Category: Uncategorized

We Get by with a Little Help from our Friends

Along my journey on the lifetime highway that is Life as a Sickle Cell Parent, I have spent a lot of time in the Hematology/Oncology wing of Cook Children’s Hospital.

What I discovered was that it was difficult to get too down at Daylen’s State of Affairs when I was sharing an elevator with Parents who literally LIVE at the hospital.

With that in mind, when I found out that a friend was raising money for the 2011 Nike Women’s Marathon in San Francisco as a member of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s (LLS) Team In Training I had to offer my miniscule Platform to Encourage you to support her efforts.  

Please pass this along to anyone who can help.

Making Don Lemonade out of Don Lemon

So, Don Lemon is  gay.  Thank you for that update.  I was just wondering about that.

As a Heterosexual Black male who has had his own Sexual preference questioned, by former mates on an occasion or two( yes, more than one and yes more than once), I have always felt a certain kinship with Black men who fall outside of the Masculine mainstream.

Granted I thought he was all manner of Meh in his job, but the game is the game.  Its not like hes Luke Russert.  He’s AIGHT.

Anyway, The bottom line is this… Coming out of the closet is a far bigger deal than a mere mortal Heterosexual Black Man can contemplate.  Even a quasi-renaissance Heterosexual Black man like me.

I am in his corner, even I don’t exactly understand why.

The Rumors of Black Love’s Demise are Greatly Exaggerated

As I move towards the finality of my divorce, I seem to be surrounded with a lot of last rites on Black Love.

I am going to Leave aside the nebulosity of the Notion of “Black Love”(if you need validation for the concept of “Black Love” Might I suggest you go amuse yourself elsewhere)

Black Love is real. It is the natural evolution of our most powerful emotion blended with the supernatural strength that comes with Overcoming centuries of dehumanizing conditions meant to strip us of all dignity to make us worthy only of the chattel we were intended to be.

I understand that this is difficult for those who don’t share that heritage. To you I say…get more Black friends and do more listening than talking. Again with the explanations…back on topic.

What has to be remembered is that there is a distinct difference between Black Love and Black Man – Black Woman relationships.

Black Love is an emotional state between Two Black People.

It Will not Die

It Cannot die.

 

The Issues between Black Men and Black Women, OTOH, are here. They are real and they are growing.

 

Focus on that, please. And let Black Love live. Still.

When Twitter was Ours

I have been pondering  Twitter for a few months now.  For me, its potential feels realized, but not in the way I had hoped.  When I first started using Twitter with any regularity, George W. Bush was still the president and I literally knew 1 person who used twitter with any frequency.

The media hadn’t discovered Twitter and it was where we used to go and hide out and talk about People when they weren’t looking.

Celebrities on twitter were quiet, if there at all.

Then The media found out about Twitter.

Then the Revolution came.  and another.  and another.

Twitter got bigger and bigger…And Less and less of a refuge.

What made Twitter unique was that you could say whatever you wanted on Twitter from anywhere.  You didn’t have to wait until you got home to post on your blog.  Something happened and you tweeted your thoughts.  If people liked what you thought They RT’d you and you would get a bit of shine. Woo-hoo.

At the end of the day, regardless of How many Followers you have, 140 characters is 140 characters.

Rashard Mendenhall muses openly about the Trutherism.

So?   This is the internet…where Trutherism was BORN and LIVES.

Tashard Choice catches feelings because to Catch a Predator.

He wasn’t alone.  TCAP is a Twitter institution.  God only knows why, but it is…and thats fine.

Rashard Mendenhall and Tashard Choice didn’t say ANYTHING that I don’t see alllllllllllll over my timeline all the time. And Trust me, I keep my timeline TIDY, folks.

So We have to drag him out in the public square and flog him and…Pauses for effect…question is he Deserves to work?

WHAT?

Stop that.

Before I start Diving in your timelines and Making your life miserable.

Celebrities are getting in trouble for saying what People

One Baby Step for Inkognegro

There are lots of changes taking place in my life. At times, with all this exercising and calorie monitoring, my urge to make further change tends to wane.

Alas, as I was settling into another moment of procrastination I was visited by the Future.

