Dec 28, 2010

Glimpses Into The Past

Todd over at Hell's Kitchen shared a major tip for folks that love photography. He had mentioned that the Museum of the City of New York has a great archive of photos of NYC. Yo! He was totally correct.

The Jacob Riis portfolio is heartbreaking. He really recorded the underbelly and poverty of NYC during the 1890s. As I looked at the photos I imagined the stories of each of the subjects. I was transported.

Here is just a taste of what you will find. Take some time to check it out.

Pietro learning to write

A young scrub girl

A dive bar circa 1890, called a black and tan

Young thugs out for no good, chillin' at their spot

A boy and his bootblack kit

These young girls were part of a team that reviewed election results.

Dec 27, 2010

Thank You Lady T - Go Back To The Divine

Thank you Lady T for amazing music. Your music has served me well for many years. Here is one of the songs that always puts me in a good mood.



Fire and Desire that she did with Rick James, also has a special place in my heart, but it's all about Teena right now.

Dec 26, 2010

Dog Sings A Lullaby

Gino has been such a godsend to me over the past several weeks. He makes me smile, motivates me to get up and get out each day, and to focus on getting things together. Dogs are awesome!

UPDATE: Gino ventured out this morning after the blizzard. Once he realized the level of snow was taller than him he turned around and headed back to the house.


Dog Sings To Soothe Crying Baby brought to you by Funny

Dec 22, 2010

Santo Claus In Action


Yes, Virginia, Santa is Puerto Rican


I went shopping for Christmas presents today. It was not for family or friends. I rubbed my belly and became Santa for a moment because of love I have for two students at my school.

While I was away buying beverages for a mini-Chinese Buffet I put together for all of our students that receive special education services, a parent called with an urgent request.

This wonderful mother that has been trying very hard to take care of her kids, with her husband, was laid-off and said to a my colleague over the phone that Santa would not be coming to her home. Their money was tight paying rent and utilities. Her family is part of the working-poor.

She called me because she knows I have been very kind and caring towards her children. Last week I sent a letter home praising the efforts of their son that is one of my students. I went immediately into action. Santo Claus to the rescue.

A fellow teacher came with me, because homegirl knows how to shop. We picked out a cute PJ set for the girl, and a slamming shirt with matching beanie for the boy.

My fellow teachers also went into action and we will have toys to give to mom and dad for their well deserving children.

Putting my love for others into action brought joy to my heart. I feel so blessed. I wish the same for all the good people that stop by and read this blog.

I know this story will emanate to those that you love. The blessing of this story will multiply and love within our universe will increase.

Dec 17, 2010

Ban Line Dances

I just came back from the teacher's union holiday party. Let me just say that we teachers know how to party. What I loved is that it was truly a diverse group of folks, and we all got our groove on.

My only complaint is that we need to ban line dances. The only line dance that should still be done is the soul train line. Nuff said! Electric Slide was fun and cute like what 15 years ago. It annoys me when I get dragged out to do it. Uggh!

I rather see folks get out there and do their own unique thing. Way more interesting to watch and allows you to shine by contributing your own fierceness.

Dec 4, 2010

Nadia! We Should So Hang Out

Nadia G came right on time into my tv viewing life. She is funny. Her food looks good. I so need to try one of her recipes to see if there is skill behind her glam over the top personality. Take a look at this teaser and tune her in. She done grew on me people

Dec 1, 2010

World AIDS Day


Know your status by getting tested.

Love yourself and others by playing safe.

Stay healthy by getting treatment.

For all those that have lost their battle I lit a candle tonight in loving memory.

Nov 26, 2010

Thanksgiving with Ralph


I cooked a ham and collard greens for my family-of-choice's potluck Thanksgiving feast. I got a lot of compliments and ate till I was stuffed. It was sad at times when I thought about Marcos, but I showed up and engaged.

Then at 2:30 am I had to run to the bathroom and begin to vomit to the point that I thought a lung would come out. Like Todd, I too have the stomach bug going around. No one else at the party got sick. Lucky me.

I am now making ginger tea with cinnamon and honey. I will keep on keeping on.

Nov 14, 2010

Connected Via The Divine


I am about to share a very true story that happened today. As you know Marcos has recently passed. I am taking it a day at a time, but feeling more at peace thanks to the support of family and friends.

Hugs and kisses to my fellow bloggers that have expressed their support and sent me healing vibes. Thank you Aaron for what you expressed on your blog. Click here for the post.

So, back to the story.

I was walking Gino tonight and thinking about Marcos. I transmitted unknowingly to him that Marcos has passed. When we reached Marcos' car Gino stopped and would not move. I realized that he finally knew what has occurred. He looked around and sniffed the air and would look at me. Gino decided he wanted to go back home.

As we walked back I said a prayer and looked up to the stars and said "Marcos please tell me where you are."

I then heard a small motorbike coming down the street. I looked and all I saw was a huge bright headlight that lit up the entire street. On this tiny bike was a big guy that was way too big for the little bike. He reminded me of a clown in the circus. He was dressed in NY Giants regalia from head to toe.

As he pulled up next to me I saw a tiny license plate on the back of his bike that had printed on it Guarbo, Puerto Rico. Good people, tonight Marcos' ashes are at his parent's home in Guarbo, Puerto Rico. And, tonight his family gathered to offer him prayers so that his spirit continues its journey to the divine.

Meditate on the divine tonight and know that there is a cosmic connection that we all have access to and that will provide nourishment.

Marcos, I lit a candle at my alter for you tonight. I got your message and know that you are visiting your loved ones, and will be moving on. Seek the light and heal.

Nov 6, 2010

My Marcos Has Passed On


Good People,

My darling, dear Marcos has passed on to the other side. Twenty-one years he and I traveled together.

During our travels there were ups and downs and moments in limbo. I am spending my time focusing on when our life together shined.

