Monday, December 26, 2011

Weekend Recap: Christmas 2011

My weekend started Thursday afternoon. As I was on my way to work I received a phone call from a company that I had recently interviewed with. They extended an offer to me (which I accepted) which put me on a high and hopefully ended a three year stretch of jobs and restarted my career. Then, when I finally did make it to work on Thursday, I was informed that I had this weekend and next weekend off (not really concerned about next weekend after receiving the phone call that I received. Don't have enough time to give them a full two weeks notice, but my last day will more than likely be December 31st).

With the weekend off now, I spent it with the family trying to start new traditions. Saturday, we went to Rockefeller Center to see the tree, then went out to dinner. When we got home, we played a family game of Monopoly until little people had to go to sleep because he didn't want to be up when Santa came. With no cookies in the house, we left Santa milk and crackers. After the child went to sleep, "Santa" showed up. "Santa" didn't leave until almost 3am and the child woke up promptly at 5:45am. That did not make for a happy Organized Noise (but I guess I have to get used to that), but the look on everyone's face as they opened their gifts made it worth it. After the gifts were opened, we had breakfast then went to church (I love when Christmas falls on a Sunday). After church I came down with a cold and slept most of the day away, while the Mrs. and son played with their toys (the Mrs. got a Nook Tablet and her son got a Nintendo 3DS). I woke up just in time for a family game of Life before going right back to sleep.

I'm the only one who has to go to work on Monday, so I am just relaxing today while the wife and child went to see my mother in law. As the schedule turns out, when I get off today, I'm off for two days (regular days off), then I'm taking thursday off to attend a funeral. I'll work Friday, then have the weekend off again. Can't get much better than that. Hope you all are enjoying your holiday weekends as well.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

TMI Tuesday: Happy Holidays

1. What will you be celebrating? If it isn’t a commonly known holiday or celebration (i.e., Christmas, winter solstice, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa) briefly tell us about it.

I celebrate Christmas, but beyond that, the week between Christmas and New Year's is my favorite time of the year (next to my birthday).

2. What’s your favorite Christmas or holiday tune?

Silent Night by The Temptations

3. If you are giving or receiving gifts this holiday season:
- What’s the gift you most want?
- What do you think is the best gift you are giving?


The top five gifts on my wishlist are an iMac, iphone, an Xbox, a bottle of Issey Miyake and a digital camera. The best gift I'm giving is to my wife. She's getting a Nook Tablet.

4. If you could spend this December holiday season anywhere, where would that be?

I was having this discussion with my wife yesterday. I live in New York City and think there's nothing better than Christmas in New York, but if I had to spend the holiday season somewhere else, I guess I would say a cabin up in the Poconos.

5. Your family has announced that the holiday celebration & get-together will be at your home. You think to yourself:

a. Yes! Finally…the more the merrier.
b. I don’t have enough room for all of you, but let’s rent a hall and you all get hotel rooms.
c. Over my dead body, I don’t want you freaks in my house.
d. Hmm…I wonder if it’s too late to book a flight to anywhere, leaving on Christmas eve?


Either C or D. Don't get me wrong, I love Christmas. I have just grown up with the idea that Christmas is for immediate family. Easter, Mother's Day, Father's Day and Thanksgiving we can do the big family sit down dinner, but Christmas I want to lay around playing with my new "toys" and watching television.

6. Have you ever given a fruit cake as a Christmas gift or a gift at all? Do you even like fruit cake?

Thankfully, no.

Bonus: Share with us one of your holiday traditions.

My favorite holiday tradition is the "Wrap Party". I usually do it on Christmas Eve. Turn up the Christmas music, get a bottle of hot chocolate or Coquito, some Christmas candy and wrap up all of the presents.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Reality Check . . . I Hope

I have a love/hate relationship with most of my cousins on my father's side of the family. They have made some questionable decisions in their lives that I don't necessarily agree with. At the same time, I don't wish anything bad against them and if someone tries something against them, I definitely have their back. Today, is one of those days. Today is the end (I hope) of a recent series of events that has had one of my cousins going through the ringer. Her string of bad luck is one I wouldn't even put my worst enemy through.

In the last month alone, my cousin has lost her house (well, her grandmother's house that she was living in), her husband (who finally wised up and left), her children (thanks to her childs school reporting her) and her father (who died due to complications of a stroke suffered on an operating table while having his fingers amputated due to diabeties). If that's not bad enough, this comes less than 6 weeks after losing her step-father to a heart attack and a few days after finding out she was pregnant with her 5th child.

They say that what doesn't kill you only makes you stronger. At 33 years old, with not as much as a GED and no work experience of any kid, I wonder if this is enough to give her a reality check. It's never too late to make a change in your life and I can only pray that she realizes that she needs to make a change and does it. You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink. By now, this horse should be damn near dehydrated.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Public Service Announcement: Missing Person

I come to you at this time to make a personal plea. Last night, I was informed that my cousin's father, Brother Willie Fennell, has been missing since Tuesday. If you are in the New York City area, I ask that you please keep a lookout for him (those of you who know who he is) and/or his car, a 2003 Saab 95 with New York plate number QMT 222. Also pray for him, his family and his safe return.

Update - 2:05pm - Mr. Fennell has been found. Continue to pray for his family.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Wish List

As Christmas is slowly approaching, I have a confession to make. I LOATHE the question "what do you want for Christmas?". It's not because I don't want anything; trust me, I like receiving ALMOST as much as I like giving ;-) . My problem is that I don't really like asking for stuff. I am humbled by the fact that someone takes the time out to even consider, let alone get me something, so I find it hard to ask for something (of course, ask me this question around my birthday and I will have plenty of answers for you). Besides, if I tell someone what I want from them, it doesn't guarantee I'll get it. Plus, I like to be surprised.

With that being said, I'm involved in two Secret Santa's this year. Both come with the option of giving suggestions as to what you want. I've been fortunate in previous Secret Santa's over the years, and the two that I'm in are both comprised of groups of friends, so I would like to think that they do know me a little bit. Still, it took me a while to even formulate a list of what I want this year (secret santa or otherwise). After thinking about it for a while, I finally have a list. Here's what I have . . . so far.

1. Something personal - I'm a sentimental fool. Some things mean something to me based on the person who is giving it to me. The more personal the gift, the more I will enjoy it.

2. Money - you can never go wrong here.

3. iMac - I NEED a new computer, but a recent trip to the Apple Store led to me falling in love with the iMac. I need to get an amazing computer to make up for what I am working with right now (even if nobody gets this for me, contributions will be greatly appreciated).

4. iPhone - Anyone who knows me knows that I generally get a new phone every year. I currently have an HTC Touch Pro 2 and have had it for almost two years. I'm ready for an upgrade and this would be higher up on the list if I already had a decent computer.

5. Any book by John C. Maxwell - My pastor introduced me to his work and philosophies earlier this year to the point that I want to read more. Gift or not, I will be reading his books next year.

6. A PS3/XBox - yeah, you read right. I'm still a kid at heart. Give me my video game system and Madden, NCAA Football or WWE '12 and I'm good.

7. DVD's - I love movies and have missed out on a lot this year, so updating my DVD collection would be a nice gift.

8. Gift Cards - Send me a handwritten Christmas card and throw a gift card to my favorite store or restaurant, I'm a happy man.

Friday, December 2, 2011

You Only Get One

I was watching Good Morning America this morning like I always do. They did a story that I found interesting, but it wasn't necessarily blog worthy until they added one word to their tease for the story. The story was about the new show entitled "The Virgin Diaries" and the word that caught my attention, was the word "controversial". If the show was about teenagers who want to lose their virginity, then I'd agree with the term "controversial", but the show is about grown ass men and women (in their late 20's and early 30's) who made a concious decision to hold on to one of the most precious things they possessed; their virginity.

I lost my virginity 16 years ago this month. Before that moment I was of the opinion that whoever I lost my virginity to was going to be the person I married and the only person I ever had sex with (I thank God every day that wasn't the case). I also knew who I wanted to lose it to, but that didn't happen either; another story for another post. After I lost it, most of my opinions about it changed. The opinions that didn't change were the fact that sex is a bond, it's the third greatest gift a woman can give you and I would have an emotional connection with anyone I did have sex with (I might have overlooked that one once or twice).

As I watched the story and they interviewed some of the people in the show they expressed some of the problems they went through, including people not believing they were virgins and finding it hard to maintain relationships after sharing the fact that they were virgins. I would not have believed most of it had I not known someone who waited a while before losing their virginity. It reminded me of a former co-worker I had. She was beautiful (think Jennifer Lopez without the ass) and a virgin until she got married at 24, but that still seems young compared to the people in this show.

The people profiled in the "Virgin Diaries" should be commended. Society has changed how people feel about sex so much that it is almost considered a sport or recreational activity than a sacred act. Most of us can probably agree that we lost ours either too soon or with the wrong person and we probably have a few people that we wish we didn't have sex with (not to mention those we wish we did, but that kind of contridicts this post). Taking sex out of the picture allows you to focus on your partner and allow friendship to become the foundation for your relationship. One could argue that this leads to better relationships as well as better breakups.

