Wednesday, December 19, 2007

"Love them...but don't live for them"

Isn't it a trip how we can spend so much time running towards (or away) from something/body and get so caught up in running that you don't realize that you've been going in circles? And when you do acknowledge your situation, you become aware that you are TIRED and DISAPPOINTED. Ever felt like that? Well if you have, you'll agree with me that it's not a laughing matter at all.

That is how I felt before I left for Thailand (vacation recap to be posted soon). I've NEVER been that far at the end of my rope in the family or professional sense, and I never want to go there again. Thankfully the peace, tranquility, and good times of the Thailand trip got me thinking a whole new way about how I'm going to maintain balance in my life.

I'm going to finally follow the advice so many people have offered me this past year. My wise friend Tarrance summed it up the best. Borrowing from the one and only Whitney Houston (who is the last person who should be quoted for self improvement but sista had it ON POINT with this statement):


THEM refers to a selection of people that I deal with amongst my family, friends, and professional career that, either unintentionally or maliciously, mercilessly drain my energy and resources with...for lack of a better term...bullshit. Immature, remedial, wasteful bullshit and drama. Basically, the people in your life that are messy as hell but you have to deal with anyway. Well, they all got together and decided to whoop my ass for a good while.

They (as in THEM) appear comfortable doing the same ol' shit on a different day, while I am all about making changes until I find that right formula that will afford me growth, peace of mind, and success. They can't understand why I can't be at their beck and call 24-7, and I can't understand why the hell they expect me to put my life on hold for grown ass people that refuse to take some initiative and handle their shit. Trying to be so much for so many people (without reciprocity) has caused me to suffer. My romantic life is nearly buried...grad school placed it on cardiac arrest, and messy family drama threatens to lower it into the grave. The friends and colleagues who have enhanced my life with affirmation and I enjoy spending time with have grown frustrated with me because I never have time for them. My body, both spiritually and definitely physically, has been repeatedly neglected. And for a period of time I wasn't very happy at the end of the day. I finally realized that I cannot continue to exhaust my efforts on others and expect to hold myself down in the process.

If I continue to live for them...they won't live for themselves.
If I continue to live for them...they will expect and demand more.
If I continue to live for personal life will always be a distant priority.
If I continue to live for them...I risk the future prosperity I've worked so hard for.
If I continue to live for them...I'll feel obliged to "be there" when I really can't.
If I continue to live for them...they are gonna wear me out!
If I continue to live for them...I'll forget to live for myself.
If I continue to live for them...I'll resent them in the end.
If I continue to live for them...I'll hate them for holding me back.

Instead of playing the helpless victim or lashing out in anger, I'm gonna take middle ground. I'm going to LOVE THEM, BUT LET THEM LIVE. What that means is, I'm going to continue being supportive and a source of encouragement, within very strict boundaries. Unrelenting boundaries. Not to be a bitch, but to ensure I attend to my own affairs first. No more sacrificing my basic needs and essential wants (ie. healthy food, sleep, exercise, social interaction) to "run to the rescue". If a true emergency surfaces, I'll put on my cape and blast off. If it's not a life alterating drama or catastrophe, I'm gonna keep my distance and FALL BACK. Give advice from afar. Let the chips fall where they may. And if I do decide to jump in the fray, it will be done per MY discretion and MY circumstances. I will not feel obligated to do anything just because "you're the smart one" or "I don't know how to deal his/her triflin' ass." If it ain't crucial, HANDLE IT YOUR DAMN SELF, and call me for reinforcements.


In addition to that, I'm gonna make taking care of me a #1 PRIORITY. I've learned the hard way that putting oneself first is not selfish, but very SHREWD. I mean, how the hell can you expect to shoulder the responsibilities and shortcomings of others if your foundation is weak? From this point forward, I'm dedicated to once again strengthening my foundation. My life has so much potential right now, but I'm not running at 100% right now. Sure, I have plenty of valid excuses....grieving, adjusting to school, new family responsibilities, and the like. I recognize this, but is it really keeping me from BRINGING MY A GAME? I think not. So now, it's all about building Jammie for greatness. Attack school and research with TENACITY just like I did before I got a nice cushy fellowship and got just a teeny bit complacent. People are watching me, so it's time to really SHOW THEM what I'm working with.

Master my biggest nemesis....TIME MANAGEMENT.

Use the time that you have to do what you have to do. If I have 5 hours of work scheduled, I focus on my tasks for 5 hours then it's a WRAP. None of this putting in 1-2 extra hours per day nonsense...I don't have time for that, and clearly these tight wallet assed UCLA folks are not paying for extra so they gets none. If I have 3 hours of study-time after dinner, finish your work in 3 hours then carry your ass to bed! None of this going until 1:00 or 2:00 am bullshitting on YouTube and expecting to just wake up hella chipper at 5:00 am to go the gym. Stop playing. The snooze button is not there for you to press 8 times, and you're trying to get back in 'college' shape. If I have successfully endured a notorious hours-long study jam on a Saturday afternoon and got my work done, there will be no half hearted attempts to pick it back up after dinner...YOU'RE DONE! Get in the shower, lotion up them ashy elbows and ankles (it's crucial, trust me :)), put on some fly evening attire, call up the kids, and get the hell out. Away from Westwood. The club, concert, poetry lounge, drumming class, whatever. Just use that time AWAY from the Mac Book. Have your behind back and under the covers by 2 am though because there will be no sleeping in most Sundays. Yeah yeah yeah, self-imposed micromanagement sucks, but hey I'm trying to be FABULOUS so there are sacrifices one must make.

Next thing is BE RESPONSIVE. If somebody calls me, I will call them back in a timely fashion. Even if it's a microwave conversation, recognize folks are looking out for you and exchange the gesture. If a guy shows interest and you are feeling him (or vice versa), DON'T PUNK OUT. The whole "I'm busy with school" schtick is TIRED. Answer calls, respond to e-mails, and if you get an opportunity for a date, you better JUMP ON IT (get into the double entendre)! I think we all know desirable men don't grow on trees, so you'd be a damn fool to sleep on a quality dude, I don't care how busy you THINK you are. Pull out that schedule and make it work!

So yes, it's time for me to step it up several notches . I love THEM, but I cannot live for them. I need to start living for ME. And what a greater time to start than NOW.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Almost there....t-minus 11 days to FREEDOM

Lord pray for me...cuz I'ma need some strengf right bout now...

It's official, UCLA has literally broken me down like an unsuspecting vixen in a Brian Pumper movie. It is really a mess actually. Mondays through Fridays, let's not include weekends, are all dedicated to not mastering my assignments and academic activities, but just to stay AFLOAT. Pretty much everything 'extra' (sleep, working out :(, social activities, my non-academic friends, family time) have taken a very distant backseat to this beast known as the Ph.D. monster (I like that, I think I'll keep it from now on).

So there we have it...I've gone toe to toe with the Ph.D. Monster for over 9 weeks, and I'm still standing. I've been performing quite well in all of my classes and my research, but I feel completely unbalanced. With 7 days of the academic quarter left and 4 days of research and other responsibiliities remaining, it's really CRUNCH TIME. I have no friggin' clue where this extra 'crunch' is gonna come from, but it's gonna go down and I will WIN!

One thing to look forward to though....i'll be enjoying my FREEDOM overseas for the winter break! Ya boy is headed to THAILAND! Yes sir, the vacation I've been waiting 3 years for is finally within grasp! I'll be spending 2 weeks and both winter holidays in subtropical Southeast Asian bliss! I'll post the itinerary at some point so y'all can gag, but keep in my that I have not had a REAL vacation in over 3 years and have saved all of my discretionary funds to make this trip happen. Don't hate! But yeah maybe I can get some tips from those of you that have been there before...cuz I know my behind hasn't even seen a rice paddy up close before, LOL.

But first, I must go 11 more rounds with the Ph.D. monster. He almost won tonight...I fell dead asleep after dinner and now have to start studying at 1 in the morning. See what I mean by this whole 'plantation' schtick? Whether it be 9 am, 2 pm, (or in this case) 1 pm, if you got work to do, you must step up and get it done. And if you don't get it done, somebody is gonna whoop your ass something fierce...Sigh...pray for me y'all.