I will remember his face as always handsome, his support as forever nurturing, and his body next to mine as a source of comfort.

His family and I came together with love and grace, and eased him onto his new journey. I am eternally grateful for that moment.

Move on papito by heading towards divine light. You are free now and can work your magic from the other side. Obatala's son has gone home.

video
A Classic Video Moment

Oct 30, 2010

Runway - A Poem

The music and the movement from Project Runway finale inspired this attempt at poetry.


Runway

a succinct saunter
serves seductive swerving
slide to side to slide to side
synchronized swishing and swaying
in singular sonic stomps
silk sounds a sudden snap
strands swing
shiny skin smiles and smirks
step spin stand
you succumb

By Allan S.

Oct 26, 2010

I've Got Life

The past few days have been heavy. I wonder what I still have within me to thrive. The musical Hair came to town recently and reminded me, I've Got Life!

A wink and a smile to Renee for reminding us that Nina Simone was earth-mother manifested.

Oct 16, 2010

GLBTQ Teens - It Gets Better!

My darling GLBTQ youth, it is very true that it does get better. It breaks my heart that many of you live in a world where you are silent, invisible and/or persecuted. Do not embrace self-hate! You are beautiful and capable of amazing things. Reach out and find the community and support you need. It will get better.

As a teen I had struggled with the idea of suicide, but I was fortunate to have found other options early on. I was lucky. Today, I wake up and feel so much gratitude for being here and living my life. Even on crappy days I remind myself I am blessed, and will continue to overcome any challenges that come my way. I am surrounded by many people that love me, and you will find that in your life. Keep on keeping on.





Oct 9, 2010

Because I Care About My Good People: 2

While some of the food shots may not look appetizing, the concept makes total sense. Good people, let us enjoy our carbs!

I know we can do better than the howcast.com folks when preparing the animal-based proteins and veggies.

When preparing this meal use sensible fats, olive oil is our friend, and cooking methods. I would have grilled the meat and roasted the veggies.

Oct 7, 2010

The Ying and Yang of Teaching: 7


So, I am six weeks into the new school year and here are some thoughts:

- We have all been bogged down with administering pre-tests and assessments of our students. I work in a data-driven district and the collection of data on each student is endless. The result has been very little teaching and a lot of probing. Ugh!

- I have a student living with Autism that has the most interesting abilities. One of his talents is being given a random date with a year, and being asked what day of the week it was, and what he did that day. His is able to recall the day of the week and activity within seconds. He has been able to recall as far back as 2006, when he was just six-years old.

- My caseload has doubled and I'm kinda freaking out. I have to spend the weekend revamping my master plan to do my thing with the children. This plan will change a few times over the school year, but teaching is a dynamic thing, it is never static.

- I adore all of the kids, even the challenging ones. I get so invested in them so quickly. My heart will break several times over the year. One of my kids already spent two-weeks locked up in prison. I will heal and get back at it.

Oct 3, 2010

My Body & Universe Talking


On the heels of some tremendous success, I decided to keep the momentum going full-steam ahead. The result has been rather mixed. I came down with a cold, and have generally felt out of step with what I've been doing. Today, I've decided to listen to my body and the universe, and do some course correction.

I realized that now I have to put certain things regarding my graduate degree on pause, and relish my new teaching position by pouring all of my energy into serving my new students. By continuing to stretch myself thin, I'm compromising what I give them and me being able to truly learn from this experience.

I'm blessed because there's been a hiccup in my financial aid, and each time I have a problem with it, I hear the soft voice of the universe telling me to "take a break." I also see my students struggling and once again the soft voice tells me, "their needs are greater than what you think you may need for yourself."

I have a vision of what I want to be doing, and I accomplished a huge part of that vision. Now, I have to settle into this thriving life I created and learn from it. I must trust that the same inner-love that propelled me to get this far is building up another message for me to receive and put into action.

Sep 21, 2010

Get Your Glee On!


Season 2 of Glee premieres tonight! Yay! Do not call me between the hours of 8-9.

Sep 13, 2010

Look Who Gets A Time Out


Oh hell to the no! Renee and Aaron knew about Florence and didn't hook a brother up. Go to opposite corners and think about how you could have made better choices.

Renee: But Mr. S.
Me: Take a time out Renee. We share in the blogosphere. Come back when you are ready to tell me why sharing is important.
Renee: But I said my bad.
Me: To the corner.
(Renee sucks her teeth and stomps to the corner with her arms folded)
Me: Did it taste good? Oh, and keep stomping those feet you are only wearing out your shoes.

Aaron: Ha ha!
Me: Aaron, you see that corner on the other side of the room?
Aaron: Yes.
Me: Well, take that corner and you also think about why sharing is important. Mr. Playlist.
Aaron: Ahhh man. I hate this blog. Psss, I don't care.
Me: Oh, so I'm calling home now.
(Aaron briefly mumbles incoherently while sitting at the corner.)
(I give the teacher-stare)
Me: What!?
Aaron: I aint say nothing.

Sep 12, 2010

VMAs Done Did Me Right...Who Knew?

I sorta stopped watching music videos a few years back. Well, not really stopped, but rarely check in to see what is going on in that world. Most of the time I watch stuff that has gone viral and has a bunch of hype around it.

This video by Florence and the Machine totally went under my radar. I'm surprised my blogs of choice never featured it.

Luckily, I tuned into MTV's VMA, to see what Lady Gaga would wear of course, and serendipity hit, as I was seduced first by the song and now the imagery created around it.

I know this video is old for some of you, but will be new for many of you. Then again, when you revisit works of art, you often find something new in it to enjoy.

Florence and the Machine "DOG DAYS ARE OVER" Music Video from LEGS MEDIA on Vimeo.



