Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Organized Christmas 2012

Christmas has come and gone and now I can take time to reflect on it. As is becoming a tradition, I watched "It's A Wonderful Life" on Christmas Eve. Wish my wife would have joined me in that tradition, but that's a conversation for another post. After the movie, I went to sleep, only to wake up at 2:30am to do my Santa Duties. Shortly after returning to bed, I heard the pitter-patter of little feet. This kid really thought he was going to get up at 3:15 and open his gifts. Negative, not happening. We had already negotiated 6:30 as the earliest he could wake us up and that was not going to change.

After getting the child back to sleep, he was nice enough to let us sleep until 7:30. After that, he opened his gifts. The WiiU and the 7-11 Slurpee maker got the biggest reactions from him. (Even though I represent #teamnaughty, I still managed to come away with a PSVita, some clothes and some money). He played the WiiU all morning, while his mother made phone calls to her friends and I baked brownies for a dinner we were going to later in the day. Once the brownies were done, we started making the rounds. First to my mother-in-laws house to give her her gifts, then to my cousins house for dinner. There were about 30-40 people there as her and her boyfriend decided to have a joint Christmas celebration. And in the spirit of Christmas, they had gifts for everyone they invited.

After dinner it was back home for dessert, which consisted of a few red velvet cookies that were sent to me by a very good friend. How was your Christmas? Hopefully it was good and you were happy whether you were on #teamnice or #teamnaughty.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

It's The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

To me, the holiday season is the best time of the year. Not so much because I look forward to getting gifts (it's been years since I've actually received what I wanted for Christmas), but because I look forward to giving gifts. More specifically, I look forward to seeing people's reactions when they open gifts that I give them. I'll be the first to admit, I'm anal when it comes to gift giving. I don't like giving someone a gift just to say I gave them something. I like to take my time and find that perfect gift that they will remember. So far, I have given two gifts (one in a Secret Santa and one that I had to mail out of town), the reactions I saw when the gifts were opened (the out of town person sent me a pic of her reaction) couldn't have been better. I can't wait to see the reactions on the other 8 people I brought gifts for, and I'm so thankful that I will have the pleasure of seeing them all in person.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Untitled - Part 2: Rebirth of Slick

I was born on Tuesday, November 27, 2012 at 5:08 in the morning. Unlike my first birth, I remember everything. Much like my first birth, I entered with little to no fanfare. I was born in the same room I died in. Those same sky blue walls and one bright ass white light. The doctor, or whatever he was, gave me clothes and sent me on my way. Instinct directed me to what I'll call home for now. On the bus ride there, everything looked familiar, but different at the same time. I got off the bus and walked the six blocks to my house. It was an eerie feeling. The streets were empty and cold. As I arrived at the house, I reached in and grabbed my keys, opened the door and walked up the stairs. Dropped my coat off and walked up another flight of stairs where I entered an empty room. This room was much like the one I was born in, except the walls were tan and there was a computer and radio to go with the television. Hope there's some paper too. I have a lot of stuff to relearn.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Untitled - Part 1: Death Becomes Me

I was born on Sunday, May 28, 1978 at 6:58 in the morning at a hospital in Brooklyn, New York that doesn't even exist anymore. Confirming my black sheep status from the start, my family's Memorial Day cookout was cancelled on account of me. My mother tells me that I weighed in at a whopping 10 pounds and 8 ounces. I died on November 26, 2012 at approximately 10:13pm. It was a quiet death, in a simple room. Four corners, sky blue walls; not the sky blue that makes you think of spring, more of a dull sky blue. There was a bed (for lack of a better term)and a television, even a night stand, although there was no alarm clock on it. Guess I didn't need an alarm to go off as this would be my final resting place. I don't know what I did to get into this position, and don't remember how it happened. The last thing I do remember, is the mask going over my face. After that, everything went black.

TMI Tuesday - November 27, 2012: Famous Or Forgotten

1. Have you ever had sex with someone famous or who later became famous, if only locally?
Nope. Haven't had the pleasure yet. The best I could do is someone who currently works for the CIA, but if she does her job right, nobody will ever know her name. There's another one who might write a book one day and become a motivational speaker. She might be my best hope right now.

2. In the spirit of Six Degrees of Separation, have you had sex with someone who had sex with someone who had sex with someone who . . . someone famous?
Not that I know of, but you never know.

3. In the opposite direction, have you had sex with someone whose name you didn’t know?
Nope. I'm anal in that regard. I keep a list.

4. Someone whose name you knew then but have forgotten?
See previous answer

5. Someone who you suspect may have forgotten you?
Sadly, yes. Off the top of my head, I can think of 3 who might have forgotten me.
Bonus question: Someone you wish you could forget?
No. They are each part of my past and for at least one moment, they brought some joy into my life.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

The Storm Is Over

It's been called everything from "The Perfect Storm", to "The Storm of the Century", to even "Frankenstorm". Regardless of what you call it, Hurricane Sandy will be one that we will talk about for years to come. We all have our stories of survival; some of us lost power, some had property damage, others even lost loved ones. I was fortunate enough to be spared those experiences, but have enough people in my life who weren't that it's almost as if I've experienced them myself. I braved the storm and actually went to work on Monday and Wednesday. Although I didn't go to work on Tuesday (office was closed), I braved the storm to walk to friends and relatives houses to check on them and make sure they were ok. Now that the storm is over and I can start to reflect on it, I am thankful that New York City didn't get a direct hit (could barely handle the hit it did get), I appreciate hearing from friends I don't speak to on a regular basis who just wanted to make sure I'm ok and I am fortunate enough to have another chance to live out life and do the things I've always wanted to do. Adversity sometimes brings humility and motivation and, in my case, with Sandy, it certainly did.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Weekend Update: $!@# Just Got Real

So, I had my annual physical exam Saturday. Nothing really surprising, but some things I want to work on if I want to stick around for a few more years. Gotta get my weight and blood pressure down. I'll admit, I've been a little stressed out lately, but I'm not making any excuses for it. Fortunately my doctor is cool and it's good that we can talk man to man without him freaking me out. The weight, on the other hand is going to take some work, but I am more than willing to do it. I have a goal (35 pounds by my 35th birthday) and once I give myself a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, it's going to be on. The world isn't ready for what's about to come.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

What Would You Do Wednesday: Not MySpace, but OurSpace

My cousin put the following up as his facebook status earlier this week (names withheld to protect the innocent):

Wow! it's been 23 years since I first started dating *************** who became ************************* on January 12, 1997! We've had ups, downs, swerves, falls, laughs, tears, cheers, bumps, trials....etc. But through it ALL we stayed together! Grew together! I'm humbled to say i'm still learning and growing! Some say our faith in God was a crutch. And I agree 100%!!! We are two...imperfect individuals needing someone perfect to hold onto! I'm not ashamed to day I'm a man ALWAYS in need of God in my life. It was our faith that kept us from walking away in separate directions! It is our faith that continues to mend our hearts together again after my immaturity, irresponsibility and insensitivity. so if i'm accused of using God as a crutch, then i proudly hold my crutch proudly for dear life! I will no longer have this solo FB Page as of 12 Midnight.. i will be marrying my wife's page as; ***********************************4Ever!

This weeks question: Would you ever share a social media outlet with your spouce?

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

TMI Tuesday: Two Weeks Worth

1. Have you ever had a friendship with a someone where you secretly (or not so secretly) desired them?

Still do, and it's not a secret to her.

2. Are you prone to jealousy, suspicion or insecurity when your partner spends time with an attractive close friend without you? Why?

Nope. Why bother? Even if its justified, it's not worth the energy.

3. Has a previously platonic friendship ever bloomed into a sexual relationship?

Yep. At least twice.

4. Have you ever remained close friends with an ex-lover?

Yep. Most of my ex-lover's started out as friends to begin with.

Bonus: Have you ever developed feelings for a “friend with benefits”? How did it develop, unfold, resolve?

I've tried not to, but it did happen to me once. I never expressed my feelings that. Didn't want to risk making things acwkward if the feelings weren't mutual.

1. What one part of your sex life today would most surprise the 17 year old you?

The fact that I did eventually have sex with my first crush

2. What one thing might shock that younger you?

The fact that I enjoy anal sex with women (giving of course)

3. What part of the younger you’s (not necessarily at age 17) sex life do you look back on with the most nostalgia?

None. Didn't lose my virginity until I was almost 18 so there isn't much to look at.

4. Is there anything in the younger you’s sexual ambitions or fantasies you have not yet fulfilled?

Yes. There's a few things on that kids sexual bucket list.

Bonus: Give your 17 year old self a piece of sexual advice.

Sex isn't what you think it is. You're probably not going to marry the first person you have sex with so go out, be careful and enjoy yourself.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Paying It Forward, Professionally

“You give but little when you give of your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.” - Tenzin Gyatso

I was doing a self-inventory this week and acknowledged the fact that I have a giving nature. Don't believe me, ask any of my friends, ex-girlfriends or my wife. When I have to give, and I like you, you can damn near get the shirt off of my back. I give and sometimes I give so much that my kindness and generosity are taken for granted (most recently 2 weeks ago, but that's a story that won't be blogged by me any time soon). In a recent conversation with my blog crush, she acknowledged that she had the same issue (guess it must be a trait of our zodiac sign, which we share).

Fast forward to this afternoon. I was watching "Katie" (I have a white girl crush on Katie Curic). Her main guest today was Tyler Perry. They talked about the usual stuff (his past, Madea, his new movie) then went into his philanthropy. Katie went as far as flying in people Tyler has helped out in one way or another. The interesting thing about this is the fact that he had helped these people without even meeting them. The look on his face as he met these people to me was priceless, then a lightbulb went off in my head.