We live in a very sexual society. Because of that, stories like this are refreshing. Don't necessarily know if they should make a reality show out of it, but it was good to hear about it. Too bad these people are the exception to the rule instead of the status quo. The young people of today need stories like this to combat some of the peer pressure they face when it comes to sex. Being a virgin isn't a scar like. People see it as a negative, but could pull a Hester Pryne and turn a negative into a positive. With all the things going on in the world, being a virgin is probably the best thing a young person could be right now.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

And You Say He's Just A Friend

This year I managed to watch two similar movies for the first time; "No Strings Attached" with Ashton Kutcher and Natalie Portman and "Friends With Benefits" with Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis (yes, I like romantic-comedies; don't judge me). Both movies were good ("Friends With Benefits" was better if you asked me) and had the same premise; two people enter into a casual sexual relationship and ultimately fall in love with each other. Although most romantic-comedies have a predictable (and mostly unrealistic) ending (the two main characters get together), these two movies also touched on a topic that leads to what has been an on-going debate for years. Is it truly possible to be JUST friends with benefits.

In the most recent issue of Men's Health magazine, it published a statistic that says that 43% of the women they surveyed who admitted to being in friends with benefits relationships want them to evolve into something more than that. Personally, I would have thought the number would have been higher. I've always been of the opinion that women (IN GENERAL) are more emotional than men are and would have a more difficult time just "having sex" with someone. Men, on the other hand (again, in my opinion) are more physical than women and would find it more difficult entering a committed, monogomous relationship and would enjoy the friends with benefits situation more than women.

Personally, I've been on both sides of the FWB situation and understand both sides. During my junior year in college, I befriended a freshman who was also from New York. We kicked it for a while and one night while she was visiting we ended up making out. The next week, we had sex. We weren't regulars or anything like that, but from time to time, we'd hook up. We'd still hang out and do things together and I was cool with that. I made the assumption that she was cool with it as well. She dated and had relationships. Years later, after both of us had graduated, we hooked up, and afterwards, she asked me why I never tried to be in a relationship with her. The question didn't exactly catch me off guard, but I felt that since we started on a physical level it would be difficult to try to evolve from there (safe answer). After that conversation, it was never brought up again and ultimately, she found and married someone else.

The only other time I was in a FWB situation was when I was dealing with "Aye Papi". If you were around for the original version of my blog, you know I fell deep and hard for her. It was difficult on me when I started wanting more than what I was getting. Especially since we started as friends, and naturally progressed to sex (even though I knew she had a man; don't judge me). We went on for the better part of two years, including a week in Cancun together. When she got pregnant, there was even a part of me that wished it was mine (knowing there was no chance since I hadn't been with her in the time frame that she got pregnant). From there, she went on an got married and I continued with the dating phase.

It's funny, in looking back, we all know how the friends with benefits situations will ultimately end, yet we still subject ourselves to them. Have we moved to a sex first society or are we just not into things like courting or dating anymore (ok, I know the answer to that)? Do they ever lead to relationships or even marriages or are they just to cater to our sexual desires without the stress/drama that comes to a relationship. Whatever it is, ultimately, communication is the key. Speak about what you want so that things don't get crazy later on.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Season Is Over

I am not a phone person. Never have been, probably never will be. Text me, e-mail me, write me a letter, you'll have my attention. With the exception of a handful of people, if you call me, and its not about business, I'm just hoping that the call doesn't last too long. That probably explains why I don't speak to some friends as often as I'd like. They don't call me, I don't call them. At the same time, every so often, the phone rings and you're pleasantly surprised by the name on the caller id. That happened last night.

The last time I had seen or heard from "Dr. B" was at "The Doctor"'s wedding 16 months ago. When everything went down, I just made the assumption that she choose her side. I certainly wouldn't have faulted her for maintaining her loyalty. Anyway, the conversation started off as if we were talking on a regular basis, then out of nowhere she flipped the script. She quickly brings up "The Doctor" and starts talking about how they spoke a few weeks ago and she was worried about her. I told her that I don't wish any bad on her, but she made a decision and because of that decision I really wasn't interested in hearing about her, especially if it's gossip. She went on to say that she believes that "The Doctor" regrets ending our friendship and realizes now what a good friend I was. I had no response to that and restated my side of the story and opinion on the situation. As much as it was nice to hear from "Dr. B" it'll be a long time before we speak again if she is only going to serve as a mouthpiece for "The Doctor".

It's often said that people come into your life for a reason, season or lifetime. I can accept that. Problem comes when the other person can't accept it. Holding on to friendships that have run their course is not good and not healthy to those involved. Instead we should be thankful for the time, memories shared and lessons learned. Friendships are part of an even bigger plan and we need to allow THAT plan to manifest itself.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Invisible Man: The Downfall of a Loner (Part II)

Sometimes, in order to move forward, you have to look back. Although the tone of this post might seem negative, know that it is part of a process that will ultimately, lead me to a better place. Those that know me personally, don't worry. I am ok . . . or should I say, I will be.

Between the holidays and my spiritual father's current battle with prostate cancer, I've been doing a lot of reflecting the last few weeks. One of the things that struck me last night was a sermon that he gave before he retired. I don't think it was too biblically based, but it definitely left a footprint in my mind. What he said was that you can't control the year you were born or the year you die, but you can control what you do in the middle. Basically, he's saying that no matter how much time you're given, make the most of it.

Every time I think about that message I reflect back on my own life. Some people would look at me and say that I've lived a good life with plenty of experiences, a few accomplishments and some successes. Sadly, I don't share those opinions. Don't get me wrong, I've done a lot of stuff in my life, but even at this point in my life, I don't think I have left my footprint on this world. The way I feel, if I was to die today, most of the people in my life would forget about me before the new year. Not just because I wasn't around anymore, but because I haven't done anything significant enough to leave a legacy behind.

In part 1 of this series, I wrote about how at 33, I don't think I have anyone I can consider a best friend. With more thinking (damn you downtime at work) I look back and realize that my life parallels that of the protagonist in Ralph Ellison's "Invisible Man". He has these unbelievable (good and bad) experiences, but comes through it as nothing more than an afterthought. I've been doing the same thing.

A lot of my life has been a matter of me being in the right place at the right time. I've held positions, had jobs, coached teams, made honor rolls, won contests and so on and so forth, but those accomplishments just hid what was going on on the inside. From the outside looking in, you see a mature young man who was wise beyond his years and had his head on straight. What most people didn't know, was that on the inside was a kid who envied those around him. Whether it was the fact that their parents were together, or there was always someone home when they came home from school, or that they were dating the girl I was too shy to even speak to, I was jealous.

Instead of dwelling on those things, I focused on the things I could control to avoid feeling a certain way. Sure, my grades were good and I was respected for that, but I went home to an empty house every night and my phone never rung. I looked at what my friends were doing and the lives that they had and wanted just a piece of it for myself. I don't think I was ready for sex when I was in high school, but it would have been nice to go out on a date and spend time with someone. Couldn't play basketball, but just once, I would have loved to walk the halls of the school and be noticed by someone I didn't know. It wasn't until one day when I was having a conversation with "Twin 1" when he told me that he wished he was more like me when we were younger that I thought I might be doing something right; little he didn't know what I was going through at the time.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Adult Entertainment

One of the things I was looking forward to when I got married was hanging out with other couples. Like the Bible says, iron sharpens iron, so being around other couples could definitely be benificial for myself and the Mrs. One way we plan on doing that is by participating in the marriage ministry at our church. The other way is by surrounding ourselves with other couples in various stages in their relationship. It started at the wedding rehearsal. My groomsmen, best man and husbands of the bridesmaids have a combined 62 years of marriage under their belts. Through conversation and observation I plan to take as much information as I can and apply it to make my marriage as good as it can be. It continued last night with what I hope was the first of many "couples nights" we were invited to. It was hosted by one of the bridesmaids and her husband. They invited 6 other couples over for a post Thanksgiving feast. The couples ranged from a couple that is currently dating to a couple that's been married for 11 years and everything in between. There was food, drinks and good conversation. Topics ranged from our relationships (how you met your spouce, etc), to celebrity relationships (Khardashian, Lopez, etc), to travel, to sports to pop culture to current events. We laughed, we learned and a good time was definitely had by all. So much that we lost track of time. When everyone started leaving around 2am we all knew we needed to do this more often.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Invisible Man: Downfall of A Loner (Part 1)

The Mrs. and I are going through this book entitled "How To Love Me: The Lover's Book of Questions" by Ali Davis. Basically, its a book of open and honest questions in which both of you answer to get to know each other. It's intended for couples who are still in the dating/relationship phase, and to our credit, we did purchase the books before we got married, but neither one of us were able to finish answering the questions in out book before the wedding (or in the 6 weeks after obviously). I am all but finished with mine now, but there is one question that I am struggling to answer right now, and sadly, most people would think this is a simple question. The question is "Who is your best friend?".

To most people, this question would be easy to answer, but I'm not most people. I don't even consider myself to have a lot of "friends" per se, so to identify one as the "best" is a difficult proposition, especially since the person I thought held that title ditched me at the request of her husband when they got married. I've never really thought about it much. The first person I considered a "best friend" died when we were in elementary school.

After that and another traumatic experience, I didn't really get close to that many people, especially guys. The women that I got close to were by circumstance (tried to get with them and fell in the 'friend zone'). When I got to college, I was around a lot of groups (drumline, band, student government, RA's, etc) but nobody really stood out. After graduating, I worked, but work friends rarely turn into real friends so that was out, plus, "The Doctor" was always around.

Of course, I have close friends. I had 5 guys stand by my side when I got married. Then there's my wife, who is supposed to be my best friend, but not in the terms of this particular question. "Charlotte" would have been a contender, but there are some issues with that, and a few other people, but those stories are for another post.

I genuinely love my friends. I don't let too many people get close to me, but the ones I have are great. Each one plays an important role in my life. I have just never been caught up on titles, especially when it comes to friendships, so it never really was an issue to me that I didn't have a "best friend". Now that it has come to my attention, it's pretty depressing. Nothing against any of my friends, but they all have their own "best friend". This is going to stick with me for a while.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

TMI Tuesday: What's Cooking

In the United States Thanksgiving is this week, so a lot of folks will be cooking up a storm in preparation. Many other holidays will occur over the next month around the world and everyone seems to celebrate with food, hence, the TMI Tuesday theme…Cooking.

