Thursday, October 08, 2009

Still going.....

Ever since injuring my shoulder, I have not stepped foot into the gym. Despite losing 5 pounds of muscle, I'm functioning well physically. I do miss challenging my body and chatting with my gym buddies. I don't know exactly when I'll return. Hopefully before the end of the year.

Editing is an exhausting endeavor. Try as I might, I rarely meet my daily quota (30 pages). Unlike reading, editing is an active process. I do not have a life right now. I keep telling myself that the effort will be fruitful. Although this is my third round of editing, I am still making corrections. It's amazing how much the eye can overlook.

How have y'all been? Feel free to leave me updates. Again, Facebook is the easiest way to communicate with me. Be blessed, as always.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

I'm still here

It's almost been a month since I last blogged. Since then, I've suffered a minor shoulder injury that has prevented me from doing any upperbody exercises; therefore, I have not been doing ANY exercises. However, the stiff shoulder has been a blessing in disguise. Anyone who reads the blog consistently knows that I have written another novel. Well, I am finishing my second round of editing, which is a SLOW and DELIBERATE process. You literally make eye contact with EVERY WORD. Since intensifying my efforts, I have made tremendous progress; I should be finished by the first week in September. Once the corrections are made, it's off the the good ole Library of Congress.

Therefore, it is unlikely that I will be blogging regularly. However, I am on Facebook daily. Add me as a friend if you'd like to maintain consistent contact with me. I truly hope everyone is doing well.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

I'm good

I need another vacation. If my life remains as it is for another two months, I will likely visit my friend in expensive-ass (so I've been told) California. Oh, how I want to see the Pacific, stroll down the Walk of Fame, visit the Castro in San Francisco, and take pictures while holding chocolate-covered, penis-shaped macaroons. It's going to be fabulous.

I am making tremendous progress with my manuscript; it will be a complete Word document by the end of the week. If any of you are writers or plan to write anything longer than 10 pages, please take this little piece of advice: Type as you write. Otherwise, you will end up with over 100 pages (front and back) to transcribe. It was not fun. For those of you who do not generate hard copies of your documents, do what you do. BTW: I'm seriously considering self-publishing.

Let's see. I'll be getting my annual physical this week, and I anticipate receiving stellar results. I'm still going to the gym on a regular basis. There's this one dude who I think is a total cutie. He, like a lot of the gusy, ALWAYS wears his I-Pod. Aside from the usual head-nod and occasional "sup," I don't interact with him at all. I have not invested too much emotional energy because I am certain he is heterosexual. He's nice to glance at (from all angles; thank God for mirrors). My little brother tells me that I'll have more luck if I go to L.A. Fitness or hang out at Atlantic Station. I love "the girls," but I hate restricting myself to gay-only areans.

Manuscript, work, gym, physical. I think that's about it. I put some new tunes on the site for you guys. Oh, does anyone know whatever happened to this young dude named Aaron who used to have a blog titled "Industrial Love"? A few months ago, he left a message on Twitter that stated he was going to kill himself. Although I tried to reach out to him, he never responded. I hope he's ok.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

An Evening of NeoSoul

Where do I start? I got to the Tabernacle about an hour before the concert was scheduled to begin. The venue was definitely smaller than I thought it would be. Standing against a pole, I scoped the place out and observed the people in the room. To say that "family" was in the building would be an understatement; we were well represented. The straight folks were in attendance as well. One couple stood right in front of me and just kissed (repeatedly) for no reason. It was cute.

Anthony David did a good job. I had no idea he was from Georgia. Despite not having followed his career, I recognized at least three of the songs he sang, including "Words," "I'm a Good Man," and "Georgia Girl." All of the musicians were on point, including the guitarist, who wore a pair of jeans that had HUGE pieces of material missing; I don't think he was wearing underwear.

Ledisi. That woman is no joke. Dressed in a canary yellow, knee-length, layered, spaghetti-strapped dress (I think I covered everything), she took to the stage and put in work. She is extremely energetic, even while wearing a pair of red high heels. Not believing the crowd was into the performance, she took of her shoes, ventured into the audience, and made folks dance. Of all of the folks in the house, those in the balcony were the least enthused; they just sat there and looked at her. Not one to waste time, she gave the stiff folks the "I ain't got time for you" look and kept it moving.

The woman has a beautiful voice. Additionally, she does not exert a lot of energy or strain to hit the appropriate notes. Unlike some singers, you won't see veins popping out of her neck and forehead. She also does a lot of improvisation and scatting. It was easy for me to see that she was heavily influenced by old-school R&B, gospel, and jazz. Oh, she also did a little preaching. Did y'all know that the song "I Think of You" is about God? I so didn't. However, the lyrics should have been a dead giveaway: Everywhere that I go, every day and every night. I think of you. You're the air that I breathe, you're the love of my life. I think of you."

After two wardrobe changes and a few more songs, it was time to go. I know she's going to be in Dallas next. If you're in the area, GO TO THE SHOW.

Speaking of neosoul, I finally discovered who sings this song I hear on the radio periodically. Enjoy.

"On the Ocean," by K'Jon

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Ledisi in Concert

Ledisi will be performing at the Tabernacle (Atlanta, Georgia) on Friday, June 19, 2009 at 8:00 P.M. I personally will be attending. Tickets can be purchased here.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

NY Trip: Final Installment

I never visited the World Trade Center. Ever. Perhaps I, as a native New Yorker, always believed that the towers would always be there. Additionally, I never had the confidence to explore the city. In any event, on May 27th, my sister and I rode the E Train all the way to lower Manhattan. Emerging from the subway, we observed that area where the towers once stood was completely fenced off. After following the crowd to an information center, we were directed to the 9-11 Memorial Museum.

For some reason, I was not saddened looking at the artifacts, such as a window from one of the hijacked planes, a steel beam, and the pictures of the missing/lost. The mood was very respectful. The replica of the towers was very nice. Additionally, items -expressing grief/sorrow/solidarity- from all over the world were displayed on the walls. For people who are more sentimental, they have boxes of tissues all over the place. Downstairs, they have an area where people can write messages onto cards. The cards are placed into a box and eventually stored in binders, which are available for review.

