Sunday, December 28, 2008

Having a moment right now...

Yeah...as the title suggests I'm kinda going through it right now. Maybe it's the season...cold days and nights...plenty of time to invade my thoughts...plenty of space to self-reflect. Or maybe it's the amazing (but potent) Mexican coffee I just made for myself (if you don't know about it, get into it here) Whatever the case may be, I'm feeling some kinda way. I wouldn't say I feel romantically empty, but I'm definitely yearning...

So many things are going right in my life right now...I'm in no position to complain really. However, there is one area that has alluded me for the longest time...men. So many people around me are happily attached and boo'd up...folks getting married, solidifying their commitments, having babies, co-habitating, etc. I'm yearning for a man. Not a fly by night one night stand or a fuck buddy, but somebody I can invest time and energy towards. Somebody I can court, or who will court me. Sex would be great, but it's deeper than that. Sex is easy, and always accessible. I yearn for the touch...physically, spirtually, and emotionally. I've never felt it before...and I want it. I want to hold...and be held. I want to laugh hysterically while curled up on the couch watching Tyler Perry plays or Wanda Sykes (how u doin? love her!). I want to SEX DOWN somebody, but do it sensually at first...and have that effort reciprocated. I want to cook a meal alongside somebody...or have him waiting on the couch sippin on some riesling and waiting for his culinary delights. I want to flirt mercilessly and wake up in the morning wrapped in strong arms and spooned up against a firm backside.

I yearn for...intimacy. The kind you can't find on BGC or AdamForAdam (i've never been one for those sites, no shade :)). Like I said...I'm kinda going through it right now. It will pass, right?

Sunday, December 21, 2008

I was not expecting this....

Ok, so let me just say that I am thoroughly ENJOYING not being in school right now! I have officially been granted temporary freedom from my indentured servitude at the academic plantation and am having a FABULOUS time reconnecting with new and old friends and doing the things REGULAR people do. Vacations are an amazing creation, and for those workaholics out there who don't believe in them...stop playing and GET INTO IT! Work hard, play harder is what I say...

Anywho, while out gallivanting with my boy WalkYourOwnPath last night, I had the bright idea for us to get real hood and hit up the notorious Jewel's Catch One to continue our evening of exploration and foolery. The Catch is not my fave when it comes to nightspots (I think Westwood is making me a bit bougie :)), but since WalkinYourOwnPath is new to LA, I figured what the hell? He needs to experience ALL of the gaydom LA has to offer :)

So we roll up, grab our libations, and hit the dance room. As expected, the lesbuns were OUT(!), the crowd leaned toward raw and thuggish, and the music was respectable but not exceptional. Meh. After downing 2 of the Catch concoctions, my homie and I were feeling pretty good so we decided to soak up the vibe and just roll with it. The go-go dancers were giving us life and the DJ got real smart and graced us with some reggae, so we were primed to get it crackin :)

REWIND JUST A BIT..about 15 minutes into us entering a club I crossed paths with a young lady that I SWORE i've met before...She noticed me as well, but we couldn't put the pieces together in time so we missed the connection. FAST FORWARD...Now after about 20 minutes of dancehall/reggae madness, I feel a tap on my shoulder...I turn around and it's her. Here's the dialogue:

Her: I KNOW you from somewhere....
Me: Yes, you do look familiar
Her: Did you go to high school at Washington?
Me: Nope....(lightbulb goes off)!!! WAIT?! Did u go to undergrad at UC Davis?!
Her: YES! I remember now!!!

Then it all rushes back to me...I knew this girl very well once. I met her my 2nd year, in dance class. African Carribean Dance and Culture class. The first "real" dance class I ever took. The dance class taught by one of my greatest creative mentors, Ms. Bobbie Bolden. The class that turned me inside out and sparked a love for dance that has pulled me through shyness, insecurity, depression, and loneliness. The love that now is capable of causing me sadness and pain (I WILL be back to 100%...and soon!). I was not expecting to experience this....at the Catch of all places!

We gagged in celebration for a minute before she gave me the rundown about how she took off with the dancing (to the chagrin of her parents), graduated under Bobbie's mentorship, and is now pursuing her MFA at Temple and dancing for a major company! My heart swelled with pride as we reminisced about so many things that brought me joy during such a challenging point in my life...taking Bobbie's class...the psycho ballet teacher that hated us because we Black students had asses that stuck out...the challenges of choreography class...Black Repertory Theatre...letting the ENTIRE Black community HAVE IT at Apollo Night 2001...so many memories all involving dance...

But then things took a somber note. After confirming that we were members of the "family", we talked about how hard it was being gay, black, and closeted in college. She was nowhere near being out in college...neither was I. For much the same reasons...fear of rejection, and fear of isolation. We didn't give a damn about the campus at large...our fear was of OUR people, the Black community. Fear of being rejected by a community that we held so dear to our hearts. Fear of a community we made personal sacrifices for to feel included. Fear of losing crucial social capital in an environment not particularly open and accepting of people and practices unmistakenly Black and afrocentric. You see, although us Black folk only held down 2.8% of the student body, the community was strong...and somewhat homogenous. Unfortunately, "gay" wasn't really a part of the equation. Instead of throwing caution to the wind and affirming who we were, we remained silent. And we suffered because of it.