 

I had slipped into the beginning of a twitter debate that wasn’t personal so much as it was on a topic that was indeed personal to me. I was on my way to the store to get a couple of things and had set in my mind to ascend to my twitter soap box to Pontificate and whatnot. I couldn’t even finish that thought before the New Me said:

 

“No, Dude. You can’t do that anymore. This is a thought that

A. is fodder for the book and should at the least be offered in a blog so

B. Too complex to run through the 6-8 Tweets that you have before people wander off.

C. Prone to merely incite further debate and diminish the point I was trying to make.

 

So I Just walked away politely…and set about Thinking about how to write this piece. Upon that extra thought, I realized that I Really hadn’t thought the entire argument through.

Sure, I had a good sense of what I wanted to say, but I don’t have a good sense of EXACTLY how I feel and how I should express it, and what I am trying to accomplish with this.

While this may sound like Procrastination…it does seem like I actually wrote today.

Baby Steps, Folks.

 

Now to see how much Swag this “New Me” has.

The Fierce Chronicles: Power of Accountability

Yesterday I did something completely unprecedented.

 

I actively watched what I ate.

I made choices about what I put into my body with all the calculation and premeditation that I put into what I put into my brain.

For those of you who don’t know me that well, you greatly underestimate how significant this feat is.

I am a restaurant professional who can routinely spend 90% of his waking moments of a given day surrounded by food and drink of incredible taste and almost unlimited access.

For almost two decades, I relied upon the physical nature of my job, a cooperative metabolism, a fairly forgiving physical frame, and an ego that was concerned with things other than my physical appearance to rationalize my way into eating for pleasure and with no regard to any of the W’s or How.

I ate what I wanted

When I wanted

How I wanted

Where I….well, Mostly I was a slave to my schedule…I ate what I could when I could most of the time, so I ate what,when,  I wanted on those other occasions.

Don’t get me wrong, I KNOW food.  I am an information junkie who works in the food Business.  I learned as much by accident as I did on purpose.

It wasn’t until I attached myself to a person committed to healthy eating that I saw the possibility and the potential.

It wasn’t until that person tapped into my latent desire to do better and Played upon what motivates me to urge me forward in the same way she saw me add to her internal motivation.

It wasn’t until that person surrounded us with other folks desirous of change that accountability really set in.

 

It may very well be that ultimately I owe my life to The 50Fiercers.

LisChelaTyMateoKatieMonicaJanice?  I thank you all.  I have turned another page in my life and discovered a strength I never thought I had.

Been Around The world

I got up in plenty of time, but didn’t put nearly enough time into making this blog post work.

 

Real Quick though:

 

  1. when Charlie Sheen gets off that Charlie Sheen and gets on that Carlos Estevez…yall let me know.  I got no time for Charlie Sheen and even LESS with the media’s determination to cake up off of him and anything else to obscure whats REALLY going on in this country.
  2. I see Lasers has leaked and the hate is flowing like anti-union fever in the Republican Party.  If you like Lupe Fiasco, Buy it and pretend its Enemy of the State.
  3. Tonight on The Black Odd Couple I am joined by Wise Math, of course, but more importantly by my good Friend Deesha Philyaw and will be discussing “Write Your Damned Book Proposal Already”
  4. Mike Huckabee needs to stop speaking for me…and my people. TODAY.
  5. Some of my people need to stop worrying about who is marrying whom and worry about their own marriages…but thats a whole Other issue.
  6. I am in love. Don’t particularly care who knows.  Pardon the spring in my step.

Back in the Game: Beware of the Outlier

I was contemplating taking a happyhappyjoyjoy turn today and my man, Tyrone Mitchell, ruined it with this gem here:

Are you in love with me, or the idea of me?”

Somewhere, an ex of mine rolls her Eyes.

One of the things I realized as I grew into knowledge of myself after my first divorce was that I am not wired as the “typical” man is.

Oh, don’t get it twisted, a cursory glance will find the typical heterosexual male trappings –

  • a penchant for appreciating the female frame
  • affinity for following games played by other men as though they are life and death
  • a tendency towards laziness in regards to housework and indifference to the nuances of Interior Design

But if you hang around me long enough, it will occur to you that I don’t follow the traditional arc of mannish behavior.

I’ll spare you the details, as my blog isn’t a living breathing personal ad. (I see some of y’all) Just trust me on this. Or ask a friend of mine, one of the many female friends, or one of the few male friends I have…most of who are in a similar state.