1. Haagen-Dazs or Ben & Jerry’s?

This one is tough, but end the end, for overall flavor variety, I'm going with Ben & Jerry's for ice cream, but for my money, if I'm not taking it home, I'd prefer a Bailey's Shake from Haagen-Dazs.

2. What is always in your refrigerator?

Water, Iced Tea and Eggs

3. What’s your worst kitchen disaster?

I've been pretty safe in the kitchen so far, but I did once burn a batch of cookies because I got a little . . . preoccupied, yeah, that's the word, while I was waiting.

4. Favorite kitchen gadget?

I'd have to say my chopper

5. What was your last meal? Did you like it?

The last meal I have was a chicken cutlet hero from the corner store, but the last meal I cooked was a homemade meatball pizza. I loved it.

6. What’s your favorite cookie?

My homemade chocolate chip peanut butter cookie.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Speechless

Friday night, I was supposed to go to a banquet that was honoring one of the most important men in my life, a man who not only baptized me, but was my spiritual father. Because of my new work schedule, I couldn't go, but after hearing what I heard, I wish I had been there. I have only seen him 3 times since he relocated to Florida six years ago and each time, he was just as I remembered; sharp dressing, big car driving, articulate, proud and humble. From what I heard, on Friday he was none of that. He couldn't drive himself, he was weak, lost weight and although still articulate, his voice let you know something was wrong. Unknown to many in attendance until the night of, he has been diagnosed with prostate cancer. Nobody knows how long he's been diagnosed and how severe it is, but its definitely taking its toll on him. It reminds me of the last time I saw my grandmother. I didn't really want to see her like that because that's not how I wanted to remember her. After hearing this, I don't think I can bare to see him in the condition he's in. It's not the man I know, and not the man I want to remember.

Friday, November 18, 2011

The Ties That Bind

"Wake up everybody, no more sleeping in bed. No more back thinking time for thinking ahead. The world has changed so very much, from what it used to be. There is so much hatred, war and poverty."
"Wake Up Everybody" - Harold Melvin & The Bluenotes


If you live in St. Albans, New York and don't know about P.S. 36, you must be living under a rock. The rest of you are excused. Despite all of the negative stories you hear about the New York City Board of (Mis)Education and New York City school children in general, this school is 'bout their business. In addition to providing an education, the school also provides programs to keep their students on the right path. They have a "P.E.A.R.L.S. of Wisdom" Program for the young ladies, as well as a program for the young men entitled "Ties That Bind".

The "Ties That Bind" program is a program that is designed to show young men how to dress for success and with respect for themselves. As the name implies, the students (1st - 5th graders) do learn how to tie ties (I didn't learn how to tie a tie until I was in the 7th grade) using 6 different knots. They also learn what it means to dress with respect for themselves (no sagging pants here) and have workshops that build and maintain self confidence and esteem; things that are certainly necessary for today's youth.

As I was telling one of the father's who was there at the program, it would have been nice to have programs like this when we were growing up. With city cutting money from the schools left and right, its good to see that there is one school in the system that is not using that as a crutch or an excuse for not doing everything they can for their students. I hope that this serves as an example and other school adopt similar programs in the not so distant future.

A Bit Old Fashioned - The Lost Art of Writing

On Monday, a friend of mine posted the following as her Facebook status:
"I love technology and all it does for us, but I haven't forgotten the value of handwritten letters. There are very few people that I still write letters to, but the impact is so rich. You never know how an unexpected letter can change someone's day! Call me old-fashioned, but I DON'T CARE! :)"


This made me smile. I have always been a fan of the written letter. When I spent my summers in North Carolina my mother and I would exchange letters. When I was in junior high school, we had an assignment in Spanish class to write a letter to student in Spain who was learning English. They would write to us in English and we'd have to respond to them in Spanish. When I went to college, before I got an e-mail address, my friends and I would write letters to each other. After my junior year, I was chillin' with a friend who was about to graduate and her and I became pen pals when she moved back to Detroit. Even as recently as last year, I had a pen pal in Texas, but even that stopped after a while.

Now, I want another pen pal (or two or three). Someone who is interesting, entertaining, opinionated and honest. The letters would be amazing. I'm an open book and have an opinion on damn near anything so writing someone who is similar to me would be good. Will it happen, I don't know. I hope so, but won't get too optimistic about it. If anyone is interested, let me know.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

How I Got This Way

After 80 years of life, 50 years in entertainment and 28 years as co-host of "Live", Regis Philban is moving on (not retiring) after this Friday's show. To coincide with his departure, he has written a memoir entitled "How I Got This Way". In the book, he chronicles meeting people who have changed him both personally and professionally. He mentions everyone from the obvious people like his wife, Joy and his co-hosts Joey Bishop, Kathie Lee Gifford and Kelly Ripa to lesser known people like former Notre Dame football coaches Frank Leahy and Ara Parseghian, and the more well known Lou Holtz.

I love the concept of the book (and can't wait to read it) and started thinking about my own life. Regis mentioned 30 people in his book. Not bad for 80 years of life. Off the top of my head, I could give more than 30 people a chapter in a book about my life (guess I needed more help along the way). Starting my parents (seperately), my family and my friends that have been around for almost 30 years. From there, I'd group the girls I dated and the girls I wanted when I was in high school into a chapter. My college years could get a book by itself, but during those 5 years, I met 7 people who would definitely get their own chapter. My post college years would include chapters about 5 people who probably taught me some of the most important lessons of my life)

Know that I think about it, it might be in my best interst to start putting these thoughts together. I'm not necessarily where I want to be right now, but one day I will be, and I know I won't get there by myself. I'm standing on the shoulders of a lot of people and would be a fool not the acknowlede them. How did you get the way you are? How many people helped you? Definitely something to think about and, if nothing else, an opportunity to go back and tell those people "thank you".

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

What Would You Do Wednesday: Friends Before Lovers

"We were friends, before we were lovers, and isn't that the way it should be?" - "Nice N' Slow" - Freddie Jackson


I was scrolling through my Facebook news feed when I can across this status:
"Someone comes to you after being a really good friend and inspiring you to proceed and they drop the bomb . . . 'you are beautiful inside and out, a great person, an amazing (parent) and I think I could really fall in love with you and have a long productive relationship with you.' What would you do?"


My response to that status was as follows:
"I think friendship is the best foundation for any relationship, but if you never thought about that person romantically in all these years those feelings probably aren't going to show up all of a sudden. Be honest with yourself first, then with the other person."


I'm sure we have all been in that position before. Personally, I've only been on the side of the friend expressing feelings. Although I think friendship is the best foundation for a relationship, I believe my opinion is in the minority. People either don't want to risk a friendship or would just feel better off getting involved with a stranger. Whatever the reason, not too many people know their significant other before they start a relationship. What's your take on this subject and what would you do if a close friend approached you with desires of being more than just friends?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Road Trip: Greenville, North Carolina

I spent every summer from 1982 - 1991 with my maternal grandmother in Edenton, North Carolina. Since that last summer, I can count on one hand the number of times I've entered the state of North Carolina (not counting 2 layovers I had in Charlotte International Airport). I went in 1994 when my aunt passed away, 1998 for a family reunion, 2003 for a birthday party for my grandmother on my father's side and 2005 when she passed away. That being said, the fact that I spent last weekend in Greenville, North Carolina was a big deal, and I had a good reason. A good friend of mine was getting married.

I was looking forward to this trip, not just because of the wedding, but because it was the first trip the Mrs. & I went on without any children. We went to visit her best friend last summer, but that trip was moreso that their children could see each other. We left Friday evening. I hadn't been on a plane since June of 2008, so I was excited for that reason alone. After our two flights, and dinner at Chili's in Charlotte International Airport, we arrived at the Pitt-Greenville Airport around 11:30pm and to the City Hotel & Bistro around midnight. There was a lounge in the hotel so after we checked in, we went to the lounge for a drink before retiring for the evening. On our way to the lounge, we ran into the bride to be who, as it turned out, was staying in the suite right next to ours. We talked to her for a brief minutes before getting our drinks.

Saturday, started out with breakfast. Breakfast was included with the price of our room, but we noticed a Chic-Fil-A on the way to the hotel and decided to go there for breakfast since we don't have them in New York. After that, the Mrs. did one of the things she does best, shop. Target, David's Bridal and Barnes & Noble didn't stand a chance. I thought she was going to have to get another bad just to take back all the stuff she brought. After that it was time to get ready for the wedding.

The wedding took place at the Yankee Hall Plantation, which probably was a real plantation back in the day. Despite the name, the room was actually nice. Instead of the traditional seating, the ceremony took place in the middle of the room and the guest sat around so everyone had a good view. There were less than 100 invited guest, so it was a really intimate setting (making our invitation even more meaningful). The ceremony was short and sweet. The mother of the bride was also the soloist and (since the ceremony and reception were in the same room) they did their first dance during the ceremony (to "If This World Were Mine" by Luther Vandross. While the wedding party took their wedding pictures, the guest ate and hit the bar. The drink of the night was the appropriately named "Plantation Punch" (Southern Comfort, Pink Lemonade, rum and sugar). After the reception, everyone headed back to the hotel. Some went to the lounge, some went to get something to eat, others went to watch the fight.