Right there, on the dance floor of the Catch One, we both had an emotional moment. Tears were shed, an embrace shared, and a look between us that spoke "I understand you...and I love you". Then we cracked up at the irony of the situation. We spent damn near three years on the same campus completely oblivious of how MUCH we had in common, and we reconnect dancing our asses off in the gayest club in Los Angeles, virtually in our backyards!

Life is funny like that sometimes...you never know what to expect.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

My love affair with LEDISI

I am in love with a WOMAN, and her name is Ledisi...





The love affair started a little over a year ago when a dear friend let me listen to a lovely song titled "Kitchen". After hearing this woman with a BEAST of a voice, my heart percolated a bit...who the HELL was this, and why the hell haven't I heard of her before? From that point on, I knew I needed her in my life :)

After viewing YouTube after YouTube clip of this beautiful woman killing the tracks with her own material, conjuring the likes of Ella Fitzgerald, Chaka Khan, Donny Hathaway, and even having the nerve to join up with one of my faves Rahsaan Patterson to kill a Rufus song while just playing around, I was hooked.

Acquiring her sophomore album "Lost and Found" intensified my attraction.



While somewhat disappointed at how produced her sound was on this album, her writing and delivery sold it for me. Baby, when I heard "In the Morning" for the first time, I thought she was reading my thoughts! Man, I wish I had somebody in the morning like that! If you don't have it in your library, do yourself a favor and buy 3 copies...one for you, and two for whomever will beat you silly for not sharing such a wonderful artist with them :)

I didn't publically pronounce my love for Ledisi until December 10, 2008, the night I saw her LIVE and in living color. Ledisi graced my fair city at the El Rey Theatre, a perfectly intimate venue for such a grand event. After waiting for nearly 2 HOURS to get in and connecting with my crew of Ledisi fans for the night, we prepared ourselves. In a standing room only crowd, we were FRONT and CENTER. I don't think I was ready...



She walked up on that stage...and let us HAVE IT....do you hear me?!! KILLED IT. Virtually 90 minutes straight. She gave us old skool Ledisi (before folks knew how off the hook she was). She gave us "Lost and Found". And she even treated us to her new Christmas album "Its Christmas". I just couldn't get over how RIDICULOUS the entire production was...she was off the chain...her band was amazing (and CUTE...damn!), and her backup singers were DEADLY (I'm talking like...ummm where is YOUR record deal?). As she aptly put it she gave us "some of that booty", "let mama tell ya songs", and "gave us church"! And to top it all, she was funny as hell! Crackin' jokes on folks, giving us sage advice, even letting us in the crowd get our sing on! I can't tell you how many times I just had to stop and shake my head like "wow...really? Are you serious? All of this?". Get into a clip:

video

Needless to say since the concert I've been rocking both "Lost and Found" and "Its Christmas", as well as digging up her older material. I'm in love with a WOMAN, and her name is Ledisi! If I weren't a tried and true homo I might of had to stop on by TIffany for a ring! But in all seriousness, Ledisi is an amazing artist and I just had to share my "love affair" with her to blogopia.

If you're into REAL VOCALISTS, get some LEDISI in your life!

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Vital Information for your everyday lives...


Cool points to whomever can remember where this pic comes from :)

I just had to let blogopia get INTO this quote. I had to give my boy snaps for this lil' ditty:

"Remind thyself that the present is still more
important than the future,
for if thou doesn't handle business in the present,
thou future won't be the business."
- Walter R. Tucker IV

TRUE TALK. Handle yo business NOW rather than later!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

I'm late...but I'm still here! Halloween recap

Wow, yeah I'm slacking on my contributions to blogopia once again...lawd I done fell off the wagon! Forgive me folks! Anywho, life has been quite INTERESTING these last few months, and I have plenty to share. Let's start with Halloween :)

This year I decided to throw caution to the wheel and go all out for Halloween. For some reason I was channeling "Freaky Scorpio" and wanted to really spice it up this year. Mind you that I RARELY get into Halloween, but this year I was on some different ish. The house party I attended was themed "Movie Characters and Superheroes" so I thought hmm...who could I pull off and still be a tad bit risque??? I came up with nothing, but my a dear colleague and fellow partygoer suggested I get into the Blade character this year. After letting it marinate for a bit (and not having any other good ideas :)) I decided...Blade it is!




This is where it gets interesting :) After acquiring a few sample pictures and figuring out the costume in my head, I hit the streets to concoct my version of Blade the Vampire Hunter. Wesley Snipes wasn't gonna have shit on me, WHAT!? What I conjured up was more like a S & M daddy version of Blade :) My search for the perfect costume landed me in not one but two LEATHER SHOPS! It was a real kee kee searching for skintight leather pants and a vest-like top amidst the leather harnesses, whips, chaps, chains, harnesses and other sadomasochistic goodies! But then things got real serious...I found myself browsing through the goodies like "hmm....this is kinda hot...hmmmm i bet I could pull off wearing these.....hmmmmm maybe I should get my other nipple pierced....hmmmmmmm how does this sling work??" It was crazy y'all...I was getting INTO the leather fantasies! After clutching my pearls one good time and securing my costume pieces, I rolled on out.