Four years ago, I had said to myself that I was going to start a non-profit business and start helping people in the community. Do things like resume prep, run welfare to work programs, ESL classes, and ultimately, create a community center. I said that I was going to start working on that dream on January 1, 2009. Unfortunately, on January 4, 2009, I lost my job and spent the last 4 years hustling and doing my best to keep a roof over my head. Now, I feel as if I am in a better position and motivated to revisit my dream. This time, I'm not even going to wait for January 1st. I'm on it now and I'm just asking for support. Hell, if you have the same passion for doing right be people, I need your help. Can't do it alone. There is strength in numbers. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

What Would You Do Wednesday: Dont Call It A Comeback

A little more than 2 years ago, my friend "The Doctor" got married. A week later, before leaving for her honeymoon, she called me and told me that her husband didn't want her to speak to me anymore. In order to not cause any problems in their marriage, I respected his wishes. Over the weekend, I received an email from "The Doctor" just checking up on me, with no mention of whether or not her husband has changed his mind about me. Should I respond to the e-mail? If so, what should I say. If not, why not?

Sunday, October 14, 2012

They Don't Dance No More.

This past weekend was homecoming weekend at my alma mater. Besides the usual homecoming traditions, this year I was convinced to attend a homecoming game afterparty. Sadly, this event took place in Baltimore and I went in with a New York mentality (one of the reasons I stopped going to after parties years ago. For starters, the party was frm 10-2. 10pm is usually the time I start getting ready for a party. Then again, parties in NYC can go til 4am.. Next, the venue could safely hold 250 people. If I had to guess, 300-350 people squeezed in there. Doesn't leave much room to dance. Then again, people don't dance anymore, unless you consider grinding and simulating sex to be dancing. A lot of the people who went to this party should have just saved their money and went straight to their hotel rooms. They wouldn't have missed much because this party ended about 1:15 when security realized there were too many drunk people in the builing. Of well.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Put Your Best Face Forward

The best piece of advice I ever received can from Bishop Mitchell Hudson. I won't give him full credit as I am almost certain he didn't create it. He was just the person that was used to convey the message to me. Anyway, after a sermon that he preached one day he said the following, "smile, it'll keep your enemies out of your business". From the moment the last word left his lips, I was on board. I have always been a person who wears his heart and emotions on his sleeve. Unfortunatley, that opens me up for inquries and interrogations from people who I don't want in my business. I'm not saying that it's easy to do, but a smile can sometimes be the best weapon you have to use against the negative people and energy that are trying to attack you on a daily basis. When people can see that something is wrong with you, you give them the opportunity to pounce on you and destroy you. To your enemies, a smile is like a no vacancy sign, that forces them to try to find someone else to mess with. Think about this next time you're going through something.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Melodies From Heaven: Keep Risin' To The Top

This was my Facebook status this morning:

We all have dreams and for some, getting what you want is motivation enough. For the rest of us, we have a tendency to become complacent with what we have, even if it isn't everything we dream of. If we stop chasing our dreams we will never reach them. Let's make a collective effort to remove complacency from our lives. Let's turn our dreams into realities and take our lives to the next level.

Yesterday, my pastor did something he doesn't do very often. He preached on "deliverence". He told us that each one of us reaches a point in our lives which is somewhere between where we were and where we want to be. We have the nice car, nice house, and maybe even the nice job, but it's not what we really wanted. It's not the DREAM CAR, DREAM HOUSE, DREAM JOB and in some cases, it's not even the DREAM SPOUSE. We all just reached a point where we settled on something and stopped chasing our dreams. We all reached a point of complacency and stopped working for what we wanted. We let attitudes, bad experiences and bad habits hold us back so often that we convince ourselves that we are happy, even when we aren't.

I went to a memorial service on Friday evening (which ironically came after one of the best conversations I have had in a long time). It was geared towards high school students and one of the speakers made a very illustrated point to help the students understand the difference between saying what you want and going after it. He pulled out a $20 bill and asked one simple question, "who wants it?". All of the students raised their hands and started yelling, meanwhile, one kid emerged from the crowd approached the man and took the $20. I don't know if the kid was planted in the crowd or not, but it did prove a point. While all of you(us) are talking about our dreams, only a select few are bold enough to go after what we want.

At the end of the sermon, we were asked to think about a few simple questions. What would we be willing to give up in order to get closer to making a dream come true? What sacrifices would we be willing to make? What would we be willing to do, that we aren't doing now, to take our lives to the next level. It put a lot on my mind and as I start to formulate internal answers to those questions I'll be sure to share with you.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Going Out With A Bang

A year ago this weekend was my bachelor party. Well, in my case, bachelor parties. Thanks to my best man, "Sigma" and a personal request of mine, we made an entire weekend out of it. I didn't make any requests (besides the guest list) and didn't ask any questions, so I truly didn't know what to expect, although, looking back, I probably would have traded it all in for one thing in particular.

It was a rainy Friday night when I was picked up. All Sigma would say is "Are you ready". My response was "as ready as I'll ever be". Keeping with my request, our first stop was Brooklyn where we picked up our friends "Storm" and "Leggz". They are friends of ours from high school and we consider them to be "one of the boys" so I couldn't NOT include them in our festivities. From there, the original plan was to go to Atlantic City, but nobody wanted to drive in the rain. Our plan B was to club hop in the city. After 3 clubs, we were drained. We went to a dinner to grab something to eat before dropping "Leggz" off at work at 6am. I was dropped off around 7 Saturday morning and was told that part 2 would begin around 8 Saturday night.

Saturday night was strictly for the guys. Dinner at Grand Lux Cafe, followed by my first venture to a strip club. I was a little nervous going in, considering my opinions on strip clubs, but the drinks definitely loosened up. Everything was going well until one of my boys got a little greedy and got kicked out of the spot. That's when we all decided to leave, get something to eat and go home. Weekends like that should be had at least once a year.

Friday, September 28, 2012

The Truth Shall Set You Free: The Return of Full Disclosure Friday

This was my facebook status on Tuesday morning:

The truth can do 2 things; it can bring you closer to someone or it can create distance between you and someone. Sadly, we tend to be too scared of either result to be as honest as we should be. In the last week several truths have been revealed to me that have brought me closer to one person and further away from another. Although I am still processing what was told to me I am thankful that it was. I appreciate the truth and anyone man or woman enough to give it to me.

As I reread that to myself throughout the course of Tuesday, I realized that I bite my tongue way too much. Is it marriage, is it growing up? If anything, I say older people have earned the right to say what they want to who they want. I even strive myself on only having openly honest and non-judgmental friendships, but have to question whether I am doing that myself. I even find myself filtering myself on the blog from time to time and doesn't that defeat the whole purpose of having a blog?

After this post, that will change. I'm giving it to you straight. Organizing my thoughts and putting them out there for all to read. I need to get my mojo back. I'll post about current events, pop culture and will even take questions from the audience (all 5 of you). If you have something you'd like my opinion on, or a question you'd like me to answer here, you know how to get in touch with me. There's an old quote that says "when you find yourself, you will be free". Well, I wanna be free. I will be free. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

TMI Tuesday: Take It Off

1. Have you ever danced naked in front of anyone? What prompted the experience?

Nope. That has never been requested of me and I haven't volunteered to do it for anyone.

2. Have you been to a strip club? Was it what you expected?

My first strip club experience came during my bachelor party. It was pretty much what I expected, except the look but don't touch rule was a little more relaxed than I thought it would be.

3. Have you ever been to an “amateur night” at a strip club?

Nope. The only "amateur" strippers I've seen have been women I have been dating/sleeping with (and that one girl in a truth or dare game). Again, not a fan of that look, but don't touch rule. If you strip for me, best believe I'm going to want to touch and then some.

4. Do you think strip clubs are exploitative or are they misunderstood as simple adult entertainment venues? I'm somewhere in the middle on this one.

5. Would you ever consider stripping to pay for college or other expenses?

I'd need a gym membership and a personal trainer first.

6. Have you ever given your partner a private dance?


7. Would you ever perform a lap dance for a complete stranger?


8. Showgirls, Strip Tease, Magic Mike … What is the sexy Hollywood stripper scene you have ever YouTubed?

I can't think of one that stands out.

Bonus: Do you have a stripper fantasy, that given the chance of not being found out, you would turn into a reality? Yep.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Musical Monday: The Organized Noise Music Festival

So I am scrolling through my newsfeed Friday night and came accross the following post by my friend and former blogger, Boston Zeta:

If you could coordinate your own 3-day music festival, who would you have perform? Caveat: They have to be alive.

That post was right up my alley. I gave a quick answer, but also told her that I'd put some serious thought over the weekend and post it here. After a little thought, this is how things would go down:

Friday Night

Special Unadvertised Event: H.I.T.S.Q.U.A.D. (EMPD, Das EFX, K-Solo, Redman, Keith Murry)Reunion
DJ Set: Spinderella
Opening Act: LL Cool J
DJ Set: Marly Marl Co-Headliner: A Tribe Called Quest (with the Brand New Heavies serving as their live band)
DJ Set: Kid Capri
Headliner: Jay-Z with the Roots serving as his live band

Saturday Night

Opening Act: Raheem DeVaughn
2nd Opening Act: Leela James
Co-Headliner: R. Kelly & Friends
3rd Opening Act: Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings
4th Opening Act: Mint Condition
Headliner: Prince

Sunday Night

Opening Act: Maroon 5 2nd Opening Act: Anita Baker
3nd Opening Act: Jill Scott
4th Opening Act: John Legend
Marvin Gaye Tribute: Robin Thicke
Headliner: Earth, Wind & Fire

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Call Me Christian Grey

My name is Organized Noise and I MARRIED A PRUDE. I laugh as I typed that first sentence because the other night, I became a professor. Like most women, my wife is reading "50 Shades of Grey". She's up to book two, which is apparently the one with the contract or something like that. Only reason I know is because she called me over and asked me what certain terms in the book were (no need to repeat them here). At first, I thought she was just messing around trying to get me to read the book with her, but quickly I realized that she genuinely did not know what most of those terms were. I quickly explained to her what some of them were and for the others, I started pulling up videos and pictures to give her an example. The look on her face was priceless. She then proceeded to call me and her three friends that she's reading the book with freaks. It is what it is. Like Eminem said, "I am whatever you say I am. If I wasn't, then why would you say I am?"