Sunday morning came way too early for me. Our flight left Greenville at 6:39am and we made it back to New York by 11am. The weekend was enjoyable, but this trip was definitely too short. I don't know when the next getaway is going to be, but it won't be soon enough. All this trip did was make me realize how much I miss traveling and get me excited about going places I've never been before (even if it was just to "the sticks" as the Mrs. referred to it). I have that itch now, and I will definitely scratch it next year.

TMI Tuesday: Formspring Follies

1. What is your favorite type of weather?

I'm a spring baby, so give me sunny with temperatures between 65-80 with low humidity.

2. How do you sustain the motivation and energy needed to write erotica regularly?

I don't write erotica (although I did try once on a dare), so that's not a problem, but I do have a friend who does. She doesn't have a problem sustaining the motivation and energy to write because she enjoys sex and can see sex in almost every situation she encounters throughout her day.

3. Do you like roleplay? What is your favorite scenario?
Haven't done it yet, but I would love to. Meeting someone at a hotel bar and acting like I don't know them and try to pick them up for a jumpoff in a room upstairs has always been at the top of my role playing desire list.

4. Have you ever been hurt so badly in a past relationship, that it has affected you for the rest of your life?

I wouldn't use the word "hurt", but there is definitely a past relationship that has affected me since it ended.

5. What message would you want to put in a fortune cookie?

"Your most secrect desire will be granted"

6. How big is your dick?

What fun is it if I answer that?

Bonus: I would like to know, do you have Formspring on your blog? Why or why not?

Nope. Hardly anyone reads this so it would be a waste of time right now.

Bonus, bonus: What is the best or oddest formspring question you’ve been asked? What was your answer?

n/a

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Peaceful Journey

Yesterday, the music world lost a legend. The world in which the rest of us live in just lost a great human being. Rapper, actor, songwriter, producer and fellow Gemini, Dwight Myers, better known as Heavy D., was a lot of things to a lot of people. Personally, I lost an inspiration. Growing up, I was always the tallest and biggest guy in my class. That was the main cause of my shyness and some of the teasing I received because of it lead to a decrease in self-esteem. Heavy D. was the first celebrity in my life who made me feel like being big wasn't the end of the world and confidence and personality were more important qualities because they last much longer than looks did.

In one of her songs, Lynn Collins declared "you've got to use what you've got to get what you want". Heavy D. definitely did that with his songs "Mr. Big Stuff" and "The Overweight Lover's In The House". When those songs were released in 1987, I was a 9 year old who was already lacking confidence and self-esteem. Those songs were not just anthems, they were inspiration. The confidence expressed on those tracks along with the increased popularity Heavy D. & The Boyz were receiving gave me hope that I can get past the stage of my life that I was in. Two years later, when his second album was released, I was preparing for junior high school and starting to show interest in girls. The singles "Somebody For Me" and "Gyrlz, They Love Me" made me realize that if you have it on the inside, people (i.e. girls) will accept you for who you are.

His third album, "Peaceful Journey" produced two more song that helped mold me into the person I am today. "Now That We Found Love" (arguably his biggest hit) gave me renewed optimism about love and "Don't Curse" made me realize that I can get my point across without using profanity (if only some of today's rappers could do that). Those who know me outside of the blog world know I hardly ever curse today. His fifth album (and my personal favorite), "Nuttin' But Love" came out while I was in high school and at a time when all of my friends were starting to lose their virginity. The song "Sex With You" created a sense in me that women were more than just sex objects and made me want to see beyond their physical attributes and see them for what's on the inside the same way I wanted them to see me.

In addition to his songs, Heavy D. also had a great personality that helped to take him a long way. Ladies loved him, parents loved him and grandparents loved him. Another similarity I have with him, as I think parents liked me more than their daughters did when I was in the dating game. Thanks to Heavy D. I relaxed, didn't try to be anyone I wasn't and allowed my personality to take over and lead me to wherever I was going to go.

Over the next few days there will be a lot of tributes made to Heavy D. Hopefully, those same people will also make a few tributes to Dwight Myers. Both were great individuals and personally impacted my life. I have never and will never have the chance to tell him in person, but I want to take the time now to say THANK YOU.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Probation Period

When you start a new job you, in most cases, you are automatically put on probation. During this period you are evaluated to see if you are worthy of keeping around. The only thing that you get from the company is a paycheck and anything else necessary for you to do the job you were hired for; a desk, a computer, a phone, stuff like that. Also during this 90 day, the company has the right to fire you without any reason. Now, if you happen to survive the 90 days, you start getting entitled to benifits; vacation time, health insurance, life insurance, dental, 401K options and things of the like. Nobody seems to have a problem with this in Corporate America, but in today's society, EVERYONE seems to have a problem with this in their relationships.

I was having a conversation with "Charlotte" the other day and out of nowhere she asked me how I felt about the 90 day rule. My answer was simple, I don't keep a running count of days when I start dating a woman and I don't base my relationships on sex either. Although I do believe in the concept behind the 90 day rule, I don't hold firm to 90 days. You could be ready in 90 days with some people. Other people might take longer, some might not take as many (although, personally, with the luck she's been having with men, she might want to start looking at a 180 day rule for herself). Ironically enough, the two times I actually attempted to apply the 90 day rule, it backfired against me.

When I met "Pine Valley" we hit it off really good. I wanted to kiss her the first night I met her, but didn't want to ruin a good night by taking a risk. A few weeks later, things were going pretty good and she invited me to her place for dinner. As the night progressed, things got interesting and the option of having sex was a realistic one; one that I passed on. My thinking (besides the fact that I was nervous as all hell that night) was that if things go well, we would have plenty of other opportunities to go there. I was wrong and about a month later things fell completely apart. I'm not blaming it entirely on the fact that we didn't have sex. It had more to do with the lack of communication between us about where we were in our lives and what we wanted. Although she was ready to go there with me after 30 days, I wasn't ready to go there with her. I wanted to get to know her better.

Then there's "Guyana", who told me up front that she didn't want a 90 day rule, instead she wanted to wait until she was married before having sex. She stated that she realized that sex was getting in the way of her having a successful relationship. Now the difference between "Guyana" and "Pine Valley" is the fact that I would have jumped on "Guyana" on day 1. Different woman, different circumstances. I thought I knew her well enough to go there. Sadly, while I was thinking about it, someone else was going there with her. What do I know.

The one flaw that I have always noticed in the 90 day rule is the fact that it doesn't tell you what you do with those 90 days. I never was one to base a relationship on sex (that's what bootycalls and FWB are for). If I'm looking for a relationship I want to try to establish a foundation so that the chances of it being a successful relationship are increased. Get to know the person I'm with to see if we are compatible. If we find out that it probably isn't going to work, we get out of it without the fact of us having sex getting in the way of it. If I just want sex, it'll be established up front so we know how to go about things. Then again, that might just be me. Who knows?

TMI Tuesday - November 8, 2011

This week’s TMI Tuesday was the idea of http://virtualsin.wordpress.com/

1. Do you have a set of dishes that are used for special occassions (e.g. china)? Yes or no. If yes, how often do you use the special dishes?
a. any day because every day is special
b. once a week
c. only for holidays and celebration
d. never, it is displayed in a china cabinet or collecting dust in a box in the attic


We received a nice set of dishes as one of our wedding gifts, but haven't had a reason to use them yet.

2. Do have clothes that you never wear because you are saving them for a special occasion? What is that item of clothing? What would be the appropriate occasion?

I brought a white suit for my cousins 50th birthdat white party. I only wore it once, and it will take a hell of a situation for me to get in it again.

3. If you suddenly became very wealthy, which servants would you employ?
a. cleaning service
b. housekeeper
c. cook
d. valet/maid/lady-in-waiting
e. chauffeur
f. dog-walker
g. other


I'd go with G. A massage therapist and a personal trainer

4. If you were wealthy, how many homes would you own? Where? (locations–mountains, tropical places for the winter, foreign country/city)

At least 5. There's definitely going to be condo's in Baltimore and Manhattan to begin with since I spend more time there than anywhere else. There would also be spots in Miami, New Orleans, Las Vegas, Cancun, the Dominican Republic and Bermuda for starters.

5. If you were going to take on a really expensive hobby, which of these would it be?
a. buy an airplane
b. buy a yacht
c. buy a small winery
d. raise exotic animals


I'd probably go with C and buy a small winery.

6. What kind of car would you buy if you had an unlimited budget?
a. expensive sports car
b. luxury car
c. monster truck
d. expensive hybrid or electric car
e. cheap car (I’d be too nervous driving an expensive car).
f. something for the chauffeur to drive me around in


I'm not a big car person like most guys, so my desires wouldn't change just because I had some extra zeros in the bank account. I want a Nissan Murano as the every day car and a Lexus for special occasions

Bonus: Currently, what is your favorite luxury item or decadent thing that you do?

Sadly, I don't think I have any luxury items in my life, but if any of you want to contribute feel free to send donations.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Too Sexy to Date?

I was never arrogant enough to believe that I was ever too sexy to date, so this post is certainly NOT about me. At the same time, when I was in high school, and even for a little bit when I was in college, there were a few women in my life who I just thought were too attractive to approach (my problem. I know). Somehow, between my fear of rejection and my assumption that every attractive woman was already spoken for, I just didn't do it. As I would find out later on in life, there are two sides to every story.

When I was in high school, as it probably was in most high schools, the head cheerleader was all that and a bag of chips. In this case, she also had a brain to go with her beauty. We didn't have homecomings in NYC, so she couldn't be homecoming queen, but she was prom queen of her graduating class. Me, I was the shy geek who made sure that basketball team was academically eligible to play. I knew all the right people, and they knew me. I was a loner, but got a pass from everyone by association. As luck would have it, we even ended up attending the same college, although she transferred back home after I got there.