The costume pieced together nicely if I do say so myself! I literally GAGGED when I figured out the damn top I chose was sheer as a mothaf**ka, showing off all my goods. Ohh lawd you KNOW I had to have a few drinks to go through with that mess! Here are a few shots of the party...what do you think?



















Don't you just love the innovation of my UCLA folks?! Who says that Ph.Ds are boring, socially defunct geeks?! You betta recognize!

The party was great, the costume was well received, and fun was had by all. But weeks later I cannot shake this nagging curiosity I had while in the leather shops...did I let my freak out? What kind of Pandora's Box have I opened? Why am I SERIOUSLY considering going to next year's Folsom Street Fair in San Francisco just to satisfy my curiousity? A MESS!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Having second thoughts..

I've decided to stop being so damn rigid and give the Ivy League Cutie a chance. I still feel the same way about how I deal with men, but I'm getting an idea of how his personality works. I'm starting to understand that him even approaching me was a BIG step, and he seems to have gotten the memo that it will require some energy and courage to stay on my radar.

I invited him to my birthday party/dinner next month (GET IT SCORPIOS!!) If all goes well he will attend and will have a chance to meet my friends, family, colleagues, and fellow fools :) If he can handle it and doesn't run for the hills, he may have a shot LMAO!!!

Time will tell...

Friday, October 17, 2008

Am I Ivy League Material? Probably not...

While exchanging e-mail dialogue with my good blogger buddy Gil, I kinda went into a big ass essay about my thoughts on the Ivy League Cutie, a guy I've been dating sporadically for a little over a month now. It's been a rather interesting experience, and I think this pretty much sums up where I stand with this guy...and all guys in general.

I thought it would make a decent post...get into it and tell me what you think:

---------------------------------------------

I think I'm done with the Ivy League Cutie. He's a hottie, smart as a whip and all, but I think we're on two separate wavelengths when it comes to expectations. On my end, I'm willing (and very open) to be patient, giving of my time and energy, and "going with the flow", but I expect a tangible result from such an effort...a romantic relationship. I'm READY to put myself out there...but it will not work unless HE is ready to go there as well. Bottom line...I'm not trying to put energy into you or "us" unless we both are trying to build something real. We can kick it, keep it real friendly, even screw around on occasion (yes I said it! GASP!), but understand that if you want a shallow relationship, you will not be very high on my priority list.

On his end, he's still reeling from the aftermath of his previous relationship. He revealed this to me the last time we hung out, and I'm glad he opened up that conversation. From what I can tell, ol' boy still has feelings for the ex and is not quite able to negotiate these feelings and allow another man access to his attention. He requires somebody to be patient and available while he figures out what to do with his ex and how to open up to a new romantic interest. If he all of a sudden gets introspective and pulls away, he needs the new guy to understand that and give him that space without protest. If he feels awkward being intimate with the new guy, new guy needs to respect that and keep his hands off until he is ready.

Do you see the disconnect here? When it comes to the potential for romance, I'm assertive. I admit that. I WANT to be intimate and engage in the other person, ESPECIALLY if I know that he is feeling me. I give kisses and hugs and grinds and ass/crotch grabs and shoulder rubs and head rubs and cuddling...the whole nine yards. I do PDA, and I wish a muthafucka would say something about it. I'll want to put my hands on my boy, and I'll invite him to put his hands on me. It would totally fuck me up to be constantly physically rejected no matter how much I like the guy.

I WANT to spend quality time with my romantic interest, and I will crunch my schedule to open up space for that guy. I'll meet up for coffee, I'll cook dinner, I'll invite him to dinner with friends, I'll bypass a Friday night "Flats n' Foolery" for a date night. I'll study my ass off all day Saturday morning/afternoon just to have my evening open for him. If he fails to promptly respond to my offers, cancels plans too often, or gives the impression that he isn't interested in spending time with me, I'll feel hurt and angry that he doesn't value my time and effort.

I WANT sex to be a part of the equation, whether sooner or later. I haven't had sex of any kind in 6 months (count em'...SIX!), and if I see him naked, I'm gonna want to have sex and I will INITIATE sex. If he teases me sexually, I'm gonna want to BEAST HIM DOWN. If he shuts down on me physically or emotionally, I'll start to wonder if he finds me unattractive. Then I'll get pissed that I'm horny as hell and I have this hot guy sleeping right next to me that I can't ravage because he needs "space".

So yeah, that's my rationale for taking a break from Ivy League Cutie. Damn, I'm reading over what I just wrote....now I see why they call Scorpios "intense". We're not ones to half-ass something. But that's just how I operate at this point. I'm not closing the door completely, but I let it be known where I stand. The ball is in his court.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Life is Beautiful

I have so much to say, I don't know where to start. Hopefully something will materialize this weekend, but for now just know that I'm doing GREAT. And I don't mean that fake ass "How you doing man?....I'm doing fine" kind of great. I mean that go to sleep every night tired as hell but with a smile on my face, laugh hysterically at least 3 times daily, encounter fuckery and drama but deal with it head on and keep it pushin' kind of GREAT. It's an amazing feeling y'all.