Once I realized that I was different, I had to come to grips with the fact that I was always going to be different and that I needed to find a woman who would love me for me.

What I discovered, often WAYYY too late, is that I found women who loved the idea of me, but found the reality of loving me to be rather ponderous and counter-intuitive. Or frankly, too much damn hassle.

The problem with dating one of THOSE dudes, which is short hand for men who shrug off some of the effects male privilege and be…actual human beings who feel emotions and actually express them rather than slathering machismo all over those emotions in an effort to deny their existence… is that all those coping mechanisms you learned navigating the maze of Y chromosomes tend to be rather useless.

Playing the Food, Sex, and silence trump card will usually create an entirely different argument. And for GOD’s sake, please don’t ascribe a man’s immunity to The FSS card to some kind of diminished Masculinity. Ain’t really no coming back from that.

Sorry, always get a bit personal when I wander into that rabbit hole. *pauses and breathes…finds his Center…resumes*

When you live an existence outside what people assume, you tend to attract folks looking for a change of pace.

“Tired of typical dudes? Find you one of those Sensitive cats”

“You need to leave those stuck-up professional women alone and find you one of those Good hearted normal sistas”

(Yes these are actual quotes. You would be amazed what you can overhear dropping off a fried shrimp platter)

That Change of pace is needed and necessary. It can also be VERY misleading.

Let’s be honest, relationships tend to be very instinctive. You do what comes natural; what makes you comfortable.

If you have invested a significant amount of time in adjusting to the typical battle between men and women, you have a tendency to sink into that mode as a default setting. Encountering someone who flies in the face of such behavior can be rather off-putting and unsettling. At That point, you have a choice to make:

Learn how to walk all over again…or walk.

This post should serve as a cautionary tale for all people getting back into the game, particularly those who are exiting long term relationships or a series of men/women cut from the same cloth and created macros and shortcuts for handling conflict.

It’s a Whole New World, out there Folks. Be careful what you are wishing for when you rub the magic lamp.

Word to Iago.

Back in the Game: Don’t Fix Your relationship, Fix YOU

In yesterday’s thrilling episode post, we briefly touched on the importance of writing your personal owner’s manual.

Before getting all into that, I feel like I should back up a bit.

There is a point in every person’s life where they have to really laser in on their priorities and decide what exactly is important in their life.

This SOUNDS simple. Alas, it almost never is. My sense is that if it really was simple, then people wouldn’t continually trip up on this step.

Those of you children at home tend to have built in advantages when it comes to prioritizing, although many of you, bless your hearts over-indulge and create altars to your children at the expense of yourselves.

Those of us with children who do not live with us tend to create space for everything in their life EXCEPT their children. Something about the inevitable calling of Maaamaaa! Or DaaaDDyyy! From insistent little voices always seems to bump them up list.

But this isn’t THAT blog post. This is about YOU…or in my case, Me.

Among my critical failings is a tendency to get bogged down in details and minutiae. I will be working on a blog post/Paper/random assignment and I will get so caught up in trying to perfect a small detail that the overall project will tend to lag behind. But damn if the crown molding on the stairwell isn’t pristine and magnificent. Sorry about being 14 work days behind schedule, though.

The yearning to be with someone…to replace that which has been lost will push you to an obsessive focus on relationships and the role that those relationships play in your life.

But, Wait…

What if you’re missing the forest for the proverbial trees?

What if this new found obsession over who’s zooming and rooming with whom is coming at the detriment of YOU?

What if it wasn’t the relationship, it wasn’t HER/HIM, it wasn’t even YOU (in the context of that relationship?) but it was…YOU (in the context of EVERYTHING ELSE)

Let’s keep it real, shall we? Okay, maybe you’re not ready for that. So I will press on without you.

When I look back on my marriages (yes, plural) I realize that much of what made me difficult to love was never about me not being a good mate. For the most part, I was a pretty fabulous mate.

What failed me was what failed me in life. THOSE things led to me failing as a mate.

I have been accused of having some quit in me. This isn’t entirely false. This isn’t the whole story either.

Let us say you are on an assembly line and you’re supposed to screw in the bottom screws with a flat-tip screwdriver.

Thing is, you have two broken wrists and a Phillips Head screwdriver.