I do know one thing....I will have some serious planning to do next quarter to ensure my life stays in proper balance. It's amazing how inconsiderate of your time certain people can be, and now I see that every moment is precious and allows no room for unnessary bullshit and tombfoolery. But that's another post all by itself. In due time.

Ok, gotta hit it and hit it hard! I was serious about the prayers, y'all! I'm sitting here clutching my rosary beads like a queen would clutch his/her pearls and I'm not even a CATHOLIC! Cah-learly it's crucial!


Saturday, November 24, 2007

Just checkin' in...a few sips of tea

Hey bloggies....Just wanted to drop a few lines to let y'all know I'm still alive and kickin'. The academic plantation (UCLA) still has me on LOCKDOWN, but I'm learning how to balance MY LIFE with my SCHOOL LIFE. Believe me it's been a work in progress, but I'm starting to feel like a human being again.

I recently had a birthday and ushered in a new year of life (26 is the new 25, what you know about that!!). Although my b-day festivities were mellow and low-key, several interesting events transpired. For now I'm gonna be quiet about it, but let's just say I may have stumbled upon somebody I could really enjoy spending time with. Educated, attractive, sexy, strong, compassionate, giving, and determined...and with beautiful chocolate skin and a megawatt smile to match. We'll see what time will tell.

In the meantime, I want to share with you a birthday card I received from 2 very special people. I don't know who the author Melvina Young is, but I can say one thing...she DEFINITELY has a gift with words. Thanks Trent and Antonio for thinking of me and hooking me up with such a lovely card. Here goes:

Certain men have shoulders so strong,
you feel invited to just stop...
and lean for a while.

They have a quiet listening strength
that makes you feel heard
and a gaze so level,
you know that you are seen.

They are men whose arms are open
because their hearts are open.

Thank you for being that kind of man...
strong, generous, one to lean on.

- Melvina Young

Friday, October 19, 2007


This is frustrating as hell...I've never been this on-task, focused, and productive before in all my life, but I feel as if I'm not getting shit done fast enough. This is the 3rd straight day I will have to sacrifice my AM workout in order to get my writing, reading or homework done on time. The quarter hasn't even gotten crazy difficult yet, and I'm already enroaching on "MY TIME".
I'm not happy about that.

I haven't done anything exclusively 'social' since our new student orientation...which was 3 weeks ago. I've had plenty of offers, but the pile of academic shit on my shoulder has squashed all of that.

I feel sexually frustrated, flabby, and socially inept. Not sexy at all.

I don't know where my sense of balance and order went, but i need it back.

I need a breakthrough...among other things.

OK, no more bitching...back to work.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

An Eligible Bachelor....HOLLA!

Hey kiddies...I'm still alive...barely. I swear I feel like Kunta pickin cotton in the fields WITHOUT a cotton gin on a Southern (California) plantation known as UCLA! I'm getting my ass kicked thoroughly, but I'm doing the damn thang. Keep praying for me!

I was asked by a men's group I'm affiliated with here in Los Angeles, In The Meantime, to do an interview for our quarterly newsletter. They are running a "Sexiest LA Bachelors" concept, and they chose lil' ol ME! Anyway, here's are my responses. If you feel you might be a good match for me, or know somebody, HOLLA!!

Here goes:

Background Info:

Jammie Mack Hopkins is a 25-year-old brother, born in Los Angeles and raised in and around Pasadena, California. He is an undergraduate of UC Davis, earned a masters degree from Cal State Fullerton, and is currently working on his doctorate at UCLA School of Public Health, majoring in Health Services. Jammie also works as a certified fitness trainer and health educator. Jammie is currently serving on the Board of Directors of In The Meantime as Secretary.

Who are your mentors now, and when you were raised?

Growing up, my mentors were my parents, Mack and Annie Hopkins. They instilled in me the value of working hard for what you desire in life, and their relationship served as a constant example of the sacrifices and commitment required to cultivate and maintain true love. My professional mentor is Dr. Antronette Yancey. Her guidance, encouragement, and (sometimes tough) love will be instrumental in my development as an out and proud scholar and professional.

Interest/ Hobbies?

Right now, my interests and hobbies are owned by the UCLA School of Public Health, LOL. When I don’t have my head in a book or in front of a computer screen, my favorite thing to do is dance. The freedom of expression and beauty of human motion is amazing to me, so I indulge in it whenever I can. I also enjoy reading a good book, mixing drinks, having thought provoking conversations, and working out.

You profession or future aspirations?

Professionally, my interests all center on improving physical activity and healthy eating habits of people of color, particularly us Black folks. After earning the doctorate, I plan on working in an area where I can make some real changes. I’m trying to run thangs! Once I feel I have a foundation, I’ll eventually look toward being a university professor so I can train the next generation of our community’s gatekeepers to health.

Your favorite recording artist?

I have two favorites: Jill Scott, and Donny Hathaway. Whenever I hear their music, it gives me chills. I’m actually listening to Donny right now ☺

Who is the most sexy black entertainer/ actor/ singer?

Aww how you gonna make me choose!? Well, I’ve always had it bad for Djimon Hounsou…ever since the Janet video. He gives me strength, masculinity, sensitivity, and BODY! As for the younger kats, I have a major crush on Jensen Atwood. He is ridiculously pleasing to the eyes, and when I met him he was cool as a fan and seemed unfazed by his new ‘sex symbol’ status.

There are too many talented, sexy Black women to even make a decision. I wouldn’t date them romantically, but I can definitely acknowledge ‘woman’ sexy!

What are you dating habits (once a week, etc…)?

Ok, this is embarrassing…I actually don’t date much. I love meeting new people, but unfortunately I haven’t been very lucky in this area. I’m hoping this lil’ endeavor will encourage some brothas to come out the woodwork and come say HI! Don’t be shy!

What type of men do you look for?

I look for 3 main things: A brilliant mind, a generous heart, and a positive, healthy outlook on life. I am a very driven, passionate person so I definitely prefer men that have defined goals and are actively achieving them. I’m a health-nut, so brotha must treat his body like a temple. As far as a romantic partner is concerned, I’m looking for a guy that will affirm my existence and understands the concept of RECIPROCITY. I’m naturally a “giver” so it would be great to meet a man that will appreciate my gifts and give back without reservation.

And let’s face it…ole boy better have some serious sexual charisma. I’m a Scorpio, so bringing your A-game in that department is CRUCIAL, LOL.

Idea of a romantic date?

First, I’d prefer we do something physically interactive (not that!...well not yet ☺) I’d love to take a dance class together, share a fun workout, or do a hands-on arts/craft activity. Next, we would clean up (together or apart depending on how long we’ve been dating) and have a nice meal at home. After that, we’d spend a little time talking and flirting. Next would be massages under candlelight. After that…well you get the picture!

What are your thoughts about the Black community?

I feel the Black community at large has power far beyond our greatest thoughts. We have survived cruelty, condemnation, and terror. Unfortunately, we have forgotten how powerful we really are. And because we have forgotten, the world does not acknowledge or respect us. We as Black people have got to figure out how to better edify and uplift one another so we can once again tap into the power that has always been at our fingertips.

Share your views on marriage:

Marriage to me is the ultimate commitment you can make to the man or woman you love. I’m less concerned about the political or legal ‘definition’ of marriage. When you agree to marry somebody, you are giving that person access to your body, spirit, and emotions without reservation. It’s a beautiful thing. Saying “I do” and putting a ring on a finger is trivial….it’s about the commitment you make and keep.

What are the key concerns for Black gay men today and how might we address them?

Obviously, the growing prevalence of HIV/AIDS is a huge concern. There are too many of us infected and affected by this tragic disease. Another concern for our community is our severe lack of SELF LOVE. There is far too much jealousy, animosity, ‘shade throwing’, and pessimism involved in how we treat each ourselves other as Black gay men. Society at large does a great enough job putting us down. If we truly expect the world to start loving us unconditionally, we must love ourselves first.