More to come soon, I got work to do! Let me leave you this lil' bit of joy before I go. All I got to say is...where is this sista's recording contract??? :)




Have a great day, and DEMAND your joy!

Thursday, September 04, 2008

The Ivy League Cutie

So yeah I met a guy two weeks ago. He's my "Ivy League Cutie" on account of his attending an Ivy League school and the cuteness factor he possesses. Me likes.

After a wonderful Friday evening "Flats and Foolery" gathering with TheBlacks and Company (shout out to EJ Malloy's Pub for putting up with our coonery), I headed to the default Friday night club spot for the ethnic gayboys in Los Angeles, Circus Disco. "Circus" that night was giving me exactly what I needed and I proceeded to get my life solo on the dance floor and flirt with the lovely go-go boys. As I pushed on over to the bar after taking a time out, I spot Ivy League Cutie in my periphery. About 5'8", slim but working with some body, chocolate, rocking the cute boy bifocals (hey I think eyeglasses are hot...whatever!), and givin' me urban preppy fashion...very much Larry Lyons or Frank Roberts tea. He smiles at me...i smile back. Cute.

As I finish up my delicious libation and glide across the expansive dance floor like I'm Tyson Beckford, all of the sudden the DJ drops a Reggae mix and I GO OFF. I love me some reggae/dancehall and true to form I'm working these hips like I'm in King-ston! Keep in mind that I'm dancing solo so I must have REALLY been feeling myself to have carried on like that. To my genuine surprise, I had an audience :)

I toss in a spin for good measure and lo and behold I see Ivy League Cutie has inched closer to me and is checking me out on the low. I'm tickled pink by this, but I decide to play it nonchalant. He's a grown azz man...if he wants to step to me he can man up and make a move. Thankfully, he does.

As the Reggae mix finishes and I bring it down a notch, he approaches. We attempt to talk, but the music and debauchery is too great so we head outside to chat it up. We talk about the basics...hometown, school, work, what brings you here...blah blah blah. But it was the playful, but deliberate flirtation that drew me in. The double entendres, the sexy smirks, the winks, the touching...all the things I love to put out there reciprocated. We were building that fun kinda chemistry that makes you kinda giddy and feel sexy and whorish all at the same time :) Of course, we exchanged the digits :)

Since then, we've gone out twice. Like actual dates. So much fun, to actually engage in a person's personality...it's like an aphrodisiac for a Scorpio like me. I can tell that he likes me, which is even more fun :) I'm trying my hardest to keep my hands off of him, but that is proving to be a "hard" task.

So yeah, I'm warming up to the Ivy League Cutie. Hopefully the start of something good!

My first publication appearance!



Well kinda...I, along with a handful of my amazing classmates, were quoted in the UCLA Public Health Magazine. It's a pretty small acknowledgment, but ya boy is on the move! Get into the article below. I'm on page 8 of the feature:

The Pre-emptive War on Cancer - UCLA SPH Magazine, June 2008


A special shout out to my girl and cohort member PJ for landing the Student Profile. This girl is FIERCE! Check it out:

PJ's Student Profile


Now you KNOW I'm trying to be profiled at some point...don't play :)

Holla!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

"I needed to get laid so I did"...



"I'm not like you Glo. I just need somebody to hold me...even if it is a damn lie."

Another one of my famously unpublished entries...with a twist :)

Well not really, but that's how I feel right now. Just like Bernadine from "Waiting to Exhale" except I'm not going through a bitter divorce with a unscrupulous Uncle Tom. Hell my situation is the exact opposite, I'm chronically single :) And frankly it's starting to get REALLY old.

I seem to be having a spot of bad luck when it comes to the brothas. It seems that the few guys I'm feeling right now are out of pocket for one reason or another...one guy will soon be a colleague and already has a man, another I LIVE for but we've run into some "compatibility issues" (as in he's a strict top and I'm versatile but he has ass for DAYS so I want both)...and the other could potentially be my best gay male friend and I don't wanna complicate the friendship.

Am I making excuses? Maybe. Part of me is like "To hell with playing it safe...push the envelope and deal with the results!" I only wish it were that easy with me. For some reason, I have a lapse of confidence when it comes to actively pursuing dudes that I consider "10s". Usually the men in question are well educated, very attractive, somewhat older, have gained a certain degree of success, and have mucho charisma. I find myself comparing to them, and falling short. I seek out my flaws, magnify them, and hesitate.

It's a vicious cycle that's really messing me up romantically. I shut down, question myself, then get hella guarded. In the meantime, I go on untouched, unkissed, and un-f**..well you get the picture.

The Twist:

Just as I was about to post this entry, I run into the "Ivy League Cutie."

Friday, August 15, 2008

...I believe you have my stapler?....



I'm chained to the desk today. On a Friday. NOT precious at all...if anything, it's hella rude. Don't get me wrong, I love what I do about 85% of the time...it's just this pesky 15% that involves sitting here pounding away at site visit notes, writing reports, and organizing all of the information and dialogue I spend half of my work hours collecting in the field. Desk work SUCKS!