Here are the lyrics:

Happiness hit her like a train on a track
Coming towards her stuck still no turning back
She hid around corners and she hid under beds
She killed it with kisses and from it she fled
With every bubble she sank with her drink
And washed it away down the kitchen sink

The dog days are over
The dog days are done
The horses are coming
So you better run

Run fast for your mother, run fast for your father
Run for your children, for your sisters and brothers
Leave all your love and your longing behind
You cant carry it with you if you want to survive

The dog days are over
The dog days are done
Can you hear the horses?
Because here they come

And I never wanted anything from you
Except everything you had and what was left after that too, oh
Happiness hit her like a bullet in the head
Struck from a great height by someone who should know better than that

The dog days are over
The dog days are done
Can you hear the horses?
Because here they come

Run fast for your mother, run fast for your father
Run for your children, for your sisters and brothers
Leave all your loving, your loving behind
You cant carry it with you if you want to survive

The dog days are over
The dog days are done
Can you hear the horses?
Because here they come

The dog days are over
The dog days are done
The horses are coming
So you better run

Mmm, Mmm, Glee

One of many reasons why I'm a hopeful high-riding bitch these days.

Within its flaws, Glee provides stories of noble lessons to be learned.

Music spreads truths, myths, contemplation, community and insight.

I wonder what they cooked up this season for us Gleeks.

Sep 10, 2010

Keep On, Keeping On


Invictus" is a short Victorian poem by the English poet William Ernest Henley. Good people, make this part of your internal dialogue:

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

Sep 6, 2010

Feeding My Mind


Good people, as you know I am all about being a life-long learner. I actually detest people who think there isn't something new to learn, think they know it all, and/or constantly talk about the same subject.

With that said, I can read, watch, and listen to just about anything about Ancient Egypt forever and a day. I always find something new and remain fascinated.

Lately I've been exploring the legends of the god Thoth. Ya know him. Thoth is the god with the head of an Ibis. He is credited with creating spoken and written language, as well as, being respected by the other gods for his thoughfulness. Thoth, thought...hmmm!

Thoth

Music Making Myths



Aug 31, 2010

It's Giuliani Time for Rudy


"Caroline Giuliani, daughter of former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani, was warned today by a judge to "stay out of trouble."

And she was told that if she completes one day of community service, her shoplifting charge -- she stole $100.50 worth of makeup from a Sephora store on E. 86th St. earlier this month -- will be dismissed.

Giuliani will most likely mop floors and clean toilets at the Sanitation Department's Manhattan District 3 garage at Pier 36 on the Hudson River, reports theDaily News. That's the same place Naomi Campbell and Boy George toiled after they ran afoul of the law. She has to complete the sentence by Nov. 4. She is due back at Harvard for classes tomorrow."

Source: USA Today

Here are some of the moments I recall about Giuliani's term as mayor of New York City.

I have memories regarding allegations of civil rights abuses and other police misconduct involving unarmed suspects, such as the scandals connected to the anal torture, with a plunger handle, of Abner Louima and the unjust killings of Amadou Diallo and Patrick Dorismond.

He put salt on the wound of Dorismond's family, when Giuliani supported the New York Police Department's shady business of releasing what he called Dorismond's "extensive criminal record" to the public, including a sealed juvenile file.

Oh, and let's not forget Rudy's appointed NYC Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik, now a convicted felon. Hey and what about Rudy's slide-off action becoming his second wife.

Silly Giuliani, he thought he could win the hearts of Republicans when he ran for president under the Republican ticket. Rudy forgot he was raised as a Roman-Catholic and his name ends in a vowel. Silly boy!

Wasn't he such a morally-corrupt wolf in sheep's clothing, while never looking cute.

Aug 28, 2010

Glenn Preaching To His Choir


Okay, so I'm watching the opening moments of Glen Beck's Restoring Honor rally. Glen opens up by saying how this nation needs to return back to God, and us working together, regardless of our different faiths.

He then introduces a rabbi, two Native-Americans, and a pastor. Sounds like the opening of a joke. Anyhoo. The good Rev. is brought to the microphone and gives an impassioned prayer where he states that salvation is only possible through Jesus Christ. He ends by saying "amen" and then he along with the rabbi, and two Native-Americans are escorted off stage.

Yup, there ya have it. Glen Beck's version of working together and respecting different faiths. I wonder if the Rabbi and Native-Americans were backstage concerned to learn that they are not the chosen ones, and won't be saved, because they are not down with Jesus Christ.

Then after all this talk of God and Jesus, Glen goes into a speech about honoring the military. Yup, there ya have it. Glen's choir loves their guns and Jesus. Oh, and Jews and non-whites can show up, but they should expect to be seen and not heard, well, only if they accepted Jesus Christ as their lord and savior.

These types of spectacles where God is used for political agendas, always reminds me of Margaret Cho's joke, where she said that she believes Jesus Christ looks upon what's going on and screams, "That's not what I meant!"

Later in the day Sarah Palin and Alveda King will speak. We all know Palin is basically out and about so she can make money and keep her face in the public arena. As for Alveda, one day Coretta Scott King had to step to her at the King Center and put her in check for spewing anti-gay marriage rhetoric. Nuff said.

Aug 21, 2010

Couture Junkie Rides The Late Train


The Fall 2010 couture shows have come and gone several weeks ago. Yes, I know I'm on the late train with this newsflash. Give me a break good people. I was mad busy teaching summer school.

I find it funny that each year fashion folks declare the pending demise of couture. However, each season the magic of couture emerges from the imagination and hands of the devoted few in Paris.

Go, view, and have fun by clicking here. Think of color, cut, silhouette, fabrications and how you can translate it into a head-to-toe look within your sensibility and budget.

Aug 19, 2010

Less Ewww!


Good ol' Todd probably called it when he commented the following, "She's prolly scared to death... And this is her defense.." in the Eww! Yet, I Pity Her post.

The following day I kept my distance from this new colleague. Which I'm sure communicated something to her. Then we chatted and when I spoke she was giving me stank face. I asked her, "Ms. So and So, did I say something to offend? Your facial expression is saying "annoyed" to me.