We can start addressing our issues by acknowledging they exist. Black people are notorious for fakin’ the funk when it comes to how we feel. We gotta put it all out on the table…everybody has got something they can work on. After we start helping each other deal with our personal demons and shortcomings, we will have a foundation of solidarity to start dealing with our major problems as a people. Once that happens, I think the world at large will give us our due respect.

What matters the most to you in life?

Living up to my purpose. I honestly feel I was put here to do great things, so my top priority is to be the best man, son, father, mentor, lover, educator, professional, teacher, husband I can be in order to fulfill my purpose.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

The GAME FACE is now officially ON!

I am a week away from embarking on the most mentally, physically, and emotionally challenging journey of my life...DOCTORAL STUDIES. All of the long nights of studying, times I've sacrificed party time for study time, GRE tests, scholarship applications, checks to my confidence, pep talks, blood sweat and tears have all culminated to this stage I'm approaching. I've made it.

I will be studying at the premier institution on the West Coast in my given discipline. My mentor and direct supervisor is one of the hardest working women in the default I'll be one of the hardest working students in the field. I am in a field dominated by women. In fact, I am the only male student in my cohort, Black or otherwise. I did not grow up (academically) in Public Health...I'm a exercise physiologist and fitness professional by training. The cards are stacking up.

The schedule that I will maintain starting Thursday, September 27th at 5:00's's's a little scary too. Every hour of the day is accounted for. 4 graduate level class plus 20+ hours of research project responsibilities. GULP.

Take a look and tell me what you think......


Wake up at 5 AM. Go to gym from 5:30-7:30 am where I will attempt to do physical therapy AND a complete workout. Go home, put ice on the knee, breakfast, shower, clothes, and be at the office (or out at a worksite) by 9. Work from 9-12. Class from 12-2 pm (what happened to lunch?). Another class from 2-4. Back to the office to work from 4-6pm. Go home, cook (I'm a broke ass student and a health nut to boot so cooking is not an's a rule), eat, and catch my breath. Have my ass in the study lounge by 8pm. Study, read, and prepare for next day's classes from 8-10:30pm. Walk up to my apt, brush my teeth, wash my face, say a quick prayer, and FALL OUT asleep by 11pm. Alarm is set at 5 AM....


Same as Monday thru Thursday, but after work my brain will be mush so studying is out of the question. Friday nights are dedicated to CHILLIN. Maybe grab a meal with friends. Make it a Blockbuster night and veg out in my apartment. A 'companion' would be ideal...but unlikely.


I actually get to wake up AFTER the sun rises :). Hit the gym first thing. Eat brunch. Run a few errands and/or clean up the shoebox (my apartment). Find a nice relaxed place to focus, head down to the study lounge, or post up in my apartment. Dedicate ALL of Saturday afternoon and early evening to getting caught up with readings, papers, and research stuff. Take a break around 6 and have dinner (with friends???). After dinner, make a decision....have I caught myself up? If so, put my freakum jeans on, sip on some of that special long island tea, and play hard with the boys out on the town. If not (which will most likely be the case), take my behind back to the lounge and work it out academically for the rest of the night. Either way, I'm leaving the club/bar/concert/houseparty/study lounge/starbucks by 2 am be under the covers by 3am.

Sunday is REGENERATION DAY. If there is no hangover and I fell asleep at a decent time (and if I don't have any company over...hee hee), pop in the Rodney Yee Yoga Series DVD and get my asanas on for an hour. Dress up a little for church. Pray for strength to get me through to the next week. Have lunch with my brother or whomever else is available to kick it. Go to the shop and get a cut (cuz you know damn well a black man can't get his hair anywhere near UCLA). Stroll by our abandoned property in Pasadena and check for transients...don't forget the baseball bat...Don't play, crackheads and meth monsters will try to regulate on a mofo if you don't have protection. After the inspection, head to the house to visit Dad. Absorb myself in the COON-ERY and dramatics of the Hopkins family for a few hours while I pay the bills, balance the financial accounts, and handle shit my dad didn't get around to. If I'm really feeling generous, I may even cook dinner...or not ;). Eat dinner, load up the ride, and push on back to my cozy shoebox of an apartment in Westwood. Once I get home, whip up a cocktail, finish up the rest of the errands and/or homework, write out my game plan for the next week, have a mini 'metro session' (facial scrub, do the nails, shave), and slide into the sheets by 11pm. Alarm is set at 5 AM....

Sounds like fun, don't it?

I'm certain of one thing...this journey will DEMAND the very best out of me. Am I confident that I can do this? Of course. I've been waiting for a challenge like this.

Am I nervous? HELL YEAH! I'm surrounded by so many ultra intelligent workaholics it's not even funny. It's like regular exercise, sleep, and any remnants of a robust social life is unheard of around here. Adjusting to that is gonna be a BITCH.

Will I have an active social life? Ummm...probably not. 10 weeks of hell at a time, and then I get a vacation. Whomever created the academic quarter system has a SICK sense of humor and needs a beatdown.

Will I have a romantic life (keep in mind I didn't say sex life, there's a difference)? Do I want that kind of complication in my life at this stage? The jury is still out on that one. On one hand, I've been yearning to meet a bomb ass dude to call my own..but on the other hand, I realize that I would make a neglectful, distracted, moody, distant that fair?

Will I be able to hang until December? Hmmm....well if I don't hang on till Dec I will be jobless, apartment-less, penniless, and back at home with my father....hmmmm...what do you think??!

Will this all be worth it? ABSOLUTELY!!

Ok, let it be of 3:37 pm PST on Wednesday, September 19th 2007, Jammie has OFFICIALLY put his GAME FACE ON!


To my friends...if I seem distant or non-responsive, I apologize in advance. I haven't forgotten about you. I'm just doing what I have to do to keep my head above water. Don't take it personally. I will do my best to find quality time to spend with you. Be patient.

To my family...I've worked overtime to support and edify you endeavors, and now it's time to return the favor. There is no way I can do this without your blessings and support, so please come correct with it. If I come home on Sunday lookin like a crack head on meth...don't point and laugh :) Help me make a sandwich, tell me to sit my ass down, and crack a few jokes. This Ph.D. is not just about me, it's about YOU and our FAMILY as well. Please be a part of the process.

To the bloggies of the world...Dancehard is not going anywhere. I may be on hiatus from time to time, but rest assured that you all will get sips of my tea when the temperature is just right. UNTIL THEN keep on pushin', put on that GAME FACE and SERVE!

Monday, September 03, 2007

"Are you Masculine or Feminine?"...Why can't I just be ME?!

Prepare yourself...I had to GO OFF on this topic!

Very recently, I had the pleasure of meeting former Chicago public school teacher, disciplinarian, and now educational speaker and writer Benn Setfrey. His book "Don't Shoot, I'm Coming Out!" functions as a sharply written, achingly wity, manifesto to gay men who deal with the stupid stereotypes and misconceptions of the heterosexual world. This brother gave us real talk about living life "out loud" with integrity, coming into one's sexuality with grace and pride, religion and spirituality, and he KILLED IT when it came to discussing positive black gay relationships.

HOWEVER, a few chapters made me GAG. In both "Gays to Men" and "How to Man Up", Sefrey stresses the importance of suppressing the overwhelming presence of effeminate gay men in our community, and calls forth older masculine gay brothers to step up and show these young gay boys how to be "real men". After reading those chapters several times and having a conversation with the author himself, I'm still bothered by those words. It seemed as if the author was putting down the brothas who have a bit swing in their step, opting to idolize the "straight acting" homosexual. This got me to thinking...

Why is their so much emphasis placed on what is "masculine" and "feminine" in the Black Gay Community? How do you distinguish between what is "masculine" and what is "fem"? And why is it that the "fem" dudes so very often get the short end of the stick when it comes to respect?

Setfrey points to a lack of masculine socialization many young black gay men receive in their formative years as a reason for blatant displays of effeminate behavior later on in life. While he may be onto something, I personally believe he is missing the mark. This (again) got me to thinking of my own development as a black gay man...