After my freshman year in college, I didn't see her again until 12 years later when we attended the wedding of a mutual friend. A wedding that took place 3 weeks after my engagement to "Guyana" ended (timing is everything). We exchanged pleasantries and caught up on mutual friends, etc. I expected her to say that she was married with a kid or two, instead, she said that she hadn't been in a serious relationship in years. (Shows what I get for assuming)

As the conversation went on, she hit me with something that I never thought I would ever hear. She stated that most of the guys who she has been interested in over the years were either involved with someone at the time, or, like myself, made the assumption that she was with someone. As honest as she could be without sounding arrogant, she stated that the only guys who approached her were thugs (corporate or otherwise) and most guys that she knows are intimidated by a beautiful woman with a college (and in her case a graduate) education. The better she did in school and in her career, the more difficult she found it to find a man.

This is one of the many double-standards about women that I don't understand or like. A man with a high degree and decent jobs is like a magnet while a woman with a high degree and decent jobs is like a repellent. What can be done about this so that both sides have equal success in relationships. Everybody needs love. I'm just saying.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

TMI Tuesday - November 1, 2011

1. What sexual act arouses you the most? For that matter, what nonsexual act arouses you the most?

There are some sexual acts that I certain enjoy more than others, but I would hope that I'm already aroused before any of those acts go down. As far as non-sexual acts that arouse me, watching a woman dance, or play a music instrument definitely gets me going.

2. What is your signature or “go to” move that is sure to get a lover in the mood for sex?

I like to stimulate the brain. Foreplay starts long before we see each other so I try to be creative.

3. Do you queef?

After looking up the definition, I can safely say that I don't.

4. What’s the weirdest thing that’s happened to YOU as a result of your sex writings (e.g., blog, erotica, sex toy reviews)? (borrowed from Insatiabear)

Nothing weird (or exciting for that matter) has happened to me as a result of my sex writings. I generally don't post those, with the exception of an occasional post to the Pussy Chats (yes, I'm a contributor). Stories of my personal sex life are only shared with those who are, have been, or want to be a part of it.

5. Have you ever had sex while someone watched?

Not yet

…someone else was in the room?

Yes

…someone else in the bed, next to you and the person you’re having sex with?
What were the circumstances?


No

6. When it comes to sex, and discussing it with your teen have you or would you:
a. Let school sex education handle it
b. Hand the teen a book or point them to a website
c. Talk frankly and openly
d. Avoid it all together–society, friends, and the internet will give all the info needed


I'm going to go with C. Sadly, my parents went with D, and this was BEFORE the internet was as accessible as it is now. I learned from my friends, The Playboy Channel, Spice Channel and my cousins pornos.

Bonus: Remember the song, “I’m too sexy?” CLICK to refresh your memory
What are you too sexy for?


I'm not too sexy for anything

Monday, October 31, 2011

Men Can Cook

I hear a lot of women say that a man who can cook is a turn-on. If that is the case, then I can certainly introduce you to a group of men who can do just that. Then again, that might be part of the reason that all of them are married. Anyway, yesterday, my church had their second annual Gentlemen's Connoisseur (known as Men Can Cook in some circles). If you haven't heard about an event like this, it's simple; men cook their favorite dish (this year, I made snickerdoodles and brownies) and serve it to the women of the church. The event was a huge success last year, but this year's menu took the cake. There was roast pork, stuffed salmon, beef lasagna, vegetable lasagna, fried chicken, barbeque chicken, macaroni and cheese, candy yams, oxtails, peas and rice, seafood salad, potato salad, fetticini alfredo, spaghetti and meatballs, homemade shrimp fried rice. For dessert, in addition to what I made, there was chocolate cake, red velvet cake, apple pie, sweet potato pie and pound cake. It was a good fellowship and they are already talking about next years event.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

He Got Game: Major Fail

Let me set the scene for you real quick.

Location: Jamaica Bound Q5 Bus leaving Green Acres Mall.

Characters: I'm sitting in the back near the back door after a trip to Target. Also in the back section of the bus is a young light-skinned lady (approximately 17-21) wearing slacks, a stripped button-up shirt and a short leather jacket with heels. Probably coming from a job interview. With us is a young man wearing skinny jeans which are pulled down at least 3 inches below his boxer shorts, a hooded sweatshirt and a hat that can't cover his hair, which he just took out of a pony tail. He also has a tattoo of a teardrop below his right eye.

The one thing I can say about thugs is that they have no fear when it comes to approaching women. As I was sitting on the bus just trying to get home the young man approached the woman. The part of the conversation that I heard sounded pretty innocent. I know I'm too old for her, but I couldn't deny that she was attractive. He complimented her and asked if he could change his seat so he could talk to her. She said yes and he moved to the seat in front of her. They spoke for a few minutes and I wasn't interested in their conversation again until I heard him ask for her number. She denied, stating that she didn't know him like that and wasn't comfortable with that situation. She then asked for his number (from my previous experience, that's a sign that she isn't interested). He was quick to give it to her. So quick that I don't think he noticed that she wrote it on a piece of paper instead of putting it in her phone (strike two, if you ask me). If that wasn't enough, he told her not to call him, instead, suggesting that she text him instead (strike three, batters out). I found it hard not to laugh out laugh after hearing that.

I have always been shy when it comes to approaching/talking to women, so I give him credit for his attempt, but I'm glad there are still young ladies out there who have standards. There might be hope for the future after all.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

In The Council of Wise Men?

For the first time in a long time I work in a male dominated office. Usually, this would pose a problem for me (what can I say? I like having eye-candy around, even if I can't touch), but I guess being married is having an effect on me. Yesterday was a slow day in the office. With only three guys in the office, you'd think that the conversation would be about the World Series or that poor excuse for a football game that took place on Monday night. To my surprise, the conversation went a totally different way.

I walked into the conversation already in progress. One of the guys was talking about the reasons that he got divorced. He basically said that he got tired of seeing his wife. He worked full-time in Manhattan while she worked part-time in Queens. She was there when he left in the morning and there when he got back. He said she didn't have any hobbies, interest or friends so she had nothing to talk about when he did come home. He got tired of it and left. He also went on to say that after the divorce he enjoyed being single. As he put it, "single women just want you to spend time with them, fuck them, then get out of their way". After spending 17 years with his wife, he didn't have a problem with this. He even went as far saying he joined the choir in his church to get his praise on and hook up with women (which leads to another blog post for another day).

This guy went on to say that since his divorce he has dealt with up to 7 women at a time (one for each day of the week) because it was easier than being married and dealing with one (don't exactly understand that, but I guess that explains why I struggled the one time I tried to juggle two women). He also went on to say that things changed about a year ago, to the point where he is thinking about getting married again. He met a woman that has had such an impact on him that he's doing things that he has never done before.

He showed us a picture of her, which was the wallpaper on his phone. He said no woman has ever been the wallpaper on his phone before. He says she spends the weekend with him and he doesn't have a problem with her leaving clothes or toiletries at his apartment. He even cut off the other women and brings his woman to church with him. In regards to that he said "either I'm dumb or in love". That line made me smile, because it made me think about something I was told a long time ago; "a man won't change because a woman wants him to, but the right woman can make a man want to change".

I appreciated being involved in that conversation. It's not too often that men get together and talk about women, unless they are talking about sex. As enjoyable as sex is, when it comes to relationships it takes more than just sex to sustain one. If that wasn't the case, I would have married "KC Masterpiece" years ago. She was about the most one-dimensional woman I was involved with. As I continue down this journey I will make sure that I take advice from other men who have more experience than I do any and every chance I get. Not saying I'll follow it all, but it will be on file in my mental rolodex.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

TMI Tuesday - October 26, 2011

1. Name 5 things you did more of before social networking (facebook, myspace, twitter, etc.)?

Write letters, make phone calls, blog, read and sleep

2. Your house is on fire, what do you grab as you run out?

Photo albums, money and wallet

3. Are you a morning person or a night owl?

Morning person

a. What time did you go to bed last night?

After the baseball game went off

b. What time did you wake up today?

6:10am

4. A kid comes up to you and kicks you in the shin, what do you do?

Grab him by the neck and make sure he thinks twice before he does it again.

5. What three things do you never leave the house without?

Cell phone, wallet, keys

Bonus: Name a place that you visited last week that you’ve never visited before. Briefly tell us about the visit.

Last Tuesday I went to Democracy Prep High School for the first time for a business meeting.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Dr. 215

When I first went away to college and joined the marching band, my first crush was on a sophomore floutist from Philly. From this point on, she will be referred to as Dr. 215. She had a man, so I never officially made a move on her, but we did become cool; which ultimately put me in the friend zone with the dreaded "lil' brother" tag. Although the "friend zone" is usually a negative thing, we actually became closer after she graduated. Since she want to medical school in NYC, I was her tourguide during the summer and she'd always take me out when I came home for breaks. Even when she fell on bad terms with her sorority sisters and broke up with her man, we were still friends and people would start to talk about us as if I was the reason behind her breakup.

