and when myself and the train station manager explain to her just to walk through, she argues that she must get her card scanned first. Apparently not understanding that we were telling her that it doesn't work because of the loss of power and that she was holding up the growing line of people trying to exit the station.

Well the power loss at the station was apparently a community wide problem. As I got into my SUV and headed home from the station I approached a normally bustling intersection. I imagine most drivers know that when you come to an intersection and the lights aren't working, the intersection works as if it was a 4 way stop. Well as I pull to the nonworking light and stop the cars to my left and right cross the intersection giving way to my turn. Well someone must have failed to tell the woman driving the hoop de ville with loud music, stickers and red white and green flags everywhere. She proceeded right through the intersection following the car in front of her nearly causing a side impact crash. And to top it off she looks at me as if I did something wrong.

Now I left out the ethnicities of the individuals out because I don't want anyone to assume I am picking on a particular group of people. However I think the Statue of Liberty's famous engraving should be changed to say "come one, come all but learn the damn language, the rules of driving (which is actually a problem with our city's governments), and learn common courtesy.

In the Background: NBC 4 News at 5

Romance is Dead...

... Said the man standing on top of the Empire State... Day by day, I begin to understand why I vibe with the movie Love Jones, so much. I share the same pessemistic view of romance and love as many of the main characters. It has been 5 years since Mr. D (names have been changed to protect the innoncent) ended what was my first man to man romance. In that time I have seriously dated two people, each for less than a year. In that time I have been on less than 5 real dates. Romance is dead.

So it was to my suprise when a friend called me up late Friday evening and invited me to go to the Capitol City Jazz Festival with him on Sunday. While me and CLK have hung out a couple times the past year, we had never gone on a date. His excitement about the event was infectious. I mean he called me just to tell me that he took down the cooler and was going to fill it with juices and snacks for the concert in the park. At first I thought this was just going to be two friends hanging out. Until my third phone call about the Festival in less than 24 hours ended with "are you looking forward to spending time together? I am". While my pessissim has jaded my outlook on certain things, a friend was quick to point out - ' you hang out with your boys.. you spend time with a date.' This new revelation made the excitement of the event become even more of a reality for me. Who would have thought that me and CLK would spend all of Sunday together listening to great music and counting the endless amount of meals the several fat girls around us were putting down in such a short period of time.

Long story short let me highlight the day:

  1. We had breakfast at this quaint Scottish ( I believe) restaurant that has served over a billion and allows you to supersize.
  2. I paid for my own entrance into the concert.
  3. Perfected a nearly perfect tan that I got in Puerto Rico a week before (more to come on that trip soon).
  4. A goodnite hug in my parking lot... as we set plans to do this again next month when Jill Scott, Erykah Badu, and Queen Latifah take the stage.

Needless to say I will know what to expect next month. And for the record Romance is dead.

I am Looking at Music

It is the color of light,

The shape of sound high in the evergreens

It lies suspended in hills, A blue line in a red sky.

I am looking at sound.

I am hearing the brightness

Of high bluffs and almond trees

I am tasting the wilderness

of lakes, rivers, and streams

Caught in an angle of song.

I am remembering water

That glows in the dawn

The motion tumbled in earth

Life hidden in mounds.

I am dancing a bright beam of light

I am remembering love.


Nina Mosley

In the Background: Hopeless - Dionne Farris

It all started back when...

Six years ago my therapist told me that one way to deal with the emotions that had confined me to solitutude for two months was to write them down in the moment and come back and read them later. That word of wisdom has led to over ten journals.

Several months ago the same therapist reiterated something that I had just learned from experience. Her exact words were, "you have a problem communicating, you must learn to be open." She went on to say that I should let someone close to me read my journals. A cold chill immediately descended my body at the thought of sharing those 989 pages.

Over the past few months I have become closer to an Internet friend, who happens to have a blogspot of his own. After becoming a subscriber and guest star to this portion of his life, I have decided to start one of my own.

Those ten journals are officially the beginning of HisStory however are not ready for public viewing just yet. So this is the beginning of the next best thing.

In the Background: Gotta Go Gotta Leave - Vivian Green