Thinking back, I guess I did exhibit some "questionably feminine" behavior. I was fascinated by hair, and I loved to play with people's hair. If the girls were outside playing double dutch or hopscotch, I got my turn too. I knew all of the "hand clap" games by heart, and even made it to number 35 in the "Slide" game. I owned a Popple, and loved that little mofo. And the kicker...I was a HUUUUUGGGEEE fan of Muppet Babies, Lamb Chop, and Pee Wee Herman.

But at the same time you would never find me congregating near the girl's bathroom smacking gum and mooning over boys. I was WITH the boys. Playing football in Tim Spicer's backyard. Going down to the riverbed to catch frogs and raise hell. Jumping fences. Hell, even watching straight porn with my brothers and older neighborhood boys (although now I acknowledge I was focused more on the D&B than the T&A, LOL). Having four older brothers, a present and active father, and living in a neighborhood of mostly boys, I was socialized in a very masculine environment. In the end, that had nothing to do with displays of my burgeoning "feminine" was all intermixed.

Over time, I've grown to honor and respect the vast DIVERSITY of the Black Gay Community. We come in all shapes and sizes, and it's a BEAUTIFUL thing. We have homo-thugs, athletes, dancers, leather bears, twinks, prettyboys, butch queens, fem queens, drag queens, trannies, lipstick lesbians, butch lesbians, divas, and average joes. It's not our fault that society at large has chosen to typecast us as lispy, neck rolling, diva-worshiping male queens and butch, super aggressive lesbians. Why should we submit to that oppression by forcing our young men to "butch it up like real men" and demanding our young women to "walk, talk, and submit like real ladies?"

What aspects of our masculinity really contribute to our MANHOOD? Is it the way we speak? The clothes we wear? The sports we play (or don't play)? Our mannerisms? I'd like to think that MANHOOD is more closely linked to our PRINCIPLES and INTEGRITY as men. To be a MAN is to honor, respect, defend, and love your family. To be a MAN is to serve as an uplifiting, positive role model for other men. To be a MAN is to address women with the upmost respect and appreciation. To be a MAN is to know your role, and stand firm in it. Who gives a damn if you occasionally queen out to Beyonce or kee-kee with the kids if you are handling your MANLY business?

My question is...if we as gay men are doing everything that a REAL man of principle and integrity should do, isn't that enough to validate and legitimize our MANHOOD? Why the fuck is it so damn important that we always dress, act, speak, and associate a certain way to be certified as "masculine" or "a real man?".

Mr. Setfrey, I'm a huge fan of your book and will say great things on your behalf. However, your "Man-Up!" message is ass-backwards. The persona of the flamboyant gay man is not the issue....well at least not the entire issue. Members of our community should not only accept flamboyant "effeminate" men, but GIVE THEM PROPS. Without the flaming queens, drag queens, and trannies, there would not have been a Stonewall Riots in 1969. Without them, Gay Pride celebrations probably wouldn't exist. And without the host of gay men and women living their lives out loud (with or without 'feminine' tendencies) and fighting for our rights, many of the supposedly "straight-acting" gay men wouldn't have a social or political leg to stand on. RECOGNIZE GAME and SHOW RESPECT, even if that's not how you get down. If you feel that the mainstream protrayal of gays leans to far to the queens, instead of bad mouthing the fems, call out the alleged "straight-acting" brothas and encourage THEM to step up their game!

Thursday, August 30, 2007


I AM SO EXCITED RIGHT NOW!!!! After months of writing, researching, long hours, waiting...more waiting, and a handful of rejection letters, I received word that I was awarded a UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center Research Grant!!! I feel like it's my birthday, for real! I literally did cartwheels and back handsprings in the hall, LMAO.

Receiving full academic support is like a wet dream for a doctoral student in my department. You see, my degree is known as a Dr. P.H. (Doctorate of Public Health), which is considered a 'professional' doctorate degree. The Ph.D. degree is considered an 'academic' doctorate degree. Ph.D. students are routinely offered free rides along with decent salaries to live off of. Dr. P.H. student don't get JACK SHIT in terms of FREE funding. Funding sources for us are tight as a virgin's coochie (that's for you Trent). AND GET THIS!! To add insult to injury, these fools have the AUDACITY to charge us Dr.P.H. students an EXTRA $3000 in fees for being 'professional students'!!! WTF!!!!We are responsible for the same level of coursework and research experiences yet we get the funding shaft because we are being groomed as 'professional leaders in public health' and may have more career options than 'researcher' and 'professor'. It's not like we are getting paid doctors' and lawyers' salaries when we reach the top, so I say BOOOOO HISSSSS to that rationale. But alas, it is what it is.

That is why this grant is so exciting to me. IF you are even lucky enough to receive full funding as a Dr.P.H., you are awarded only as a returning student. I got mine on the first shot! Well, I got rejected from 3 other sources but of them came through. With this grant, my school fees and a good portion of my salary will be guaranteed for TWO YEARS. Man, it feels like a huge weight has been lifted from my shoulders. I was just about to enter into about $30,000 of ADDITIONAL DEBT before this jewel fell in my hands. Finally some validation for all this time and energy I've put into establishing a new foundation in this crazy ass world called Public Health.

Taken yesterday at my poster session. This is GROWN FOLKS BUSINESS!!!

See academia, well at least at major research universities (like UCLA), your salary is never guaranteed. For as much money these big assed name schools generate, they are CHEAP AS HELL when it comes paying folks. Actually in many instances the University do not pay professors/researchers at get paid through the research grants you are awarded. That means you constantly hustle and bust your ass to identify research funding opportunities...spend months preparing these ridiculously detailed grants...have your work mercilessly reamed, slighted, and picked apart by anal-retentive review boards...finally carve a decent product...send it in...and wait by the mailbox. If you get funded, you (and your entire research team) will be able to eat, pay your bills, and continue researching. If you don't get funded, you better have more luck on another grant or you're screwed. If you get told no too many times, you may be out of a job. It's a cutthroat business, being a professional nerd.

Me with my professional angel, Dr. Antronette Yancey. Ain't she tall?

But on the flip side, when you have successfully pimped the system and get paid as a result, it feels orgasmic. Everybody wins when money comes through the door. My professor earns bragging rights and excellent reviews for future research. My research assistants will receive much-deserved raises. Our team may be able to hire a new assistant, which will make our lives less stressful. Everybody walks around more refreshed and ready to work harder.

A few of the lovely ladies I've had the pleasure of working (and acting a hot ass mess, lol) with this summer.

Not only are you ensuring your future livelihood, your are breathing life back into the research you are doing. You can continue to do what you love. You can continue to help people and change lives. It's amazing.

AHH THE JOY OF FREE MONEY. I'm gonna be acting a straight up DONKEY this weekend celebrating over this!!! But first, I gotta pull an all-nighter to finish this manuscript. Don't ya just LOVE the life of a Super Nerd!

Friday, August 17, 2007


After having a rather disclosing conversation with a dear friend of mine about our romantic and sexual hits and misses, I once again began to think about one of the most frustrating and despicable issues prevalent among folks actively engaging in sexual relations (gay or straight)...selfish lovers and the lack of reciprocity in the bedroom. In terms of SGL male sexuality, I call these men "Terminal Tops (TT)".

In my experiences, I've dealt with 3 men (one rather recently) who embody the "Terminal Top" persona. Each time I've gotten involved sexually (I use this term loosely...there wasn't much SEX going on...TT's are like a shot of anti-Viagra), I've walked away pissed off and 'unsatisfied' at the pisspoor quality of the intimacy that was shared. I feel compelled to share with the bloggies of the world the mystique of the "Terminal Top" and hopefully create some dialogue that will one day ERADICATE its presence from our romantic and sexual lives.

Ok, here we go....

What is a 'Terminal Top'?

The Terminal Top is the man preoccupied with taking the more assertive role in sexual activities. He is the TOP, the Alpha, and the Omega. He sets the pace and dictates the flow of the love making. He fully expects his submissive bottoms to throw themselves at (and on top of) his talented magic stick and have them end up "wore out, dehydrated, and half damn handicapped" from his sexual skills. Once the deal is done and the nut is spilled, the Terminal Top rolls over, spoons against his recovering prey (or dismisses them from the bedroom), and falls out asleep.