I don't see how people can do this 24-7. I don't see how half of these researchers can sit in front of screens all day WITHOUT scratching out their eyes!! Ewww this mess is sooo not my style.

I'm a "people person" all the way. I enjoy having conversations, dialoguing, communicating...this sitting here typing away ish is FOR THE BIRDS. The content is actually quite interesting...it's just the process. Read...process...type...correct...type...print...review...e-mail...read...process...BOO TO DA HISSSSSS... Alas, they say "no job is complete until the paperwork is done". Lawd how I wish that were not true.

I'm seriously having an Office Space moment right now, LMAO. I feel like Milton, however I'd have to seriously cut a bitch if they tried to jack my office supplies!

2 more hours of this madness...I see Brazilian food, a capirinha, a big ass lemon drop martini, and the club in my immediate future...mmmm...

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Praises!!!

Ok I have like the biggest Kool-Aid smile on my face right now, and my head has been inflated like a hot air balloon! I'm telling you, when people acknowledge your work ethic, it's a beautiful thing!

So I'm sitting here at my desk about to jump into my day's work, and here comes Queen B ready to pay me a visit. Queen B is the BOSS around here...she's not only one of the most prolific researchers in our department, she is the director of the center where I'm employed and manages my fellowship. On top of all that, she is a Dean so she's got it like that administratively. Definitely somebody you want on your side. This woman is the epitome of HARDCORE. She goes in HARD, she's sharp, she knows her shit, and she demands that you be ON POINT. And if you're not...she will kick your ass.

Needless to say that you gotta be on your A-game to impress her. I took one of her classes last quarter (hands down the best I've taken at UCLA btw), and she literally CLOWNED ME in the front of everybody. The steely gaze, the sigh, the pause, and the gut-punch..."Thank you Jammie for your input...now see, this is exactly what you're NOT supposed to do. This is not appropriate for this assignment, go back and brainstorm." I, along with the rest of the class, GAGGED. Point for Queen B. After debriefing in office hours, she explained what she was looking for, encouraged me to find a better topic, and come correct next time. By the end of that class though, my proposal was top-notch and I got the nod of approval. She was a tough cookie, but she made us really MASTER the skills. When I say my final A grade, I literally did cartwheels :)

Queen B. is definitely "firm but fair". She'll give credit where credit is due, but you ain't gettin ish unless you've excelled. And if you half step, she'll pick you apart and make you feel like jumping out of a window.

Fast forward to 30 minutes ago...I'm sitting at my desk ready to go, and she comes up to me. She asks me how I'm doing in the program, handling classes and work and such. Then she smiles and says "I don't know if you realize this, but you're actually ahead of the curve for your cohort. I've heard good things from the faculty, you performed very well in my class, and you've immersed yourself in a project in your first year. I'd say you're in a very good position." She then went on to invite me to explore some opportunities with the new multimillion dollar grant to expand my horizons and do some "solo work". I'm just sitting there like "whoa, she's giving me...PRAISES?"

So yeah, ya boy is feeling real good right now. Of course, now that I'm on her radar I'll have to step it up even further, but that's how it goes in the Ivory Tower...very much "what have you done for me lately?" At least I know I'm on the right track.

So now, all I gotta do is find a man and I'll be REAL GOOD :)

Holla!

J.

P.S: How does blogopia feel about dating a fellow colleague? He's an incoming student and I'm tempted to holler. Messiness is not my cup of tea though. Thoughts?

Sunday, August 10, 2008

The "Sunday Night Stress-Down Session"

Thought I'd share this with blogopia. After a week of hard work, study, civic responsibilities, taking care of family, driving, networking, and gettin' your grind on, it's always important to end on a calm, soothing note. This is my Sunday night session that gets me right together for dealing with another week of toil. Let me know what you think :)

The Sunday Night Stress-Down Session

The “stress down session” has 2 purposes: First, it allows an opportunity to do all of the head-to-toe “hardcore grooming” that is impossible to get around to throughout the week. Second, it’s great way to end the weekend on a peaceful, calming note. In addition to eating well and getting proper exercise, it is vital to “pamper” your body on a regular basis. This page outlines an inexpensive method of adding the finishing touches of “sexy”.

This session can be done alone, or the experience can be shared with a boyfriend, spouse, or lover for relaxation or a perfect form of foreplay ☺



The first thing you want to do is set the mood and prepare the setting. Preferably, the stress down should happen in the confines of your own home, or somewhere where you feel calm and comfortable. This is about relaxation, so it’s beneficial to have this space clean and tidy before you get started. Put on your favorite “Smooth Groove” playlist, light a few scented candles, and pour yourself a nice glass or wine (or tea if that’s your thing….something soothing). Lay out your grooming items beforehand so you don’t have to dig for stuff when you are in the comfort zone.

Now, on to the grooming. First thing are the hands and feet. Basically we are doing a touch-up of the manicure and pedicure. Soak the hands in warm soapy water and pull out the manicure kit. Do a quick clipping and filing, then drench the cuticles in oil. Dab dry the oil, then smooth lotion on the hands for a nice massage. Go down to the feet and repeat, excluding the foot massage.

