And that's where the similarities end.
While watching the debate, it amazed me how Mitt Romney was. I found him to be rude, arrogant, stupid, and it made me angry. During the debate he not only cut off President Obama multiple times, but even cut off the moderator and wouldn't let him do his job, which is to moderate and steer the discussion. Romney even threw a little temper tamtrum saying "well he [President Obama] got to start so I get to finish". Really? This is a man that wants to be the leader of our country?
Another thing that amazed me was the lack of explanation of plans from Mitt Romney. He kept tossing out facts (which turned out to be lies 47% of the time), and criticizing President Obama at almost every turn. What Romney didn't say was that (and most people know this), his party, the Republican party, has blocked Obama at almost every turn, preventing him from doing any real and true good. That's one part of his plan: Block the President and blame him for his inability to do anything because the republicans have blocked him. Smart (ass) plan.
The second part of his plan is for those with pre-existing conditions. You see, Obamacare (and even President Obama said he likes that term) will ensure that the insurance companies cannot screw anyone over that has a pre-existing condition, which nowadays is nearly half of the adult population. Adults are popping a pill for something or another, but that's a different discussion. Romney wants to eliminiate Obamacare and replace it with....that's right. He didn't have a clear plan for that. But if you did some digging, you figured it out: He likes private plans. So....if private plans BEFORE Obamacare dropped people due to pre-existing conditions, what do you think is going to happen when Obamacare is repealed, as he put it, on his "first day in office" Let me tell you what's going to happen: All those people with pre-existing conditions, Romney is going to load into the Titanic, have it sail to the middle of the North Atlantic, and ram it into an iceberg.
Finally, and most importantly, Romney talked big game about the deficit and that he can "cut the deficit". But, he (you guessed it) offered no real plan to do that. He also talked about creating jobs, however his record shows that he is big on outsourcing jobs to other countries. Can you imagine reading a sign at the border that says "Welcome to America...outsourced to another country"...I mean seriously!
I'm not one to tell people who to vote for; I believe everyone has the right to make their own decisions. But after watching the debate last night, isn't it clear what time it is?
One reason is because from the age of 21 until the age of 25, I was out each and every night until 4am, 5am, sometimes later than that. (That's another story for another day.) I've played past that.
But another reason is the sudden (and scary) uptick in fighting and violence at certain weekly club events in the city of Chicago.
Just this morning I received an e-mail from the Rails Marketing Group and Clubhouse Productions. They mentioned, in part, is that there "are certain groups or 'families' who have been involved in much of the fighting at the clubs".
I'm sorry, but this is past childish. Why would you go to a club to fight? Seriously, why? Is it because you saw your ex-boyfriend or ex-girlfriend there with someone new? (Keyword: EX.) Or is it because you saw someone there that told you that they didn't want you? Or worse yet, because someone there was dressed better than you?
We can only imagine.
The e-mail goes further to state that "if any individual in any of these groups is involved in a fight at one of our clubs, the entire group will be barred from all of our parties permanently". I applaud the promoters for this! People do not deserve to go out to any venue and be subjected to some childish, grade-school fighting over nothing. Seriously.
I remember a time when you went out to the club, drank a strong drink out of the plastic cups (remember those?), danced all night and before you knew it, the music stopped and the lights came back on. Oops, time to go! You didn't worry about being pepper-sprayed by security, or being involved in a full out brawl over some stupid mess! (Footnote: The only thing you really worried about was getting towed from the Generator at 4:00am.)
I know my little blog (and my big mouth) probably will do nothing to put a dent in the fighting and violence at the clubs.
But it's a start.
People, please, STOP THE FIGHTING. It ain't worth it!
Shocking isn't it? Not really.
In the state of Florida, it is relatively easy to obtain a concealed carry permit. One person told me that "it's so easy a 7 year ok could do it". (Hopefully not THAT easy.) So it comes as no surprise that you have honest civilians, concerned citizens...and the occasional nutjob...that has a gun.
But from what I've seen and heard, that was not Treyvon.
After a 17 year old is murdered in cold blood....and let's call it for what it is....Zimmerman's friends in the police department help cover it up for him. Why do you think the police chief resigned so suddenly? Why now, a MONTH later, does it come out about these alleged injuries? And, in a final sense of cowardice, do they try to tarnish his name by PHOTOSHOPPING PHOTOS OF HIM ONLINE trying to make it seem as if he is "the typical black gangbanging thug".
This makes no damn sense!
Or does it?
Does anyone remember Emmitt Till? If not let me help you. Emmitt Till was murdered for whistling at a white woman some nearly 60 years ago. The murderers were acquitted! Hmmm....sound familiar?
Now Zimmerman has gone into hiding. Hmmm....I wonder why? Is it because you did WRONG, LIED to the police, disobeyed their orders NOT to follow or confront Treyvon, and acted like a little cowboy?
We may never completely know the truth. But one thing is for sure. Treyvon died in cold blood, in this blogger's opinion. He died committing the horrible act of WWB: Walking While Black.
This isn't the Chicago that I know.
The Chicago that I know, the "City of Big Shoulders", the city where people run along its lakefront, go to the Taste of Chicago, dine in outdoor cafes....is gone.
"In 50 hours, 41 people have been shot in 31 incidents..."
This isn't the Chicago that I know. This is a warzone.
How did Chicago, the city that I love, my home town, suddenly turn into a mini-Iraq complete with outmanned military (police), cowardly officials (city hall), and citizens that in most cases, are afraid to come out of their homes or let their children play because of the fear of being shot?
On March 17 a 6-year old girl was playing in front of her home with her mother, younger sister and a male when someone shot at them, hitting and killing the girl.
This is senseless, and it HAS TO STOP. But how?
I have three suggestions:
1) Treat all gangbangers as domestic terrorists. Capture them, and send them to Iraq with only a six-shooter and some provisions.
2) Instead of giving these domestic terrorists a slap on the wrist and free room and board in jail forever and ever, see number one above.
3) If that doesn't work, just remember....in the Middle East (which is what these thugs have turned our city into), if you are caught stealing, they cut off your hands.
The violence in this city has to END. It is getting beyond ridiculous, beyond senseless. It is beyond sad.
We need to get back to the Chicago that we once was. We need to get back to being the City of Big Shoulders, the type of city where you can go out for an evening and not worry about getting shot in the club. We need to get back to the type of city where the residents are PROUD of living here. Where the criminals are prosecuted properly, and not given a slap on the wrist for capital crimes.
This isn't the Chicago that I know. We need to get back to that type of city.
Oh, it's almost black gay pride season too.
Black pride? Yes. Black pride. Some areas decided to split off and create their own prides because in the words of someone I know, "their pride wasn't for us".
But what exactly should Black Pride be about, especially in this day and age? I can't tell you what it should be about, but I can tell you what it's NOT about....educating our brothers and sisters about the dangers of HIV and AIDS.
You see, people think that because you can take a pill (or a set of pills) that you'll be OK. Nothing could be further from the truth. Imagine going to bed every night taking 2, 3 (sometimes more) pills just to stay alive? Or getting up doing the same thing? Or even worse...taking ONE pill that could cause "vivid dreams" when in fact it can cause you to absolutely lose your mind? (I had a friend on that treatment stay with me one night and he jumped up at 3:00am thinking there were snakes in the bed...THAT'S a vivid dream.)
Most people that I've encountered that attend black pride events (and for the sake of argument, other Pride events too) have only three things on their minds: drinking, smoking weed, and fucking. They don't care about HIV, theyr don't care about AIDS, they don't even care about the reason why Pride exists. I was at a Pride event in Atlanta a couple of years back and overheard this group of young feminine boys say "You don't come down to Pride for a film festival or for education. You come down here to fuck." I couldn't believe what I heard! So you mean to tell me that instead of protecting yourself and learning about the dangers of this disease, you would let some brotha run inside you, deposit their seed in you and move on, without even having the discussion or having them use a condom? Seriously?
My people....this is the time to not only get tested and learn your status, but to do the following:
1) Take a friend to get tested. No, make that TWO friends.