How does he function?

The Terminal Top functions on the principle of "My pleasure is your pleasure". He is concerned primarily with his own sexual gratfication and considers the satisfaction of his partner a secondary matter (or in extreme cases, not a matter at all). Men who commonly use phrases such as "I'ma knock the bottom out that ass" and "I'ma make you my bitch" are highly suspect of being Terminal Tops. "Suck MY Dick", and "tongue MY balls". For some, "eat MY 'cookies'". And lastly, "ride THIS dick until I cum". The Terminal Top gives little to no attention to the specific needs of his partner, unless they 1) can be fulfilled rather quickly; 2) can be satisfied when he is getting his; or 3) can be employed to speed up the process of him "gettin' in that ass."

Don't confuse the Terminal Top with the score of men who are thoughtful, expressive lovers who just do not wish to be penetrated. I'll call them "Attentive Tops". Many of them have tried it, but don't like it. They understand that being the bottom requires special skills, tolerance, and preparation (ummmhmm I went there) and show mad respect. They are eagerly attentive and sensitive to the pleasure of their lovers and take genuine effort in ensuring their receptive partners "gets theirs" by the time its all said and done. And when it comes down to the main event, they work the middle they way it should be that both parties involved enjoy the ride. Y'all are cool in my book. Keepin on' doing what you do.

Now, back to these pesky Terminal Tops...

Will I date him? HELL TO THE NAW!!!!

Now I know there are some men (and women) out there that are receptive to, even fantasize about, Terminal Tops coming into their bedroom and using them for whatever nasty and freaky thoughts that come into their domineering heads. If that's you, I'm not knocking your preferences or criticizing your choices. DO YOU, but have caution. Make sure the man/woman you are entertaining respects you as a person before you assume the position.

Personally, I feel THAT S**T IS WHACK as some crack. Being that I'm a versatile man that prefers dealing with other versatile men, I automatically throw caution to men that deem themselves 'total tops' or 'aggressive tops.' However, I do not completely banish total tops from my list of potential partners.

It all comes down to the matters of respect, reciprocity, and attentiveness. I'm naturally a "giver" in romantic and sexual relationships, meaning I take pride and pleasure in ensuring that my partner is being fulfilled and genuinely enjoys our mutual experience. I'll admit that I'm rather 'assertive' when it comes to this role. However, it frustrates me to infinite ends when the desire to please gets translated into "It's all about me". NO FOOL IT AIN'T ALL ABOUT YOU. I've heard excuses from "It was just feeling too damn good" to "I get sleepy after I've ***" used to explain why the guy hasn't put some serious work into figuring out what makes me tick and EXECUTING. In one situation, it even came down to me literally attempting to COACH him on how to please me, to no avail. And when he fell asleep after gettin' his goodies and I decided to take matters into my own hands for relief, this fool had the AUDACITY to wake up and get mad at me for not waiting for him to hook me up. WTF!!!! After that, our intimate interactions were a WRAP.

Okay, sorry I got a little personal there. My goal behind this post is to get folks to see that fulfilling sex and romance is a TWO WAY STREET. It requires patience, generosity, and diligence to ensure that both partners involved walk away with a smile on their faces. In the case of the Terminal Top, that respect to their partner often doesn't exist. It's rude, wrong, and it fucks up the moment. I challenge all Terminal Tops to check your ego at the door and really put your back into pleasing your partners. Even if it means stepping a little out of your comfort zone. If you don't know how to please, ask him/her. Take mental notes when y'all are making whoopie. It's that simple. I guarantee your small investment will translate into a TREMENDOUS return.

And for the folks out there that have been burned and disappointed by Terminal Tops (myself included), SPEAK UP!!!! If you feel that you are not getting respect, DEMAND IT. Depending on your personality, you can be diplomatic in your demands or give a nice healthy dose of tough love (aka. 'CLINK CLINK LOCK DOWN'). If you're dealing with a good man/woman who is invested in your pleasure, they will shape up real quick. And if all else fails and you have a hopeless Terminal Top on your hands, cut your losses, cover your cakes with aluminum, and KEEP IT PUSHIN. Sure you may be walking away from a Monster Penis or a Tyson Beckford lookalike, but your dignity and sexual satisfaction are worth it.

Sexual gratification and intimacy are things that should be enjoyed by ALL. One sided relationships, sexual or otherwise, are for the birds. Gay, straight, bi, trans, top, bottom, vers, or other, you have a right to get it the way you want it (and dare I say 'need' it).

I'll leave you with my personal credo concerning this issue ...

"You had better love, honor, and cherish ALL of my naughty bits (read: Real men give head) and be damn patient if you plan on having me open up my bakery to let you feast on my cinnamon buns and pound my cakes."

And that's on the real.

Holla at me with your thoughts, rants, comments, and suggestions!!

Monday, August 13, 2007

I'm getting there...physically

THEY CUT ME!!!! The surgeon, I mean. Just over a month ago, I had surgery to help correct an injury that has plagued me for over 3 long, frustrating years. I'm happy to say the surgery was successful, and I'm now on the road to true recovery. It's gonna be a long, frustrating journey, but damnit I'm gonna get my stroll back! Please believe!

A little history....

Lemme tell ya, patellofemoral pain syndrome and chondromalacia of the knee are a BITCH to deal with.

Chondro-ma-what??? you say? Basically, due to faulty biomechanics, flat feet, and going WAY overboard with working out and dancing during college, my left knee does not smoothly glide in the groove that lies between my femur (thigh bone) and the bones of my lower leg. My kneecap veers out to the left, causing damage underneath the cap and this god awful nagging pain whenever I get into a squatting position. Which is NOT GOOD cuz' y'all know how I like to drop it like it hot! LOL.

Anyways, after 3 years of anti-inflammatory pills, trips to sorry ass physical therapists, trips to good physical therapists, and a 9 month foray with a chiropractor (which I HIGHLY recommend...especially the phine ones, hee hee) significant progress. When both my orthopedic doctor and my anti-surgery chiropractor decided to say 'fuck this we gotta get gully on this issue', I knew surgery was in order.

Luckily, surgery for this condition is super easy and minimally invasive. Poke 2 holes in the knee, stick a scope and camera through the holes, check out the joint for anything ugly, take out and/or repair anything ugly, make the kneecap nice and smooth, and THE END.

My doctor was not expecting to see too much nastiness in there considering the MRI and X-rays showed nothing. Well he went in there, and BABEE I could of had a cigarette when he was done. Hell, I don't even remember getting the anesthesia countdown. I woke up, my knee was wrapped, and I was being fed the most GLORIOUS narcotic medication through the IV. Ooh lawd now i see how folks grow addicted to that ish.

Once the PAIN that ensued after those wonder drugs wore off, it was time to get to business. I've been in physical therapy for the past six weeks, and things are coming around slowly but surely. I about damn near LOST IT when some of the nagging pain came back, but I was ensured that it was normal and a part of the healing process. I'm hoping they ain't lying, because I may have to cut a bitch for trying to placating me...3 years of a dream deferred is enough to make me come after somebody. But I digress :)

Physical therapy this time is fun because I really feel like I'm getting somewhere. I can pretty much squat w/no weight without pain which is PROGRESS people. My therapist was hella clowning me though because apparently my glutes (aka the big ol' booty muscles) aren't doing their job properly in maintaining my hip stability. Her remark:

Umm, Jammie....You have all that ASS, you better start using it!!

HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO TAKE THAT?!!! I was DONE. I was offended and laughing hysterically all at the same time. This heifa actually said I had a 'dysfunctional booty'. Ain't that some shit? LOL.

I will say one thing though, Amy (my therapist) is getting me right together. We finally have been able to push the envelope a bit, and it feels GREAT to finally feel like I'm putting forth a real physical effort. I'm weak as hell, my balance is dismal, and I get nervous about using full pressure on my knee, but guess what? I'm one step closer to being fully functional!