As time went on, we went from regular e-mails and phone calls to no contact at all. It wasn't until a band alumni association e-mail that we were both cc'd on that we reconnected. I took the chance of sending an e-mail to the address in the e-mail and fortunately, it was indeed her. We exchanged numbers and once we started calling each other, our communication picked up right where we left off. The timing of our reconnection came around the same time that my relationship with "Guyana" ended and 2 weeks before a previously scheduled trip to Philadelphia for a Raheem DeVaughn concert. Of course I told her I'd be in town, and as it turned out, something happened to the people I was supposed to go to the concert with (one couldn't get out of New York and the other got soaked in a thunderstorm and didn't have a change of clothes so decided to stay in her hotel room for the night) so I ended up taking Dr. 215. The concert was like the ideal first date. Great concert, a night cap, and the thought that this could be something. I was supposed to leave town in the morning, but she convinced me to change my ticket so that I could go to church with her in the morning. After church, we went to breakfast before she took me to the train station (or should I say I drove to the train station as she trusted me with her car). At the train station we had that awkward moment where we wanted to kiss, but ultimately didn't. I guess we both knew it was bound to happen anyway. Through the rest of the summer, we talked, e-mailed, chatted, flirted, until the she decided she was ready to see me again and came to New York. Her visit to New York was totally different than my visit to Philly. She came on a mission and all but threw herself at me.

I was taught a long time ago that if a woman gives you something, take it, but there was something a little off about the way she approached me that night. Thankfully, she didn't have any condoms, which allowed us not to go through with it and not being able to blame anybody. Things got even more bizzare when she got back to Philly. During our next few interactions she started calling me out my name and saying I wasn't really interested in her. Talking about she had been saving herself since her divorce and she wanted me to be the next person she was with. It got to a point where I needed some time away from here. After a few weeks had passed, I hit her up for her birthday. She told me that she had started dating someone she met in church. I was happy for her until she told me that he was in the process of getting divorced but nothing was official yet. I wished her well, but distanced myself again.

By the time she reached out to me a few months later, I had gotten involved with "Panama". She was disappointed by that, but wished me well. Then, in her next conversation, she stated that she wasn't with the guy anymore and just wanted to have sex with me, even if only for one night. Had this proposition come from someone else, I would be lying if I said I wouldn't be interested. Luckily, it was easy to turn down Dr. 215 at that moment. She didn't take the rejection too well, and didn't speak with me for a while. Then a few weeks later, I get a facebook friend request from her. I ignore it for a while, then finally broke down and accepted it. Bad move on my part as it became obvious quickly that she just wanted to be friends to be nosy. Within a week, I deleted her.

That brings us to today. When I logged on to Facebook this morning, there was another friend request from her. Granted, I'm not one to burn bridges, but at the same time, I'm not on Facebook for a popularity contest either. Everyone who wants to be your friend does not have good intentions. This is one friend request that will not be accepted, and she is one person in my life that won't get any closer to me than she already is.

Friday, October 21, 2011

The Last Supper

I have a confession to make. "The Chew" has become a guilty pleasure of mine. Now that that is out of the way, on Thursday's show, the chef's each cooked the meal they would have if they could have their dream "last supper". That got me to start thinking, what would my last meal on earth be. This is what I've decided:

Appetizers

Beef Supreme Chulupa's from Taco Bell
Coconut Shrimp from Red Lobster
Mini Beef Patties
White Castle Cheeseburgers

Salad

Chicken Ceaser Salad

Soup

Cream of Tomato Soup with Blue Cheese crumbles

Pasta Course

Lobster Ravioli from my favorite restaurant in the country, Tiramisu in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (528 S. 5th Street)

Main Course

Stuffed Alaskan Salmon from McCormick & Schmidt

Dessert

Brownie Sundae
My mother's Banana Pudding
French Vanilla Ice Cream with Kit Kat, Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, Cookie Dough and almonds from Cold Stone Creamery

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Tell'em How You Feel Thursday: October 20, 2011

1. Last time I checked, I didn't marry you. You don't have a right to that information.

2. Generally, the proper response when someone says "thank you" is for you to say "your welcome" or something to that effect.

3. That is WAY out of line, young lady.

4. This is why men should not be invited to baby showers.

5. When you call yourself the "King" of anything, there is an expectation that comes with that.

6. Would much rather be surprised than to have to suffer through anticipation.

7. There is plenty of room here under this bus you threw me under.

8. You cheap s.o.b.

9. I will never tell you to your face, but I told you so. SMH

10. If I could get a redo she definitely wouldn't have been in the wedding.

11. I hate it when the wrong person says all the right things.

12. I ask you to do one thing while I'm gone and you can't even do that. What are you going to do if I resign?

13. One day I'll learn not to make a bet with a woman.

14. This is NOT the time to hold back.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Gone, But Not Forgotten

With my father deciding not to have an active part in my life, it afforded me the opportunity to have several different male role models through the course of time. The first was my uncle Charles. He did things like take me to my first ball game and take me to work with him. Even though he just cleaned office buildings, he showed me how to take pride in everything I did. Next was my uncle "Pep". To this day, he's still around to talk about random stuff. As greatful as I am to them, it wasn't until I was 12 that I came across some men who stepped into my life, not because they were related to me, but because they wanted to.

When I became a member fo the youth ministry of New Jerusalem Baptist Church I had the pleasure of meeting 5 men (4 of which are still in my life and 3 which are still prominent in my life) who would keep me on the straight and narrow until I left for college. I'll talk about the other four at a later date, but today, I want to focus on one in particular. He was a Deacon in the church as well as the leader of the youth ministry. He was passionate about us, which for some of us was the first time we had a male role model. He allowed us to make mistakes and taught us why the things that happened to us happened. He encouraged, motivated and supported us. He treated us as if we were his own, which lead us all to believe that he'd be a great father one day, especially when he got engaged to the love of his life. The thing we didn't know is that he was also suffering from cancer. When he died on October 18, 1995, it hit me hard; not just because of who he was and the importance he had in my life, but because I had buried an aunt a year prior who had also died of cancer.

Prior to his death, we had become so close that I was asked to read the eulogy at the funeral . . . a eulogy that I still haven't read. On the day of the funeral (which was my first funeral in over 10 years), I did the one thing they told us not to do; watch them close the casket. That made it real to me and I lost it. I cried and didn't care who saw it. I went up to the podium to speak but the words couldn't come out. I cried until someone came up to read it for me. From that day on, I have kept his memory alive. A scholarship was created in his honor and I won the first one. I still try to live my life in a way he would want me to and I hope that he's looking down on me with an approving smile. Rest in Peace KCH. Gone, but not forgotten.

TMI Tuesday - October 18, 2011

It’s TMI Tuesday again. You know that dreaded interview question “Tell me about you/yourself?” Who the hell knows how to answer that! These questions are a lot more fun (and easier) way to Tell Us More About YOU

P.S. Based on your answers we will make snap judgements and form stereotypical opinions about you

———————-


1. “I’ll show you mine if you show me yours”…What is it that you will show me?
Depending on who you are, either my baseball card collection or my music collection.

2. What was the last thing you regret buying?
I don't have too many regrets, especially when it comes to spending my money, so the last time I had buyers remorse was the first time I purchased an engagement ring almost 5 years ago.

3. How happy are you? 1 = not happy at all to 5 = very happy
3

4. Last night, what did you go to bed thinking about?
How did I get blown out this week in fantasy football

5. Tell us something that made you happy this past week or made you think “that’s cool!”
Seeing two churches bury the hatchet after 23 years of animosity towards one another.

Bonus: What is your favorite mark of punctuation? Why?
Semi-colon because it reminds me of myself. Subtle, quiet, rare, but important when used.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Melodies From Heaven: Get Over It

Through the course of our lives, we all reach a point in our lives where we hold a grudge against someone. It's not the healthiest thing to do, but it happens. Personally, I've held grudges against people who were always better than me at certain things, bullies and people who dated women I've been interested in and had sex with women I've wanted to have sex with. It took me a long time to realize how unhealthy grudges are because the person who the grudge is against doesn't know most of the time. Therefore, the one holding the grudge is the only one wasting energy. It wasn't until I read a quote by Joan Didion that goes "to cure jealousy is to see it for what it is, a dissatisfaction with self", that I realized how much time I wasted having grudges.

With that said, let me know give you a brief history lesson. I grew up in Calvary Baptist Church in Jamaica, New York. In September of 1988, 29 members of that church had a meeting and the result of that meeting was the creation of New Jerusalem Baptist Church. When the announcement was made to the congregation, families were split and friendships were severed as people decided which church they would attend. Was their loyalty to their pastor or to the church itself. My mother and my cousins ended up at New Jerusalem Baptist Church while my aunts stayed at Calvary.

As time went on, and New Jerusalem continued to grow and broke ground on their own building, which was 10 blocks away from Calvary Baptist Church. Members of the two churches would occassionally visit, but the two church never fellowshipped together. 5 years, 10 years, 15 years had past and the two churches still hadn't been able to knock down this imaginary brick wall that seperated them. That all changed yesterday.

On Sunday, October 16, 2011, 23 years after the seperation, these two churches came back together to celebrate Calvary Baptist Church's 82nd Church Anniversary. Our pastor was the guest preacher and his sermon was based out of John 4 and the story of the Samaritan woman. The anology was that the two churches were like the Samiritans and the Jews and the point was summed up in verses 21-24 which read as follows:

Jesus declared, "Believe me, woman, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. 22You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews, 23Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshippers the Father seeks. 24God is spirit, and his worshippers must worship in spirit and in truth."


Ultimately, both pastors (neither of whom was with their respective church in 1988) stated that its time for both sides to get past whatever differences and animosity that might seperate them and get back to the common goal, which in this case is worshiping the same God. As I try to do with any sermon I hear, is apply it to every day life. What I take from it is that life is too short to hold grudges. If you have something against someone, let it go. All the grudge is doing is holding you back from what is in store for you. Wake up, get up and get over it.

Weekend Recap: Transcending Into Marriage

After the last 9 months have flown by, things are starting to slow down to a normal pace. No wedding planning, no bachelor party weekends, just reality; not that reality is all that bad, but after 9 months of planning, you do suffer from a little bit of withdrawl. So much that there is already discussions about a 1 year anniversary party next October . . . stay tuned.