Monday, September 10, 2012

Take Care Of Home

I am currently suffering from information overload. The Mrs. dropped a bomb on me over the weekend (no, there are no children on the way); one that I totally wasn't prepared for. Worse yet, I can't do anything about it because the information was told to me in confidence and I don't want to violate someone else's trust in my wife.

Since the wedding, my wife and Sigma's wife have started to form a bond. So much so that my wife had to apologize to Sigma's wife for her initial opinion of her. Sigma's wife has also started to form a bond with another one of the Mrs friends. So much so, that she was invited to join them and a few of their friends for their monthly girls night out (which was actually girls night in this month as they discussed "50 Shades of Grey" over a few bottles of Moscato). Once the drinks started flowing, comfort levels started to increase and lips started to become loose. And apparently what my wife disclosed to me was just the tip of the iceberg.

Sigma and his wife have been married for 5 years. Their anniversary is 3 days after mine. Both of them were members of the Divine Nine when they met, but since then, Sigma has become a Mason, a Shriner and taken on a part time job with a DJ company that doesn't weddings and other special events. On top of that, we are both active in both the Youth, Men's and Marriage ministries at our church. Add his job (project manager for a construction company) and you can only imagine how little free time he has for rest, relaxation and his wife and daughter. On top of that, they brought a house with his mother and grandmother and split the mortgage 4 ways, with his mother acting as if she is still the lady of the house.

Sigma's wife has been dealing with all of this for a long time and saturday night she finally exploded. She told the girls that she was looking for apartments and if things didn't change by the end of the year she'd move out. She is tired of the living situation (I can understand that completely), tired of Sigma always being out of the house with his various organizational committments and tired of fighting with his mother (literally and figuratively). She loves him to death, but has to put herself first and finally admitted that she wasn't happy and she's not going to take it anymore.

As you can imagine, this was not the last thing I wanted to hear before going to sleep. Even worse, I can't tell anyone (besides you good people here on the blog) because she told the girls in confidence. I feel bad for my boy, but he put himself in this position. He has a good woman (I know because I almost tried to step to her when we met, until someone told me who she was), and he's a good guy. Whatever comes of this, I hope they both end up happy. I feel bad for their daughter though. She thinks the world of them and would be devestated if mommy and daddy didn't live together anymore.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Soda Free Summer - Recap

After 2 months, 3 days and approximately 20 hours, I sat down for lunch yesterday and had a Mountain Dew with my turkey sandwich. Significant because it marked the end of Soda Free Summer (3 days later than it could have ended). The experience definitely taught me a few things and I already know (evidenced by the three extra days) that my relationship with soda will change from here on out. I might get to the point where I cut it out all together, but not yet. Knowing that this challenge was easier for me than I thought it was going to be does let me know that its possible.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

TMI Tuesday: September 4, 2012

1. We are all incurable sex addicts, but name one thing—a job, a passion, a creative outlet, a collection—of yours you use as a replacement, a distraction from constantly thinking about sex 24/7.

Just about anything competitive takes my mind off of sex. Anything from watching sports to playing Words With Friends. If I am being challenged, I'm not thinking about sex, unless there is a wager involved that is of a non-monetary type.

2. Have you ever loved somebody so much you thought having sex with them would actually sully the pristine purity of that love?

I wouldn't use the word "love" in this case, but I do have a friend that I think the world of so much so that if given the opportunity to have a casual sexual encounter with her were presented, I would turn it down unless it came with the opportunity to date her as well. She is the only woman I have ever encountered in which I could say that about.

3. If you could make love to yourself, would you? Describe this experience in full detail. Ok, this question is weird so I'm not even going to think about FULL details. Knowing what I like, it would have to be wild and intense.

4. Cum, are you a fan? Explain and expound. What kind of question is this? I don't think about it too much. Besides my desire to give someone a facial, I don't think about it at all. Guess I'm not a fan.

5. Does it creep you out to know that God is watching you as you’re fucking?

Ok, that's like telling a kid that Santa Clause is watching them. Can't say that I've ever really thought about Him watching me while I have sex. More weirded out than creepy.

Bonus: Tell us something sexy that happened to you this week. Sadly, last week was a slow week. Can't recall anything sexy happening.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

This Post Won't Do You Justice

I don't do tributes, but I would be remiss if I didn't take a moment out to pay my respects to a good friend and former blogger.

When I first started blogging, bloggers were more than just screen names. They became a part of your life. You looked forward to meeting the ones who were local (and at the time, the NYC Bloggers that I had met were the best) and hoped to meet the ones from out of town that you liked reading about. Most of my blog reads when I first started were from New York and Baltimore (the city I lived in and the city I travel to the most), with a few other spread out in Detroit, Boston and Philly. Then there was that one girl from Georgia who had a style all her own. Going simply by "Nikki" her posts captivated all of us who were on her blog roll. She wasn't scared to write about anything, even the illness that would ultimately take her life.

I remember the day I heard about her passing like it was yesterday. It was a Monday morning. I had just finished breakfast with a friend of mine at the Val-Brook Diner. On my way home I was checking my messages and Facebook. That's when I found out that she was gone. The status updates and the tribute posts kept coming. And that's when you started to realize how special she was and how much she meant to so many.

Anika Harris, who simply went by "Nikki" in the blogosphere, was more than just a good read. I was fortunate enough to be cool with her offline. We would exchange emails where we talked about everything from big city v/s country living, to the latest music to her beloved Dallas Cowboys. She even talked about moving to New York one day and proceeded to challenge me to a game of pool when she got here. I rmemeber, leaving her a message on the virtual obituary telling her I'm going to hold her to that game. I just hope she is keeping the table warm until we meet again.

Her blog wasHere Stop by and see why we all loved her.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

What Would You Do Wednesday: Options

So, one of my co-workers is a divorcee and I can only assume that she's in her mid to late 40's. She's currently dating two individuals. She was dating the first one exclusively (and by exclusively, I mean they were not in a relationship by title, but she wasn't checking for anyone else), until the requirements of his job had him on the road too much for her liking. The conversations on the phone were good, but it wasn't enough because you still need to go out every so often. Enter guy #2. A local guy who also has good conversation and keeps her entertained. When guy #1 returned from his last business trip, he noticed my co-worker acting different towards him. He sent her a text, which she shared with us, asking her straight out if she was seeing someone else (which she is well within her right to do since there are no committments). If you were her, would you:

A - Tell guy #1 that you were seeing someone else and cut things off with him entirely

B - Tell guy #1 that you were seeing someone else but let him know that he is still in the picture since you aren't committed to either one of them

C - Tell guy #1 that you aren't seeing anyone else and still continue to see both

D - Tell guy #2 about guy #1 and cut things off with guy #2

Monday, August 27, 2012

Money Monday: Get You $~!* In Order

"Never a lender or borrower be." - Shakespeare

Like many people, I'm in a relationship with Sallie Mae. Unlike many people I also had Visa sponsor my junior year of college, Discover sponsor a relationship I had while in college and MasterCard buy a few trips up and down I-95 over the years. When I started working, I took full responsibility for my actions and did everything I could do to start handling the situation. 11 years after graduating, 4 credit cards have been paid off and closed and my relationship with Sallie Mae is scheduled to end on December 10, 2014 if not sooner. When I got married I made it a point to let my wife to be know where I stood financially. I made the assumption that she did the same. Fast forward to the other night.

We are in Wally World (Wal-Mart) when she gets a text from her bank stating that there's a hold on her account. She calls her bank and they proceed to tell her that one of her creditors has placed a hold on her account and she can't access it until she pays off the balance she has with them. She claims she told me about this, but I don't recall ever hearing that she was on the verge of collections. This leaves me in a vacarious position. We are in the process of moving and as part of the application process, they need to see a credit report from both of us. Now I see why she's been stalling on providing hers. I'm scared to see what else is on it. Also, since we are in New York, if it comes to the point where she has to file for bancruptcy, I have limited liability on her debt which means they can come after me for some of what she owes. I know all about that "richer or poorer" vow, but I already had 1 woman fuck up my credit. I don't need or want it to happen again.

I say all that to say this, make sure your financial situation is in order. It is one of the best things you could do for yourself. You don't know how much you can miss out on by having bad credit and you don't know how many doors can be opened for you if you have good credit. Take your credit report and credit score serious. A whole lot of other people already do.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Tell'em How You Feel Thursday: Shoe Game

Let me start by saying, in no form or fashion do I consider myself a sneaker junkie. I have never had a pair of Jordan's. I didn't get my first pair of Air Force One's until earlier this year, and the only pair of sneakers I have at the house now are the beforementioned Air Force One's, a pair of Reebok Classic's and a pair of Nike's that I probably paid $60 for. That being said, hearing the asking price for the new LeBron James sneakers just makes me shake my head.

I have been spending most of the day trying to figure out what would justify me spending $315 on a pair of sneakers. Don't give me the crap about the technology in the sneaker makes it worth it. Your target market can't afford it, which mean that the potential for store robberies, muggings and assults just to get the shoe has increased (I apologize for not having fiath in my people on this one). Let me give you an idea of what I could do with $315 right now:

May 2 months worth of student loan payments and get a $75 pair of sneakers
Pay my phone bill (i pay for 3 lines) get a $75 pair of sneakers and take advantage of the 2 for $20 of TGIF
Pay for my hotel room in Baltimore homecoming weekend and a ticket to the homecoming game October 13th

I'm sure they aren't going to miss my $315 and the sneaker is going to do well, but something has to be done. I applaud what Stephan Marbury tried to do with his Starbury line even more after hearing about this mess right here. All I can say is that I hope it's worth it to those who decide to purchase the shoe. Swag has never been worth that much to me.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Something to Think About: Brian's Rules of Attraction

Consider the feelings you have when someone makes you feel special. Did you feel that way before they came into your life? Do you allow others to validate your being special? It's wonderful to have someone show you that you are, but it's best when they are reflecting what you already know.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Weekend Recap: Gone Fishin'

"If you give a man a fish, you feed him for a day. If you teach a man to fish, you feed him for a lifetime.