She quickly followed up with eyes wide open and said "Oh no! Mr. S" She then stroked the side of my arm and smiled. Over the following days she relaxed and a smile seemed more at place on her face.

We ate lunch together and had a nice chat with some laughs. Yes, I know, first impressions are not always the lasting impression.

Aug 17, 2010

Ewww! Yet, I Pity Her.


So, good people, I met a new teacher coming to work at my school today. Her body language, gestures and facial expression conveyed an acrid personality.

She presented herself as someone that most folks would look at and say "needs a good fuck." I told my sister about it, and without prompting her, she said "Oh, she needs a good fuck."

I take issue with that remedy. There have been times that my valley of good and plenty went neglected, and I went into bitch mode. However, I've seen the errors of those ways and realized other parts of my being needed to be stroked in order to shed the hard exterior of acting, not in a good way, like a cunt.

I do this by looking for beauty, engaging with family and friends, finding something new to learn and wonder about. Basically, I cancel the pity-party and look for ways to celebrate that I'm still here. It works, most of the time.

This new co-worker showed an occasional glimpse of her humanity, which she was not comfortable doing. Her smiled seemed forced, and out of place, on a face that looked bitter most of the day.

Her actions resulted in one person leaving our table and her being impolite to me. I took note and will take action at the right moment. I pick my battles wisely.

What I plan to do is to let her be her, and call her out by saying "Ms. So and So, that tone, facial expression, and/or body language makes me think X. Is that your intentions?"

This being is in desperate need of a learning moment. She needs to get over herself and join the party. If she chooses being part of life, then, and only then, she might make friends and encounter a good fuck.

Aug 14, 2010

A Forgotten Film You Should See

There is a wonderful, yet forgotten, film that I'm going to go and find. I saw it when I was very young, and it has always stayed with me. This film is something special.

Pennies From Heaven starred Steve Martin and Bernadette Peters. Pennies From Heaven was initially born as a song, then twice became a film, and a TV show for the BBC.

The story takes place in 1930s Depression America. "Arthur Parker, a sheet-music salesman, is having a hard time, both in his business and at home with his wife Joan.

His business is failing and Joan is not amorous enough for Arthur and refuses to give him money to start his own business. His dream is to live in a world that is like the songs he tries to sell."

It is one of the most underrated films of its time. The cast was amazing and the music is sublime. The film has many flights of fantasy. Here is just a taste.

I've always wondered how Bernadette would have turned this number out with her own voice, instead of lip-synching.


Yes! That is Christopher Walken stripping.

Aug 10, 2010

For Wayne - Update



Update - This was Wayne's favorite quote:

"Every man is said to have his peculiar ambition. Whether it be true or not, I can say for one that I have no other so great as that of being truly esteemed of my fellow men, by rendering myself worthy of their esteem. How far I shall succeed in gratifying this ambition, is yet to be developed." -Abraham Lincoln

A former student of mine died today. He was struck by a car and the injuries were too severe for his body to take. Wayne Campbell was his name. He was no longer a minor or a student of mine so I feel free to post openly about our shared, yet brief, journey.

Wayne came to me for after-school academic and college-readiness services. He wanted to go to Yale. However, on all IQ test and assessments Wayne scored 76, which placed him just barely above a label of Intellectual Disability, which use to be called Mental Retardation.

With that said, I never treated him like his dreams could not be possible, just focused on how to make what he has work for him and his goals.

Wayne's mind ran a mile in a minute within a fog. Wayne wanted to know everything, and do everything his heart desired. However, he was truly challenged with thought-processing issues that made it very difficult for him to follow sequences and generalize academic skills.

This reality did not stop Wayne from always having textbook, notebook and pencil in hand. He was determined.

This is also why I went off and called out some students not receiving special education services during summer school, that thought is was cute to take their abilities for granted and slack off.

Wayne required me to give patience and perseverance. He also taught me that I would not be a good teacher, if I did not always find new ways of creating learning moments that worked with the learning styles of my students.

Wayne challenged me during my very green moments of serving as a teacher to students receiving special education services. I've already winced and forgiven myself for my lack of expertise while serving him.

My two favorite memories of Wayne are as follows:

Wayne: Mister, how can a person make money without working?
Me: When you find out let me know!

This then lead to a conversation about the stock market and investing.

At the prom I see Wayne come in looking mad sharp (see picture above). He sang and danced. He was part of the mix. Wayne even bumped and grinded with a few of the ladies. Wayne was just one of the fellas.

Thank you Wayne. I won't miss you because I will always be aware of your spirt that will continue to teach me. I pray for peace to my young brother.

Aug 3, 2010

The Ying and Yang of Teaching: 6


For the past four weeks I've been teaching in a summer program offered as academic enrichment to rising high school seniors. The students are participating in workshops on studying/research skills, which I teach, poetry, health/wellness and student life.

All of the students are here voluntarily, and for the most part have been really great to work with. However, as the program reaches its final days, some students are deciding to drop out.

Why? Well, my final project required them to do a two-page research paper with a 3-5 minute presentation of their topic. I guess some students are not feeling good about one or both of the final project components.

Today, I told the core group of students that have remained that I applaud them for seeing this experience to the end. I stressed the importance and value of being committed to something.

I also told them that to let their friends that dropped out know that "quitting is a bad habit to take on, and even more difficult to break."

Jul 28, 2010

So Like Not Gross

Okay, so like, Aaron is like totally on the same like wavelength as me when it comes to music. Fer sure! Martina of Dragonette is like totally tubular, like oh my gawd. This song is like totally bitchen. It has like a super-super totally awesome beat that you can like dance to while like cruising the Galleria, with your Walkman on your ears.

Jul 24, 2010

Orlando


Film director Sally Potter, and actor Tilda Swinton, joined forces 18 years ago and created one of my favorite films of all time.