I seriously dream of the day when I can just walk into a dance class and work hard without having to obsess over my knee and run for the ice pack right afterward. To be able to go out dancing and break it down like how I used to motivates me. The first day I can go to the gym and have a nice hard leg workout and get that delightful feeling of soreness the next day will be big for me.

This healing process is far from over, but now I look forward to what is to come. Having been physically humbled really makes me appreciate my body and what it does for me. Having my own physical struggle has made me a better fitness trainer and supporter for folks who have physical limitations. I've learned to give my body what it says it need, NOT what I think it needs or what I want to give it. Excellent lessons learned.


Here is a youtube clip I look at every day for inspiration. It's from the Cirque du Soleil show "Zumanity", and it's absolutely beautiful. The masculine side of dance!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

A Sip of my Tea (aka: Updates)

(picture courtesy of Rod of my faves)

Hmm....that's a hot lil' title, no? For those of you not hip to the lingo of the 'kids', the term 'givin' the tea' refers to offering up your business at free will. Since a lot is going on as of late, and I'm trying REALLY HARD not to go overboard with lengthy posts, I'll offer up a small lil' sip of my tea...

1. Adjusting to life in West Los Angeles

I knew moving to L.A. proper would be an adjustment, but I had NO IDEA that I would be affected so much by how things go down here on the West-side. Although I've been exposed to very affluent environments, living in one has proved to be quite challenging. I now live in an area of Los Angeles known as Westwood, home to the campus of UCLA. To drive my point home, here's a lil' map of Westwood and it's surrounding communities. Anything look familiar?

Quick geography lesson...Westwood is wedged between the well-to-do communities of Santa Monica, Bel Air (remember Fresh Prince?), Beverly Hills, and West Hollywood. Case in point, folks got CASH around here and arent afraid of letting you know it. Coming from a modest, yet respectable upbringing, on several occasions I've been appalled at the behavior of the rich folks. Blowing through red lights, walking to the front of the line like they own it, trying to address me in "brotha talk" because they think it's funny, spitting in the face of the homeless, bragging over who's designer bag cost more, kids cursing out their grown parent without a beatdown afterwards (oooh lawd I almost pulled a Madea on this bad ass kid), crazy shit pure and simple. Throw in the fact that the heavy majority of the black folks live on the other side of town (LA is a BIIIG town), and we have a cultural hot mess on our hands. Pray for me before I go upside Caitlin and Broadie's head!!!!

2. UCLA, a cultural and academic oasis....until classes start.

Within the overpriced, undermannered dynamics of Westwood lies this gem known as UCLA. I admit it, I ain't even started school officially but I'm already claiming my Bruins! Even though we black folks are still subject to the "3% and under rule", I feel a certain level of peace here on campus. It feels amazing being among the best of the best academically, athletically, artistically, and professionally. I'm seriously like a kid in a candy store. I have an amazing faculty mentor, a great support team, my future classmates seem cool as a fan, and this campus is the bomb! It's stunningly beautiful...i'm talking the landscape, architecture, AND the student body....even though there are a shortage of us brothas in academia in general, but the ones I've seen so far on campus....FIRE! Can u imagine how insanely hot it is to come across a Taye Diggs look-alike that just happens to be a recognized cardiologist or engineering professor? TOO MUCH. And don't even let me get started with the Sports boys...let's just say I have all the motivation in the world to step it up at the gym....these boys don't play!

Speaking of men, the refreshing thing about UCLA is that I see more brothas that are living "out loud" and not worried about what the hell other people think. For me, experiencing that is RARE. Makes me think that opportunities for dating on campus could be a reality and not a wishful thought.

Another thing I love about UCLA is how you can find just about everything you need on campus (except for a haircut, lol). The dance and performing arts department here is off-the-chain, meaning that when my knee gets to 100% I won't have to go searching for dance classes elsewhere. Top notch medical and dental facilities are in walking distance. Hell, they even have an experimental day spa on campus where you can get your metrosexual on! And let's not forget the amazing sports teams and venues...I'm HELLA excited to see my Bruins Football and Gymnastics up close and personal!!! Can't wait!

That is, until the beginning of the school year. Once classes start, this school will OWN ME. For 10 weeks at a time, I'll be eating, sleeping, and drinking UCLA and the School of Public Health. I shudder at the thought. But it's all good though...I like where I am, I feel at home, and I have everything I need withing grasping distance. IT'S GONNA BE ON AND CRACKIN!

OK, enough tea for today. Time to get dressed and show these fools who's running thangs! Please believe it!

I'm Still Here People!

HEY BLOGGIES!!!! I've finally gotten my ish together and am back in the blog world! So much has gone on since my last post...a trip to New Orleans, moving out of the family's house for the LAST time (HALLELUJAH THANK YA JESUS)...moving to in the dorms for the summer (which is a hot mess!)...dealing with these crazy ass people of West Los Angeles (aka the rich bitches)...starting a new chapter in my academic career...dealing with the affections of unsuspecting women...gettin' some action (finally!). A mixed bag of experiences and emotions, too many to write about all at once.

I'm rededicating myself to staying consistent with this blog...there were times when I was going through it where I was frothing at the bit cuz I couldn't get my fingers to keys. There is so much to tell y'all, but not enough time in the day to make it good. Soooo, expect a lil' taste from me on a regular basis. STARTING NOW.

Hope everybody out there is enjoying life and handling their business!


Tuesday, May 22, 2007

I was out learning...pass me a cigarette

Today was a good day. After doing a bunch of odd jobs and putting in my time at the gym, I headed over to the local java shop for a mocha and some study time. For the first time in MONTHS, I studied and wrote hardcore for 3 solid hours. As I now come down from the 'academic high' I feel like I need a cigarette. That shit was good :)

Am I a weirdo, or just plain nerdy? Whenever I have the time and energy to immerse myself in learning something, the feeling is near orgasmic for me. Have you ever been absorbed in reading, writing, public speaking, or some other academic endeavor and you just get in the zone? I live for that! And the satisfaction you receive when you work on a difficult problem and you all of a sudden figure it out?! PURE BLISS. Sometimes I gotta check myself to make sure i don't need a shower.

Okay it's not that serious :) but for real the quest for knowledge is truly exciting. I wonder how we all can instill this thirst for knowledge in the next generation of the kids? Because frankly, the growing resentment for education and 'book smarts' the young folks give off is truly breaking my heart.

Anybody else could use a cigarette after they do some serious brainwork? We could share one, LOL.

****For the record, I do NOT smoke...ANYTHING...LOL***

Monday, May 21, 2007

It's the Little Things

Lemme tell feels GREAT to feel normal again. When I turned in my students' grades last Friday (which marked the official END of my semester from hell) a wave of calm rushed over me. After a year of feeling completely overwhelmed and unsettled, I finally 'exhaled'. And damn, who knew breathing freely could feel so damn good.

It's funny....we take the simple things for granted until we don't have access to them. Friday night I was able to chill with my friends TheBlacks and Trent without having to worry about waking up early the next day. I could kick back and have a few drinks without having to worry about driving an hour home and waking up 4 hours later to start my day. Okay I had too many damn drinks and was showin' my ass but it's alright because I was comfortable and FREE. Well maybe a little too free...the combination of Hipnotiq and Hennesey makes for a DANGEROUS mix, lol. Ehh oh well.

After waking up to an expected hangover, I was able to share a late breakfast with my friend. You would think having breakfast on a Saturday morning as no big deal right? Well for me it was. My typical Saturday morning for the past year consisted of handling my father's financial affairs, cleaning up a week's worth of junk around our house, and getting prepared to study for the majority of the day. The slightly overcast sky, company of a friend, and tasty mushroom spinach scramble with orange juice was pure heaven.

After leaving, I opted to skip my planned activities for the day to go home, nurse my hangover, and veg out. IT FELT GREAT. I spent four hours calling friends and family members I've grossly neglected over the past year, took a cat nap, and watched Charm School episodes (which by the way is a HOT ASS MESS, but HILARIOUS!).