2) USE PROTECTION. If a person wants to have sex with you and doesn't want to use protection, guess what? MOVE ON.
3) Have the discussion about status BEFORE you have sex.
4) GET EDUCATED. There are lots of places you could go. Start with your local health department, or hop on twitter and send a message to my girl @raelt. She's a trailblazer in the community and will most definitely answer any questions you have.
Be safe out there.
That was, until later in the evening.
As I'm sitting there minding my own business, this individual comes up and sits on the other side of my "bar-buddy". He proceeds to carry on a conversation with him and then asks him "so what's your friend's name?", referring to me. We were introduced and I could immediately tell that this individual was beyond drunk. He asked me name...twice....keeping in mind that I told him my name about 5 minutes prior. He continued to get in my face just saying all types of off the wall stuff, like "you are sooooooo cute" and "you better be lucky you have nice lips", which pretty much made me feel really creeped out.
Oh, did I mention, the owner of the establishment was standing about 2 feet away watching the whole thing, and thought it was funny. Then the owner suggests that I move to the other side of the young lady sitting next to me. Uh, I was there first, why not ask the other guy to either go back to his original seat, or ask him to leave?
It got so bad, I called out to him and asked him to pretty much help me out here because I was starting to feel really uncomfortable. (I mean if the guy called me a bitch one more time, I would have punched him out.) The guy then says "well why didn't you tell ME that you were feeling uncomfortable?" The owner at this point says and does nothing. So I made it easy for all of them.
I LEFT. I closed out my ticket, paid it in full, grabbed my coat and said good night. I hate to say it, but I don't think I will be patronizing that establishment ever again. If an owner, which is standing two feet away, does nothing about an individual that was obviously overserved, I don't need to be there.
And....another one bites the dust.
In the gay community, there are two types of males: Gay MEN and Gay BOYS. Gay Men are just that: MEN. They (for the most part) are real, blunt and don't believe in playing games or throwing a hissy fit when they see something they can't have.
But Gay Boys? These are the ones that love to play games, fuck with people's minds, rob, steal (they call it "borrowing") and throw a temper tantrum when they see something or someone they can't have.
I recently had an experience with a gay boy that I met at the Black gay Men's caucus. We talked and agreed to maintain contact with each other, hang out on occasion, grab a coffee, stuff like that. Everything seemed ok until I disclosed some information. And this time it wasn't what you think. This time, it was because I told this person that I was involved.
This is a 20+ year old man acting like a little child, saying all types of off the wall bullshit such as "my comments are bullshit" when I asked this person to stop the constant mention of my relationship each and every time we talked. (They then went back and changed their statement to "my comments are arrogant".) If we're going to hang out and have coffee and get to know each other in a friendship manner, why do you constantly mention that "you're in a relationship", which I'm well-aware of. Been well-aware of that for nearly 3 years now. I mean come on, you can only be my friend, accept it, get over it and move on. If you can't do that then maybe we shouldn't communicate.
Now a gay MAN, at least in my experience, would say something along the lines of "I'm happy for you, we can still hang out, have coffee or whatever, but that's the extent of it", mention it ONE TIME and not go back down that path. Why? Because it has already been said, agreed upon by both parties, and now we're going to move on. Why beat a dead horse or sound like a broken record?
Because that is what gay boys do. They are miserable, evil, jaded, bitter, and love to keep up drama. These are the ones that I cannot stand. And as a final note, the individual that I spoke of was yanked from my Facebook page, and blocked.
End of the line. This passenger must leave the train.
Here's where it gets ugly.
I sign the slip and instead of leaving a tip on my credit card, I give him all the cash I had on me, which was $10. The bartender gives me back the credit card slip and says "You know you can give me more."
HOLD ON A SECOND!!!
Yes, you heard me correct, the bartender wanted more money for his tip. After I told him that this was all I had and all he was going to get, his attitude somewhat changed. As if $10 (for a $70 tab) isn't enough. Let's do the math....10 percent of $70 is $7.00, therefore I've given him an approximate 15 percent tip!
Believe me, I was extremely offended by that, and it brought back memories of what happened in DC, a little over a year ago. (Click the link to read THAT story.) This is not the first time that this particular bartender has asked patrons for bigger tips and given a shitty attitude when he doesn't get his way, but it's the first time he's done it with me.
Now, I have a few options. I can:
- Stop going to this establishment.
- Put a review on Yelp.com regarding this situation
- Call the owner/manager and advise him of the situation
- A combination of the above or all of the above
The monkey wrench in all of this is the fact that I've known this particular bartender for a while and don't really want to rock the boat, but at the same time I don't like to be treated in such a manner. So what do I do?
I'm not talking about a white-lie type of person (i.e. that person is of a large size but in an attempt not to hurt their feelings they're told they are "thick"). No, I'm talking about a professional liar that lies about stupid stuff they don't have to lie about. Inconsequental stuff. Such as saying you're going to be somewhere and then tell a lie just because you suddenly don't want to go there. Or using the same example, getting other people involved in your lie and then getting caught up in said lie when that person can't confirm what you've said.
Unfortunately these types of people exist and aren't going anywhere. Except out of my life. Look, I'm 33 years old and don't have time for stupid liars like this in my life. Just keep it real with me and I'll keep it real with you. I guess these types of people are too childish to do that.
I don't play games with other people's children.
Since I was confined to the bed I had the opportunity to watch a lot of television, and one of the TV series that I have really started to pay attention to is the "Lockup" series on MSNBC. It's a series where MSNBC goes into the maximum security prisons and not only films the conditions, but interviews the inmates. It really amazes me how some of these "thugs" say they want to get out to see their families or be with their children or loved ones, and then you see "UPDATE: so-and-so violated parole on x-x-xxxx and was returned to prison." If prison life is so hard (based on what you said in your interview) and you miss your family and your children so much, then why would you blatently violate your parole just to end up back in jail? Dude, grow up...unless you don't want any responsibility and you just want the State to house, feed and clothe you. Then that means you're not a man. You're a....well, you get the idea.
I have a solution for people that are habitual jailbirds. First strike = minimal time. Second strike = up to 40 years. Third strike = Go to Iraq. Yes, you heard me right, send them to Iraq and Afghanistan. Give them a six shooter and a parachute, and push them out of the plane. Since these folks want to be big and bad, let them be. I guarantee you they wouldn't last ten seconds over there.
It's a new year. It's a new way of thinking. It's a new me.
Today's chat was brought to you by the letter "T" and the number "7".
(If you're as old as I am, you probably remember the TV series "Good Times". If you don't know what I'm talking about, go to Wikipedia.)
No more. The last tenant moved out yesterday, making way for the last of the housing complex to be demolished. (Click here for the story.) The last tenant was a 54 year old lady and her family. She didn't want to leave, the family didn't want to leave. She was a resident of Cabrini-Green for 21 years, and was forced to leave behind all of the memories of the "Burling building", as the tower was called in which she lived.
21 years of memories. Let's see:
The good: Raising families, the family debates, the neighbors, the parties.
The bad: Sniper shootings of police officers, the 1992 murder of a 7 year old as he held his mother's hand, and the absolutely brutal rape and poisoning of 9 year old "Girl X".
21 years of.....wait a second, 21 YEARS? 21 YEARS in the projects? Yup, you heard it folks. This brings up the discussion of "how long should an individual be in public housing". Now I've seen a lot of comments on both sides of this discussion. Some people are blasting her for "loafing off of the system", others say that we should leave her be. Either way, it is not our place to judge her circumstances, because WE WERE NOT THERE. In my opinion (I have to say "In My Opinion now because I know people are watching...lol), I don't think she was abusing the system. I think she was trying to make the projects a home, which (again, in my opinion) should not be.
However.....in my opinion there are some instances where individuals in public housing today ARE taking advantage of the system. You see, Cabrini-Green was opened back in the 60's, a completely different time. Young girls weren't having 9 and 10 kids en masse with 3 and 4 baby-daddys just to get a Link card and have the government take care of them. Young men weren't going around being deadbeats...and if they were you didn't hear too much about it, at least not to the level where it is today. But now....it is ACCEPTED. WTF??