It isn’t an issue of commitment or work ethic that inhibits your production. You need the right tools and time to heal.

If you quit that job and go looking for another job with the same requirements without fixing the clear impediments to your goal, what are you REALLY accomplishing?

Basically, what today is about is a reinforcement of yesterday’s underlying point.

I’ll put my dollars to your donuts that if you are divorced, separated, de-booed sans legal impediments or even just plain singular and you are working HARD on a relationship that seems to be causing your more pain than pleasure (and not the kind of pain you like) then your focus is off a bit. Isolate what is wrong and address it.

Then watch the things that it was negatively impacting magically (but not so magically) improve.

Back in the Game: Avoiding Addiction in New Relationships

As the Calendar turns from One blatantly Commercial Holiday (Super Bowl Sunday) to another (Valentine’s Day), I find myself pondering what place love has in my life.  I have always had a particularly insightful POV on love, as I have been working in the restaurant business for the vast majority of the past twenty-two years.   I can tell Blind dates from silver anniversary dates from Dontbotheruswejustheretotalkcauseourspousesareontousandwereplottinganexitstrategybeforeslobbingeachotherdownintherestaurantparkinglot. dates within the first 20 minutes.

I’ve seen:

Love at first sight

Lust at first Sight

And by far, the most entertaining for the spectator and most confounding for the participants:

Luck at first Sight (this is when someone who would be COMPLETELY disregarded is the beneficiary of a completely random course of events)

The tragedy is that all that I saw and learned during this 22 year lab didn’t help me in the least.

As I find myself moving towards new beginnings in my own life, my mind turns toward the magic of the early days of relationships.  Over the next few days I will behold a larger number of relationships than usual as Valentine’s Day on a weekend tends to spread out the VD celebrations.  The newest relationships are always the most intriguing to watch.

It’s all so…new.

It’s all so fresh.

It feels.so.Good.

But…Is it healthy?

Stop. Pause. Wait.

Sit still and Look CAREFULLY at the situation that you find yourself in.  Is it REALLY healthy for you?  Are you edified by your relationship? Is your partner edified by your relationship?  Have you even contemplated if this relationship is healthy for THEM?  Do.You.Care?  Would you leave if it wasn’t?

Yeah. Contemplate those and come back.

My own experience has been that people, particularly those still healing from the ends of previous relationships can find themselves so anxious to reconnect that they inject themselves into circumstances that are less about the other party and more about the feeling that comes upon them when they are with that person.

If you said “hey, that sounds like chasing a high”, kindly pull out your smart phone and play Bejewelled Birds, your work here is done. Your fellow readers are catching up. Please sit still and wait for the class to catch up.  Thanks.

The hardest thing for me as a divorcee has been separating actual love from those feelings that feel like love, but actually are just “highs”.

Oh, now you don’t know what I’m talking about?

YOU KNOW WHAT I AM TALKING ABOUT.

  • Those faux trembles when you don’t hear from them.
  • That rush you feel when they come back, even though you were pissed at them literally SECONDS ago
  • Doing things you swore you would NEVER do because of how they made you feel with other folks but you do anyway in an effort to chase the feeling.

It is a dicey proposition, avoiding this kind of behavior when the nights get cold…and long…and solitary.

Hell, it’s a dicey proposition when the nights are warm, short, and Full of warm bodies (the same one over and over or a different one…same deal)

Those of you playing Angry Tetris or texting Brett Favre Pictures of your Junk Drawers can rejoin this blog post already in progress.

The obvious question is: How do you know?

Me, Myself, Personally?

My advice is to get some YOU time in. Understand yourself.  Learn what really makes you tick.  It is worth noting that the same behavior that people engage in the mundane parts of their life takes over in their relationships.  People are out here pressing buttons on their new smartphone to see what happens, learning through trial and error.

That’s cool and the gang, for your smart phone.

Learn yourself.  Read the owner’s manual.

You know, the owner’s manual.  Your owner’s manual is the guide to your physical, mental, and emotional self.

Oh…you don’t have one of those?  Then you need to get off Twittermatchfacebookplanetzoosk.com and get to writing it.  You’re wasting everyone’s time here.

Seriously. Get. On. It.

You’re playing with fire out here.  You can’t run to the SprintVerizonAT&T-mobileBoost store for help when you press buttons in your life in a funky sequence and you brick your life.