When we emerged from the museum, the sun was shinging and the temperature had inceased by about 10 degrees. Hopping back on the E Train, we transferred to the F Train, bought overpriced McDonalds, and ate in Washington Square. From there, we caught the 1 Train and rode to Christopher Street. Having never been to the West Village, I instinctively knew to look for the piers. While I was removing my jacket, this older black man looks at me and said "I know where you're going. Don't worry. They're all down there." As we proceeded down Christopher Street, we stopped at an intersection and saw none other than Mr. Bruce Willis. I kid you not. He was in a black Navigator with tinted windows. The windows were rolled down, of course. All I could say was "Oh, shit, that's Bruce Willis." My sister was as dumbfounded as I was. He just laughed and repeated what I said. The light turned green before I could take a picture.

Aside from me having to check three lesbians for hitting on my sister ("She still got a fat ass"), nothing really interesting happened at the pier. People were jogging, exercising, dancing, and enjoying the day. From what I hear, the area doesn't really start popping until the night. By then, we were on our way to Battery Park.

Determined to catch a close glimpe of Lady Liberty, we rode the 1 Train to its final destination: South Ferry. Hopping on the Staten Island Ferry (which is free), we stood near the open windows and took as many pictures as we could. It was crazy being surrounded by all of that water. After staying in Staten Island for 15 minutes, we returned to Manhattan and rode the trains back to Long Island.

I spent the remaining four days hanging out with my dad and visiting a few family members. I even went back to the fast-food restaurant I worked at when I was in high school. Three of the people who worked with me from 1993-1995 were still there. I even kicked it with the dude who took my best female friend to his prom; he's gay. Before I knew it, it was time for me to head back home. Oh, my favorite cousin, the one I stayed with for two days, had the nerve to call me Saturday morning and say she couldn't get me to the airport. Fortunately, my uncle got me there with plenty of time to spare.

I don't know when I'll return to NY; probably sooner than I expect. My next planned destination is San Francisco. I hope to go in August. Stay tuned.

P.S. I am really feeling this new Raphael Saadiq (sp) song.

"Never Give You Up," by Raphael Saadiq ft. Stevie Wonder and C.J. Hilton

Tuesday, June 09, 2009


Y'all already know how I feel about gospel music. In 2004 or 2005, I heard this song while I was on my way to work. I don't remember the station, but this song was the last one they played before going off the air each day. On one particular morning, feeling helpless and certain nothing positive would develop from my existence, I meditated on the song's lyrics and started bawling. Right there on I-285. I didn't care who saw me. By the time I got to work, I was good.

Try as I might, I was never able to determine the song's origin, until today. This, in my opinion, is one of the most powerful gospel songs ever written. Enjoy!

"Closer," by Lamar Campbell ft. Spirit of Praise

Sunday, June 07, 2009

More on my trip to NY

Sunday morning. I take a shower and get dropped off at my grandmother's house. When I walk up the stairs, my dad is standing by the sink washing dishes. The look on his face clearly demonstrates that he did not know I had made the trip. Yes, some black folks know how to keep a secret. Despite not seeing each other in over a decade, our greeting is rather anticlimactic, as my dad is not a touchy-feely guy. No crying or sobbing. Just a quick, powerful hug. After greeting my grandmother, uncle, and aunt, I sat at the kitchen table, ate breakfast, and filled everyone in on what I had been doing during the past seven years.

A few hours later, I asked my dad if he wanted to go for a walk, hoping to divulge my sexual orientation as quicky as possible. Under a perfectly blue sky, we walked up and down blocks and talked about a myriad of issues. I never blamed him for his absence or asked if he wished he had made wiser decisions. Simply listening to how intelligently he spoke proved that he had matured immeasurably. Aside from my propensity to use profanity, there were no major disagreements. It was cool to be able to talk to speak to him as an equal.

The next day, Memorial Day, assumed the family barbeque would be held at my grandmother's house. Wrong. You see, my grandmother does not enjoy cooking out, although she cooks three meals every day. So, I accompanied my cousin to a family friend's house in Uniondale. Eating more pork and processed foods in one day than I had in the past four months, I reveled in the loud music, hollering children, and cursing.

On Tuesday, I decided it was time for me to take my sister into the city. Stopping by Old Navy and a store that sold inexpensive menswear (it was only 52 degrees; he had left our jackets in Georgia), we walked to the bus terminal, bought two fun passes (unlimited bus/train rides for $7.50), and hopped on the N6 bus, headed for Queens. Ten minutes into the ride, a man and woman board the bus and claim to have insufficient funds. Unwilling to leave the bus, the driver threatens to contact the police. Having read about a driver in Brooklyn who was killed under similar circumstances, I remained silent and hoped for a peaceful resolution. In typical New York fashion, people began demanding that the driver permit the non-paying passengers to board. One man requested they get off the bus. As the woman continued to insult the driver, a passenger rushed to the front of the bus and paid the husband's fare. Simultaneously, we took up a collection and paid for the husband.

Aside from a little cutie trying to mack to my child, nothing of significance transpired for the remainder of the ride. Getting off at 179th Street and Hillside Avenue, we entered the subway, got on the train, and rode it until we reached 63rd Street and Lexington Avenue. Not seeing any signs directing us to the 6 Train, a man informed us that the train was located three blocks downtown. Leaving the subway, we navigated through the narrow, somewhat crowded streets and arrived at the entry to the 6 Train.

Grand Central Station is huge. While first-time tourists took pictures, we were directed to the restoooms by a cautious, female police officer. As I hesitantly approached her, she signaled me not to come too close too soon. Anyway, the lower level of the station smelled like stale air, piss, and food. Yes, folks ate their food and engaged in conversations with abandon. Stepping onto the street, we were directed to 1st Avenue by two friendly workers. Although we could have taken any of the buses, we walked along the streets and took in the sights. Once we got to the United Nations building, I discovered that I had left the spare batteries at my cousin's house. So, we treked back to Staples and bought new ones. Back at the UN, we took pictures, passed through security, and took a look inside.

I really enjoyed observing my sister's response, especially when we saw a group of people we wrongly assumed were from China. The woman, dressed in her native clothing, agreed to take a picture with my sister. It was priceless.