My brothers and sisters, please understand what I'm about to say. In my opinion, if you are an able-body individual, it is NOT COOL to live off of the Government for the rest of your life. It is NOT COOL to be a freeloader because you can't put a rubber on, be on the pill or keep your legs closed. It is NOT COOL to have four baby mommas or five baby daddys. It is NOT COOL TO LIVE OFF OF THE GOVERNMENT FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE. Now, re-read the last sentence three more times before moving on.
I was on the system. Yes, when I lost my job I had to get a Link card and accept government assistance. And it was the worst feeling in the world. I did everything within my power to get out of the system. I'm sorry but I am not one to wait for a handout. Now I know that there are some individuals out there that MUST be on the system (such as the elderly), but if you are an ABLE-BODY PERSON, YOU NEED TO WORK ON GETTING OFF OF THE SYSTEM.
But back to the last resident and her family. The moving trucks came, they loaded everything up, and as she walked out with the last of her belongings, the security officers closed the doors and sealed them shut behind her. She was moved to another housing development on the south side of Chicago, to an area that she really doesn't know anything about. I wish her well, and hope that God watches over her and her family.
But seriously folks, today I need to touch on a subject that has been eating at me for a while now:
Racism. Yeah, I said it.
Racism comes in all forms, all shapes and sizes. It could either be caucasians against blacks, dog against cat, you get the idea. However you size it up, racism is WRONG. Unfortunately, there are a lot of individuals out there that don't quite get that fact. I'll give you a few examples.
Every night (until recently anyway) there would be this caucasian individual that would take the same train home that I do, and get off at the same stop. This individual would purposely wait until I get ready to get up, and then force his way out in front of me. Now, you might say "oh he's just being an asshole" but I don't notice him doing that to other caucasians. Food for thought. This is called "subtle-racism". Now, you might notice I said in the beginning "until recently". This is because three nights ago when I politely said "excuse me" to get past him, he rudely asked "where are you going", and I showed him where I was going by pushing my way past him. As we exited the station he walked past me and started walking quickly as to get away from him. Little did he know we were going to the same parking lot. I walk faster, he walks faster. I walk even faster still, he starts running. Most people who perform "subtle-racism" usually will spit their venom and run away because they know they might get their asses kicked, or worse. This is typically called a "punk". Moving on....
Another type of racism, the kind which should be avoided at all costs, is "blatant-racism". These are your dicks that will call you a "n-word" to your face (or the totally inappropriate racial slur) and dare you to do something about it. The good news is that these types of racists are far and few inbetween. I only had that happen to me once, and I was in a group of about ten big brothas at the time. After a few words were exchanged, it didn't happen again.
Finally, there is the type that messes with my head each time I see it. "Reverse-racism", where people are completely racist towards their own ethnic group! I mean, there is a difference between not dating someone from your own ethnic group versus not associating, speaking to, or speaking badly about, those in your own ethnic group! There was an individual I knew years ago that told me, to my face, that he "doesn't like black people, doesn't want to be around black people, and HATES black people". Guess what color he is?
The bottom line is, all racists are punks. They use their mouths to say some off the wall shit that shouldn't be said. They use their actions to continue their agenda, and most times they're not all that anyway.
I hope we've all learned something today.
This entry was brought to you by the letter "C" and the number "3".
I am convinced that some (not all) people that are gay (or bi-sexual) operate on a two-season shift which has everything to do with the weather outside. From November-April, I promise you I will get calls from ex-boyfriends, people that have completely done me wrong, told me to go to hell, etc., wondering "how I'm doing" and if we "can hang out". It amuses me that people think I'm that shallow. Why would I even entertain you up close and personal like that just for...
April-November to come around.
From April-November, just like the Southwest commercial, everyone is "free to move about the country" and not have a care in the world. Some will go out to bars, others will go to park and bathhouses. They will hook up, and shack up, albet temporarily. The next day the cycle starts all over again.
I have a very interesting theory as to why the haters....as I call it....come around during the holidays. You see, we as humans are somewhat like the elephant; we don't like to be alone. We will never admit it, but it is true. Some people just want that warm bed and warm body to be next to, others just want to say they have someone for the holidays. In addition, there are some that simply can't stand seeing you either (1) happy with someone else, or (2) happy being by yourself.
Does that happen to you? If so, here's my response. Tell them in a nice way (remember, Santa is watching!) that you are not interested and to leave you alone. If they persist, then, by all means, push back if they push. Let them know that THEY walked out on YOU (if that is the case) and they need to keep walking.
Thank you. And have a nice day.
Marcus: How ru
Me: Ok I guess
Marcus: Y is that
Me: Long story. Well not so long. Got some news at work.
Me: 2011 will bring a 10% reduction in the workforce.
Marcus: Ahhh. Well u tell me often u have tons of downtime
Yes ladies and gentlemen, you read it correctly. No compassion, no apologies, nothing. Just being a cold, dark, ASSHOLE. This is NOT made up, this is copied directly from my cellphone! Someone I thought was a buddy is quickly turning out to be a total and complete asshole.
But wait! There's more....
Me: Wow. Thanks for the encouragement.
Marcus: Wrong response huh?
Yeah, ya think? Doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure that one out buddy!
Marcus: Sorry but it sounds like u were complaining both ways...
Someone PLEASE tell me where I was complaining! I mean come on, you can't make this stuff up!
Which is what I've been saying all along. People are a fuckin trip. I could go on and on about "Marcus", but I think I'll stop right there. If this individual is acting this way now, I can only imagine what would go down if something really serious happened. Suppose I was involved in, let's say, a medical emergency. Would your response be "well you tell me often you have lots of downtime..."?
Show some fucking compassion and stop being such a dick.
People are a fuckin trip.
It never ceases to amaze me how much bullshit people can be on. One minute they are cool, the next minute they are nonexistant. Or they can be all in your face until they get what they want (or need), then they completely disappear. Or my all time favorite, the people that tell you to go to hell, you swallow it, move on and forget about them, and then in the gay period of November through April, they're blowing up your e-mail, IPhone, cell phone, text messaging, all of that.
Let me focus on that type of person today by giving this example:
There is an individual on the east coast that I dated a few years back. Obviously it didn't work out. This person was a complete psycho, not taking "no", "hell no" or even "fuck off" for an answer. They would blow up my cell phone, email and voicemail at least 5 times A DAY. Finally, it got to the point that I had to get "niggerish" on them and tell them where to go and how to get there. They respond with a few crock tears and a rather loud "fuck you and go to hell". Then we parted ways. Or so I thought. A few days ago, I receive an email from this person saying "hi, I was just checking on you. I hear you're coming to DC soon. Maybe we can meet there and have lunch?" Uh.....NO. All of a sudden after YEARS, you want to have lunch with me? Sure, and I have a piece of property on the ocean to sell you.
I responded back with a "who is this" statement. Didn't hear from them again. GOOD.
An associate calls the period from November through April "dyking season". Meaning it doesn't matter what your sexual orientation or preference is, lonely miserable individuals with nothing going for themselves are looking for that warm bed to sleep in, that hot meal, that nice comfortable warm car to ride in because they know it gets real cold standing on the bus stop!
Dyke on, my brothas. Just don't come in my direction with that bullshit.
Oh, and to my lesbian friends out there that are offended with the use of the "D" word, please know that it's not meant in a defamatory way, and definitely not towards you. If that doesn't suffice, I apologize.
I walk into a gas station or convenience store with the intention of buying the scratch off lottery tickets. The vast majority (if not all) of lottery retailers keep their tickets in a glass or plastic case where you can see not only the tickets that they sell, but the price of each ticket. When I go to buy a $20 ticket (or more than one) it drive me crazy that the person behind the counter then says "you know those tickets are $20 right?" As if I'm stupid and can't see the ticket and the price of the ticket on it! Are you implying that I cannot afford these tickets? You don't know me very well, do you? I promise you though, the next time that happens, I'm either going to (a) walk out and leave the tickets without saying a word, or (b) tell the shop person "no shit! I CAN READ!"