Orlando is a film based on Virginia Woolf's book of the same name. The film is about a character who changes genders and lives through four centuries.

The film is being re-released and I want to revisit the experience. I'm eager to see what new insight I might gain by reconnecting with a work of art with my new 18 years-older eyes.

If Orlando is not being shown in your hood, please rent the DVD. This film has beauty that will nourish your mind, eyes, and soul.

There is a wonderful interview with Sally and Tilda at the Village Voice website.

"Changing is precisely what Swinton worked hard to avoid when her male character wakes up a woman. "Transformation is not about changing," she laughs. "It's about a sustainable spirit." Or, in Potter's equally heady words: "[It's] looking for a state of being-ness through time and space and genders." As Orlando herself says while looking into the camera: "Same person, no difference at all. Just a different sex."

Click here to check it out.

Jul 17, 2010

What The Frak?

 
I have to admit this video gave me chills. I am always watching the skies and waiting for the signs. I've had vivid dreams of visitors from the sky throughout my life. Has the time arrived for the final proof that we are not alone to be revealed?

Click here for more information. BTW, look like the Chinese government is going to offer the cliche excuse that this was a military operation.

Slash and Burn



When I saw this recent clip of Chris, and thought about the video he posted before it, I saw a high-riding bitch slashing and burning, so that something new can grow. I'm glad he put down Barbie, or in his case Britney.

You have to be careful when slashing and burning. The journey should start at realizing that the forest has become to thick and entangled, and prevents you from being able to sow and harvest the things that will nourish you. You can't wipe it all away, because, in the small spaces there are rare things that are good.

My suggestions is to do it gradually and after careful consideration. There is good stuff in each of us, a lot of it, and we can't just think it all has to disappear. At the end of the day we choose a new path, we never truly start all over again. Instead the reality is one moves forward with an informed-hope.

I did this a few years ago, and started this blog in order to guide me through the process. I would be perfect, if it wasn't for me being human. Therefore, the me with flaws is focused on thriving, living within a purpose and being authentic; my version of perfection.

Jul 12, 2010

For Jun

The darling Jun is going to take some time away from blogging. Those of you in the know, are aware his blog is like good candy for me. He's all good, just going to live some life and come back to share his journey. This is for him:

Jul 10, 2010

Send Love To The GLBT Familia en la Isla Bonita


Thank you Kyle for this recent post. I am spreading the word. I may not always comment, but I always read your awesome blog.

A suggestion good people, after reading this post, send a note to annie.rodriguez@prtourism.com. Let her know that the good people of Puerto Rico need to get this madness under control. Oye, Ricky Martin, step up!

"A special committee to investigate hate crimes has been created in Puerto Rico, where advocates say gay and transgender people are the victims of an "epidemic" of violence.

The announcement by the attorney general was cheered Saturday by activists who complain the government has yet to invoke 2002 legislation establishing harsher penalties for crimes based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

"I think this is a step in the right direction to start to collect statistics that are vital to curb the crisis of violence against the gay community in Puerto Rico," said Pedro Julio Serrano, a native of the U.S. territory and spokesman for the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force.

Serrano said 25 slayings of gay and transgender people in the past eight years may have been motivated by bias -- including the decapitation in November of gay teen Jorge Steven Lopez Mercado, whose killing inspired vigils as far away as New York and Chicago.

The new government committee involves agencies including the U.S. Attorney’s Office in San Juan, police officials and the island’s civil rights commission, according to a statement release by the attorney general late Friday.

"With the creation of this committee, we will document the extent of hate crimes," said Attorney General Guillermo Somoza Colombani, who added that the data will help develop policies to attend to the victims.

Puerto Rico is known as a welcoming place for gays, particularly in comparison with more socially conservative Caribbean islands where LGBT people often live in hiding.

A recent string of high-profile slayings, however, has put pressure on the government. Some of the cases have received broad local news media coverage, including the April killing of a 31-year-old transgender beauty salon owner.

"It’s sort of an epidemic," Serrano said. "It’s too much to be ignored."

Source: Bay Windows

Jul 4, 2010

The Evolving History of Getting Married

Perhaps retail giants should lobby for same-sex marriage. They had a hand in creating the need for elaborate wedding productions in America, and created a lucrative cottage industry. Check this out.



Since May 17, 2004, over 15,000 marriage licenses have been issued to same-sex couples in Massachusetts.

Nancy Gill and Marcelle LeTourneau, along with six other same-sex married couples in Massachusetts, filed suit in 2009, claiming that DOMA denied them certain federal marriage-based benefits that are available to similarly-situated heterosexual couples in violation of the equal protection principles embodied in the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment.

In a pair of opinions issued this afternoon (Gill, Commonwealth), The Hon. Joseph L. Tauro agreed with Gill and the Commonwealth and held Section 3 of DOMA -- the part forbidding federal benefits to same-sex couples -- to be unconstitutional. Source: Daily KOS

Summertime


So it's now really official, summer is up and running. I just got back from the traditional family BBQ get-together for the 4th. I am the official grill master at our gatherings. I did a good job, but overcooked the chicken wings. I got caught up in a card game of Spades. It was worth it, because I won!

BTW, there is a really cool photo essay at motherjones.com. The picture above of the young Boriqua is just a sample. Click here to check it out.

When Puppetry Goes Wrong


Oye, Michael Steele, this article urged me to tell you the signs that show when you are a puppet:

- You go into life with knowing half the story, yet you signed up for a one-sided world view and left unbalanced.

- You accept a culture and systematic approach that spreads a lie that some are better than others. You then to choose to be on the side of the ones that are deemed better by a lopsided world view.

- You mingle among a circle of people that say you are better than your brother man, because, you have obtained the speech, tone, and form that is most pleasing, while delivering their message.

- You understand the acceptance of the inner-circle is conditional, and you condition yourself to be acceptable.

- You see faces that smile at you bet yet never really know you.

