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
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
"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)
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.
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.