And now for the icing on the cake.....
I could stop right there.
I have four boxes in my house, two DVRs and two HD boxes. For some strange reason or another, one of my DVR boxes has never worked. They have sent signals, rebooted the box, hell I've even shut down the power in my entire house from the circuit breaker and restarted! They even sent two techs out to the house, but I continued to get the "One Moment Please" message. Customer Service continued to tell me that the box was not on my account, but it's in my house, right? Duh! So they would add the box onto my account and it would work, only for it to go down again a day or two later. This has been going on since late September. So finally, my friend that works at Comcast, took one look at my account and IN TEN MINUTES TIME, figured out that the box was reported "lost" and needed to be replaced. It took one person TEN MINUTES to solve a problem that FIFTEEN OTHER PEOPLE COULDN'T SOLVE IN TWO MONTHS TIME. Again, Comcast.
Oh, and while I'm talking about icing on the cake....
Relationships on Facebook.
Look, we all know that Facebook allows you to post your relationship status on there. Let me just say that if you are "Single" on Monday, "In a Relationship" on Tuesday, "Single" again on Wednesday, "It's Complicated" on Thursday, and "Married" from Friday-Sunday, or if every week you go from "In a Relationship" to "Single", or any combination of the above, you need to STOP USING THAT FACEBOOK FEATURE.
Thank you for joining me for this edition of "What Drives Tim Crazy". Tune in for another adventure.
This afternoon I was sitting at work when I had a reflection on the past several months of my life. Ever since last year I have tried to help certain people and even treat certain people to nice things. Most times I can see the appreciation and admiration in their actions, however there have been a few times that I not only didn't feel that, but have felt outright used and abused. Those are the times that I've been reflecting on today.
Let's take for example a couple of individuals in Atlanta that I befriended over the past Labor Day holiday, only to have them use me and lead me to thinking that a friendship would happen. Or the individuals on my birthday that I took on a seven day cruise on the largest cruise ship (at the time), only to be insulted, beat up (mentally), spat on (again, mentally), and forced to contact ship security for individuals that I considered friends and that I wanted to spend my special day with. How about an individual that works (or worked, i'm not sure now) at my church that I loaned money to under the auspices of helping her in a serious time of need, only to not hear from that person again. The list goes on and on....and on.
But with the bad apples come a few good ones, such as Chris' mom for helping her get into the house that she's in now. Or the homeless person that I gave a $20 bill to outside of KFC just to get him and his wife/girlfriend/partner something to eat and a place to sleep for the night. Or the Center on Halsted for my continued financial support and for the good that they contnue to churn out for the community at large.
Even with the good that has come out of the bad (I learned who should be in my inner circle, which unfortunately has shrunk to record low levels), I still ask myself, is it OK to be nice to people and treat them to nice things? Unfortunately I don't know that answer, but I feel that it's a shame that complete strangers will appreciate kindness better than people that are your so-called friends. It is a matter of appreciation, I suppose. I feel that everyone should appreciate all of the good that other people do, whether they be a friend, acquaintance, partner, or even a stranger. You never know when your blessing will come back to you...or if you'll need that person again. (As a quick footnote, all of the bad apples that I mentioned know better than to approach me again for anything. The wounds are too deep and the bridge is completely gone.)
Let's think about that for a second...and then move on.
I immediately thought about was how it was when I came out to my parents...oh some 16 years ago now. I was 17 and just coming home from college when my mother suddenly whirled around and told me to my face "I know you're gay!". Of course at the time I denied it, being as I was destined to live in HER house for the time being. We didn't speak for almost two years because of that - our conversations were mostly passing notes to each other, and then my turning to some risky behavior, such as staying out of the house for days at a time at other people's houses that I barely knew (including a one month stint at this guy's house in Wheaton, but that's a different topic for a different day). Eventually I got accepted at another university and moved there, and from there into my very first apartment after landing a job at Chase bank.
Back in those days life was very different. Yes there were stressful times after coming out, but there were also a few people back then that you don't see nowadays. MENTORS. My very first mentor was an older guy named Paul. Paul taught me that I didn't need to run from my issues of coming out and being gay, taught me to stop engaging in the above mentioned behavior, and even helped me get the job at Chase. Paul was a wonderful person and he grew into someone that I loved until his passing. But before he passed away, he taught me one very important lesson:
Everything will be OK.
Folks, please understand the following things:
(1) everything will be OK in time. Life sometimes throws us a curve to make us stronger. (2) People that bully you are usually jealous of you. Take that negative energy and turn it into a positive. God put all of us on this earth for a purpose, maybe your purpose is to let people know that it is OK to be gay and that life will be OK.
And finally, (3), suicide is NEVER, under any circumstances, NEVER the answer. There is no escape hatch to life! By leaving too soon you are robbing those other individuals that will benefit from your blessing!
So please, take a deep breath. Step back. Take the punches. Talk to your peers, counselors and parents. Talk to other "out and gay" youth. Stick together. And never bow out of the fight early.
Lately the discussion has been raised regarding whether blogging is free speech or not. I recently have been forced to make a statement on this issue due to certain individuals which will remain anonymous.
I for one have always believed in the Constitution of the United States. The First Amendment guarantees free speech to all. As of late, there have been some individuals that have attempted to "bully" me based on some things that have been said in the past, and have tried to "silence" me.
This led me to not only consult with my attorney but to do some Internet research. Rest assured, that "bullying" or "intimidating" me to be silent in my telling of the truth will not succeed. I will continue to speak the truth until the good Lord calls me home. I will continue to blog, and in some instances, I will continue to speak my opinion, as guaranteed by the First Amendment.
For those individuals attempting to "silence" or "bully" me that have decided to start "monitoring" my blog, by all means, please do continue. You might learn something.
With that being said, have a good evening.
Not so. Well not entirely.
I came to DC to spend Saturday trying to relax. Issues tried to follow me here and I resolved them as best as I could. But it never fails, there's always bullshit out there.
Saturday night I went to Starbucks. Yes, Starbucks. As I was sitting at one of the few tables there this guy comes up and asks if we can share a table. I say sure. So he proceeds to sit down and we have decent conversation....until the relationship subject came up. Then he proceeds to completely blow off the fact that I told him I'm with someone and says "you must not be happy, he's not here with you.". I get up and walk away.
Now I decide I need a drink. So I walk over to Dupont Circle and go to Omega DC for a couple of beers. Why did I do that? Between the strippers eye humping me for money and the young skinny boy that was very tipsy and not taking no for an answer, I did not have a good time.
Now I could easily block all of this out and turn into a bitter jaded old queen that won't speak to anybody and always walks around looking evil and acts like I'm better than everybody. Should I? Is this the only way to be in the gay community now? Act like I'm all that because I have a lover and a house and a good job? Some would say yes, but I can't do that. My mother taught me (and God has taught me) to be nice to people no matter what. But this is surely being tested.
I'm going home today. And suddenly I welcome any problems waiting for me at home.
- Posted from my iPhone.
While I was out and about, I happened to run into someone that Chris and I both know very well. Won't name any names here - even though I really want to. We sit down and eat together in Dupont Circle. This was sometime Saturday evening. So the time comes when it's time for me to go back to my hotel and get ready to depart on Sunday. My hotel is in NW DC; this person lives WAY in SE DC. No offense against SE DC but I'm not driving a $70,000 truck in SE after dark.
So no big surprise that this person wanted me to take them home. But wait a second, my question is, how did you get down to Dupont Circle?
That's right, ON THE METRO.
When I tell them that I don't have time to take them all the way home and then come all the way back to NW DC, they get an attitude, won't say two more words to me, storms out and walks to the Metro. And now this person has blocked me on Facebook! How fun.
My thing is, I will help anyone that I can. But when I say NO, that's it. NO means NO. And besides, it's my damn truck! I have the right NOT to take you anywhere or play your private chauffeur so people can see you in the passengers seat and you can act like you're all that. Boy, please. But it's all good. You got down there on the Metro, you can go home on the Metro. End of story.