- You choose to let others take your unique you to redefine you.

- You get talking points which at times you are not sure if you agree, then you are consoled by them by being told to look at it from the unbalanced perspective tethered to their clear agenda.

- You finally find yourself pulled in many different directions, and not feeling grounded.

- You are told to apologize to Rush Limbaugh.

At this point you have become the puppet. Don't step down, just step forward, release the strings and go from puppet boy to man.

Activists are often born from places where they were robbed of their intellect, humanity and voice.

Jul 3, 2010

And The Beat Goes On


Hey good people, I finally had my long overdue meeting with my newest nephew. My brother and his family came up to NYC for a visit. This was very significant for our family because, my brother had wanted a family of his own for many years. At the age of 43 he finally was blessed with a wife and child.

It was a gorgeous day in NYC and little Anthony Jose was in good spirits. He loves to smile, and only made the smallest fuss when he was hungry. He had yogurt and hummus that day, with a side order of love from his tio and titi.

My first memory with my nephew will include dipping his feet into the fountain at Washington Square Park. This is very significant for me for this is a place where I found enlightenment, community, and water is one of the essential elements. God was present.

The proud father, my brother Anthony (left), happy baby in the middle, and me wanting to steal little A.J. on the right.


My sister Jenny and me with our nephew we been waiting for.

Jul 2, 2010

Glee Is The New Fame


Glee is the new Fame. How do I know this to be true? Well, watch some old episodes of Fame on hulu.com and you will understand. We have a bunch of kids that want to be stars, while each of them have some drama going on in their lives.

I was surprised to see I recalled a lot of details about the episodes of Fame. Like most kids in the early 80s, I wanted to go to that school. I opted instead for the High School of Fashion Industries, which was equally genius in terms of the creativity of the students.

BTW, a lot of the Fame's episodes didn't really hold up. I actually now feel most of the singing is really mediocre, and Bruno's original music sucks! However, it is great to see Debbie Allen in action. She always reminded me of my Titi Maria. Oh, and Leroy's body and moves still hypnotize me. I was also pleased to see that Doris and Danny still made me kiki.

Jun 23, 2010

The Ying and Yang of Teaching: 5


Tomorrow is the last day of school. I'm ready for the break, but will miss my time with the boys and girls during lunch. They are fascinating, interesting, funny, and full of life. Yeah, from time to time the kids do press my last nerve, but I find I quickly forgive.

As you may recall from an earlier post, the school I'm in serves a community challenged by poverty, drugs, and violence. So, I spent the day talking to all the kids about how to be safe during the summer. I reminded them to:


- Go in the opposite direction of any type of fight, argument, or situation where the police are present. Over the summer we lose a lot of people to gun violence. Many victims are just at the wrong place, at the wrong time.

- Speaking of guns. I told all my kids if they hear gunshots, to go straight home and wait till things calm down.

- I'm telling the really young kids that when the sun goes down, that means it's really late, and they should be home.

- I also told the kids that I want all of them to get a library card over the summer, and spend as much time as possible reading.

The children at my school face a lot of challenges and potential for danger. Today, was the graduation for 8th graders. One of my students assigned to me was part of the ceremony. This student is living with emotional and behavioral disorders. She rarely access her internal governor and often chooses aggressive behaviors to deal with life.

She showed up to graduation today, with movie star sunglasses. She wore them in order to hide a swollen blackeye. She got into a fight with an adult man the night before! I told her to hang in there. She went on stage and got her diploma.

She and I really bonded and she will always have a place in my head and heart. She is very honest and rarely censors herself. She is also a very talented artist. I spent a lot of time talking to her about becoming a graphic designer. She is very fascinated with fonts and type. I also dig her because she is a fierce bulldyke in training wheels.

I shivered for a moment today, because a horrible thought crept into my head that told me she will not live to see her 21st birthday. I pray I was wrong and that she will positively surprise the world.

Jun 15, 2010

Gen. Petraeus' War Fatigue


Dear. Gen. Petraeus,

Today you fainted while given testimony to the U.S. Senate regarding drawing down forces in Afghanistan. It is being reported your moment of feeling the vapors, was due to dehydration and lack of food. I'm assuming you have been consumed with burning the midnight oil to find a solution to the military quagmire U.S. forces are in on the other side of the planet.

I hope you are okay, and that within that moment of complete surrender to a power mightier than yourself, you experienced enlightenment. May divine forces have crept into your heart and mind, while you was briefly relieved from your programming.

In my most optimistic flight of imagination and hope. I see you will soon say that the act of war is criminal. May your mouth utter words that speak of war being the resulting acts of greed for resources and lust for power, that ultimately benefit in the long term, the already wealthy among the populace. Imagine your voice spreading the word the peace and love is truly the answer. Your voice and mind being part of solutions that show how we can share, learn, and live together, without guns to our heads.

May you also realize the fatigue that plagues the men and women that have served several tours in this war. I hope this is the realization rather then believing those in service need to suck it up, and come back for the cameras as if nothing is wrong.

If we had a war and not one single body showed up, you would be out of a job. It is perhaps of this reality you have not let the sunshine in. Instead you see the world as us and them, and now your body failed you to reveal your own vulnerability and dare I say it, humanity.

Peace my brother and I offer you this:

Jun 12, 2010

Do These Shoes Make Me Look Fat?


In an effort to lighten things up, I am on the hunt for my summer sandal, I don't do flip flops in public. I was raised as to call them chancletas, and they were meant only to be worn around the house. Oh, and I'm also looking for an all-white sneaker!

I want my feet to look cute in the heat. However, I am not finding what I want!

Why lord must acquiring footwear be such a challenge! Damn it!

Jun 11, 2010

The Calling


If you believe in awareness then you might believe there is always a calling. A divine force from outside connects with your inner-self and when the two merge a vision of purpose is created. Please excuse my Oprah/New Age/Make me feel good/There is a meaning to all this-ness, for a moment.