Anyway, this weekend started off with the return of "date night". One thing that the Mrs. and I have prided ourselves on during the course of our relationship has been maintaining "date night". Although we haven't gone out, EVERY Friday, we've managed to keep a 90% succcess rate (even if it just means ordering a pizza and watching a movie). This week, we were joined by my best man, "Sigma", and his wife. We went to dinner at one of my favorite restaurants in the city, Cabana Nuevo Latino (if you ever go, a pitcher of white sangria is a requirement. You can thank me later). We talked, reminisced and cracked jokes all night long. A good way to seperate ourselves from all the wedding stuff and transcend into the marriage (as couples outings are one thing that I am looking forward to).

Saturday took me somewhere that I have only been too one other time in my 33+ years. Not necessarily the place I went to, but the event I went to. A former co-worker of the Mrs. is having her first baby, and we (yes, the invitation had both of our names on it) were invited to the baby shower. Since her and her boyfriend were kind enough to share in our special day, I thought it would be wrong for us not to share in her special day. The event was held at this nice reception hall in Franklin Square and even had a DJ so it wasn't too bad. The food was tolerable, but nothing to write home about. When the guest of honor arrived, the mother to be came in (looking like a young Gabrielle Union) and proceeded to do the Beyonce' booty dance as if she wasn't 8 months pregnant. The father to be came (looking like Stephan Urkel) in and made the rounds thanking all that were in attendance. That is when all of the men should have been excused. An hour of baby shower games later, I was more than ready to leave.

Sunday was a good day in its own; so much that it deserves its own post. I'll get to that later this afternoon. Overall, the weekend was a good one, but one that ended way too soon. Hope you all had a good weekend as well. If not, the next one is 4 1/2 days away.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Tell'em How You Feel Thursday: Wedding Week Edition

1. "Miscommunication leads to complication".

2. The rehearsal was from 5:30 - 7pm. Why are you showing up at 7:15 and wondering why everyone is leaving.

3. It was nice to hear, but your timing is WAY OFF. Where was this 3 years ago?

4. Don't feel bad now, you had 13 years.

5. That right there is why I wouldn't have made her maid of honor.

6. Today is not about you.

7. How did you manage to get the top part of your tux and bottom part of your tux in two different parts of town.

8. 19 no-shows at the reception? The 17 of you who weren't in the hospital have some explaining to do.

9. No gift? . . . Really?

10. Calling a newlywed couple at 11pm on the night after the wedding . . . REALLY?

11. If you had come to rehearsal, you wouldn't have had that problem.

12. Had it not been my wedding, I would have loved to see you beat her ass.

13. Deleting me as a Facebook friend doesn't hurt me.

14. Last time I checked, you called me everything but a child of God. Why are you reaching out to me now?

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Case of the Ex: Recurring Nightmare

So, I'm sitting here working on this weeks TMI Tuesday and watching the Rangers-Tigers game when my text message indicator goes off. Considering the time of day, I'm thinking its one of 5 people I had been communicating with all day long. When I looked at the phone I noticed that it was from a number, not a name, which means that whoever texted me was not saved in my phone. My rule of thumb is to not respond to those numbers unless they call and leave a message, or identify themselves. When I looked at the number again, I realized that it was indeed someone I know . . . or should I say knew.

The number belonged to "Guyana". How I remember this is because the last three numbers of her phone number happen to be my birthday. The message was friendly enough; just congratulating me on my marriage (which I can only assume she found out because either our mutual friend who was invited told her or with all their changes this summer, facebook's privacy settings aren't as tight as they used to be anymore), but it reminded me of the last time she reached out to me. She texted me around my birthday bragging about her marriage and her pregnancy and claimed that she hoped that we could one day be cordial. Even went as far as inviting me out for a cup of coffee (Starbucks was one of our favorite hangouts when we were together), which I declined.

Those of you who were around three years ago know all of the drama that she put me through when we broke up, so I find it real interesting that she is keeping tabs on me and even trying to reach out to me. You made a decision and kept me from making a big mistake, there is no revolving door in my life, so don't try to be a part of it anymore. Good, bad or indifferent, what we had prepared me for what I have. Her usefullness in my life is over. She was here for a season and I don't need to repeat it. I am so done with that page of my life and don't need a reminder of what I had to appreciate what I have. No thank you. Goodbyes are forever.

TMI Tuesday: Have and Have Not

This week’s TMI Tuesday was inspired by An Optimistic Virgin. Read her Have and Have Not for inspiration and HAVE FUN creating yours.

List five (5) things you have done that other people probably have not done.
1. Appeared on television (twice)
2. Had sex in the back of a moving truck while it was moving
3. Became a Certified Notary Public
4. Won 2 Resident Assistant of the Year awards
5. Appeared on the cover of a school newspaper

List five (5) things you have not done that other people probably have done.
1. Watched "The Godfather"
2. Been to a strip club
3. Gone on a cruise
4. Lived alone
5. Gone to a beach

Bonus: What is the oddest thing that you’ve ever seen?
I live in New York City. I see odd stuff almost every day. Most recently, on Thursday, I saw this young lady who had six tattoos on her arms, one of the shaved part of her head, and the rest of her head was dyed yellow, red, orange and purple. (If you are friends with me on Facebook, you can see the pic in my mobile uploads folder)

Bonus, Bonus: What is the oddest, kinkiest, or craziest thing you have ever done?
I don't like the word kinky because I am the type of person who aims to please, but there was this one time with KC Masterpiece where we were in a 69 and I took her dildo and slid it in her ass at the same time. Some people think that was kinky.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Wedding Weekend Recap

Here it is, the Monday after. Also the first time I have had a moment to myself since Thursday. This weekend was long and short at the same time. Before I go any further, I want to thank any of you who are reading this who might have attended, texted, called or otherwise sent gifts and/or well wishes. They mean a lot.

The festivities started on Thursday. I had to go into the office, but literraly for only 20 minutes. Took me longer to get to the office than I spent in the office. Afterwards, I came back home and had breakfast with my sister who was in New York for the first time since 1979. It definitely meant a lot to me that she came up for the wedding since I don't spend a lot of time with my mother's side of the family (as it turned out, she was the only member of my mother's side of the family who came up from North Carolina for the wedding). Afterwards, my mother and sister went to do some last minute shopping and I tried to take a nap since I knew that once I left the house the next time I'd be going full speed ahead until Saturday morning. **MAJOR FAIL**

Instead of napping, I watched tv and surfed the internet until it was time to go on with the day. Thursday afternoon I went to the reception hall to make the final payment and check the bar. From there I went to pick up my last groomsmen, "Mr. Sparkles", who had arrived from Maryland. From there we went to the wedding rehearsal. What was supposed to be a formality ended up being a mess because everyone had their own agenda. The maid of honor brought her kids and they were running all over the place. One of the groomsmen missed the entire rehearsal and the bridesmaids still weren't getting along with the maid of honor. On top of that, the mother of the bride came down with a cold.

After leaving the church we went to the rehearsal dinner. Finally a chance to relax and let loose with the bridal party. Drinks flowing, food for days and laughs all night. A much needed break from the drama. Afterwards, I went to watch the Yankees-Tigers game with my groomsmen before calling it a night. Not being able to sleep, I took a long walk and reflected on things before finally winding down about 1:30 Friday morning.

Friday, I woke up around 8am. Took myself to breakfast and to the barber shop (for the first time in 5 years). From there, it was back home to pack before getting picked up at 11:30am. I met my groomsmen for lunch at noon before heading to the hotel to get dressed. Once dressed it was off to meet the rest of the bridal party because we were taking pictures prior to ceremony. After the pictures it was off to the church and the ceremony. Trying to dispel the belief that all weddings started late, we arrived 20 minutes ahead of the scheduled start time. We started late anyway because the minister and musician was late, but once the ceremony started (only 8 minutes late) everything went off without a hitch (with the exception of the mothers lighting the unity candle wrong. Those I have spoken to have told me that the wedding was beautiful. I'll have to take their word for it until I see the video.

The reception was held at Stewart Manor Country Club. It was a very intimate location where 150 of our closest friends and family (179 had RSVP'd that they'd be there) partied the night away. I don't remember much of it because of all of the pictures and trying to speak with everyone. Time just flew. We didn't even get to eat with all that was going on. When they say the ceremony is for the couple and the reception is for the guest, they weren't lying. Those five hours came and went before I knew it.

By the time we got to the hotel, we raided to vending machine just so we can say we ate. Then we reflected on some of the things we did remember from the day before calling it a night. We celebrated all weekend before making our first public appearance Sunday morning in church. Now, we are home and still have a few more days before going back to reality. I am not looking forward to it.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Wedding Countdown: Bachelor Party

As this past weekend approached, I had all kinds of emotions going on in my head. I was excited because I was looking forward to just letting loose and have a good time (especially with how stressful things have been in the planning process). I was also a little concerned and nervous. I had only been to one bachelor party in my life, but I have heard stories about others. Dancers, strippers, crazy sexcapades and God only knows what else. Combine that with the fact that, as I mentioned in a previous post, I have never been to a strip club before, and you could see why I approached this weekend with a little aprehension.

The weekend started on Friday night. A group of friends that I had gone to high school with and became reaquainted with after our 13 year reunion decided to go to Atlantic City for a night of fun. Unfortunately, Mother Nature had other plans. As soon as we started leaving Queens it started pouring down rain, so hard that it wouldn't make sense to try to drive all the way to Atlantic City. Instead, plan B took us to a nice little spot in Manhattan where we danced the night away and shut the club down. From there, it was off to a diner where we ate and cracked jokes until the sun rose.