Crazy negroes abound...even in DC.
Did I say process? Believe it or not it's been a very smooth transaction. Even my real estate attorney told me "It's a good transaction when we're not speaking daily or have each other's numbers on speed dial". I laughed. But unfortunately, he was telling the truth. We haven't spoken on a daily basis nor do we have each other's numbers on speed dial. Everything fell into place at the right time, and that is nothing but God. I give thanks and glory to Him for what I'm about to say next.
This morning, after two months of sending in hundreds (yes, LITERALLY HUNDREDS) of pages of paperwork, filling out dozens of pages of paperwork, nearly giving my fax machine a heart attack from faxing nearly 300 pages of paperwork in, I received the news today that the financing has been approved and we have been given the clear to close on our new home! The official signing and transition will take place on Monday morning at 9:00am!
Remember when I posted a while back about walking through hell to get your blessing? Well, once again, this is proof that it does pay off. Believe me; it does. In this economy where banks are not lending, people are not working and it is a general sense of despair, God has found favor to bless me..and Chris.
Thank you God.
Thank you God.
According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 26 year old Calvin Streater of Atlanta and 21 year old Samuel Blizzard Jr of Spring Grove, Virginia, were found murdered execution style. The police believe they knew their killer, and continue to investigate. The police went further to say that they believe both individuals were in town for the Black Gay Pride festivities over the weekend, and that they are questioning a number of their friends to try to retrace their steps.
My heart goes out to these two young men. May they rest in peace.
And now, a personal message to the person or persons responsible for their death:
It hurts my heart that people can't even go out of town and enjoy themselves without being killed. I could easily speculate and say that these two individuals met this person or persons somewhere or on the Internet, went to this apartment to have a night of fun, and wound up paying for it with their lives. I could also go further and say that this was possibly one of the illustrious "DL-WANNA-BE-NEGROES" that frequent (or live in) Atlanta.
But I won't go that route, because unfortunately we don't know all the facts.
I will say this though: Run like hell. I can guarantee you that eventually, you will be caught, whether it be by the Police, a bullet with your name on it, or by God.
I did not know these two individuals, either personally or via Facebook. However it makes me sick to see two individuals trying to have a good time at such a young age, only to be cut down by an asshole that needs to have his ass not only kicked, but stoned, hung and strung up.
And now, back to our regularly scheduled program.
Well, needless to say, I left that situation (and him) alone. However a couple of days ago I received a communique from said ex. He said, in part:
"though I have changed so much, there was a small part of me holding on to other emotions I buried deep and chose not to deal with, which I thought I did. Not going to go into much detail but I wanted to say thanks."
Sometimes being nice, even in the face of adversity, pays off in the way of helping other people. However, will I contact him again? Probably not.
I too, want to thank him though. Through his pictures and his demeanor, it pushed me to get back into the gym and fulfill a long-term goal, which is to lose some of my gut and firm up the upper body. After 3 sessions I'm glad to say that it is working, and I'm down 6 pounds already!
Being nice sometimes does pay off....for all concerned.
In an attempt to pick up my baby from work, I had to pull in front of his building and wait. This ugly beat up car pulled directly in front of me. Do you think he would pull up 2 feet to let me all the way in? Of course not! Them he wanted to say something smart as he finally pulled off.
I took a photo of your license number. Nuff said. I'm so tired of these ignorant drivers that I will start posting photos on here.
- Posted from my iPhone.
Location:E Chicago Ave,Chicago,United States
At my job there is one entrance and one exit. You pull a ticket or swipe your keycard to enter and exit. Why the hell would you block the entrance with your beat up piece of crap, get OUT OF YOUR CAR, and LEAVE IT TO BLOCK THE ENTRANCE? On top of that you ask me if I can wait a little bit and get an attitude when I say no!
HELL NAW! I'M TRYING TO GET TO WORK! Just because you don't work, don't block it so I can't!
If I see your car again I am just going to have to key the car and whoop your ass.
- Posted from my iPhone.
Location:W Arcade Pl,Chicago,United States
Until last night. I found him.
Google lead me to a blog that he posts, which in turn lead me to his Facebook page. (I searched Facebook first and foremost and came up with nothing prior to last night.) I sent him a friend request and put my laptop to sleep. This morning when I get into work I power up my laptop and notice that he has a chat widget on his blog, and that he was online. So I reached out to him in an attempt to see how he was doing and to see if he was OK.
It didn't go very well.
The conversation, which lasted all of 10 minutes, was very challenging. I felt as if I were walking on eggshells the entire time. I felt as if he didn't want to be bothered, so I asked him if he wanted to be bothered with me and that if he didn't to just tell me. He didn't say that he didn't want to, so we continue chatting. In the end, it seemed as if he thought I were trying to sleep with him or have him back, and the conversation ended with "I don't want to add you to Facebook right now."
First of all, I don't want you back. I was genuine in my concern for you. You fall off of the face of the Earth, you know what most people think. Secondly, even though you look as though you've been hitting the gym, I don't want to sleep with you. I got a man at home for that. Finally, you are still the arrogant, pompous, stuck-up wanna-be-all-that-kid-with-caviar-taste-and-bologna-and-cheese-money person that broke up with me 15 years ago....and put me out with no where to go, but I digress. Madea said "forgive...but always remember".
So with that being said, I withdrew my friend request from Facebook, ended the chat, closed his blog and deleted it from my favorites and my history. Guess you can say I've deleted him from my history, too.
Oh and by the way, I hired a personal trainer today too.
As I type this, I am on an Airtran aircraft heading down to Atlanta for the weekend. It was placed on my heart to share something with everyone while we zip along at over 400 miles per hour..and I enjoy this lovely cocktail after a long week.
You know when you are about to climb to the next level, the devil will send all of his minions out to get you? My pastor put it in this way (I'm para-phrasing): "If you are catching a lot of hell, keep going, because you have to go THROUGH hell to get to your blessing!" Needless to say I've been catching a little bit of hell lately. People that I thought were in my corner weren't really in my corner, they were just using me for their gain. Read on...
Back in May I decided to take myself, Chris, and several of our friends on a 7-day cruise aboard the Liberty of the Seas. I pretty much paid the vast majority of the cruise...we're talking about $15,000...just to have a good time and to make sure everyone else was comfortable. Individuals showed their ass on the ship, the ship that if I hadn't paid for, they would never be on it. All of this hell went down - believe it or not - on my birthday. My actual birthday. I won't go into the particulars of the incident but let's just say it involved 6 of the 14 people that went with us, words were exchanged and ship's security had to be called. Those individual pretty much will not only never travel with us again, but will never be allowed on a Royal Caribbean ship again. One of these individuals I helped out tremendously. When this person needed their vehicle fixed, I helped. When their children faced the reality of not having a Christmas, I stepped up and gave them money to get presents for their children. And this is how I was repaid? At first I took it personal, but then I realized that it was just the devil using her to make me evil and bitter. That has since passed. Have I forgiven this person (as well as the others)? Yes. Will I speak to them again? Probably not.
There is an individual that works on my team that operates out of the DC office. We do not get along - at all. I have nothing against this person; this person just is the type that will stab you in the back and lie on you at the first available opportunity. Needless to say, me, this person, my boss and their boss had to have a meeting to "clear the air", and they lied. And lied. And lied. Again, the devil using her to make me evil and bitter. And again, have I forgiven this person? Yes. Will I speak to them again? Only if it is work related.
These are just two examples as to how the devil is throwing everything he has at me because the GREATER HIM...God...is blessing me and Chris, over and over and over again. We are in the final stages of purchasing a home, and the devil doesn't like that. We have funds in the bank, and the devil doesn't like that. Work for me is going extremely well, and the devil doesn't like that. My relationship with Chris couldn't be better, and the devil doesn't like that.