I just know that I wasted a lot of time disregarding the messages sent to me that moved the essential parts of my inner-me. Then when I paid attention, quietly, I got the most powerful messages. The most damaging directions came loud and blazing. The most lovingly powerful messages came with a whisper wrapped around the most honest experiences.

My challenge is figuring out what messages are authentic and what messages are self-created lies.

My solution has been to know that messages that leave me empty must considered and if necessary be discarded, and the ones that fill me up with optimism must be evaluated, and if true at that point and time, be pursued with courage and determination.

Jun 8, 2010

Lady Gaga - Canta en Español



So here is Lady Gaga's new offering Alejandro. I was reminded of ABBA's Fernando, with a touch of Ace of Base, meets Madonna's La Isla Bonita.

Gaga is truly a popstar reaching into the tried and true book of pop recipes. However, there is still an edge to it, and her references come from a smart place. I digged a lot of the imagery, and the Central American bob cuts on the dancers. Also, check out the wink to Liza in Cabaret towards the middle of the video.

My overall take on the song is that it has a nice beat and you can dance to it. Or, at the very least enjoy a car ride while it played on the radio. Which it will, over and over, and over again.

Jun 4, 2010

Be Water

When my spirit experienced life as a child in the 70s, I believed I was new to the the human experience. I struggled. I felt out of place, time and reality.

To my rescue was a being named Bruce Lee. He embodied for me someone that figured out the Earth journey by connecting to a part of himself that was truly authentic.

In my mind he was an ancient spirit that took the Earth trip before and understood the allusions. Bruce used his gifts to fight for justice by balancing the act of someone ethereal revisiting familiar ground.

He would smirk and wink and, when needed, gave the eyes of a tiger. His wisdom ran deep. Good people, here is proof.

Let his Be Water speech put you in the right frame of mind. Please consider how water gives life and changes worlds while appearing mostly docile and then changing into a spine tingling force that can quickly overwhelm then vanish.


Please click on the following links to experience a thoughtful conversation that gives further insight into our brother Bruce Lee.

Part 1


Part 2


Part 3

Should I Add "Gleek" To My Descriptor?


In the grand lobby of Radio City Music Hall getting ready to see Glee Live!

Good people, Princess Rei Rei gave me an awesome graduation present. I was in attendance at Radio City Music Hall for the final performance of the Glee Live tour!

It was an awesome experience. The yungins did one hell of a show that was so much fun to watch. They sang live and were on point. The numbers consisted of all the highlights from the show. My favorites were The Boy Is Mine, Don't Stop Believing, Defying Gravity, and True Colors.

All of the Glee kids received tons of love from the audience. The breakout stars were Chris Colfer (Kurt) and, believe it or not, Heather Morris (Brittany). Chris was campy and gave so much to the audience. Heather was just amazing with her dancing and energy.

Heather and Chris also had a little skit they did together that was hysterical. They were in character and Chris/Kurt had on a cape that would have put Liberace to shame. It was made completely out of peacock feathers. Heather/Brittany made her moves on him and was quite risque.

The audience ages range from tweens to your 40 somethings. I thought this was awesome and proves how music and comedy can bring people together.

I'm glad there is something like Glee out there. I love that it is gay positive, and promotes the message that we all have to be authentic and let our little light shine.

BTW, did I ever mention I was a member of a Glee club from grades 2 through 6? My highlight was singing I'll Do Anything from Oliver to my homegirl Elaine.

Jun 2, 2010

May 30, 2010

A Tree Grows In Connecticut


Good people, three and a half years later, I finally walked across the stage and received my degree! I done graduated y'all. I am also receiving my Special Education (K-12) certification. This means a pay raise and employment options.

I earned an Associates back in my twenties, and took almost ten years to go back and get my B.S. The time, place and people to make it possible came when it was right. I went into this experience wanting to thrive.

I would have not made it without the love and support of Marcos, Mami, Jenny, Anthony, Izzy, Yoselin, Devon, Princess Rei Rei, Joslyn, and many more. Each of these people motivated me to keep on keeping on, despite the challenges, doubts, and fears.

What was different this time around, being a student of a certain age, is the following:

- I didn't feel the need to be the smartest one in the room. Therefore, I learned from others while enjoying the experience.
- I was guided by a clear purpose and direction.
- My maturity allowed me to center myself when I needed to do so.
- My life-experiences gave me essential skills that enabled me to get the work done.

I move forward in my purpose and with a continued commitment to being a life-long learner. I wish you all the same.

May 27, 2010

This Is Where Chris Is At

Chris Crocker helped me to kiki when I needed it. I sometimes check in on the young thang.

When I viewed her recent post, I felt that she reminded me of the transition from child to adult.

She also reminded me how we often have to look at ourselves, accept what needs to be understood, and understand who we are now, can be, and will be.

I pity anyone that does not know they are a creation in progress that is needed in the world.

Keep on, keeping on Chris. Do life with love while soaking it all in.

Put your contemplation into action. I believe you will choose actions that will help the world go round with love and truth.

May 26, 2010

Spring Gaylings Hatching

A Gayling was just hatched when he heard this:



I know this to be true, because this former Gayling was hatched when he heard this:



The beat and voice of a Diva triggers the DNA to activate the inner-lavender-ness, which enables the Gayling to see the rainbow.

Thank you Renee for the constant excavating and filtering.

May 23, 2010

On The Hunt for New Tunes


I've been on the search for some new music this weekend. I'm feeling the need for a new soundtrack this summer.

I'm getting ready to graduate and emerge further into a life centered on thriving, rather than just surviving. Therefore, I need some hot tracks to accompany me.

Renee and Junior have provided me with some selections. Good people, help a hermano out by letting me know what is sonically seducing your mind, body and soul.