Despite the cold, windy, and sometimes rainy (light drizzle) conditions, we headed back to GCC. First, however, we stopped by a vending station and bought a container of almonds for $2.00. The prices were so reasonable. You could buy a week's worth of fruits for less than $10.00. Anyway, we caught the 6 (headed uptown), got back on F (headed downtown), and arrived at 42nd Street. Grabbing pizza and Snapple beverages, we ate in Bryant Park, an oasis of tranquility and calmness. Afterwards, I forced my baby to ride on Le Carrousel. After taking picures at the New York Public Library, we headed across the street to an H&M store, where I saw a delicious specimen. It was sheer torture watching him disappear as I rode down the escalator.

Thoroughly exhausted, we hopped back on the F Train and headed back to Long Island.

Monday, June 01, 2009

NY Trip_Volume 1

People often say that going home is a difficult proposition for anyone who has been away from the fold for an extended period of time. Filled with a little bit of anxiety, I parked my car at an off-site park-and-ride place and rode the shuttle -with my mom and sister- to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. Checking-in my baggage with the curbsite skycap ($15/bag!) who initially claimed that I was not listed on the flight, we nagivated through security and parted ways on the train, as they were flying out of a different concourse. I made it to the appropriate departure gate with a little under two hours to spare.

Despite the dreary weather, I anticipated what my vacation/family reunion would be like. Ignoring the background noise, I read a little of Marvelyn Brown's book (see homepage). Getting hungry at about 8:15 P.M. (the flight was scheduled to depart at 9:15), I ordered food from a restaurant that sold cheese steaks and chicken fingers. Settling into my seat, I ate and watched the Nuggets-Lakers game.

Before I knew it, it was 8:50. Walking back to the gate, I noticed that nearly everyone had already boarded the plane. Fearful of missing the flight, I handed the attendant my ticket and hauled ass to the plane, chastising myself for forgetting that boarding usually begins 30 minutes BEFORE takeoff. Finding a place to store my carry-on, I sat in an aisle seat and watched the safety video. Buckled in and instructed on how to respond in the event of an emergency, I read more of my book and watched an episode of Seinfeld (without sound, since I refused to pay $2 for a headset).

Arriving at LaGuardia Airport, I got my bag and was accosted by numerous cabbies who wanted to know if I needed a ride. Walking outside and taking in a breath of that good ole' NY air, I called my favorite cousin (Monique), who was already waiting on me. Throwing my bags in the trunk, we hopped on the Grand Central and headed to Long Island. Looking at the buildings that surround the area, I looked at her and said "I haven't seen projects in such a long time."

Before I knew it, we were in Hempstead. Depsite the darkness, I was very aware of my surroundings. Arriving at Monique's apartment, I tossed my bags in my little cousin Eric's room and helped her straighten up. We talked, cleaned, and listened to gospel music until about 2:00 A.M. After ensuring that my uncle had retrieved my sister and mother from JFK, I brushed my teeth, laid across Eric's bunk bed (bottom, of course) and went to sleep.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Back from NY!

I had a blast. It was soo good to catch up with family and friends who I have not seen in over seven years. I hit the city so hard (with my baby sister, of course) that I had to sleep in for a day. I definitely have to visit more often; at least every two years. Anyhow, I'll post a blog about that later. For now, I want to post a video that I have fallen in love with. I know some folks don't agree with my decision to post videos depicting gospel artists, but I don't care. As I've said before, the messenger, in many cases, is not as important as the message. Enjoy!

"God in Me," by Mary Mary

Friday, May 15, 2009

Annie (Don't Wear no Panties)

Erykah Badu is the shit! Her creativity and willingness to abandon convention pemit her to create one-of-a-kind music. However, a lot of her stuff is not played on major radio stations. Aside from Baduizm, none of her other cds have received much attention. As we are inclined to purchase music that receives a lot of airplay, I didn't purchase Mama's Gun until a few years ago. Man, I was blown away.

One day, while watching Ms. Badu perform on VH1-Soul, I heard a song that I thought was a joke. As always, the beats and instrumentation were on point, but the lyrics had me in stitches. Nobody believed that she'd actually written a song about a woman (herself) who doesn't wear underwear. So, here it is.

"Annie (Don't Wear No Panties)," by Erykah Badu
Erykah Badu - Annie (Don't Wear No Panties)

Saturday, May 09, 2009

What I've been up to...

Not much, actually. Aside from working and working out, I have been reading a lot more lately. Right now I'm reading The Naked Truth: Young, Beautiful, and (HIV) Positive by Marvelyn Brown. Additionally, I'm reading a book titled Jocks, which consists of a series of stories about gay high school and college athletes. Speaking of books, I am trying to get mine ready for the copyright office. It's interesting when you revisit something you have stepped away from. I don't mean to toot my own horn, but my writing is damn good. I can't wait to see it on the shelves in bookstores nationwide. If only I could stick to my dictation schedule.

I'm also going on vacation later this month. I have not decided whether I want to go to San Francisco or New York. I have not been back to the Big Apple since 2002. I'll probably head on to my hometown and visit my family members, especially my father, who I have not seen since about 1996 (give or take a year). It will be interesting to see how we respond to each other. From conversations we've had, I get the feeling he is expecting me to behave as I did when I was a teenager, which is not going to happen. My biggest concern, however, is how he will respond when I acknowledge my sexual orientation. From what my mom and sisters have told me, he's curious as to why I'm not dating a woman. Actually, a lot of my family members want to know what I've been up to since I've been in the "Dirty South." Although, in my opinion, everyone always thought I'd develop into a homo, I was never "out" to anyone in NY. It will indeed be interesting to see how everything goes down. I'm sure he'll be disappointed.

Aside from that, the one and only Losojosnuevos is doing well. I'm still not dealing with Kindheart too much. I think it would be too painful to attempt to be friends after experiencing intimate moments (which I enjoyed). He's called me twice this week, but I haven't returned his call; there's really not much to say. Like James Ingram said "There's just no easy way to break somebody's heart." I'll continue to pray that he will find someone who will honor his positive attributes.

I'll try to blog a little more often. Have a wonderful weekend, y'all.

"Betch'll Never Find Another," by Chantay Savage

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Better Days

I just finished reading a book about the Rwanda genocide. Titled Left to Tell, the book chronicles the author's life before, during, and after the event that claimed the lives of nearly 1 million Tutsis. More than simply an autobiographical account of the Rwandan Holocaust, Immacule Ilibagiza chronicles her journey to forgiveness, faith, and self-actualization. I asked myself many questions once I finished reading the last page: Could I have endured living (silently) in a cramped bathroom with seven other people for three months? Would I have had the fortitude to bury the remains of my slaughtered loved ones months after their demise? Could I have faced and forgiven their murderers? It is truly an amazing story.