Next comes the shower (a bath works too). Bring out the good smelling stuff, preferably a scrub. Take a little more time than usual paying attention to all your essential parts. Grab the pumice stone and attack the soles of your feet. Dry off and continue on.

The grooming continues. For those of you not into shaving, grab your favorite lotion, oil, or body butter and moisturize your entire body, from the neck down. Don’t forget the feet ☺ For those of us that trim a bit, moisturize wherever you’re not shaving and then prepare your skin for a shave down. Shave where you must, then apply astringent and the razor bump protection. Slide on your night clothing or a nice set of briefs and keep it moving.

Now it’s time to take care of what’s up top. Prepare a hot towel and apply to the face to open up the pores and clean the face. Follow up with your favorite facial product…a mask, a scrub, it’s all good. Take a ten minute break while the facial marinates. Finish off your wine glass and sink into the music. Return to the sink, rinse off the facial, and apply your moisturizer. Last but not least…the pearly whites. Brush your teeth thoroughly, floss well, and set it off with some Listerine. Breathe a sign of relief.

With your mental and physical rejuvenation complete, blow out the candles, turn down the music, and enjoy a night of well-earned sleep.

Monday, July 07, 2008

The Role of Responsibility

Here goes another old entry that I never posted. Why the hell have I been holding back posts? Hmm....anyways this goes out to everybody out there gettin' their grind on...working hard for their successes. Sometimes I know we sit back and ask ourselves "What's the point?" We deal with delayed gratification, lack of reciprocity, naysayers, and haters...but guess what? It all works out in the end. This is for you.

This is also for the people out there that may be blessed with opportunity but fail to work for their graces...learn from this!

Get into it below. I missed you all!

The Role of Responsibility

I was watching the oh-so-eloquent FUTURE First Lady Michelle Obama speak the truth last Sunday at an Obama rally here at UCLA, and she left me with this quote, thoughtfully plucked from the Holy Bible:

FOR HE WHO IS GIVEN MUCH, MUCH IS EXPECTED
- Luke 12:18


This simple quote epitomizes the responsibility that comes with ENTITLEMENT. Many of us have been blessed with a rich family life, money, good friends, excellent educational opportunities, social status, beauty and other physical attributes, athletic prowess, wisdom, courage...the list goes on. Chances are you weren't just born with your graces...they were created by another person's hard work and toil, or another person or entity enabled you to accomplish great things. So many of us have these resources, these tangible gifts, and we fail to recognize or deny the responsibility attached to them.

My belief is, if you've been given something great, or achieved greatness through another's work, it is your obligation to WORK in honor of your graces. Take what you have and magnify it. Work your ass off to be even better. Have something even greater to pass off to somebody else. Serve as an example for those who haven't quite achieved a particular level of greatness.

I say this because I'm constantly encountered with this friction in my life. So many people around me constantly question my endeavors..."Why do you have to do work so much?" "Why don't I see you any more?" "Why don't you think more about yourself?" "How are you gonna find a man if you're always doing something?" And my favorite..."What makes you so damn special?"

Hell, sometimes I even question myself. I have very special people in my life that I treasure as friends, but I yearn to have the closeness and invested time I see in so many other friendships. An active, fruitful romantic life has escaped me for years. I willingly decided to make tremendous sacrifices of my social and personal life for my education...will it be worth it? What if I grow tired of this field or become disillusioned...what do I do then? What if I "miss my man" because I'm focused too hard on my studies and/or burgeoning career? Am I passing up the opportunity to get my groove on on the regular in order to stay focused? Do I risk losing the few real friends I have because they don't happen to reside in the "bubble" I find myself inside so often?

At the end of the day when I'm consumed with doubt or frustration over my current circumstances, I remember that quote: "For he whom is given much, much is expected." Generations of people inside and outside of my family have fought, sacrificed, and even died for me to have a shot at success. My parents may not have had fancy degrees and big-name jobs, but they were gracious enough to provide me opportunities very few in my family have ever received. Although we may not see or even talk to each other on a constant basis, I have a group of friends whom I love dearly and will have my back whatever the circumstances (it's amazing when you have people who you know will catch you when you fall). And now I have mentors and colleagues that AFFIRM me not only as an academian but as a person. They KNOW me, and they actually care about me. They work hard to open up doors and enable my growth.

I'm not gonna front...in my opinion I have it pretty GOOD. Yeah the sacrifices suck ass, but my options are boundless...all that is required is I WORK. So that's exactly what I do. Teaching, learning, writing, speaking, counseling, training, networking, volunteering, arguing, advocating...WORK. Not just for me, but for everybody that helped me along the way. I WORK for everybody that wanted to be where I am, but by chance or fate couldn't get there. I WORK for everybody that said I couldn't make it. I WORK for everybody that discounted my abilities. I even WORK for the young bucks that might need to learn a thing or two in the future.

For all of you out there that aspire to do great things, I encourage you to WORK for your blessings. Leave the excuses at the door and GET IT CRACKIN'. Get into the process and stop obsessing over the final outcomes. Don't worry, you'll get yours when you're supposed to. For y'all that have been blessed, please make them count. Don't rest on your laurels...it pisses us WORKers off like nobody's business.