After vegging out, I hit the gym. It's a damn shame how inconsistent my workouts have been, considering I'm the bloody fitness trainer! I could finally go to the gym and not worry about getting in a half-assed workout and cleaning up in less than an hour. I enjoyed an awesome 2-hour session complete with some light cardio, weights, gymnastics conditioning (ugh), a couple of dance movements, a ridiculous stretching routine, and ended with the jacuzzi. Baabbby I was floating on air when I got outta there.

I showered and primped up to meet part of my ol' high school crew for dinnter and a movie :) I giggled like a schoolgirl to the antics of Shrek 3 and was treated to a feast at Cheesecake Factory courtesy of my friend Ms. Moneybags. I was planning on ending the night with a trek to LA to play with the boys, but I was feeling too damn chilled to deal with traffic and tombfoolery. I took my behind home and FELL OUT.

Woke up Sunday morning to birds chirping, mariachi music from the neighbors, and Tony Toni Tone's Greatest Hits blasting from my dad's stereo with him givin' me a HORRIBLE protrayal of Raphael Saddiq....sigh, so much for a blissful Sunday morning. I made my appearance at church after 4 WEEKS of no-shows. I just knew I was gonna get read for filth by a few of my faith friends, so I mentally prepared myself for the imminent tongue lashing. Service was excellent, although I got indirectly read by the pastor with his references to "drinking that wine will have you acting a fool". LOL that fool had me gagging for a minute. The onslaught by the faith friends was minimal, so peace was restored on the church front.

After lunch with my brother, I headed home to chill with my dad and cook dinner. I got a call from my sweet and sexy friend Reggie from New York, a definite treat. I opted to cook my favorites for Sunday Dinner...catfish, fresh cornbread, corn n' okra, and "healthy" sweet potatoes. It felt great to be back in the kitchen again...i cant even remember the last time I cooked a 'real meal'. Had a couple of sad moments because I was using one of my mom's recipes for the okra, but it was pleasant. More like a glimpse of the past that made me chuckle and shed a few tears. After dinner was complete and the hungry-hungry-negroes ravaged my food, I retired to my bedroom for reading and R&R.

I got an early start on my summer reading list by revisiting bell hooks' "Rock My Soul: Black People and Self Esteem." As far as I'm concerned, this book should be passed out to every Black student in America. A phenomenal read! After reading came my "metro session". In an effort to preserve my sexy, stay in touch with my body, and keep this good black from crackin' too early I try to spend a little time each month doing some serious grooming. A lil' self massage (if you're not up on that, get into it!), manicure, pedicure, aromatherapy with vanilla candles, and an attempted facial started off the night.

*** I'm a novice when it comes to the facial, so do any of y'all have any tips/secrets about giving yourself the perfect facial? Any preferred products for chocolate brown, oily skin?***

Since summer is coming and I'm starting to exhibit bear-like tendencies, I ended the session with a shave and clip here and there. There's nothing like slipping under the covers with silky smooth skin. It's even worth the 'new growth' itch that will happen if I get lazy and don't maintain. F**k what you heard, ain't NOTHING getting waxed over here! NO SIR!

The night ended with progressive relaxation techniques I learned in my sports psych class. These techniques had me knocked out and snoring in the middle of class, and last night was no different. I was out within 10 minutes. Peaceful. Satisfied. Restored.

Now that I've cleared out most of the the tension and my schedule is no longer psychotic, it's time to go back to basics. Get my ass back to the gym on the regular. Cook my own food. Contribute quality time to friends and family at MY LEISURE. Get to church every Sunday and don't forget to pray regularly. Get my financial plan and goals back into order. Stop playing and get going with this thesis. Resurrect my social life and get out and about!

Like India.Arie says, "It's the little things....and the joy they bring". Keep it simple, and embrace the little things.

Sunday, May 06, 2007


"I been gone for a minute, but I'm back again..WHAT!" - Lil Kim, 'The Jumpoff'

It feels like forever since I layed some lines down in blogworld. Life in the past month or so has moved lightening-speed, and I've been workin' overtime trying to just maintain. Things will continue to heat up for the next month or so, but it is what it is. All I gotta say is...on June 25th I'll be sooo HAPPY I may have a JOY-GASM....I'm moving out! Yessir, ya boy is officially leaving the nest (once again), this time for good! Kindly accepting all housewarming gifts starting NOW :)

LOL but for real though, I'm looking forward to having a space to call my own and finally living life for ME. My friend Trent has preached to me time and time again "Love them, but don't live for them", and I'm finally gonna listen to his words. I've served as an ultra-dedicated son/brother/cousin/uncle/student/mentor for 25 years, having self-sacrificed more than I'm comfortable admitting. Now it is time to invest some QUALITY energy in ME, as a FIRST PRIORITY. I'm EXCITED!

Having said all that, I now gotta work on contributing more often to blogopia. I'm guilty of being "blog-stingy" and it's time to come clean. I've been slippin' for real, and I've be told (and READ on) repeatedly about keeping the kids thirsty and unfulfilled. I apologize for keeping my thoughts to myself, and I promise to do a better job keeping a glimpse of my live available to all my blog family.

Please believe, DANCEHARD IS BACK!

Friday, April 20, 2007

I Am Ready For Love

After experiencing a quiet moment and listening to my gurl India.Arie, I realized that "I am ready for love"...

But I'm not willing to discount my sense of principle just to be laying up with somebody. I know what I want, and it's not an empty one-night encounter with a nameless face. What I wouldn't give to have a strong, beautiful man to call my own. Somebody to kiss, hug, and laugh with when I come home from a day of hard work. I spend so much of my time and energy taking care of other people, I wish I could depend on a man to take care of me. No, not like a sugar daddy, more like an romantic ally...somebody that I can lean on for support and TLC. Not to say that my friends and family aren't supportive...what I'm talking about is having a man take care of me in an INTIMATE sense...greet me with a nice long kiss and hug at the door...massage the tension from my shoulders and kiss my neck after a hard day...hold my hand for no reason...whisper and giggle in my ear...initiate wrestling matches...join me in the shower (and initiate whatever happens in the shower, :)) me cook a meal...have a deep meaningful conversation on our couch over coffee...sing to me, even if his voice sucks :)...sit on my lap, or allow me to sit on his...

All the things I take pleasure in doing to and for my love interests...I'm ready for my turn now. Simply put, I'm yearning for romance. Sex, even good sex, even GREAT sex would be nice...lets keep it real it would be the BOMB right about now, LOL. HOWEVER, I'm more interested in the presence of the entire MAN: his intellect, his spirituality, his thoughts, his sensitivity, his physicality, his vulnerability..that's what I'm looking for. His dick, mouth, and and ass are merely parts of a whole. My desire is that, hopefully soon, a WHOLE man will enter my life and the circumstances for romance will be right.

I'm waiting. Not patiently waiting, but waiting nonetheless. And searching.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Delayed gratification...a blessing and a CURSE

Hey blogopia...i know it's be a while since I last posted, but a brotha's been getting his grind on as of late. Life for me at the point is exhaustive, but fulfilling. I have a few things to gripe about but overall, I can't really complain. HOWEVER there is something I've had on my mind the past few weeks that I must share with the world...

This whole notion of DELAYED GRATIFICATION. According to, instant gratification is defined as:

"Deferred gratification or delayed gratification is the ability to wait in order to obtain something that one wants. This ability is usually considered to be a personality trait. Daniel Goleman has suggested that it is an important component of emotional intelligence. People who lack this trait are said to need instant gratification and may suffer from poor impulse control."

We've all heard the cliche phrases "Good things only happen to those who wait", "Work hard, then play hard","Be still, and the Lord shall fight your battles" (or get you a piece of steel, LOL) and many others. I believe many of these sayings hold some element of truth, however I'm finding it a BITCH to lead my life with delayed gratification.

Just about every major aspect of my life lends itself to delayed gratification. Financially, I've invested (and will continue to invest) thousands of dollars into an education that should yield job security and decent earnings in the future. In the meantime, I'm reduced to being a chronic B.A.C.S. (Broke Ass College Student). In addition to doing without financially, I sacrifice much of my social life to my educational obligations. While most of the other kids my age are out and about acting a hot sexy gay mess on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, I'm lucky to even share a meal and a drink with friends.