As a survivor of many things...living in a home where domestic violence occurred, being robbed at gunpoint, being diagnosed with HIV and now all of this, I can tell you that I have been through, and am going through, hell. But the good news is that I'm just going THROUGH hell, which means that eventually, the devil will tire, and I will pass through hell.
I have done it. You can do it. Just keep going. If you're not going through hell and the devil isn't messing with you, turn around. If you are going through hell and the devil is messing with you, KEEP GOING.
This is my testimony, and I'm glad to share it with you. With that....
End Transmission...at 32,000 feet.
Two very interesting and scary things have happened in Chicago over the past 4 hours, one very close to where I work. (Both articles are courtesy of various news sources.)
First, Two people were killed in a shooting at the Old Navy store on State Street in downtown Chicago this morning. Police are investigating and it appears the shooting occurred downstairs in an employee-only area of the store. Customers said the store manager got them out. It is reported that a man walked into the Old Navy store and shot his girlfriend before turning the gun on himself, sending panicked shoppers pouring out onto State Street. (This is still developing at this hour.)
Then, Metra Chief Phil Pagano committed suicide this morning by walking in front of a Metra train, just hours before an emergency meeting in which the Metra board of directors planned to discuss Pagano's alleged misconduct.
This has been one hell of a day so far. And it's only noon. My prayers go out to the families of all involved individuals today.
Two days ago, I was on a conference call with the other admin assistants in my division, planning our All Hands meeting this week. A conversation came up about taking a tour of the DC campus buildings. One of the admins named Kimberly said that she would bring her SUV, but that it could only seat 5. Seeing as I knew I would be in DC a few days past the end of our meetings, I decided to offer to pick up my rental car early to add a few extra seats. I made mention that I usually get an upgrade to an SUV automatically, and this is how the conversation went:
Me: I can pick up my rental car on Tuesday evening, and I usually get an automatic upgrade to an SUV, so we'll have those seats.
Kimberly: "Well if you wanna be big balla shot caller and get your SUV upgrade, go ahead."
Now she said all of this on a conference call with other people. HOW UNPROFESSIONAL!
But wait! It gets better.
My manager, her manager (the vice-president), and the two of us got together for a meeting today. SHE BLATINTLY LIED IN THAT MEETING saying that those were not the words that she said (which they were), and when I brought up another time that she offended me, she first acted as if she didn't know what I was talking about, and then acted as if it was entirely my fault. Then, she mentions that she "took diversity training". What the hell does diversity training have to do with anything? Are you saying that because I'm a black openly gay male, you feel it necessary to try and secretly "cut" me? Finally, in her "apology" e-mail, she tells me in one line that she "apologizes", but in the next line says "apparently you're the only one in the company that has a problem with me". WTF???????
Let me tell you something Kimberly. EVERYONE IN THE ROOM knew that you lied. EVERYONE knows how full of manure you are. As long as you don't say anything to me, and I don't say anything to you, I think we'll be fine. But say another word to me in an offensive tone, and I will do everything in my power to see to it that you are SANCTIONED.
Have a great day.
15 years ago here in Chicago, Millenium Park used to be Grant Park. I was 18 then and just REALLY coming out of the closet with no guidance or role models whatsoever. My parents weren't talking to me, and I was pretty much house-hopping from place to place to keep from going home and dealing with all of that. Well one evening I was down in Grant Park hanging out with some guys (the wrong group of guys, as I found out years later), and there was this light skinned guy, kinda short, kinda attractive. I wanted to try and holla at him and see what he was about, and succeeded. We kicked it for a little while, but he was on a lot of bull. Needless to say I called him out on it (I was a hothead back then) and things got real ugly, real fast.
He pretty much dogged me out, talked about me really bad, and admitted to playing me for a fool...in front of everybody. For months after that, whenever I would see him he would talk about me real bad, didn't want to have anything to do with me, and even went as far as flaunting his new boyfriends (yes, plural) in front of me every chance he got. I was heartbroken, devastated...hell I was young and didn't know any better. But I got over it.
Fast forward 15 years to this morning.
As I'm leaving Dunkin Donuts (gotta love that coffee!) heading to work, guess who I see standing outside begging for money?
You guessed it!
I didn't snub him on the way out. I gave him a dollar. And here's the kicker. He thanks me for the dollar and asks me "is there anything I can do for you?"
Yeah there is something you can do. ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. And I mean that.
Isn't it funny how Karma will turn on you?
Those five words mean a lot. This past week has been an interesting one with drama, sadness and reflection. I touched on the drama already, so now let me touch on the sadness and reflection, and you'll understand why those five words mean a lot.
Thursday, March 25, I was arriving to work, and decided to stop and speak to the security officers in my building, as I do every morning. As I'm talking to them, my personal cell phone rings. It's Chris. In tears. Bawling. Obviously, something is wrong. However, at the time, I didn't know HOW wrong things were.
Anthony Taylor, who was a very well-known pastor in Richmond, Virginia (where Chris is from), and who was a big brother to Chris, was killed in a car crash caused by a stupid ass wanna-be thug running from Henrico County Police. When I heard those words, I just went numb. I immediately called my director and left for the day. I stayed home with Chris and made sure he was OK, and for the most part he was, save for the occasional outbursts of tears.
Fast-forward. The wake for Tony was held on Wednesday, March 31. At first Chris wasn't going to go, but after speaking with me and several other close confidantes, he decided to go. Work committments kept me at home, so Chris flew by himself and met up with our confidantes on the East Coast. He was gone for 4 days, catching up with friends, crying with loved ones, and spending time with family. I missed him. I missed him a lot.
Now for the reflection piece. Being in the house all alone for 3 out of the 4 days (my friend Tony hung out with me and stayed over one of the 4 nights) made me realize how lucky I am. I have a good job, money in the bank, two vehicles, a wonderful home, and a MAN. I think about him, and I thank Him (you'll get that statement on the way home). Chris is all that I could ask for...he's sweet, intelligent, attractive, silly, and a big kid.
But more imporantly, he's MY big kid. As I said on the last cruise to my true friends as we were sitting on the beach, I really love him.
There are people with bags a little bigger than mine and THEY can bring their bags onboard!
Oh I know why....it's because I'm a black man with dreads.
I wonder if Delta or AirTran treats their customers like this? Oh wait, I've flown BOTH airlines and the answer is NO.
Racism is alive and well at Southwest Airlines.
- Posted from my iPhone.
Location:Elm Dr,Baltimore,United States
I went to Bachelors Mill with a good friend named Dulani. I also met my friend Kelvin and another Facebook buddy there. The night was going wonderfully. Everybody was laughing, drinking and having a good time.
Then the lights came up.
I told Dulani and Kelvin that I had to pee (I had been drinking Corona all last night) and that I would meet them outside. Kelvin was outside waiting but no Dulani. Now it's 3am in Southeast DC and I'm ready to take Dulani home so I can go back to my hotel.
I text him. He responds back "I'm on my way home". WTF??? He then goes on to say that I "dismissed" him, had "an attitude" and that I was "obviously on something else".
I HAD TO PEE. What else could I be on but that? Let me put it this way: have you ever had to pee so bad that all you see is red? I HAD TO GO. Bottom line.
To leave someone not from the area to fend for themselves at 3am is fucking lame. To accuse them of trying to shack up with someone after they tell you specifically where they're going is lame too.
Did I mention that I bought most of his drinks last night? A true lapse of judgement on my part.
Well needless to say he called Chris and told him the same thing so not only are you fucking lame, you're a pussy as well for calling my HUSBAND at 3AM to tell him a pack of lies.
My taking him out caused the problem. My ending the friendship solves it.
- Posted from my iPhone.
Location:14th St NW,Washington,United States
Getting here yesterday was no easy task. I mean the plane ride was smooth as silk, but my problem wasn't with the plane or lack of turbulence. It was this one child that looked as if he were twelve or so traveling with these two older black ladies. The child constantly kicked the person's chair in front of him, stomped on the floor, got up when he was told not only by the ladies traveling but by the flight attendants to stay seated, and even stood up and ripped out the seat cushion during final approach! The people in front of him were getting very upset, as were the people behind him. Heck one third of the plane was getting upset with him! But alas, we finally arrived, and we all couldn't get off the plane fast enough.