I'm done.

J.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

THIS JUST IN!!!

Okay folks, I know this is a weak re-entrance into blogopia, but I'm working on putting up something substantial. The post I was gonna put up weeks ago was kinda dark, but I'm definitely in better spirits and a better place mentally as well. Especially after hearing this news!!!!

As of today, in California, bans on marriage based on sexual orientation or other classification have been deemed UNCONSTITUTIONAL. Do y'all hear that?! They done finally cut the b**s**t and legalized same sex marriage!

Get into this!

L.A. Times reports on the CA Supreme Court ruling

While part of me wants to jump for joy, the other part feels offended that it took so damn long. Nevertheless, it's in the BOOKS, and the multitude of friends and associates that have been waiting in the wings can finally have their relationships and benefits resulting an official thing!

Be on guard though...a constitutional amendment to put us back in the closet is already in the works...elections in November will be VERY interesting...

Okay, back to our regularly scheduled programming :) Hmm...maybe I'll write something on the plane ride to LAS VEGAS to go celebrate KENNY'S GRADUATION!!! CONGRATULATIONS BOY! I'm so hyped to see you walk across that stage! If you channel diva for ONE second, I will GAG for eternity LOL.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

The beauty of contrast

Wow, theBlacks was right...this blog HAS gotten quite dusty :) I'm still here folks, just busy. Sometimes too damn busy (but we'll eventually get into that). I'm still working on finding that balance...i don't have it down yet, but I can say that it's an ACTIVE work in progress. I'm still on the academic plantation, but now it feels more like indentured servitude :P

As I opened my blog account tonight, I came across a post I wrote about two months ago; one of those "I need an outlet so here goes" type of posts. I stand here in awe of what I wrote, mainly because I feel so far away from those thoughts I had just a few short weeks ago. I feel it's important to share these words, but first I'll give you a little context...

When I wrote this, I was playing host to a dear friend of mine for the week. While I thoroughly enjoyed our time together and would host him again without reservation, his presence rocked my soul. Ultimately it was a very positive thing because it caused me to examine several areas of my life where I was unhappy and unfulfilled. Nevertheless, I was unsettled. He knew it and tried to talk it out of me, but embarrassment and insecurity kept my lips sealed. Here's the post (in italics):

I'm Having a Moment Right Now

Having somebody all up in my private space is strange, but kinda fun. In a way, I've yearned for this type of bonding for quite some time. Two guys, gay men, kickin it as friends...no pretenses...no shade...no sexual tension. Ok well there was some sexual tension (on my behalf only i'm sure), regardless it was all about companionship. Last night was definitely no exception, lol. Oh, the hijinx! I'm surprised to be awake this early, however it makes perfect sense that HE is totally knocked out. I'm glad he's sleeping soundly though...he deserves to enjoy his time off. He looks so peaceful there...i don't want to wake him up. Unfortunately, our time together is coming to a close. The plane waits for no man, so he's gotta get it movin'

As much as I love having him here, I'm ready for him to go. He tested me, questioned my logic, helped me to see some things that I otherwise probably wouldn't have acknowledged. That's what good friends do, and I have mad love for that. However, it unearthed a whole bunch of shit I've kept under wraps for a while. Shit that can sting like a mofo when a person can pick it out of your brain:

I'm way too hard on myself.

I have some shit on my heart and mind I have to deal with, but I'm scared....and insecure.

I'm still grieving...i cry for my mother's death and my father's heartache almost everyday. I was too busy being "strong" for the past two years to let it flow...

I yearn to have good people around me that add to my life...and yet when they are near I become distant.

I'm know I'm pretty damn good person, but I worry that people think I'm not good enough.

Was able spend time with one of my friends I grew up with. I love her because I can be myself without feeling judged. I have amazing friends, but we are so distant from each other. I often initiate contact only when I miss them. They grow tired of having to always pursue me. I'm busy, but not that damn busy.

Last night I had a moment of intense envy over a dear friend of mine....and I feel terribly ashamed for feeling that way. He came across the country to spend time with me, yet I felt hurt and offended when he didn't pay me attention. I fully expected him to be "a kid in a candy store" when we hit the club, but was quite surprised when I ended up being the sorry ass licorice flavored candy that gets left in the jar. My envy and disdain almost led me to abandon him at a club he had never been to before...in a city he hardly knew anything about. Basically, I was TRIPPIN...but I checked myself...HARD. Had to take a time out to get my head together...something was seriously off with me. Was I secretly attracted to him? Yes, but I don't want anything more than his friendship. He sometimes questions his looks, but I wish he could see how damn beautiful he is...inside and out. It pisses me off that somebody he loves disregarded his spirit and caused him pain. I want him to find somebody that will appreciate all that he is. If we lived closer together, I might have given it a shot. Nevertheless, he's my homie and that's exactly what I need from him right now. But why the envy? My friend is doing exactly what I hoped for him...enjoying his vacation, having a good time, and giving the LA boys fever :) Why did I have a chip on my shoulder? All of a sudden it hit me...i was HATING. Hating on the fact that I couldn't remember the last time I had acted so free and uninhibited. Hating on the fact that I was too insecure to put myself out there like that. Hating on the fact that I had not had any worthwhile "action" for weeks while he seemed to have an open invitation. Yes, I was drinking Haterade big time. Envy is a bitch, and I was the biggest bitch for about 10 minutes before I snapped out of it. Unfortunately, I ended up messing over some dude in the process.