Deplorable events can test the will of the most faithful. However, I have come to understand the importance of not becoming consumed by the evil deeds that can befall any of us. More importantly, anyone who wishes to enjoy the experience of living on planet Earth must be resilient and internalize the belief system that there will always be better days ahead.

"Better Days," by Dianne Reeves

Friday, April 24, 2009

Who's Got it Worse in the LGBT Community?

I don't mean to be biased or anything, but I believe my lesbian sisters are likely to experience LESS hostility than gay men, bisexuals, and transgendered people. Whether it's looking at hate crime statistics or just the overall societal perception, lesbians seem to fare better. With the exception of Sakia Gunn, I do not recall hearing or reading about any lesbians (in the United States) being attacked or killed. Pondering the rationale for my observation, I can only surmise that the reason for the increased hostility toward gay men is as follows. Perceived heterosexual men perpetuate the vast majority of hate crimes. As men are conditioned from an early age to not strike women, the cultural expectation overrides their desire to seek retribution against lesbians. Further, men look stupid when they attack females, regardless of sexual orientation. From what I've read, men are more likely to react negatively (or violently) toward lesbians after their sexual advances are rebuffed.

Bisexuals are also characterized negatively. Often seen as "straddling the fence," their existence is used to refute the possibility that sexual orientation is a genetic, hard-wired attribute, leading to increased vilification from WITHIN the LGBT community.

I cannot end this post without acknowledging my transgender brothers/sisters. They, of all people, experience extreme prejudice and hatred. It seems that not a day goes by without learning about the murder of a transgender woman (especially in Memphis, Tennessee). Also, gender identify is commonly cited as the reason for sexual orientation legislation being stalled or abandoned completely. It's completely unfair and unjustifiable.

Now that I've kicked my soapbox aside, it's time for y'all to vent.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Dr. Love

I'm an old soul, and I love it! Growing up, I recall listening to my aunts and uncles jam to soul, r&B, disco, and the blues. As I've gotten older, I have a newfound respect for how creative artist were back in the day. Whereas society permits present-day artists to be extremely graphic, they had to conceive of ways to talk about taboo subjects. Y'all remember "Me and Mrs. Jones?" I never had a clue that Billy Paul (the singer) was singing about an extramarital affair. Anyway, this song has been on my mind, so I'm putting it out there. Enjoy!

"Dr. Love," by First Choice

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Do you believe in signs?

Personally, I do not. Not anymore. I am of the opinion that only my creator knows what is to come. Many people seem to be so consumed with the future. Why is that? Why can't we just be patient and live in the present moment? What's so bad about the unknown. In my humble opinion, the sad part about waiting around for a harbinger of what's to come is that the event of significance may be overlooked. We're supposed to be surprised! That said, I don't think there's anything wrong with wanting a little comfort or assurance. What do I do when I'm faced with uncertainly? After obsessing for a minute, I say a little prayer and keep it moving. Why? Because I choose to believe that if my intentions and motivations are sound, the end result will be favorable (most of the time).

Monday, March 30, 2009

Brother in Massachusetts Attacks Three Sisters, Beheads One

A 23-year-old Haitian-American man in Milton, Massachusetts was shot dead after attacking his three younger sisters on March 28, 2009. After beheading his 5-year-old sister, -in the presence of a police officer- Kerby Revelus chased his wounded 9-year-old sister into a room and attacked her as his 17-year-old sister lay dead on the floor. Reports indicate Mr. Revelus had a tendency to react violently, as police had been called to the house in the past. This horrific event occurred one day after the family celebrated Bianca's fifth birthday.

Tragic events like these underscore the importance of minorities taking advantage of mental health services. Too often, we write off or normalize adverse behaviors by making passive remarks: "Oh, that's just the way Uncle So-and-So is," "Cousin Sue is a little touched," or "Only crazy people go to see the psychiatrist." We have to acknowledged that we are as susceptible to mental breakdowns as our Caucasian counterparts. Seeking help to cope with a mental illness or transient emotional distress does not make a person crazy. In my opinion, a crazy person does not work toward ameliorating existing stressors or take advantage of available resources. Be well and keep the Revelus family in your thoughts, meditations, and prayers.

Beheading in Milton, Massachusetts

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Sara Smile

When I was a little boy, probably about 10 or 11, I developed a serious crush on the men of Hall and Oates. I don't know what it was about Daryl Hall and John Oates. Even at that young age, I found them very attractive. In my little romantic dreams, they always appeared together; I couldn't have one without the other. Anywho, of all the great songs they made, my favorite one is "Sara Smile," which I always thought was entitled "Sarah's Smile." Enjoy!

"Sara Smile," by Hall and Oates

Friday, March 27, 2009

I love your smile

Shanice (pronounced SHAH neese) did her thing on this one. She even had the nerve to bust into a rap! I love the old-school choreography. While she was a beautiful young lady back then, y'all know I spent most of my time fantasizing about the photographer. Since those days, Shanice has settled down with Flex Alexander and had a few kids (I think?). This is definitely one of the best songs she ever recorded. Enjoy and have a good weekend!

"I Love Your Smile," by Shanice

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

When friends go missing

I "met" my boy T in 2003. I believe we connected through one of the AOL gay chat rooms. Given that I had not met any quality males at that time, it was cool to have a "friend" to talk to periodically. He was about five years older than me, but he never behaved in a paternalistic manner. What made T special was that he was educated, insightful, and encouraging. I absolutely loved his Caribbean accent; he was from the island of Anguilla. The fact that he lived in Massachusetts didn't diminish the quality of our friendship at all. On days when I felt hopeless, helpless, and every other emotion that characterizes the depression I was experiencing, he'd gently remind me that I was a person worthy of experiencing love. Over the years, we developed a wonderful friendship. It was a special occasion when we finally met in May of 2007.