Let's not even talk about having a love life...on second thought, let's go there.

Okay, we've established that having limited social time severely restricts my ability to actively date, search for love, hook up, or whatever. In addition to that, I'm running on the "CLINK CLINK LOCK DOWN" principle of dating. If you're unfamiliar with CLINK CLINK LOCK DOWN, you need to get into some Tyler Perry here, or here.

CLINK CLINK LOCK DOWN basically means that I'm not giving nor partaking of the D&B until I meet somebody special. A brotha that can value what I bring to the table and is willing to build something substantial before we hit the sheets. I'd rather hold off on the physical gratification until it actually means something. Needless to say that this proves very HARD to deal with, but it is what it is. I'll just have to take this time to "know myself" until the right dude comes along...sigh.

Alright there is a reason why I posted about this besides bitching about the choices I've made. My point behind this rant is this...what makes it so damn hard to delay gratification? Why does it seem like I'm going against the grain of society when I decide to wait for the greater result? Why do I feel like I'm being penalized with poverty, social isolation, and blue balls for choices that are supposed to build character and pay off in the end? Why are we as Americans (or Westerners for that matter) so hell-bent on instant gratification and "it's all about what I want, when I want it"? Why does this feel doubly true in the Black community, where it seems like what you wear and drive and how willing you are to "get down" often dictates how people perceive your appeal or success?

Please let me know if I've got it twisted. I'm secure and confident in my choices, but DAMN! Why does this mess have to feel so difficult? I know one thing though...this whole delayed gratification deal BETTER NOT be a lie...i'll be mad as hell and might have to pull my gun out my purse!

Holler back ya'll.


Saturday, March 17, 2007

Refueling and Reloading

I love these moments of relaxation and tranquility I'm allowed before life gets really crazy. I'm sitting in this lovely hotel room in Washington DC, enjoying the last few days of my first real business-related trip. I know that once I return to Los Angeles, the heat of my professional and academic life will turn up dramatically. When I return, I will be digging into my thesis work. Although the doctoral program I'm entering will not start until September, I've already been given plenty of doctorate student-like responsibilities. I have to prepare for research papers and presentation in my last academic class. Time to get my hustle on for scholarship and grant money to finance the Ph.D. Time to put the hurting on my own students, which requires preparation :) Need to make a final decision on whether I will launch this fitness consulting business over the summer. When I return, it's GAME TIME.

I look forward to a wonderfully reduced-stress summer, HOWEVER I have a RIDICULOUS Spring to endure. It will push my limits most likely, but I GOT THIS. Even still, prayer and 'act-a-fool saturdays' will be my saving grace.

Until then, I will enjoy the nation's capital and this wonderfully accommodating hotel room. What is there to do for a young SGL black man to do in DC on a Saturday night? Hmmm...

Thursday, March 15, 2007

I have this...problem

Ok maybe y'all can help me out with this one, or refer me somewhere where I can get some good professional help. Here's the deal...

In normal circumstances, I consider myself a fairly outgoing and gregarious type of guy. I love people, and I thrive in social environments with good folks around me.
When it comes to men, I usually have no problem with being a huge flirt and asserting myself when approaching or being approached. I'm not even gonna lie and say that I got game because I have none whatsoever...i hope my easy going nature and optimism are game enough.

Here's the problem I'm having...When I'm dealing with somebody who's an "average joe" or someone I am certain is feeling me, I'm like a lion...i'll pounce in a second. Whereas, when I encounter somebody who is either unreasonably FINE, very accomplished, or highly intellectual (or a combination of all three), I FREEZE.

It's like the second I have an opportunity to act, I start getting all anxious and self-conscious. I break myself down to see if I can compare. Am I attractive enough? Am I smart enough? Is my wit quick enough? Am I experienced enough? (yes that's a concern of mine, being 25 and able to count the total number of sexual encounters, not partners, I've had on two hands and a foot) What qualities do I possess that might interest this guy? What could this amazing specimen of man desire in me?

This of course is crazy as hell because I know that I am a good catch, and I'm not some mud duck. But why is it that I can't shake these insecurites? This is starting to pose a problem now that my social environment is changing and I'm encountering more and more men that I would consider 'amazing specimens'.

For example, I came across a guy during my conference trip to San Diego a few weeks back. When I first saw him I was like DAMN! Tall, dark skinned (my absolute favorite mmm), well groomed, beautiful smile, easygoing personality, educated (in the same field as myself) the list goes on. Turns out we have a few mutual friends. After my weekend in SD and little bit of investigative reporting back at home, I find out that he is 'family', a nice guy, and available. So why haven't I attempted to holler and swoop down on ol' boy? The 'self-conscious' monster has gotten my ass and Mr. Fear of Rejection has me in a headlock. I have access to his e-mail address, blog page, and I'm sure my friend in San Diego wouldn't mind facilitating some sort of hook up. I have all this ammunition, and yet I sit here tearing myself down to the elements and unearthing my flaws as excuses to not try to establish contact.

So what do you think? Do I need professional help, or the assistance of a few strong cocktails?

Oh yeah, it doesn't help matters that I'm ridiculously sexually repressed right now and my loins feel like they're gonna self-combust at any minute. Just thought I'd add that in, :)

Comments, suggestions, and physician referrals are graciously desired.

Monday, March 12, 2007

I'm gonna be a DOCTOR!!!!!

This past Friday marked the beginning of a journey that I've always dreamed of, but doubted was attainable. I was in the office, feverishly attempting to put the finishing touches on a minority research grant that would ensure my financial stability while at UCLA (basically, to keep me from having to shake it fast in the club for singles, lol). My professor mentor (whom I consider to be one of the FIERCEST women I've met) asked me when the final drafts were due. Here's the dialogue that followed:

Dr. Y: Jammie, when is that application due? Like the very last minute?

Me: Monday by noon?

Dr. Y: You mean next Monday?

Me: Umm no, I mean Monday like in 3 days.

Dr. Y: SHIT! No! It can't be due then! We have the admissions committee meeting on Monday, and I want to have your admission decision reported in the grant! We need another day!

Me: Well, Wendy (our grant guru) made it pretty clear she needed everything on Monday.

Dr. Y: Well hell, this will not do! I need confirmation NOW! Hmm....lemme see how I can work this out

****office door closes****

Me: Ohhhkkkayy...what all that about??

**** 5 minutes pass****

Dr. Y: Alright folks, we gotta make a final decision on this applicant ASAP. Let's do this

**** 10 minutes pass*****
**** office door opens *****

Dr. Y walks to me with a huge grin. "Hey Jammie." "Yes?" "Guess who's our newest doctoral student?" "WHAT!!!??" "It's official brotha. Welcome to the family, officially"

And that simple, I became the first doctorate of public health student at UCLA School of Public Health for Fall 2007!!! I was excited for about an hour, and then the reality hit home? What the HELL am I getting myself into?! There goes the remnants of my already abbreviated social life. OOOO LAWD i'm gonna get my ASS KICKED!

Don't get me wrong, I'm very happy about this turning point. It's just all sinking in now...the reality of being a doctoral student at one of the premier public health schools in the U.S. It's gonna be CRAZY trying to keep up, but I'll be ready to serve these hoes!

For all of you wonderful members of blogopia, I ask for your help. PRAY FOR ME, because I'm gonna all the strength and conviction I can get. IT'S ON!

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Smile for the Cameras!

Some recent pictures in Jammie's World....Enjoy!

I think this one may go in the portfolio...whenever I decide to make one, lol.

Taken on New Years after much wine and champagne!

My first ballroom experience. Taken with Father Taz Ultra-Omni. This man is FINE!

The L.A. Blacks and I at the ball...where are the sex sirens!?

Testing out my new digital. The slightly unkempt look...

The customary mirror picture

Taken at the MTPCCR Summer Institute

My university's representatives at the institute...minus Tiffany :( Love these folks!

A few of my students at the end of our class. I'm such a damn fool lol.

I swear, having a digital camera is like the greatest thing since sliced bread. Expect more candid shots in the future!