I could have had sex last night, but I stopped. I didn't feel anything for the dude...all I wanted to do was be touched and fuck. The last time i slept alongside another man was 4 months ago, and I was REALLY feeling that dude. I ran away from him because I felt like I didn't measure up. He was older, established, intelligent, focused, and sexy as hell...and I was insecure and retreated. Anyway, this guy last night said he was very attracted to me, and I believed him. To be fair, I thought he was a great guy. No sexual chemistry though. But I responded to his advances anyway...I liked the attention. He did little for me, but I obviously was doing a lot for him...typical for me in these situations. I think I stopped right before he was about to cum. That's fucked up, but the vibe was wrong. I apologized, and he said he understood. He was trying to be nice. I appreciated it, but I still feel like a jackass...I've had blue balls before....its NOT pretty.

And now I sit here...the morning after. Unsettled, frustrated, and disappointed I have to say goodbye to my friend. Yet and still, I want him to leave. Not because I'm tired of him, but because he mixed things up and I need room to process it all. I'll definitely invite him back, but maybe by that point I'll have handled my personal ish and really be able to engage with him as good friends should...with love, respect, and without reservation.

Clearly I've got some big changes to make.



As I read this, I'm in awe of the contrast of thoughts and mindset I have now. As I declared in the post, I've made some big changes. Although I'm still a work in progress, I'm much happier. It's all coming to the forefront. Baby steps.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Jungle Fever?....and Med students are HOT!

The romantic life is a little stagnant right now. I met a guy that had definite boyfriend potential, but it's looking like that situation is not going to work out to my satisfaction.

I'm in one of those moods....the Scorpio is rising once again. I've been too far long in boy drought, and my eyes are wandering.

Funny thing is...the eyes are wandering in different directions than usual. Although I consider myself an equal opportunity lover, it's no secret that I have an strong affinity for brothas. To me, nothing beats a beautiful, intelligent, articulate, strong-willed Black Man that knows his history, honors his culture, and loves him some Black Men.

HOWEVER, I've noticed that the other flavors of the rainbow are starting to look RATHER tasty...

For example, there is this Asian (looks like Chinese with Japanese or Korean) med school student that I see at least once a day in the halls. Short guy, but with a compact body built for LIFE. Kinda nerdy cute with the glasses but it works for him. BEAUTIFUL smile, and pretty friendly looking. He went to school with me during undergrad at UC Davis. He was on the track team...a sprinter (yum). Shared a few bio classes with him and he was smart as a whip. I thought he was kinda cute then but never paid attention to him. BUT NOW...

The few years since undergrad have been EXCELLENT to him. Looks similar, but with a grown folks aura and a little cute boy swagger in the step. I saw him decked out in scrubs about a week ago, and I almost swooped down on his ass like an EAGLE! And now, he acknowledges me whenever we cross paths. And yesterday I SWEAR I saw him givin' a little T, which makes me even more intrigued.

Another example...the hot biracial (Asian and Middle Eastern maybe) guy I see at the gym and around the hospital...ANOTHER MED student. This one has got swagger FOR DAYS! Can tell he's a newbie to the gym, but he'll be in fine shape if he keeps it up with those workouts. I have never seen an ass on an asian man that was not a bodybuilder or major athlete, but boy has got CAKES! The jury is still out on if he's family or not, but he definitely caught my attention.

And then...there's the Latin lover with the green eyes. Not a med student, but a RESIDENT...a surgeon in the making. Amazing physical presence, and dresses HELLA sharp! And in passing I heard the cutest thing out of him...he was literally GIGGLING! This tall, masculine drink of water with the hypnotic eyes was giggling and carrying on like a 5 year old. It was too much! Again, I felt like SWOOPING!

Ok, so obviously my taste for men is diversifying. My question is, do I take the plunge and break the color lines, or do I hold it down until the brothas come into the picture? Black Men (especially gay and OUT Black men) are few and far between around here, so I may be SOL for a while. I wouldn't say I'm necessarily against dating non-Black, but I do have certain reservations. I would consider myself a race man, so I'm not sure how well I'd vibe romantically with somebody that couldn't identify, or didn't have some kind of cultural awareness. I'm trying really hard to not to be biased, but I've been fetishized and exoticized by 'curious' non-Black folks enough times to carry a bit of a chip on my shoulder. And what happens if while I'm tasting the rainbow and that oh so familiar chocolate flavor comes into the mix? How f'd up would it be to just ditch one dude's attention for another guy just because he's Black?

And what the hell is this attraction for med students/doctors all about? Why have I found men in lab coats, stethescopes, and scrubs sooo sexy? Have I been watching too much Grey's Anatomy or something???

Hmm...life is a trip sometimes :)