After a day of running around that only afforded me 2 hours of sleep, Saturday night's festivities started around 8:30pm. My best man picked me up and took me out to the Grand Lux Cafe'(a place I have been wanting to go to for a long time, but never made it out to) where we were met by the other guys who decided to come out and celebrate with me. We ate and watched the Yankees-Tigers playoff game. All of the guys who came out were married (wheretheydothatat) and the dinner conversation was more of them being real about the trials and tribulations of marriage. The good, bad and indifferent. I felt like I was on a male version of "The View", but I definitely appreciate what was shared at that time.

Once they got that out of the way, we all knew what was next. We broke out and headed to a spot in Queens, then a spot in Hempstead. We didn't go to strip clubs, we went to "Gentlemen's Clubs". For a first time, it was an experience to say the least. I did get my first lap dance, which, considering I haven't had sex since the earthquake only made me hornier than I was before. Other than that it was a good night.

The night ended around 3am and I still made it to church in the morning. Now its just a matter of getting me to the alter and over the broom. The next update will recap the events of the wedding week.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Wedding Countdown: 7 Days

As I type this, I am watching this week's episode of "Modern Family", catching up on blogs and listening to the baseball playoffs on the radio. Yes, multitasking at its best. Seems very tame for a Friday night. . . of course, that's because I am just stalling for time before the Bachelor Weekend activities begin later tonight. I have no idea what is going on tonight or tomorrow (although I have planned out how I would WANT this weekend to go). All I know is that I have to be ready by 9:30pm tonight and by 8:30pm tomorrow.

Since I have some spare time, I figured I'd write a post since its been over a week since my last one, and update you on what's been going on. Earlier this week the wedding took a major backseat. On Monday morning, on her way to school, one of our hostesses was raped by a guy she met on Facebook. The future Mrs. was so distraught by the entire situation the the wedding reception was almost called off. Only at the urging of her mother, who stated that with everything that has been going on, both families need to have a good party, is the reception still on. Besides that, there major expenses were paid off and the god-mother of the bride, who can't make it because she was recently diagnosed with cancer, paid for us to have a videographer. And the gifts are starting to come in.

Now its on to the wedding week. Ring and tuxedo pick up on Tuesday. Guest start arriving on Wednesday. Rehearsal dinner on Thursday and the big day on Friday. I'll try to sneak some posts in next week, but can't make any promises.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Pre-Marriage Counseling

Let's cut to the chase. Through the course of my life I have been in counseling twice. Once was to save my job years ago. The second time was after my grandmother passed away. In my opinion, both times were needed and somewhat successful, but I still see the idea of counseling as a necessary evil. You don't really want to do it, but after its over, you're glad you did. When I got engaged, I know I was going to have to go through it again, but still wasn't looking forward to it. Especially considering who my church assigns to do it - a seventy something year old woman who has personally been a part of my life for almost 25 years. It's one thing sharing stuff with a stranger, but this woman is almost like a grandmother to me. There are just things about me that I don't want her to know. Luckily for me, I wasn't subjected to that.

At my urging about a year ago, my church reinstituted their marriage ministry and revamped their pre-marriage counseling program. Instead of the minister I mentioned in the last paragraph doing it, counseling would now be done by the marriage ministry. In our case, it was two couples who have a combined 52 years of marriage experience. Counseling was supposed to be 10 hours. . . and it was. I just didn't know it was going to be done in only 2 sessions. The first session took place in August. An intimate dinner for 6 at the home of one of the couples. The second session took place Monday night. A three hour wrap-up session. Won't go into details of the session, but there were four things that were stressed in those sessions - communication, finances, intimacy and relationships (not relationships with you and your partner, but moreso your relationship with your partners family, your partners relationship with your family and your relationships with your friends and their respect for your marriage)

Overall, the sessions were good, but sometimes I think they are more like gripe sessions than working meetings. The couples shared personal experiences and were real with us. They told us no marriage is going to be perfect, but if we can handle those four situations in a positive manner we should be successful. From their lips to God's ears. The quest to 50 years, starts in 16 days.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Take Your Child To School

This morning, I woke up, showered, brushed my teeth, ran to the bus stop and headed to school. Only difference is this is 2011 and I was the parent and not the student. My (future) step-son's school participates in the New York State Fatherhood Initiative. This program encourages father's, brother's, uncles or any othe adults to take an active role in the education of young men. They have programs throughout the year and it starts with the "Take Your Dad To School" Day. Shortly after the start of tthe school year they set aside a day where father's are encouraged to drop their child off. Each father who does received a certificate, a brown bag breakfast and an envelope. My envelope contained 4 tickets to next Wednesday's Mets game. Talk about membership having its privileges.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Somebody, Anybody, Everybody Sing!!!!!

"What would you do if I sang out of tune? Would you stand up and walk out on me? Lend me your ear and I'll sing you a song. And I'll try not to sing out of key." - Joe Cocker - "With A Little Help From My Friends"

Friday night, I went and did something that I don't get to do as often as I'd like . . . no, not that . . . I'm talking about karaoke. Those who know me would probably be surprised that I like something like karaoke, but I guess we all have things about us that others don't understand. It started with some of the usual karaoke classics, "Proud Mary", "We Are Family" and "Ain't No Stopping Us Now". Then one of my boys went and did "Da Butt". From there, it was on. The hits just kept on coming. Personally, I did "Children's Story", "La-Di Da-Di" and Method Man's part of "I'll Be There For You" while this cutie blazed her way through Mary J. Blige's part. In all it was a good night and definitely the best part of my weekend.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Melodiess From Heaven - Woe Is Me

You cannot get through life untouched. At some point in life we are all destined to go through something. Regardless of the size and frequency of the trouble we encounter, it happens and we have to deal with it. Problem is, most of us don't make the most of it while it is here.

Think back to a time you had to deal with something; may it be a the loss of a job a breakup or something else, our natural instinct is to find out why whatever happened happened to you. i will be the first to say I am guilty of that. We have our pity and waste time dwelling on what happened. To those of us who believe in God, we still manage to question Him instead of acknowledging that whatever happens iss a part of God's plan. Instead of questioning, we should try to embrace the situation and learn from it. Find out what the purpose of your pain is and grow from it. Turn your negative into a positive and be better because of the experience. All the stuff that Job went through and he never lost his faith. If he can do it, we can do it because none of us are going through anything as bad as what Job went through (I hope).

Everything happens for a reason, but how we deal with it defines who we are. We can let our lives get the best of us or we can get the best of our lives. The choice is ours. We can swim in our tears or rise above our circumstances.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Wedding Countdown - 3 Weeks Left

This has truly been the roughest week so far. So much has happened that it doesn't make sense to even go into detail. Just check this out:

1. Brother of the Bride 3 says he isnt coming to the wedding because he has nothinng to wear.

2. Brother of the Bride 2 says he isnt coming because one of his ex's is coming with her husband and he feels her husband is going to start something.

3. Brother of the Bride 1 is still coming, but he will no longer be giving the bride away because he refuses to wear a black suit.

4. Went to the reception hall to give a final head count (185) and select the menu.

5. I finally went to get my ring only to find out that the one I want will take 6 weeks to customize instead of the 2 I was told in July.

6. The maid of honor is going to provide us with transportation.

7. The dates for the bachelor parties have been set.

Other than that, it was a very quiet week. Let's see what the next 20 days bring.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Melodies From Heaven: Animal Instincts

I am far from a fan of the Discovery Channel, Animal Planet or National Geographic, but even I know that there is a lot to learn from watching animals. Have you ever watched a flock, a heard or a pride in action? Generally, they are loosely bunched together. That is, until they feel threatened. Once they feel threatened or are attacted they tighten up their formation. They bunch tightly together to in order to protect they children and defend themselves. If animals have this instinct you would think that t would be easy for humans to do the same thing. As yourseelf this question; "the last time I had a problem, did my friends come closer to me? Did they protect me? Did they help me out? Or did they stray further away from tthey rest of the group? You can tell a lot about the people in your life by running them through that test. Use your own animal instincts to find out who your true friends are. You'll thank me for it later and more importantly, you'll thank yourself.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Better Late Than Never

My relationship with my father definitely doesn't scream Cliff & Theo Huxtable. I cannot even say that the good moments outweigh the bad moments. In 33 plus years, I dont have any fond memories of my father. My childhood memories include walking in on my parents having sex, him visiting while he was drunk and giving me an occasional haircut among other things. Nothing to write home about. No birds and bees talk, no teaching me about sports, and he hasnt been to ANY of my graduation ceremonies. Besides teaching me how to tie a necktie, I have nothing. Funny thing is that with all that, for the first 16 years of my life all I wanted was for my parents to get together. For the last 17 years, I've been thankful that they didn't.

With all that being said, during his last visit to my mom he told me he wanted us to take a ride. I was open to it, but definitely had no expectations because his track record didn't make me think it would actually happen. So, imagine my surprise when he showed up yesterday (even if it was 3 hours later than he said). As we were in the car heading nowhere in particular, he just began to talk. The more he talked, the more difficult it came to hold back tears. I was hearing things I had wanted to hear for years. He even apologized for being "selfish" and keeping me a secret from his other children including not letting me know I had another brother until a week before he died. He went on about a few other things and said that he hopes its not too late for us to have a relationship.

The ride only lasted 90 minutes, and doesnt make up for the last 33 years, but I will say that I am more receptive to more "rides" in the future. Definitely more than I would have been 10 years ago. What will come of it? Who knows. I will probably get some questions answered. We might even go to being more than cordial with one another. I am just thankful for that moment and prayerful that as we both gt older we can both continue to grow . . . maybe even together.