Saturday morning, I was up early and headed to Oceanside, New York with a few good friends. Our mission was to bring back enough fish to feed our respective families. Leaving from the Bay Park Fishing Station, we were optimistic that we would all catch something. Our first catch of the day let us know that the day was going to be interesting if nothing else as my friend pulled in a 2 foot shark. From there, we started catching smaller, more edible fish (flounder and sea bass). By the end of our 5 hour excursion, we had enough fish to feed a small village. We divided everything up equally and headed home. There was only one problem. Outside of bluefish, I had never cooked fish before. I hit up the internet and found a recipe I thought was simple enough. I headed to the supermarket to get what I didn't have and Sunday afternoon, I did my best impression of a television chef. I ended up making grilled sea bass in a sauce made of pinot grigio, lemon, butter and garlic. I didn't burn down the house and my mother approved so I might have to add it to me catalog. I might just have to get the fish from the fish market next time.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Melodies From Heaven: Are You Worthy?

I went on a midnight boatride last Saturday night. After getting off the boat and making a stop at the Georgia Diner (best diner in Queens, if not all of New York City), I went to the early service at my church. After being up for some 28 consecutive hours by the time the sermon started, I wasn't as focused as I usually am, so it's only now that I'm am getting a chance the process the parts of the sermon that I remember, which wasn't much. But what I remember, left me with a lot to process.

The title of the sermon was "Are You Worthy?" and the minister posed one very thought provoking question; are you worthy of being followed? He went on to talk about how now everyone is quick to friend someone on facebook or follow someone on twitter, but do we really pay attention to who we are following and what image and message they are putting out. How does that image or message influence decisions we make in our lives. On the flipside, what messages are we putting out to those who think that we are worth following? Are they following us because we are inspiring, uplifting and motivating them, or are they living vicariously through us and our vulgar lifestyles. Do we even realize or care about how much influence others allow us to have on them?

I don't look to be a role model or anything (except for my son), but I have always been cautious about what I put into the atmosphere, whether it be social media or real life. I try to be positive and only put out positive or humorous messages. I have a very small circle of friends that I'll allow to see me down, depressed or in a funk. I know that life has put me in a position in which people are going to follow me whether I want them to or not and I don't want to give them anything negative to talk about. Television media does enough of that as it is. How mindful are you? Or do you even care? Just something for you to think about.

Friday, August 17, 2012

I Wonder . . .

Talk about irony. Anita Baker's "Giving You The Best That I've Got" comes on Pandora as I prepare to write this post. Guess it's only right considering what this post is about.

At one time or another in out lives we are all guilty of taking little things for granted. So busy looking for the big bang or grand gesture that we miss the silent whistle and small details. By the time we finally realize how important something was, it's often too late to do anything about it. All you can do is chalk it up to things happening for a reason. This has happened to me several times in particular and (at least) one of those times altered the course of my history.

About two months after breaking up with Guyana, I went on what I would consider my first real post engagement date. Anita Baker was on her "An Evening With Anita Baker" Tour and the original leg of the tour did not include a stop in New York. To my pleasant surprise, it did include a stop in my second home, Baltimore, Maryland. I was quick to get tickets and was fortunate when my date for the evening said she was available (since she is probably the busiest person I know).

So the night finally arrives. Playing superman, like I often do, I worked a half-day, leaving New York City at 12 for my favorite 12:40pm train to Baltimore. I arrived in Baltimore a little after 3, which gave me just enough time to shower and change since I was meeting my date at 5 and we had 5:30 reservations at the Blue Sea Grill (which closed about a year later) in the Power Plant section of Downtown Baltimore. Dinner was great (or at least so I thought at the time) and we made it to the concert in plenty of time.

The night was going well and Anita Baker put on a GREAT show (if you haven't seen her in concert, please add it to your bucket list). After the show was over we were heading back to the hotel room when she started having an allergic reaction to something she ate. Fortunately she was prepared for such a turn of events, but we both agreed that it was best that the night end there. No nightcap, no Washington Nationals game the next day, nothing.

Fortunately she's ok, but I can't help but wonder what would have happened; not just that night, but in the years that have passed since then. Sometimes, it's easier to chalk things up to things happening for a reason. Sometimes, couriousity kills the cat. If there ever was a time I'd like to revisit, it would definitely be that Friday night in August of 2008.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

What Would You Do Wednesday: Secrets

For those of you who don't know, I work in a medical clinic. Not just any medical clinic, but the same medical clinic that most of my in-laws go to, including my brother-in-law and his children. The other day, one of his children come in the see the doctor. My first indication that something was up was the fact that she came with her little sister and not her mother. She sees the doctor, and after her visit, she comes up to the front desk and asks to administrator if she can mark the visit as confidential, meaning her mother cannot know about it. I've been working in the clinic long enough to know that a minor who gets a confidential visit has either taken a pregnancy test or an Aids test. Considering the fact that I know she was raped about a year ago, the thought of her taking an Aids test does concern me. My question is, should I tell anyone, knowing that breaking confidentiality is a violation of HIPPA and could cost me my job. What do you say?

Friday, August 10, 2012

Men Can Cook

Those who know me know that baking is one of my hobbies. Generally, I only do it when I have the taste for something or want to try something new, but as time went on, people started getting a taste of what your boy can do and the word got out. Next thing you know I'm being asked to bake something for events and special occassions. A few times, I even packed some stuff up and shipped it to friends in other parts of the country. That being said, what was asked of me earlier this week was unprecedented.

Every year, my boy "Sigma" and his wife through the cookout to end all cookouts complete with DJ, bartender, spades tournaments, fun bus for the kids and a sporting event projecting on the side of his house. The food ranges from your basic burgers and hot dogs, to shirmp salad and collard greens. This year, there will be something else on the menu. I saw "Sigma" the other day, and he asked me to make 200 brownies for the cookout.

I've never made that much of anything at one time before (made 150 snickerdoodles for an event last year, but it didn't take anywhere near as much time as its going to take me to fill this order) but I'm looking forward to the challenge. I'll keep you posted on how they turn out and how they go over at the cookout next month.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Driving While Black

There are things in life that you hear about, but since they don't happen to you, you question whether they actually exist or not. The existence of one of those things was confirmed to me this afternoon. I had just finished visiting a client and was on my way home. I was standing at the bus stop in a neighborhood I'd rather not have been in, even in the middle of the day. On opposite corners of the intersection were New York City's Finest. A nice, shiny, 2012 BMW with tinted windows was crusing up the street. The police officer quickly flagged it down as the other officer crossed the street to assist. Officers pulled up on both sides of the vehicle and the driver rolled down the windows. I was close enough to hear the conversation. The officer asked for the driver's license, it was provided with no questions asked. The officer checked it, gave it back and sent the driver on his way. The second the driver pulled off, you could see the frustration on his face over what had just happened. To be honest, the event left a sour taste in my mouth as well.

Fool Me Once . . .

"If you left a pair of spanx at my house on Sunday, please let me know, otherwise my husband's a dead man"

That was the text message that my wife received from one of our friends this morning. Fortunately for her she had her phone otherwise I'd probably be attending a funeral in the next few days, because our friend almost certainly would have killed her husband.

They say you never know what you'll do in a situation until you are actually faced with that situation. Unfortunately for a friend of ours, having her husband cheat on her is a situation that she has already dealt with and come to terms with. After a long period of questions, answers and prayers, she decided to forgive him and take him back, but the thought stays in the back of her mind. I can only imagine the things that were going through her head when she woke up this morning and finding a pair of spanx in her house that were a few sizes bigger than hers. Glad she decided to check first before accusing her husband, but it does make me pose a question; can a person truly get past knowing the person they are with cheated on them? Can we truly forgive if we can't forget? What do you think?

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

What Would You Do Wednesday: Have On A Baby

I'm taking this weeks questiosn directly from a status a friend of mine posted on Facebook recently: What would you do if a close friend of yours asked you to have a baby with them?

Monday, August 6, 2012

Friend Or Foe - Part I: The Set Up

People will only do to you what you allow them to do you. If people take advantage of you and you don't check them on it, they will chew you up, spit you out and move on to the next victim . . . I mean friend. When people show you who they are, believe them, and if you don't like who they are, act accordingly. #ijs

That was my facebook status this morning. It didn't have anything to do with me, at least not directly. I had more to do with my wife and her relationship with my cousin . . . yes, THAT cousin. They have been friends since the 80's, but didn't really become close until they both had children and started working a block away from one another. During this time, they became close as did their children. A few years ago, two things happened that led to the beginning of the end of their relationship. First, my wife and I started dating, and second, my cousin lost her job.

I am a firm believer in full disclosure, especially when it comes to someone I'm dating. At the same time, I don't like altering anyone's opinion about another person. That being the case, I still decided to tell my wife my problems with my cousin at the beginning of my relationship, but being the woman she is, my wife still put on a smile and tried to encourage me to forgive and work towards a resolution. I let her know that wasn't going to happen, but don't let my relationship with her interfere with your friendship with her.

When my cousin lost her job (damn bank mergers), she started leaning on my wife more and more. Someone to talk to, someone to hang out with, someone to watch her kids. My wife didn't mind because she is big-hearted like that. Not too long after that, my cousin started hanging with a new crew. She didn't neglect my wife, but definitely started acting differently. They only spoke when my cousin needed something (babysitting) and the favors she'd offer before, only came when it benefited her (lending out her car only when she knew the person she lent it too would have to put gas in it).