T flew to Baton Rouge and helped me celebrate my graduation from LSU. I remember picking him up from the airport. Finally being able to put a face to that professor-like voice. T was very comfortable with himself. He, unlike me at that time, did not allow his sexuality to overshadow more important areas of his life. He simply LIVED. When we went to Chelsea's to listen to a brass band, he had the nerve to talk to the guy (the trumpeter) I couldn't keep my eyes off. At the gay club -Splash- he talked to guys who I'd only admired for a far. T had swagger that I'd never seen in a gay man. Interestingly, he had a "date" arranged by the time he stepped foot in the state. Meanwhile, I'd only met one guy in the two years I was in Louisiana.

T wasn't able to stay for the entire duration of the ceremony. I remember him waving to me as he exited the auditorium. The guy who he'd met had agreed to drive him to the airport. He called later that evening and let me know he'd made it home. When I moved back to Georgia and had to deal with the unexpected death of my beloved step-father, he was a constant source of encouragement. We'd usually talk at least once a month. Even though he traveled extensively, especially during the summer months, he'd always call me when he returned. When he was visiting family, I knew he'd be unavailable. How I looked forward to hearing about the events that had transpired.

About a month ago, I tried calling T. Accustomed to hearing his voicemail message, I was shocked when I heard an automated message stating that the subscriber was unavailable. Day after day, I called and got the same message. Last week, the message said the call could not be completed as dialed. I've googled him and thought about contacting the school he was attending. As T is a very responsible man, I'm concerned that something terrible may have happened. I don't know what to do. I miss my friend. For now, all I can do is periodically look at the graduation gifts he bought me: an engraved clock which I've never used, a card that's still on my dresser, a book of inspirational verses, and a black shirt that has a naughty message written on it ("Overworked and Underfucked!").

I really hope he's still alive. However, in the event that we never communicate, I can honestly say that my life has been enriched because of his patience, guidance, and love. I love you, T.

P.S. I couldn't find the video I wanted, so y'all will have to "settle" for this one. While T and I were not in a relationship, the song's title is appropriate.

"I Miss You," by Klymaxx

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Has this ever happened to you?

It was a cold day in late November. The year was 2007. Having enjoyed the Thanksgiving holiday with my family, I drove downtown (ATL) and met with a representative of the EEOC. At that time, I was having employment issues that needed to be addressed federally. After the meeting, I was walking up Alabama Street -near the Five Points MARTA station- when I saw a man approaching me. So, I'm thinking "I hope he doesn't ask me for any money. It's cold and I want to get home." As luck would have it, he respectfully approached me and said "Sir, could you spare a few dollars. I'm HIV positive and I don't have anything to eat." While I may have a heart of gold, I rarely give anyone money; I'm inclined to purchase food. So, I agreed to purchase him some food from the nearby McDonalds. Sitting at a table, he watched as I approached the counter and ordered two hashbrowns. When I turned around, he was gone. Now, if I was hungry and someone agreed to buy me some food, I would not have let the buyee out of my sight. Thinking he had gone to the bathroom, I waited outside for about five minutes. That wind was kicking my ass. I stood right by the entrance and hoped he'd show up. He never did. I walked to my car, drove home, and fed my sister. What was up with that?

Sweetheart...we could share a storybook romance!

Ok. I'm really digging in the crates this time. DJ Losojosnuevos (one of my alter egos) has found a gem. I have not been able to get this song out of my mind for over a month. Many of you may remember that Mariah Carey and JD remade the song in the 90s, proof that imitation is the greatest form of flattery. Try as I might, I could not find the original video. I did my best. Enjoy

Rainy Davis, "Sweetheart"

Friday, February 27, 2009

Lambada! The Forbidden Dance

I have been meaning to do a post about this song. When the movie came out in 1990, folks didn't know what to do, as the dance was so seductive. I remember dancing to it when no one was looking. Much like the macarena, the lambada took the U.S. by storm. The latin/African rhytms and beats were irresistible. Once the song was translated, I loved it even more. Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Memories of Mardi Gras 2007

While pursuing my master's degree from LSU, I had the pleasure of traveling to New Orleans for Mardi Gras. Mind you this was post-Katrina, so I knew the celebrations wouldn't be as intense. So, after going to one of my client's recitals, I collected my adopted brother and headed down Interstate 10 West. The closer we got to Nawlins, the more cars appeared. License plates from all over the country. Once I set eyes on the Superdome, I couldn't wait to get out of the car and hit the streets. Arriving at our hotel, we waited for Ryan's family to arrive before heading out to catch the Endymion parade.

I am a total bead whore. Although my hands were freezing, I caught beads like a wide receiver tries to catch a football. I was jumping and bumping into people, and I didn't care. Very often, multiple people would catch the same string of beads. Basically, the person who had the tighest grip won out. Also, if the beads were not ornate, people would let them fall to the ground. Those floats were decorated nicely. The people on the floats -masked and dressed in elaborate costumes- often threw beads directly at the revelers who lined the route. I saw plenty of folks get clocked in the head and face. I later found out that most of them were drunk. By the time the fire truck arrived, signaling the end of the parade, the curb was littered with residual beads. Now, there's a rule that says you should not pick up beads from the ground (for obvious reasons). However, if you stick to the ones on the top of the pile, you're safe.

A former teetotaler, I occasionally indulge in spirits. Determined not to get drunk, my adopted mother (Ms. Neda) decided I should drink as many hand grenades as I could stomach. After drinking two, the world got bright. When we sat down to eat, I immediately began making drunk phone calls. I called all over the country: New York, California, Texas, etc. I took pictures with a Louisiana state trooper and kissed a woman who worked at the restaurant where we dined. My mother, God bless her anxious soul, wanted to drive to Nawlins and rescue me.

The things I saw. Titties for days. Some were nice and erect, while others were saggy and deflated (on young girls!). While women are free to flash until their breasts fall off, any man who flashes wang (my friends term for penis) will be promptly arrested. Ass cheeks are ok, though. While waiting to get some nachos, I saw this drunk, white man get knocked unconscious. I didn't ask any questions. Simply grabbed my "sister" and hauled ass. Of course, people of the proselytizing nature did their best to dissuade us from having any fun at all (see above). The drag queens were out in full force, and some of the costumes and masks were to die for.