Driving down from Baltimore was pretty easy. Traffic wasn't that bad and I was able to get into DC with no real problems. Meetings went OK; nothing to really write home about.
Last night I went to the Fireplace for a few drinks and saw a few people there that I know. My DC drinking buddy Tim decided he wanted to challenge me and tell me that he could "handle anything that I threw at him" (liquor-wise). So I said "ok I got you". He went to the restroom and when he came back, guess what was waiting for him?
A Jagermeister shot.
He took it though. And the water chaser behind it. And the three other special shots that his other friends bought him. Needless to say I now know how he acts when he gets completely drunk. And it ain't pretty. Hell it's downright ugly. You know that alcohol is a truth syrum, and he was telling the truth about a lot of things last night. Won't go into it here but it was very...interesting.
So....more meetings today and then tonight I'll be going to the Bachelor's Mill. Tomorrow I head back to Chicago to be with Chris, after a traumatic start to the weekend. This guy that we both know that lives in Richmond that was a very famous pastor down there was killed in an auto accident. Some fucking idiot decides to run from the Police, gets chased, runs a stop sign and hits the pastor, killing him instantly.
Now I'm usually not one for "an eye for an eye" but this time I'll make an exception. Give him the needle and get it over with.
"Spare some change?"
If you've been in downtown Chicago (or pretty much in any city's downtown), you've seen them. The homeless, and the "homeless". There is a difference between them! Let me explain...
The homeless (no quotes) are those people that are truly homeless. They have lost everything they have, either due to the economy or for various other reasons. They truly have nowhere to go, or they live in shelters.
The "homeless" (with quotes) are those people that are NOT homeless, and that are just trying to "hustle", instead of trying to find a real job. You can sometimes tell the difference between them, but not always. For instance, if someone asks you for a hot meal, buy them a HOT MEAL and see what they do with it. I wrote about this "homeless" guy running the same scam a few months ago who took food from someone and then threw it in the trash when the good samaritan got out of sight.
What really bothers me though is that some of the homeless and "homeless" think they are entitled to YOUR money, and treat begging as THEIR JOB. I was coming back from lunch this afternoon and this guy was standing on the corner, literally forcing his cup in everyone's faces, including mine. I brushed past him and kept on my way. Dude, this is NOT your job, and I am NOT paying your salary!
What can we, as a city, do about people such as these? One person joked and said we should "put all of the homeless and wanna-be homeless on a bus out of town". Although it sounds like a good idea, that would just be shuffling the problem from one area to the next.
Let's weigh in on that. Please comment. What can we, as a city, as a society, do about the homeless and "homeless"?
I HAD to represent! For my first, it didn't hurt at all. It was actually more irritating than painful. Kinda sounds like New York in a nutshell.
The highlight of the night was that we got to meet, mingle, and talk to ALL OF THE BULLS PLAYERS!
I will admit, I was a little intimated by them. You're in a room with these guys that are almost 7 feet tall (and in one or two instances, they ARE 7 feet tall). But after the liquid courage kicked in for both of us, we were walking right up and not only talking to the players, but getting autographs and pictures with them. It was truly a wonderful experience.
Now, to my personal comments.
James Johnson is ONE FINE BROTHA! Getting a photo with him was truly the highlight of my night. He's so laid back and down to earth...and did I mention FINE?
Derrick Rose is a very shy brotha. He's outgoing and focused on the court, but he seems like the type of person that needs to warm up to you - not a bad thing.
Taj Gibson....oh, Taj Gibson! Need I say more? See James Johnson, above.
Kirk Hinrich...definitely a cool guy. We chatted briefly as there was a mob of people trying to get to him. Wouldn't mind going out for a beer with him and shooting the breeze.
Joakim Noah...the tallest thing in the room. When Chris and I took a photo with him, I didn't even come up to his chest! Now I KNOW I'm short!
Coach Vinny Del Negro...I do not envy your job. I just hope you can get us into the playoffs.
Finally....the crazy point of the evening. We were all sitting at our designated table having dinner and conversation, when this lady comes up and goes ABSOLUTELY BALLISTIC that there's no room for her at the table. She seemed like she was on uppers, valium and a few other things. Her young son was truly embarassed and telling everyone "just ignore her, just ignore her!" Well hell, you can't ignore someone who is being very loud, obnoxious and very much "in your face".
I just kept eating, conversating, and dreaming about James Johnson and Taj Gibson.
When I first walked in, I noticed the red carpet, the ladies (greeters) wearing their red dresses passing out champagne, and thought it would be a very nice classy event.
Upon entering the ballroom, I almost immediately felt uncomfortable. Out of nearly 250 people there, I could count on one hand how many African-American people were there, and still have a few fingers left over. Nearly everyone that walked past had this "omg-what-are-you-doing-here" look on their face when looking at me. (Some looked at me even worse than that.) I didn't think I offended; I was wearing a nice red Armani sweater and some True Religion jeans. Now, that isn't to say everyone there wasn't a prick; the greeters came up and we had nice conversation together, and one of the volunteers chatted me up for a while before reporting to his station.
Now, here's where I got a dose of harsh reality. There were raffle tickets being sold there to benefit the Center. Nice prizes, I might add. There were two members of the Chicago Fire Department there; one black, one Asian. The black guy didn't approach me once. The Asian guy came over to the area where I was standing, and asked everyone there if they wanted to purchase a raffle ticket. Everyone, except me.
North Side Mentality. What do I mean exactly? Most individuals that live in Chicago know that it is by far, the most segregated city in America. (Yes, even worse than San Francisco.) People on the North Side (especially in Boystown, Lakeview and Andersonville), no, strike that...caucasians, asians...heck just about everyone on the North Side tends not to like the company of, or speak to, African-Americans. It has been that way for many many years and will be that way for many more. It sickens me that we all as human beings treat each other in such a way. Why do I offend you such, because I have a different skin color as you? Because I wasn't brought up on the North Side?
I think it's bullshit.
Oh, you might be asking, what did I do after the Asian pretty much snubbed me? Simple. I finished my glass of wine, grabbed my coat check ticket, and left.
Give me an Oscar for Best Performance.
I could stop right there. But I won't.
There were people in my life that meant me harm, but He pushed them away.
There were places that I went that I shouldn't have been anywhere near, but He showed me, protected me and kept me.
There were things that I was doing that I shouldn't been doing, but He showed me, protected me and kept me.
Even when I screwed up royaly, He was still there. True, God could've left me in those places with those people doing those things, but I'd probably be dead right now if He did.
God truly is a good God.
What he said next really pissed me off.
He said "fuck yo man, he ain't got nothing to do with this".
It took everything within me not to go off on him, but then it hit me. Negro, you ain't about nothing, don't have anything and you're a sorry nigga. You're so sorry that you gotta try to get with a married man. You gotta try to force yourself on somebody! Don't you have any morals about yourself? Are you THAT DESPERATE???
When someone says NO, THEY MEAN NO.
Oh by the way, I removed him from my friends list and blocked him. You ARE the Weakest Link, GOODBYE!
I didn't realize that I haven't blogged at all in the New Year. So fine. Slap me real good. (On second thought, don't do that, I might like it too much.)
Chris and I just got back from his birthday cruise in the Bahamas. I had an entire week of fun lined up. We stayed in a nice hotel (or so I thought, keep reading) and I had a limo set up and ready to take us to the clubs, where we had VIP service and table/bottle service. Oh...we had a REAL good time! I am uploading photos to Flickr and will share the link soon. Then we went on the cruise...a 4 day trip to Nassau, CocoCay and Key West aboard the Majesty of the Seas. Everything was good...until the ship started to rock back and forth. I mean, you could REALLY feel it moving! People got sick from the motion, and we all just wanted to get off of the ship.