Even though I knew the pattern and saw what was happening, I didn't get involved because I didn't want to say I told you so. Fortunately for me, my cousins recent actions have become so obvious that even my big-hearted wife can see the writing on the wall. Most recently, a mutual friend gave my cousin 7 tickets to Great Adventure and told her to take my wife, her son and I. Of course, not only did my cousin not even ask us to go (she took her new friends instead), she also had the nerve to call my wife and ask her to babysit her kids, meaning she wasn't even taking them. Little did my cousin know was that my wife and the person who offered the tickets in the first place were going to have a meeting that would change the course of my cousins friendship with at least 3 people.


Saturday, August 4, 2012

Early Morning Meditation

Most people like to sleep in on the weekends. Fortunately, I'm not most people. If there's one thing I've learned in the last 10 months of being married, it's this; you have to find and take your alone time when you get it. My alone time just happens to be Saturday mornings between 5am and 8am. While everyone else sleeps, I get up and enjoy time with myself. Whether it's plugging into Pandora mobile and clearing my head on the track or going to do laundry before most other people start showing up, I use these 3 hours to think, and in some cases overthink things that are going on in my world. I plot, plan and motivate myself to make something happen. During these three hours, I keep myself sane and inspire myself. When this time is over, I am a better person for myself, my family and those I encounter on a daily basis. As my wife tells me from time to time, I'm not a nice person when I don't get my time. How much personal time do you give yourself each week?

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Soda Free Summer: Halfway Point

At approximately 6:42pm on June 30th I drank a 20oz Mountain Dew Voltage. In the 32 days that have followed, I have not had a single, solitary ounce of a carbonated beverage. Inspired by a friend of mine who decided to undergo this challenge alone, I joined the "Soda Free Summer" challenge and convinced 8 of my friends and family members to do it as well. Going in, I thought it was going to be difficult, but it was definitely something I wanted to do. To my surprise, as I reach the halfway point of the challenge, I can honestly say that it hasn't been as difficult as I thought it was going to be. I haven't had the desire to drink a soda, not even at the July 4th cookout I went to. I find myself reading labels more carefully and finding decent alternatives. With one month left to go, (in the challenge) I think that if nothing else, I have learned a lot about myself and I am starting to pay more attention to what I am putting in my body. Will I have a soda when it's over? Definitely. I'm curious to see if I would even still enjoy the taste, or if it will become like hard liquor where I don't even care for it too much. Do I think I can make a lifestyle change to healthier options? Definitely. And long-term, that's better for me anyway.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Hell Hath No Fury . . .

We all have heard the old saying, "hell hath no fury like a woman scorned" and give credit to William Shakespeare for it, but did you know it actually derived from a longer and lesser known quote from William Congreve which reads "Heaven has no rage like love to hatred turned, nor hell a fury like a woman scorned." Regardless of which version of the quote you perfer, I was reminded of the validity of the statement earlier this week.

Earlier this week, the girlfriend of a friend of mine allegedly discovered that her boyfriend/husband of 19 years, her high school sweetheart, the man who took her virginity and the only man that she has been intimate with, had not just had an affair with a co-worker that had lasted for several months, but also fathered a child out of that situation (to go along with the two that they had together). Apparently this discovery was made by way of his facebook page or through his phone because she promptly hijacked his facebook page. Over the course of a week she proceeded to blast him, calling him every name in the book, posting the incriminating text messages, giving out information about the other woman and things like that. She also stated that she forwarded everything she had to both the other woman and his mother. And of course, with his phone in her possession and his facebook page under her control, nobody has been able to reach out to him. The situation reminded me of the time when I called off my engagement to "Guyana". I didn't even cheat on her and for the two months that followed, she bashed me on MySpace and hacked into my e-mail account sending messages to everyone in my address book (some of you reading this might remember that). Thankfully, my "true" friends rallied around me and helped me get through the situation, but this situation had me thinking. Is there are difference between a one-night stand and an affair? Have you been in a situation where you've been cheated on? How far did you go to hurt the person who hurt you? Or better yet, did you ultimately forgive the person? In my situation with "Guyana", she was bitter for years, but as time went on, I forgave her because I evolved into a better place. Doesn't mean I'll forget. I just learned from the situation and moved on. Hopefully my friend and his girl will as well.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Love That Chicken At Popeye's

The following happened to a friend of mine earlier this week. It makes you wonder about people sometimes. Customer service jobs of all sort are about one thing - CUSTOMER SERVICE. You never know who is on the other side of the service you are providing and in this case, the person involved belongs to a few high profile organizations who could not only have the employees involved fired, but have the location shut down. Read for yourself:

I just saw the commercial on television aboyut the new shrimp. I decided to go through the drive thru to order food. I ordered the butterfly shrimp basket and 1 wing. I was told that it would take a minute and that someone would bring it out to me when the order is ready.

I wheeled around to the front and waited for 15 minutes. I decided to call in the store. When an employee, who I now know is Denise picked up the phone. i asked " Hi, I am a customer from the drive thru and I ordered shrimp. did you guys forget about me (giggling)". The crew member Denise stated "well, if you wanted your food, you should have come in and not the drive thru". I was taken back immediately and stated "if I wanted to come in, I wouldnt have went through the drive thru". The crew member then hung up the phone.

I waited about a minute to gather myself and then went into the store. I asked to speak with a manager. NO ONE acknowledged me at ALL, no one. I asked again. Then the woman Denise stated "you need to wait, she is in the back". The manager then came up front. I asked her.. "did you just hang up on me?" she stated no, it was her (pointing to Denise). I asked Denise "why did you hang uo on it, that was very inappropriate and unprofessional". I was very upset yet still trying to keep my cool. Denise stated "YES, I hung up on you!!! Look at you, you are too fucking FAT, you dont need to be eating chicken anyway".

I was very taken back and was in shock. she begin to continue to curse very loud and embarrassed me in front of everyone in the store. I then said to the manager "she is very fucking unprofessional and this is what you allow to happen in your store". she began smirking. I then became very upset stating "I could not believe what is happening, this store is very ghetto and this isnt the end of me. Then Denise stated that she will "see" as in fight me outside. I took her up on her offer!!! I could not believe what just happened. The manager on duty told me to walk outside wit her and asked Denise to go to the back. When we walked outside the manager was rude as well. she told me that I was wrong... I asked her for what, you allowed her to hang up and curse and belittle me. The manager then turned around and walked away! I work in Human Resources and this is a shame to the popeyes brand!

I have called this complaint in and havent revieved a response from management. I even went online and submitted a complaint and still no response. !!! By the way, when I received my food, my shrimp were burnt!

This occured at the Reisterstown Road in Owings Mills on July 14th at 5:41pm

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Friends Come In The Strangest Places

As the old saying goes, "good friends make good lovers". As much as I'd like to test that idea out . . . I mean, I don't know if there's any truth to that, but since I have based all of my relationships on good friendships, I tend to agree with it. At the same time, logically speaking, you'd have to agree that the inverse of this statement is true, which means bad lovers make for bad friends. Being one of the few people who actually talk to most of his ex's and even considers some of them more than just casual acquaintances, I sometimes wonder if an ex can make for a good friend.

I was speaking to a friend earlier today. So was at a low because she found out that the person that she was dealing with was already in a relationship and she felt like a fool. As we continued talking, she said that her ex came over and provided a shoulder for her to cry on. I knew they still kept in contact because they have children together, but didn't know that after being divorced for a few years he had turned into her confidant and go-to guy. To get her mind off of her current circumstances, and to satisfy my own couriousity, I started asking about their friendship. She went on to tell me that the first year after the divorce she couldn't stand him. He would flaunt his new girlfriend in her face and still try to sleep with her at the same time. Then after a while, things started to change. He started coming to her with his problems and vice versa. Next thing you know they were good friends.

Like I said before, I think I'm in the minority when it comes to being friends with ex's, but at the same time, I think it's good to see that some people can overcome their bad relationship to be good friends. Then again, I think that if more people took the time to be friends before they become anything else the idea of being friends with an ex would become more common place. Then again, that's just this man's opinion.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

The Notebook . . . Live

When I first started dating my wife, one of the first things she wanted me to do was watch "The Notebook". I'll admit, it was a pretty good movie. Had me going at the end, but I figured stuff like that only happens in the movies (this coming from a hopeless romantic who loves romantic comedies). Little did I know, there was a relationship like that right under my nose.

Mr. & Mrs. Middleton are members of my church. Of course, with the age difference (He was in his 60's and she was in her 50's when I was born), I didn't know them well growing up. Even as I entered my 20's, I had only heard about them, and didn't get the chance to meet them. It wasn't until the last few years that I had the pleasure of getting to know them. When Mr. Middleton took ill, my wife's brother was his home attendent so we would here stories and sneak over for visits. When his situation worsened, Mr. Middleton was moved to a nursing home.

Mrs. Middleton was there every day from the beginnning of visiting hours to the end of visiting hours unless she had her own doctors appointment. That was about the only thing that was going to keep her away from her "daddy", as she called him. She spent so much time there, that she ended up selling their house and moving into the nursing home herself. And although they couldn't be in the same room, they had rooms right next to one another.

I went to see the Middleton's Father's Day weekend and it was a very humbling experience. Mrs. Middleton was just as vibrant and talkative as she always is and Mr. Middleton was still his cool, calm and collected self. Not saying much (maybe because of all the years of his wife not letting him get a word in), but letting you know he understands everything in his own way.

Sadly, Father's Day weekend would be the last time I saw the Middleton's. Mrs. Middleton passed last week. Her funeral was Wednesday morning. Mr. Middleton passed away this morning. Probably because his heart was taken away from him. When I heard about Mr. Middleton's passing it reminded me of the Notebook and assured me that true love still exists in this world.

