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!