Now, let me explain why I thought we stayed in a nice hotel. On the way back to the hotel in the limo, one of our friends got a case of motion sickness. We arrive back to the hotel, and while everyone is going into the main entrance, our friend walks down the driveway, assuming to walk it off. Half an hour goes by and no one has heard from him, he's not answering his phones or the door. Seeing as all of the rooms were under my name, I call the front desk and ask them to do a well-being check. The evil witch at the front desk said that they were not going to do that, nor were they going to key into the room. I demanded a key, which I received, and went into the room.
HE WAS NOWHERE TO BE FOUND.
Panicking and very upset, I go back to the front desk and demand that security be dispatched to search the grounds to find him. Searching the grounds does NOT mean walk to the ballroom entrance and go back inside. Chris and I walked through the entire parking lot to find him. We found him...lying on the ground inbetween two parked cars. Needless to say after going back inside and (at this point) yelling at the overnight manager and wanna-be security officer, we got him back up to the room.
The next morning, I spoke with the front office manager, advising her that I have contacted legal council, and asked her point blank "what can you do to make this go away?" She comp'd two of the five rooms I had, and forced the overnight manager to hand write an apology. In spite of all of this, I do not think we will ever stay there again.
The high point was that upon our return to Miami from the cruise, I booked the penthouse suite at the Hilton Bentley. This suite is a two level suite and comes with a private rooftop dual-level patio, rooftop jacuzzi and some of the best views of South Beach I've ever seen! All in all, we had a real good time.
So now you know where I've been. And I promise to blog on a more frequent basis. 2010 promises to be an exciting year. And yes, I still have my BlackBerry camera phone, and will not hesitate to use it!
This evening Chris, myself, and our friends Judy-Kay and Adrienne went to Annie's Paramount Steakhouse in Dupont Circle in Washington, DC for a late dinner. Everything was fine for the most part.
Then we walked into the restaurant.
Our server's attitude was....shall we say, bad. He seemed to have a chip on his shoulder all evening long, and just wasn't friendly at all. Not what I expected at a restaurant that I have dined at every time I come to DC. We get the check, and I paid it.
Then, he did something that I totally did NOT expect.
The server comes back to the table and asks "did I do something to offend you?" I say "of course not - why do you ask?" He then shows me the tip that I left him, as if to say this is not enough!
How fucking tacky can you be? That offended me so much, I reported him to his manager on duty, and said that I would never dine there again. Then I, along with everyone else, left. I no longer feel comfortable there, and Annie's has lost a long-time customer, due to the actions of one server that decided to be tacky.
Sorry Annie's, but your time has passed. Think I'll go to Dupont Italian Kitchen from now on. Good luck to you.
Dear Friends –
Happy New Year!!!
First off giving glory to God as He is the head of my household and has been an awesome God this past year, as He is each and every year, every month, every week, and every day.
Over the course of 2009, God has truly shown me that He is in our midst, both directly and indirectly. For starters, my job has grown from a simple Administrative Assistant to both a trainer and a sort of a technical manager if you will. Currently I still am an Administrative Assistant to the Chicago Region, but I am also now the webinar trainer and a SharePoint site owner! With the addition of these duties, and of course by the grace of God, there have also been tons of kudos, and two—count them, two---pay increases! Know that He is faithful to those that look up to Him and believe in Him!
Now, on to the story of Chris.
Chris, if you don’t know, is my other half, my life partner, and as of June 2, 2009, my husband. Yes, we went to Las Vegas, stood before a minister with our closest friends in attendance, and pledged our lives to each other. The ceremony was absolutely beautiful, and the City of Las Vegas, the Mon Bel Ami Wedding Chapel, and the Bellagio Hotel and Casino could not have been more welcoming and accommodating, and I want to publically thank them for that.
As far as the family front goes, needless to say that with an increase in your finances means an increase in the headaches. My mother, upon finding out of my good fortune, showed a bad streak towards Chris and said some things that should not have been said. We have since worked it out – somewhat - however I am afraid that the relationship between my mother, me and Chris has been somewhat harmed because of this. I am disappointed, because I wanted nothing more than my mother to accept Chris for who he is and be happy for both of us—and to share in the blessing with all of us. As for my father, I have not heard anything from him in regards to anything as I type this letter. I did give both of my parents a substantial amount; I can only hope that it is being used wisely.
Well, that is 2009 in a nutshell. Please continue to pray for me and my family, as well as for each other. May God continue to bless all of you in 2010, may He keep you all safe, and may He give you the desires of your heart!
Perception falls on many levels, whether it be the temperature, whether a car (or a person) is attractive or not, or even how you treat people that you call your friends. Allow me to give you my perception of something that happened while I was down in Atlanta.
I have two friends down there, both of whom will remain nameless...we'll call one "John" and the other "Raymond". "John" and "Raymond" both knew I was coming, they both had my flight arrangements and hotel arrangements. They both knew I was renting a truck and was coming not only to party, but to see both of them. When I landed safely in Atlanta (that will be another blog entry), I sent a text message to 3 people...Chris, "John" and "Raymond". Chris and "Raymond" both sent messages back almost immediately. "John" didn't respond, and when he did, it was this long spiel about being out with his boy and that he'd be free soon. This was 11:00am Atlanta Time.
"Raymond" showed up at my hotel at a little after noon. That's one hour after I landed. (Thanks, by the way.) I didn't hear back from "John" until well after 4:00pm. That's 5 hours after I land. Keep in mind, everyone knew my flight arrangements days in advance! At the time I heard back from him I was at Piedmont Park at Pride. I was asked to call back when I was leaving Pride. No problem. Left a voicemail (couldn't text while driving) and didn't hear back until WELL AFTER 9PM. By then, hell, I was on my way to the clubs. He said that he "fell asleep", but that's not my perception on the situation, based on experience.
Now here's my perception. If you didn't want to be bothered or if more important things cropped up (i.e. your boyfriend - but that should NEVER BE MORE IMPORTANT THAN YOUR FRIENDS), then SAY SOMETHING AND DON'T LEAVE A PERSON HANGING, OR STRING THEM ALONG. This isn't the first time that "John" has left me hanging, but it will be the last!
I'm quite sure that "John" will be reading this blog, and that's all good. I'm quite sure that all sorts of things (some true, most not) will be said following this. But I will say this: My feelings have been hurt for the last time. I now know who I can call on...and who I can't call on...the next time I'm in Atlanta.
Once again the Chicago Transit Authority is crying "broke" and wants to raise fares. But this time, it's personal.
See the chart below (taken from the Chicago Tribune this morning):
THREE DOLLARS A RIDE FOR MAINLINE EXPRESS BUSES and the END of "certain" express service? But wait, here's what I find interesting about that. Only ONE express route that is being eliminated (the X80) SERVES THE NORTH SIDE. All the others serve the SOUTH, WEST AND SOUTHWEST SIDES. On top of that, ONE-HUNDRED TEN DOLLARS ($110) A MONTH FOR A MONTHLY PASS?
Suddenly I hear a loud crash and see a lot of dust rising from the outskirts of downtown Chicago. Oh wait, that's the CTA Headquarters on Lake Street imploding.
That was until this morning.
I received a call from my MOTHER who proceeds to tell me that Chris "is going to clean me out" and that during our last visit to my mom's house, HE SAID THAT MY FATHER "DOESN'T NEED ANY OF THE MONEY."
WHAT THE HELL??? How DARE you tell a lie like that? It would've been one thing if I wasn't there during the last visit, but (1) I WAS THERE and (2) CHRIS DIDN'T SAY A WORD DURING THE ENTIRE VISIT.
Why would you tell a lie like that? It's not like you weren't getting your share FIRST (well, after the church, that is). Yes, Chris was getting slightly more than my mother, but believe me, there is plenty to go around. Now, Chris is getting significantly more because I cut her share down. You don't have to lie because you don't like somebody, or because you don't like the fact that I'm in a gay relationship. If you do that, then it proves what you are all about - GREED.
Now, I could be like one of these ignorant niggas on the street and knock up five or six women, have ten babies and not pay any child support. Instead, I'm in a HAPPY RELATIONSHIP without the drama.
Be happy for me - and don't HATE.