Friday, July 13, 2012

It's Time . . . Again

Before my world got flipped, turned upside down four years ago, I had in mind the idea of starting my own business. Of course it was just an idea, and I had put nothing on paper at the time. I had only really gone as far as conceiving an idea and doing an initial search for a business plan writer (I can teach someone to write one, but don't feel confident enough to write one myself). I had never gone any further than that because the moment after I convinced myself it was time, my engagement was called off, and six months later, I lost my job. Now, I see myself finally getting some semblance of stability back in my life and I'm starting to think that there is no time like the present. What do they say? If not now, when. If not me, then who? Stay tuned. I'm sure a solicitation of prayers will be coming soon.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

The New Scarlett Letter

One downfall of not having cable is that you get subjected to some television shows that you otherwise wouldn't be watching. This spring, for me, I am sad to say that includes "The Bachelorette". Yes, until my recent discovery of "Master Chef" and "Hell's Kitchen", my television was on "The Bachelorette". I assure you it watched me more than I watched it, but it was something about this season that did catch my attention. For the first time in the history of the show, the bachelorette is a single mother, and the 20 Bachelor's that she had to choose from are showing America how difficult it is for a single mother to date in today's society.

My wife had a child six years before we started dating. As a matter of fact, 6 of the 7 women I was seriously interested in before I started dating my wife had children before I expressed interest in them. None of those children asked to be here and certainly didn't ask to be here in a situation in which their parents weren't together, but stuff happens. Should I hold that against the child, or the mother, or should I appreciate the mother even more for handling their business in spite of an absentee or deadbeat father the same way my mother did when she raised me?

Granted, it took me a while to get to this point, but there was a woman I was interested in a few years back, who had two children. Even though we never ended up getting serious, she made me realize that if you like a person, you must accept EVERYTHING about that person. A woman with children should not be seen as a deterent (unless you're just not into kids). Children are a blessing and they give just as much love back as the mother's you're dating.

I've been in two (official) relationships with women who had children and I've learned something. Children just want someone to love, Someone to be around, and someone to love their mother. Back when I was dating KC Masterpiece, her daughter and I bonded quickly. So much so that when I ran into them last year, she still remembered me. And when I started dating my wife, she was a little apprehensive about me meeting her son, but once we did meet, she said she had a few conversations with him and he was ok with her dating. Now, we are at a point where we have our own bond and that just makes the relationship between his mother and I even better.

It bothers me so much to see good women cast down upon like Hester Prynne in The Scarlett Letter just because she has a child. To be fair, it also bothers me when men who are actually doing right by their children are looked down upon just because they have children too. Those of you out there complaining about not being able to find a good woman, needs to look again. There are some single parents out there holding it down quite nicely and these women want/need love too. Don't knock it til you try it, you might just find what you're really looking for.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

What Would You Do Wednesday: Couriousity Killed The Cat

A friend of mine was married a few years back. Out of that marriage produced two beautiful children. Unfortunately, after a while, but individuals had developed wandering eyes. They both cheated and ultimately decided to end the marriage. The husband was arrogant with his cheating and went public with his side piece (who he eventually married) shortly after the divorce papers went in. The wife on the other hand, continued to be descret with her's for as long as she could. She almost had to since she was sleeping with a married man herself (although he was in an open marriage). Follow me so far? If not, it doesn't matter, that's not what this post is about.

Let's fast forward to two years after the marriage was over. The couple turns out to be better friends than spouse and even get intimate with each other every once in a blue moon for old time sake. One day, while they were having a conversation, the husband comes out and tells the wife that he know she had cheated on him because he went in her phone one day and found a video clip of an encounter that she had with someone. She continued to deny the affair thinking that it doesn't matter since they are divorced. Since she wouldn't admit it to him, he proceeded to forward her the video from his phone. Speechless, she admitted it, then asked why he was looking through her phone. That leads to today's questions.

The cheating aside, do you think its cool for someone in a relationship to look through the phone, e-mail account or facebook page of their partner? Has that ever happened to you? Have you ever gone looking for something in a partners phone and found what you were looking for? How did you handle it? I'll admit I'm guilty. When I was with "Guyana" she told me that she had taken some "pics" with one of her ex's. Me being me, I asked to see them. Of course she wouldn't let me see them. So, one day, while I was hanging out at her house, I tried to find them to no avail. Then again, that situation was slightly different because it was something we had talked about and she wouldn't have gotten into any trouble had I found them. I would have just enjoyed them for what they were. Anyway, is there any privacy in a relationship or should their be full disclosure. Inquiring minds want to know.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

TMI Tuesday: Fill In The Blanks


2. I would love to have a robot in my house to WASH DISHES because no one else ever does.

3. The older you get the more UNINHIBITED SEX you get.


5. My appetite for LEARNING can never be satisfied.

Bonus: If I were a hoarder, I would hoard NEWSPAPERS .

Thursday, July 5, 2012

I Got'cha Hook Up

So, our summer intern started on Monday. With it being a slow week, my co-worker and I spent most of Monday and Tuesday giving her the third degree. Comes to find out she is a very intelligent, rising junior in high school, who speaks 2 languages fluently, reads as a hobby, doesn't like rap music and doesn't have time for Facebook. In addition, she has a 4.3 on a 4.0 scale, plays soccer and runs track for her school. If she has it her way, she will go to Penn State, study pre-med, then come back to New York to go to Columbia University for Medical School. Besides all of that, she volunteers in the school library during the year, and is volunteering with us during the summer while maintaining a full time job. There's more, but I forgot it.

My co-worker was so impressed by this young lady that he uttered those dreaded words every child wishes their parents would never say, "you should meet my son". Of course I didn't think he was serious, at least until this afternoon. I was out of the office most of the morning. When I finally made it in, I went to my desk for 20 minutes then went back outside for lunch. When I returned with my lunch, I noticed a young boy in the clinic. I probably wouldn't have paid him any attention at all except for the fact that the pediatrician is off this week and I shouldn't be seeing any children until Monday. I brushed it off since he wasn't bothering anyone and went about the business of eating lunch. I came back from eating and he was still there, still not bothering anyone. About 4pm, he left, with my co-worker. At first I thought it was just a coincidence that they would leave at the same time, but then my other co-worker informed me that the kid was our co-workers son. I quickly turned to the intern and told her that he was serious about bringing his son to meet her. Have you ever had your parents try to hook you up with someone? Have you ever met someone and thought that they would be good for your son or daughter? Do you know anyone who has been in an arranged marriage? Do you think they even work? Inquiring minds want to know.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

TMI Tuesday: Public Participation

1. Have you ever shared sleeping accommodations with someone of the opposite sex without anything steamy happening?

Unfortunately, yes. Most recently was about 11 years ago. I was going to Baltimore on a weekend trip and a friend of mine said I could stay with her. Little did I know that she only had a one room apartment and no couch in her living room. On top of that, she had a full size bed so we didn't have much room, but we did sleep in the same bed without anything happening, not that I didn't want anything to happen, I just didn't want to be a rude guest.

2. Have you ever streaked, flashed, or otherwise partially or totally exposed yourself in public before (or after) an informal, unofficial gathering of people?

Never streaked or flashed before, but there was this one time I was out with a friend of mine. We had been drinking and took a walk through Central Park. Out of nowhere she asked if she could see what I was working with. I told her to go get it and sure enough she did. That's about as close as I have come to public exposure.

3. Have you had dates with multiple people in the same weekend (or consecutive nights or the same night) while not all of your dates were aware of your actions?

Sure did. On a different trip to Baltimore, I went out with one young lady on Friday night and another on Saturday night. Didn't see any reason either should have known about the other. We were all adults and each of them enjoyed their time with me.

4. What is the most “romantic” you have ever gotten in a movie theater?

I can honestly say that I have seen every movie that I have paid to go see with the exception of the second time I went to see "Old School". I'll just leave it at that.

5. Have you ever had sex when you knew a non-participating adult was watching?

Not knowingly, although I wouldn't be against it today.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Soda Free Summer

I am always up for a good challenge, especially if there's something nice waiting for me upon completion of the challenge. The other day, I was browsing Facebook and I saw that a friend of mine was soliciting support as she was about to begin a new challenge. After looking at the challenge she was about to undertake, I told her that not only would I support her, but I would take it with her. I then announced to my Facebook friends that I would be undertaking this challenge and within 24 hours 8 of my friends decided to undertake it with me (there's strength in numbers). So, starting today, and for the next 2 months (at least) I will be participating in Soda Free Summer. The challenge is to go from July 1 - September 1 without drinking any soda or energy drinks. Some of you may think that this is an easy challenge, but for me, this is definitely going to be a challenge. Thankfully, my wife is taking it with me so I know there won't be any temptations in the house. There is no reward awaiting me if I complete the task, but I am sure that the drastic decrease in my sugar intake will provide its own pleasant surprise by Labor Day. For those of you who want to join me, let me know in the comments. Those who would rather pass, I would still appreciate your support. I'll keep you posted on how things are going on a weekly basis. Today is day 1, which is sometimes the hardest day to finish. We shall see.

Operation 2012: Halftime Report

What do you know? 2012 has already reached its halfway mark. Operation 2012 is still in progress, but its time for another assessment. I didn't post an update for the month of May because I had a good feeling that my birthday month would feature way more nights out than I am used to. I actually ended up gaining 5 pounds during that month, but I quickly got back on the horse during the month of June. As you might remember, my goal for the year is to lose 25 pounds, or roughly 2 pounds a month. That means that by this time I should be down 12. As of my last weigh in, even after gaining 5 pounds in May, I am still down 8 for the year. More important than that, I feel better and people who see me on a regular basis are starting to notice a difference as well. I know I still have work to do, but having people encouraging me lets me know that I am on the right path and I look forward to kicking it up a notch this summer. How's your year going so far?

Saturday, June 30, 2012

30 Day Blog Challenge - Day 30: Legacy

What do I want to be remembered for? When my time on this earth is over, I want those that I leave behind to have fond memories of me. Whether it be a single moment or a lifetime of memories, I want a smile to come to their face when they think of me, or something that reminds them of me. I don't want anyone to have any bad memories of me (although, I'm sure a few ex's will hold on to those) and I definitely don't want anyone to have any regrets when it comes to me (whether it be things we did, moments we shared, or moments we didn't share). Last but not least, I want people to say that I was a good man, a good husband, a good father, a good friend, a child of God and their life was better because I was part of it for a little while. If that happens, then my life wasn't in vain.