My adopted family took good care of me. I didn't have to pay for anything. It was one of the most memorable experiences I've ever had. I haven't gotten back down there since 2007. Nawlins is such a magical city. My spirit truly comes alive once I set foot on that beloved cajun/creole soil. I miss it so much. I'm sure I'll get back there. Actually, once I'm an established author/songwriter/television show host, I plan to be the damn grand marshall. Until then, I have wonderful memories (and pictures) to tide me over.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Eye for an Eye?

Ameneh Bahrami, an Iranian woman who was douced with acid in 2004, demanded that her attacker, a former classmate, be blinded in a similar fashion. The Iranian courts have agreed with her request, and Majid Movahedi is scheduled to have five drops of sulfuric acid placed into each eye within the next three weeks. Many human rights groups have denounced Bahrami's call for retribution, calling the practice barbaric and inhumane.

Ghandi is famously quoted as saying "An eye for an eye leaves the world blind." Ameneh Bahrami hopes the sentence will deter other men from behaving similarly. Would you be willing to turn the other cheek? Did the Iranian court make the right decision? Would crimes worldwide decline if other countries implemented similar laws? Find out more infomation about this case here and here.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

White Artists Who "Sound" Black_Volume 2

Listening to 107.5 FM this morning while driving along I-285, this song came on. I think I was a senior in high school when I first heard it. I fantisized about my dream boyfriend -who never materialized- countless times while ingesting the lyrics. Until I watched the video, I never knew Babyface was featured on the song (even I'm slow sometimes). He gained a great deal of respect in the R&B game based solely on his talent. Back in the 90s, it was very rare to hear a white dude vocalize in such a soulful manner. Who is he? Ladies and gentlemen, Jon B.

Someone to Love, Jon B FEATURING Babyface

Jon B - Someone To Love (Official Music Video) - Watch the top videos of the week here

Thursday, February 12, 2009

A New Day

One of the things that got me into the "helping profession" is my desire to assist people make sense of their lives. Having spent nearly half of my life wishing to be someone other than the man I am, I can empathize with people who feel inadequate and damaged. I understand how a person's experiences can negatively impact her/his worldview. Lord knows I used to view the world as an inhospitable place. Not being able to experience intimacy influenced my desire to want to exit this life expediently. It wasn't fun watching my friends differentiate and develop romantic relationships. It wasn't fun always being the third wheel. As far as I was concerned, God had been very unkind to me from the moment of conception. Confined to an existence that would terminate with me spending eternity in hell (so I was taught) gave me little to look forward to. I lived in misery, pain, despair, and agony. It got so bad that I didn't want to see other people happy. I became a grinch. There were times when I was able to display gratitude and genuine peace. However, despite my best efforts to embrace life consistently, I couldn't envision a positive future for myself. Death seemed like a gift. Thank God He doesn't answer all prayers.

I am drawn to people with complex, fragmented backgrounds. I have had clients tell me they want to die. One client told me he didn't know or love himself. When I ask clients to look into my pink, handheld mirror (one of the tools I use during counseling sessions), most of them hand it back to me within five seconds. Personally, I am no longer fearful of facing myself. Only after honestly assessing your deficiences can you begin the process of becoming a new creation. Thankfully, I have been blessed to witness a few of my clients integrate the material we cover and move toward lasting recovery. It is absolutely beautiful to watch.

So, how did I shed the pain of the past and become the fabulous Losojosnuevos? I've learned to have realistic expectations of myself and others. I had to recognize that LGBT folks aren't the only ones who experience sadness and distress. I stopped seeing myself as a VICTIM. I grew a damn backbone and learned to speak up for myself. I embrace my strengths and do everything in my power to correct my inadequacies (a brotha don't have no flaws!). I've developed farsightedness. The future intrigues me. In order for me to receive the blessings God has for me, tomorrow MUST come. When adversity comes along, I roll with it (most of the time). I surround myself with positive, honest people. I try not to frown or complain too much. I'm a hugger. I laugh as often as I can. I ADJUST MY ATTITUDE FREQUENTLY (I can be a moody MF-er sometimes). Most importantly, I attack each day with optimism and hope. Be blessed, y'all.

A New Day For You, by Basia

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Will Mediocrity Always Exist?

I enjoy having my accomplishments recognized, but I despise being labeled a "brainiac" or an "overachiever." Sure, I have an advanced degree, but many people do (in much more rigorous disciplines, might I add). I consider myself a man who is driven to know EVERYTHING about ANYTHING that interests me. Dr. Benjamin S. Carson, author of Gifted Hands and Think Big, calls excessive inquisitiveness "in-depth learning." For instance, when I studied biochemistry in undergrad -back when I dreamed of becoming a physician- I LOVED studying the structures of amino acids (the building blocks of proteins). I became excited when we were taught that genetic substitution of one amino acid for another can lead to the manifestation of diseases, such as sickle cell anemia. Even though I HATED physics, I applied myself diligently, reading the textbook and even working with a tutor. Yes, there are subjects that even I couldn't master. But that wasn't the goal. The goal was the diligent pursuit of knowledge.

So why am I blogging about this topic? Well, I have a lot of family members who, for whatever reason, have not reached their full potential. Consequently, they make excuses for why they work low-paying jobs or never pursued any vocation after completing high school or earning a GED (high school equivalent). Then they look at me and say "Oh, you're just a part of the 'talented tenth.' Things come easy to you." In the words of Della Reese, "Kiss my entire ass!" I truly resent being characterized as such. By the grace of God and my own sheer will, many of the endeavors I have undertaken have been successful, and it remains to be seen what I'll do next (stay tuned, it could be monumental). Maybe I'm driven because poverty left a rancid taste in my mouth. Maybe it's because I viewed education as a means of geographic liberation. Perhaps my sexuality also played a part, as I wasn't out chasing pussy (or dick for that matter). Now, before some anonymous person accuses me of generalizing, I will acknowledge that MANY PEOPLE WHO CHASE PUSSY OR DICK SUCCESSFULLY ACHIEVE THEIR GOALS.