You Can't Make This Shit Up 2


Johnny Weir cracks me up. I get that she is having a kiki, but darling let's take another approach. One can be very scandalozo without looking like you are from Sesame Street.

Why did the image of her being perched on a fist later that evening while wearing the jacket just popped into my head? I can hear her telling the rentboy that she was feeling in a very Miss Piggy mood.

Ya know someone was fired at the Children's Television Workshop, for selling her those muppet skin remnants.


Octomom is kinda sorta using her fading celebrity for good. She is speaking out against breeding. I want to say something shady, but I just feel sad for her. It is the sabbath and one should keep it holy.

I didn't even blink when the opportunity to throw shade at Woody presented itself.

"While promoting his movie at Cannes, Woody says that Roman has already been "embarrassed by the whole thing" and "has suffered" enough. Woody went on to say that Roman is "an artist and is a nice person" who "did something wrong and he paid for it." Roman quickly issued this response, "Woody, you're not helping." - Source: dlisted.com

May 22, 2010

She Keeps On, Keeping On


Back in February I mentioned an adored friend started her battle against breast cancer. Last week she finished her final session of chemotherapy.

In between chemo sessions there were moments that she was herself, and a couple of days after she took to bed, which was soooo not herself.

She shared how the chemo triggered her senses. She tasted metal in her mouth and her pee smelled chemically. She also talked about the pain, and that she hated pain killers, because it robbed her of a day from being out and about. If you know her, you would know she likes to be out and about. Many a brunches with her were cancelled

I gagged. I then got over myself. I gave love, humor, tempered the sharing of my own drama, and always left her with encouraging words.

She gave me back her love, humor and tempered it with an honesty about what she was going through. Most women know how to do that because, as Renee said once, they have vaginas and are not scared of the details. A lot of men shut down and become boys when facing drama.

My dear friend rocked some fab wigs while experiencing chemo. My favorite was this asymetrical bob with purple highlights on the tips. She gave you Latina Jem and I hope I was her hologram. She is truly outrageous.

I kinda battled with past, present and future tense in writing this post. Perhaps my confusion is connected to my thoughts about whether her fight is finally won. She will win. She is winning. She has won.

She is here!

So, fuck the tenses, because I know you knew that I meant we are in the knowing while in the now.

The Ying and Yang of Teaching: 4


Okay, so everyone is in an uproar about the state of Texas voting to alter the content of what is taught in the social studies and history courses in primary schools. The changes lean towards a conservative view and "emphasizes the roles of capitalist enterprise, the military, Christianity and modern Republican political figures." It will also diminish content regarding slavery, the historical role of unions in labor, etc. etc.

Let me share this, about that:

- Curriculum content and how it is taught is always changing. The dynamic that influences these changes is political, and a reflection of the attitudes of the times people are living in and the holders of power in their community.

- It is often just a handful of folks that are holding the final say in their hands when it comes to making curriculum content decisions. Therefore, if you care, find out what your local and state boards of education are doing and get involved.

- Every state provides the curriculum for public schools online. Google your state's curriculum standards and take a look at what is being taught. Hey, as a tax payer you are paying for it, see if it meets your standards.

- I'm glad people are making a stink about all of this, because, we all need to be mindful about what is being taught to children in school, regardless if we are parenting school-age children. Are we creating cogs for the machine, or compassionate human beings?

- I have found most social studies and history books to always be somewhat biased and flawed. I have looked at many of the textbooks we use in these courses. The content of many textbooks render the history and contributions of the Latino and the GLBT communities invisible, marginalized, or summarized into paragraphs.

- Most teachers are very aware of the shortcomings of curriculum and textbook content and will often supplement their lessons with additional materials. Also, many teachers will incorporate lessons and activities that engage students in critical thinking, and further inquiry. I know I do.

- This attitude about either - or, Us vs. Them, has no place in education. What is suppose to occur is that all sides and views are presented, and you engage a young mind with the task of sorting it all out, so that they can find their own evolving truths.

Meditate on this:

“the subject-matter of education consists of bodies of information and of skills that have been worked out in the past; therefore, the chief business of the school is to transmit them to the new generation...in essence, one of imposition.” — John Dewey

"Any situation in which some men prevent others from engaging in the process of inquiry is one of violence;… to alienate humans from their own decision making is to change them into objects."
— Paulo Freire

May 15, 2010

Big People vs. Little People (Revised)


The little 8-9 year-old girls in that viral video of them dancing to Beyonce's "Put A Ring On It" are the victims of their parents' neglect. It was child pornography, with a beat that can distract you from the fact that some adults made a bad call. Little girls should not gyrate on stage. Period!

This was my teacher/colonialized voice talking. As a child I recall the adults around us loving to see us dance Salsa and Disco. They loved to see the yungins replicate the adult world in terms of physical and verbal expression.

I remember a female cousin and I were very Dance Fever. I would swoop her up and she would do the pique ballet position as I spun her around. Ya know the move, one leg fully extended out while the other bent to the knee of the extended leg. I have pictures to prove it. I was eight-years old and she was five-years old.

The difference between our performance and that of the girls in the video is that it occurred in the safe-space consisting of our relatives. Also, we were both fully dressed. However, I'm sure the songs we danced to where lyrically meant for the adults.

I recall Donna Summer moaning a lot. I'm pretty certain that my cousin and I had no idea what the song was about, but we knew it had a good beat and we could work it.

The parents of the girls in the video make the case that people are reading too much into it. I don't doubt that. However, I do believe that for some of the girls it was just dancing, and for others it was a message about how grown women are suppose to "move" in the world.

It's all very complex, often confusing how and what we teach the yungins, therefore, thoughtfullness is the key. Let's give the children what they can handle emotionally. Don't ask Tootie to make love to the camera, when she has never been kissed by a boy.

It is important to protect children while still letting them figure out their way in the world.

At the end of the day, you plan for what doesn't hit you, and get hit with what you don't plan for.

May I get an amen!?