Friday, June 29, 2012

30 Day Blog Challenge - Day 29: Misunderstanding

What do people misunderstand about me? I could write a book. I guess the thing that bothers me the most is the fact that people are slow to realize that I am not like every other guy and I hate being grouped as such. Yes, I have male tendencies. I occassionally think with the wrong head, I like sports, women and sex (not necessarily in that order). At the same time, there are more differences than similarities when it comes to me. For starters, I treat everyone differently and don't base my friendship with anyone on anything anyone else has told me. Just because you don't get along with someone doesn't mean that I won't get alone with that person. I don't judge anyone by their past. Nobody is perfect (especially me) so I won't cast any stones your way. If anything, I'll accept you as is. I don't ask anything of anyone that I can't/won't do myself. I am real, straight forward and as I get older, get tired of the games. You're either going to love me, or hate me. No time for middle grown. I could go on, but what's the point. If you've been reading my blog for years, or know me outside of the blogosphere, you know. If you just started reading, you'll know soon enough. Cream rises to the top and you'll soon see that I'm not like the rest.

30 Day Blog Challenge - Day 28: Love Language

Before writing this post I went and took the Love Language Assessment Test. I have taken it before, but its always good to see if things have changed over time. To my surprise, it has changed since the last time I took the assessment four years ago. Most of my adult life, I have been a Receiving Gifts guy, but based on the last assessment I took, I am now a Words of Affirmation guy with Reciving Gifts, Acts of Service and Physical Touch not too far behind. Quality Time finished a distant 5th, as I expected it to.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

30 Day Blog Challenge - Day 27: Favorite Body Part

What self-satisfying person came up with this particular topic? I never think about it. Been too busy admiring and appreciating the female anatomy to pay any attention to mine. I guess, in order to keep this post pure, I'll say that my legs are my favorite body part. They are toned (I hate squats, but they pay off big time) and have barely a hair on them (no, I have never shaved my legs). Now if I could just reward them by losing a little more weight and taking some pressure off of them, I'll be alright.

30 Day Blog Challenge - Day 25: Dinner Companion

If I could have dinner with anyone in history. . . the choices are endless. I truly couldn't narrow it down to one person, especially since (me being the difficult gemini that I am) the purpose of the dinner would change the person I wanted to enjoy a meal with. On top of that, I'm not too star struck either (except for that one time I met Egypt). Besides, President Obama, Cory Booker or Marty Markowitz there aren't any politicians I could think of that I'd want to converse over a meal with. No atletes unless its Hope Solo, Jennie Finch, Misty May or Candace Parker. No actors unless it's Pacino, Denzel, Sam Jackson or my celebrity crush, Sanaa Lathan. That might be it. Those last two would definitely provide for interesting dinner companions. Beyond that, I would rather just have dinner with someone who enjoys food and can provide a decent conversation and keep me stimulated.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

30 Day Blog Challege - Day 23: Hobbies

The following are my favorite hobbies (in no particular order):


It doesn't matter if it's playing or just listening, music is my drug (at least one o them). There is a song for every situation and sometimes songs can speak when we don't have the words.


When you have nothing left you have your memories an the best way to capture memories is on film. I haveenjoyed being behind the camera since I was very young. There was a time in which you never saw me without a camera. Whether its special occasions or scenery, a picture is truly worth a thousand words.


I went to Toronto when I was 10 and have loved to travel ever since. Going to different places alows you to learn about different cultures and makes you more aware of what is out there in the rest of the world. Whether for pleasure or to sitesee, I would suggestthat everyone get out of their comfort zone and see what the rest of the world has to offer.


I used to use writing to say the things I was afraid to say myself. A teacher once told me I have a very vivid imagination. From there I was hooked. Although, I don't do it as often as I used to (as is evident by this blog if nothing else), every so oten I get an itch and go old school and put pen to paper.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

30 Day Blog Challenge - Day 22: The Future

What is my 5 year, 10 year and 15 year plan? Over the years that question has gone from one I had no answer to to a question whose answer changes almost daily. With the recent changes in my personal life the answer seems to change almost daily. The 5 year plan is simple; DON'T GET FIRED. Since I work for the city, I become vested in the pension after 5 years (gotta secure financial security for the long term). During that same time, establish a nest egg, pay off bills and revisit my business plan.

The 10 year plan is all about establishing stability, deciding whether or not to move out of New York, buy a house and put serious work into making my dream come true, while assisting others to do the same.

The 15 year plan is all about making sure my finances are in order so that I can stop working for others and fully devote myself to my dreams. Of course there are things that will impact this and I am prepared for that, b ut these are my goals today.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

30 Day Blog Challenge - Day 21: Super Powers

If I could have one super power it would be invisibility. Sadly, I'd use this power selfishly **use your imagination**. The first thing I'd do would probably go and scare the crap out of some people. Beyond that, I'd do a lot of free traveling. Invisibility mean no ticket necessary. I'll keep quiet about the rest of my plans, but I would definitely enjoy myself.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

30 Day Blog Challenge - Day 20: 3 Childhood Memories

There wasn't much to write home to when it comes to my childhood; at least nothing that I'd want to reminisce about on this blog. I grew up. I woke up, went to school, did homework and went to sleep to do it again the next day. Picking 3 memories is difficult, but here goes:

1. Summers in North Carolina

Every year on the last day of school, my mother would pick me up and take me directly to the airport. A Piedmont Airlines flight would take me from either Kennedy or LaGuardia to Norfolk International in Virginia. Waiting for me to get off the plane would be either my brother or sister who had driven the 74 miles from my grandmother's house in Edenton, North Carolina to get me. For the next 9 weeks I'd work in a tobbacco field, play softball and go fishing with my brother in small town USA. Those summers were rough on a city kid, but as I grew up, I came to appreciate them.

2. Family Road Trips to North Carolina

Some times the trip is just as fun or more fun than the destination. Riding up and down Highway 13 through Delaware, Maryland and Virginia and across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge provided for some good memories growing up. Whether it be 10 of us squeezed into a stationwagon or the many "we should not be going this fast" speeding tickets., looking back on it, it was all laughs at this point.

3. Backyard Bar-B-Que's

Food, folks and fun. It was a slogan for McDonald's back in the day but it was also the best way to describe a cookout for my family. Cards, food, and brown liquor music (not to mention the brown liquor itself) was the order of the day. I wish someone could have recorded some of the antics that went down at these events. . . then again, I'm probably glad they didn't.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

30 Day Blog Challenge - Day 19: If I Could Live Anywhere

I the United States, of all the places I've been so far, I think I would most like to live in Southern Maryland. Having grown up in New York City most of my life, I have reached a point in which I am ready to leave the Big Apple. I'm a city boy at heart and always will be, but there comes a time in every man's life where he needs to make grown up decisions. Leaving the city is definitely in the best interest of me and my family and it is something I am in the process of working on as we speak. So much so that I have the day January 17, 2017 circled on my calendar because that is the date in which I get fully vested into the city's pension program and will begin my search for a new home in Maryland. Honorable Mention goes to Upper Darby, Pennsylvania

Monday, June 18, 2012

30 Day Blog Challenge - Day 18: Forgiveness

There used to be a time in my life where I held a lot of grudges and didn't forgive anyone for anything, but as I grew spiritually, I learned that forgiveness is necessary for personal growth. That being said, if I had to pick the most difficult thing I had to forgive, it would have to be when I finally decided to forgive my father for his lack of parenting while I was growing up. I say that not so much because it hurt the most, but because it hurt the longest. I was damn near 30 when it happened, and although we will probably never have each other on speed dial, I figured that the best way to get past it is to look it in the face and deal with it instead of running from it. After doing it I felt as if a weight has been lifted from on my shoulders, and I vow that any child that I am fortunate enough to father would never feel the same way about me as I did about my father at one point.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

30 Day Blog Challenge - Day 17: One Thing I Wish I Were Better At

This is easy. The one thing I wish I was better at would have to be music. In my life I have played the piano, the drums and the saxaphone, but I gave all of those up at various times because I didn't want to put in the work. As I get older, I know wish I had done more with each. Not saying I would have gone professional or anything, but definitely wish I had the ability to just pick up one of them and get in a jam session every once in a while. I also wish I could sing better than I do. Then again, even if I did, I'd be too shy to want to sing in public.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

30 Day Blog Challenge - Day 16: Greatest Accomplishments

1. College Graduation

Not just because I was the first of my mother's children and the second person in my family (mother's side) to graduate from college, but because a weaker person might not have made it had they had to go through what I went through. The road was rough, but I didn't give up.

2. Being more successful than my parents

Not that I had an unattainable goal, but moreso because this current generation isn't expected to be as successful as their parents. That's a trend that certainly needs to be reversed quick, fast and in a hurry.

3. Being a mentor

I was fortunate to have 5 of the best mentors a guy could have, so to be able to instill in someone else what they instilled in me means a lot to me. My first mentee is 2 weeks away from his high school graduation and I'm really starting to feel what it means to be a mentor. I like it.

4. No jail time.

A black man in New York City is born with 2 strikes against him and not only is he not supposed to see his 34th birthday like I did a few weeks ago, he's also supposed to see the inside of a jail cell once or twice in his life (if you believe what THEY say). I am glad to be the exception to the rule, but I look forward to the day that the exception is the expectation.