I hate the "savior role" I've inherited. There, I said it. As long as I'm around, people know things will get done the right way. When I set limits or say "no," I'm "mean, selfish, or pompous." Because these words are often uttered by family members, I bite my tongue just a little bit. Ultimately, I believe it is time for people to step their respective games way the fuck up. Go to school! Quit complaiing about how difficult your life was! Stop blaming your parents for the slacker you've become! Take responsibility for the foolish choices you're made! Get off the damn worry wheel! Refrain from accusing foreigners of taking jobs you have not expressed any interest in! Ask for HELP when the load becomes too heavy! Stop GORGING yourself spoonfulls of "I can'ts, "they won't let me's," "I'm too old's" and the notorious "should'a, could'a, would'as." And please, STOP BLAMING THE WHITE MAN!!!! Whew! That was cathartic. I'd probably lose my license if I said half of this stuff to my clients.

Ok, my soapbox has been returned to the closet for today. Gotta get some groceries in this house before I hit the gym. Oh, since today is National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, I must get to Decatur and see the AIDS quilt. Thanks for listening.

Y'all know I had to put a little positivity in this blog. Enjoy.

Sounds of Blackness, "Optimistic"

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings

I can't remember exactly when I learned about this group, but I'm certain I heard a few of the songs on Georgia State University's radio station. It is reminiscent of the music that was played in the 60s (I know, I wasn't even thought of yet). A Macon, Georgia native, Sharon Jones' vocal cords can destroy a microphone any day. Talk about pure soul and funk? Backed by a kick-ass band, the productions are awesome. It doesn't get much better than this.

Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings-"Tell Me"

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

White Artists Who "Sound" Black_Volume 1

This artist burst onto the American music scene in the late 80s. Hearing her name, everyone I knew wondered "Who is she?" Though the name definitely contained a European hint, we swore she was black. When we saw the video, we were completely floored. The artist in question is none other than Lisa Stansfield.

All Around the World

Friday, January 30, 2009

Being gay makes me blue.....sometimes

Most days, I am in an upbeat, pleasant mood. I usually accept life as it is and remain optimistic that better days will come. I spend most of my time meditating on what I do possess and try diligently not to lament about my deficiencies. I make a conscious effort to not obsess about my double minority status. I try not to be affected by homophobia, bigotry, ignorance, hypocrisy, poverty, or anything else that has the potential to upset my delicate equilibrium. Having been trained as a mental health professional, I am able to recognize when my reserves are waning before I reach the "empty" level. Despite all of the energy I invest, I am not immune to getting into a funk.

Sometimes it's hearing friends talk about their partners and children. Other times it's just plain 'ole loneliness or isolation. Although I am involved in a lot of activities, I do yearn for consistent human interaction. Writing and blogging are cool, but when I turn this computer off or put my pen down, I am left with me, myself, and I. This lifestyle can be so exhausting.

What to do? I learned from an atheist years ago that life is akin to being thrust into the middle of the ocean. When the waves come, we can fight or allow ourselves to be temporarily submerged. Then, when the tide has passed, we can return to the surface and breathe again.

I know there are things I can do to make myself more accessible. I could go back to the clubs or reactivate my Adam4Adam account. But why would I do such things? Instead, I will continue to believe in the infinite possibilities of the unknowable future. As my experience with "husband" has taught me, I can put myself in a position to be noticed, but I cannot MAKE anyone love me. While that's the case, I can still jam my ass off!

I'll Be (Jay-Z and Foxy Brown)

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

North Carolina A&T Student Killed

Dennis Hayle, a senior at North Carolina A&T University was killed on January 25, 2009. A senior, campus leader, mentor, and member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Incorporated, Dennis was shot in the head while walking to his apartment at around 3:00 A.M. Thus far, police have not identified a motive or any suspects. He was 22 years old.

To say that the murder of a bright, promising man is senseless is an understatement. That he was struck down while in the process of ascending to greatness defies logic. While we'll never know what he may have accomplished, it appears that he positively impacted the lives of his family members, colleagues, classmates, and friends.

Perhaps I was compelled to write about Mr. Hayle because he hails from my hometown of Hempstead, New York. Maybe it's because his existence invalidated the myth of the shiftless, trifling, no-good, uneducated, directionless negro. In any event, I'm posting two videos pertaining to the crime. The pain in his mother's voice is very disconcerting. Please keep the Hayle family in your prayers.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

You're NOT welcome, but God bless you

I just started watching this documentary -"Equality U"- on the Logo television network. The documtary centers around 36 lgbt young adults who are combating homophobic policies on Christian college campuses across the United States. Similar to the Freedom Riders of the 1960, these folks ride a charter bus across the country and attempt to educates the individuals in decision-making positions. In the first episode, they travel to Lynchburg, Virginia and visit Liberty University, whose president (at that time) was none other than the late Reverend Jerry Falwell. To see all of the episodes, click here.

Friday, January 23, 2009

My neck, my back, lick my p^&%# and my c@!%*

I had just moved to the ATL when Khia's song "My neck, my back" came out, and I never heard the uncensored version until a few minutes ago. This song is more explicit than anything Foxy or Kim ever put out. So much so that radio stations had to censor ever other word. I remember chicks were digging this song like nobody's business. After hearing rap artists repeatedly tell women to get on their knees and suck their dicks (and lick their balls), it was sort of cool to hear a woman put it down. Khia was raw with it. She is literally telling dudes how to eat her out. Pay attention: "First you got to put your neck into it. Don't stop, just do it do it. Then your roll your tongue from the crack back to the front." Although I haven't heard anything from her since then, she's left her mark on the hip-hop/rap game. Big ups to Ms. Khia!

My neck, my back

Sunday, January 18, 2009

I still love gospel music

I remember when "Shackles (Praise You)" came out in 2000. That song was off the chain. Despite being characterized as too contemporary by traditionalists, the song was played heavily in the clubs and on many R&B/hip-hop radio stations. I heard drug dealers singing the lyrics while posted up agaisnt buildings: "Took the shackles off my feet so I can dance. I just want to praise you. I just want to praise you. You broke the chains now I can lift my hands. And I'm gonna praise you. I'm gonna praise you." I couldn't believe gospel artists had recorded a song of this magnitude. They even used the molulator machine (i.e. T-Payne). The lyrics were uplifting, relevant, fresh, and encouraging.

I was somewhat disappointed when I learned about their views pertaining to homosexuality. I stopped listening to their music and anything recorded by Minister Donnie McClurkin and Kirk Franklin.

Then I got to thinking. Some people, regardless of how much scientific evidence is presented, will never view homosexuality as anything other than an abominable sin. It's up to me to determine if I will permit the opinions of other to impact my spirit. I am now able to answer that question emphatically: NO!. That being said, I can definitely give credit where it is due. Mary Mary has this song entitled "Get Up" that I am in love with. I heard it a few months ago when I was listening to the "Yolonda Adams Morning Show" while driving to work. The beat is strong enough to destroy speakers. I can definitely imagine this song being played in Traxx or some other gay club in the ATL.

So, I would like to thank Mary Mary for creating some wonderful music. I wish you two continued success.

Get Up

Saturday, January 17, 2009

I'm missing you

I don't think about loved ones who have departed very often. When I do, it's never a sad occasion. By the grace of God, I have only lost a handful of family members in my 31 years on Earth. The first significant person I lost was my aunt Katherine. A devout Jehovah's Witness, she succumed to lupus at the age of 37 in 1990. We didn't get a chance to pay our respects because we were living in New York at the time and the funeral was going to occur in Georgia. My aunt's husband called and told us she was going to be buried the next day. That messed my mother up for a minute.

The next person was my grandfather, Willie Earl Brown. He'd battled alcoholism for as long as I can remember. I recall visiting him when he and his common-law wife Mary (everybody called her "Sister") were in an inpatient rehabiliation center. Now that I'm older, I recognize that he drank in an effort to deal with his anxiety and emotional instability. From what I've been told, he suffered a nervous breakdown after my grandmother passed away at the age of 39, leaving behind five children (three were grown). He suffered a heart attack and died on March 18, 1992.

After that was my aunt Everlene. I didn't learn the correct spelling of her name until after she passed away. She was an expert in the art of whipping ass. My aunt didn't play. I loved her sweet potato pies, which she only made during the holidays. Me and my cousins would sneak into the kitchen and eat pie all night. I knew she had had angioplasty performed, but I didn't know she had heart problems. My aunt passed away unexpectedly (heart attack) during the summer of 1998.

Finally, my step-father, Steven Louis Owens, suffered a fatal heart attack on July 5, 2007. I certainly didn't see this one coming, as he had endured successful open heart surgery three months earlier. He was so upset that he could not attend my graduation from LSU that May. My mother was tempted not to come to Baton Rouge because she worried he would pass away in her absence. When I moved back home, he seemed to be in good health. Despite his medical illnesses (hypertension, diabetes, and end-stage renal failure), he was one of the most pleasant and generous people I've ever met. I'll never forget that day. I was sitting in the kitchen (like I am now) surfing the internet and looking for a job. He exited his room, walked down the hallway, went into the basement, and never came back upstairs. I had an industrial fan on, so I couldn't hear really well. However, I remember hearing someone yelp. Believing it was my uncle reacting to something he was watching on television, I continued with my internet search. When my mom came home (about 30 minutes later), she said something about chicken. Thinking she wanted me to get a pack of frozen wings from the freezer in the garage (we have two refrigerators), I went downstairs, turned the corner, and found my stepfather lying face down on the concrete floor. I called his name a few times, nudged him, and checked for a pulse. Nothing. I ran upstairs and knocked on my mother's bedroom door. My uncle heard what I had said and emerged from his bedroom in tears. My mother was a fuckin' trooper. While my uncle cried/prayed, she performed CPR on her husband until the firemen arrived. We all watched as they intubated him, stuck him with numerous needles, and hooked him up to the AED. They shocked him about three times. Nothing.

We prayed as I drove to the nearby hospital, even though I pretty much knew he was gone. When we got to the hospital, I hoped to see him in a recovery room. I hoped the EMS had performed a miracle while in route to the hospital. Instead, we were escorted to a room and told to wait for the doctor. When he was pronounced dead, they allowed us to see him. He was in a room right across the hall. His eyes were halfway open. He looked tired and peaceful at the same time. We took his bag of belongings home and began notifying family members.

So, those are some of the people I miss. What about you?

Missing You, by Diana Ross

Friday, January 02, 2009


Why does this word still affect me? It's not like I wasn't called it enough during my teens and early 20s. I remember my best friend's sister questioning why I took offense to her grown-ass uncle calling me a "lefty" when I was a senior in high school. "It's not the first time someone's thought you were gay," she said. If I didn't love her, I might have put my 18-year-old hands on her. Usually, I felt free in their home; there were times when they would have to subtly let me know that it was time for me to leave. However, when he was around, I felt anxious, paranoid, and every other uncomfortable emotion you can think of.

As I got older and entered the professional world, it became less acceptable for people to say such mean things. People may have PERCEIVED me as a homosexual, as evidenced by the absence of a girlfriend and presence of so-called effiminate mannerisms. However, they generally kept their opinions to themselves. When I was working for a very well-respected scientist, one of my co-workers informed me that he called me "soft." As educated and distinguished as he was/is, he was not immune to harboring negative thoughts about men who were not hypermasculine. Come to think of it, he thought negatively of everyone. Once he accused his nurse of having a "blond" moment after making a mistake, I didn't feel too bad.

Which brings me to today. After returning to work, I learned that one of my clients had become upset with me and called me a "faggot" and a "bitch." Thankfully, one of my other clients checked her, as well as a co-worker. What upsets me is that she did this in the presence of others. Why? Because she did not EARN a privilege she sought. While I have had clients yell and attack me for being young, I have never had one put me on blast. I have not seen her yet, but we will have a discussion. I will not tolerate this type of behavior. No way.

What is it about this word? Although I have only been called a nigger once, it didn't impact me deeply. Maybe it has to do with the fact that nigger is generalized to an entire group of people, whereas faggot can be used by anyone, including your own people. Why can this word negatively impact my mood and make me feel less than human (for a little while)? I have given up trying to determine how people are able to discern my sexuality. Chalk it up to good gaydar, which even I don't have. I guess my biggest concern is the possibility of being treated differently or being viewed negatively. Even as a grown man, I still don't like being talked about or laughed at. There, I said it.

I'm certain that as I continue to recover for a lifetime of verbal and emotional abuse, some of which was self-imposed, my internal reserves will become fortified. Until then, I'll go through the motions and take the punches that are thrown at me. Faggot may be an unpleasant word, but it will not destroy me. Not now. Not never.

Here's the video to a song that's been on my mind a lot today. Now, you have to be grown or into 80s music to remember this one.

Heaven Help Me