Friday, June 15, 2012

30 Day Blog Challenge - Day 15: If I Were An Animal

My first answer would be a penguin, but I don't like cold weather. My second choice would be some kind of bird and my third choice would be a panda. I think those three animals kind of fit my personality. Really not trying to bother nobody, just want to go about their daily routines. No enemies, few haters, but more fans than anything else.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

30 Day Blog Challenge - Day 14, 2012: Strengths

1. I am a great listener.

I'd say I'm the strong, silent type. But just because I don't say much doesn't mean I don't listen. I hear and listen to (there is a difference) everything that is said to me whether it be verbal or non-verbal. People say a lot with other parts of their bodies other than their mouths and I make sure I let people know that I'm paying attention to EVERYTHING.

2. Non-judgmental

The Bible says "he who is without sin, cast the first stone". How can I be a friend and pass judgment on things that my friends have done when I know that I haven't been and will never be an angel myself. I accept the people in my life for who they are and won't judge them on anything they tell me. At the same time, I hold them to the same standard and hope they don't judge me either.

3. Think outside the box Most questions have more than one right answer, and I like to find the less common answer. Just because things have been done a certain way for years doesn't mean things have to stay that way. If things change, they'll just be different.

4. Compassionate

In comparrison to most guys, I'm probably the most compassionate person you know. I try to be supportive of my friends in good times and even more so in bad times. If there is any reasonable thing I can do for a friend, I am down for doing it, especially if it brings even a temporary smile to their face.

5. Generous

I've been burned a few times because of this one, but I still like taking care of people who take care of me. That will never change. Birthday cards, unexpected Christmas gifts, just because shout out, favors, you name it. I understand that a lot has been given to me out of generousity and the only thing I can do is pay it forward, starting with the people in my life. The closer you are to me, the more I'll do for you.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

30 Day Blog Challenge - Day 13: Weaknesses

Am I being interviewed without noticing? That definitely sounds like an interview question. Let me see:

1. I don't take criticism too well.

I have been working on this over the years and have definitely become better at it, but it is still something I sruggle with. Chalk it up to my sensitive side.

2. I don't make eye contact when I'm nervous.

Hell, I'm 6'6", I rarely make eye contact anyway. Ask my wife and she'd tell you that if eyes were breasts and vice versa I'd make eye contact with every women I meet (I'm a breasts man, but I can't be THAT bad). The downfall of being a loner most of my life. The inronic thing is that I LOVE public speaking.

3. I don't speak up as much as I should.

I have never been one to rock the boat so I generally just went with the flow instead of speaking up and taking charge.

4. I wear my emotions on my sleeve.

I don't think I could ever be a professional poker player. I have too many tells. When I'm happy, it shows, when I'm not, GET OUT THE WAY.

5. I can be easily distracted at time.

I definitely get bored easily and the right distraction could lead to a very unproductive day.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

TMI Tuesday: The Most Times

We want to know what thing you’ve done the most times.

1. What sex position have you been in the most times?

Not that I was paying attention, but knowing me it would probably be a neck and neck race between missionary and having a woman ride me. Those would definitely be the top two. I can also tell you what would be last on the list, but that has more to do with not finding too many willing partners than lack of desire or enjoyment on my part.

2. What book have you read …? I don't read a lot of books, let alone reading them more than once, but I do know what book I have read the most. I have read Ralph Ellison's "Invisible Man" on 3 seperate occasions.

3. What movie have you watched …?

Hands down, "Coming To America". How else would I have most of the movie memorized?

4. In the last week, who have you texted … ? (no names, list the relationship or type of person)

By number of text, it would be one of my better friends in Maryland. One of only people that I text on a daily basis.

5. In the last week, what food have you eaten …?

I'm pretty sure it's chicken. I think I find a way to eat chicken at least once a day.

6. Today, which website have you visited …?

I check facebook, hotmail, yahoo and espn every 15 minutes, but I easily spend more time on Facebook than any other site.

7. When dining out, where have you eaten …?

Sadly, I'm gonna say McDonald's.

8. Which sex toy have you used …?

This week, none, but in the past, toys have definitely been a welcomed addition to the bedroom (or any other room where things go down).

Bonus: Is there something you’d love to go back and relive in your sexual past?

Sure is, but that's another story for another day . . . MAYBE.

30 Day Blog Challenge - Day 12: A Typical Day In The Life

Sadly, my Monday - Friday is pretty boring: 6:30am - Wake Up
7:00am - Breakfast
8:00am - Leave for Work
8:30am - Arrive at Work
1:30pm - Lunch
4:30pm - Leave Work
Things vary a little bit after work, depending on the day: Mondays my wife and I have dinner with her mom and we are usually there from 6 - 8pm.
Tuesdays and Wednesdays I usually have one or two meetings at the church so I usually grab something to eat then be at the church from 7pm - 9:30pm
Thursdays are truly my only day to relax. I'm home by 5pm. Have dinner at 6:30pm. Watch Jeopardy at 7, then spend quality time with the Mrs. until its time for bed.
Friday is date night so that schedule varies depending on what we are doing that night.

Monday, June 11, 2012

30 Day Blog Challenge - Day 11: 10 Pet Peeves

In no particular order:

1. The questions "Can I ask you a question?" and "May I ask you a question?"

2. The non-word "Conversate"

3. Being late without calling.

4. Kids menus

5. People who complain about how long they have been waiting for the bus, but don't have their fare ready.

6. Cheek piercings

7. Skinny jeans

8. The media

9. The fact that radio stations play the same 5 or 6 songs all day long

10. People who are non-supportive yet call themselves friends.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

30 Day Blog Challenge - Day 10: Most Embarrassing Moment

Where do I start? If you can't laugh at yourself, who can you laugh at. Trying to write this post has brought up a few memories that I'd like to forget. If I had to go with one, it would be this one:

I was in the 6th grade. To get to school, I had to take three buses (or two buses and walk). The intersection in which I switched from the first bus to the second bus was (and still is) one of the busiest intersections in Queens. Normally, all I had to do was get off bus A, cross the street and get on bus B. On this particular day, I was rushing because bus A was running late. When we got to the transfer point, bus B was already there and was just about to get a green light and leave. I just off of bus A and ran across the street, when all of a sudden I felt a great breeze. I looked down and my pants were around my ankles. Apparently, I didn't fasten the button on my pants all the way. Needless to say, I didn't want to get on bus B because everyone had seen what happened, as did all the people on bus A who were quick to remind me the next day. For the next couple of weeks, the trip to school was a pretty embarrassing one.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

30 Day Blog Challenge - Day 9: 3 Influential People

I have been fortunate in my life. Where I was lacking in one area, I had more than enough to compensate for it. I was blessed with people who directly or indirectly helped to mold me to the person I am. It's hard to choose just three people to highlight, but I'll try.

The first, or should I say first two people I could think of (outside of my mother) would have to be a couple that took me and treated me like their own from the time I was 11 (and even still today). At the time I first met them, they were youth leaders at my church, but over the next 23 years they would become mentors, role models, co-workers and for one 7 month period, direct supervisor. One even went as far as to co-officiate my wedding. This power couple have each individually watched over and cared for me at times when I didn't even want to care for myself. Now, I find myself doing for my mentees some of the same things they were doing for me. I owe them more than I could ever repay so instead of trying to pay them back, I pay it forward as often as I can.

The other person who has influenced me would probably say that she did nothing if I ever told anyone in public and that's what makes her special (among other things). Being around this person automatically makes you want to make yourself a better person and she is always quick to tell me that she has noticed a difference from the time we met to now. A good friend is someone you can learn from and someone who accepts you as you are and supports you as you get better. I don't have many of those, but I am glad she is one of them.

I have more than 3 people who have influenced me and I could write about these people all day long, but if my actions don't properly respect them, then I have learned nothing from them. I can only hope that as I learn from them, someone sees something in me that they might one day thank me for influencing them. Contrary to what Charles Barkley thinks, we are all role models to someone.

Friday, June 8, 2012

30 Day Blog Challenge - Day 8: 5 Passions has 5 definitions for the word passion and 4 of them relate to sexual desire. Today, I'll actually focus on the other definition, which is "any powerful or compelling emotion or feeling, as love or hate.". With that being said, I am passionate about music, food, life, travel and adventure. No need in expanding on any of those because they are pretty self explanitory. Each have and will continue to be what gets my heart pumping each day and I wouldn't know what to do without one of them.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

30 Day Blog Challenge - Day 7: Dream Job

There are three different answers to this question. The first is the dream job I wanted growing up. the second is the dream job I wanted before I got married. The third is the dream job I want now.

Growing up in the 1980's in New York City, only one thing mattered in the summer, the New York Mets. I have been a Mets fan for as long as I could remember. So much so that I would copy all of their batting stancing on the playground (didn't care too much for Gary Carter's stance, thought it was too stiff), and it was Howard Johnson who made me want to be a switch hitter. When we played on the street, everyone wanted to play the outfield or pitch because of Doc and Daryl, but me, I wanted to play first base. I figured I would be the next great first baseman after Hernandez retired. So much so that I made my mother by me a first basemen's mitt when I was in 5th grade. Sadly, that dream died a slow death in junior high school when I was reluctantly converted to catcher and was buried in high school when I couldn't even make the school team.

As I let the dream of being a Met go (even though I still play first base in as many pick-up games as I can get in), my next dream job came to me when I was in college. With all the running back and forth up I-95 I did while I was in college, I started to wrap my head around being a Greyhound Bus Driver. On one particular trip from Baltimore to New York, a driver told me how his day went. He'd wake up in Baltimore, take his kids to school. Get to the station in time to drive the 12:05pm express bus to New York. The bus gets to New York around 3:30pm and he runs errands in NYC and comes back in time to drive the 7pm bus back to Baltimore. He's in Baltimore by 10:45 and in his house by 11:30. To me, that seemed great. No two days the same, you meet different people every day and you travel. Sign me up. Would have helped if I had a license at the time.

Today, my dream job is to be the CEO of a successful Not For Profit business that focuses on improving the lives of others. Anything from welfare to work projects to community development to skill development. So many people have done things for me and the best thing I could do to repay them would be to pay it forward. I do it now to the best of my ability with my friends, but I hope to do it on a larger scale one day.