Thursday, December 21, 2006

Holiday Shopping woes

Christmas is supposed to be a time of love peace and happiness. For some reason, this time of the year only brings anxiety, angst and semi confusion. Good thing I have more time off work and school then the rest of the year to cope with the madness.

I have not even started my Christmas shopping yet...uggh!

The good thing is I do not have to buy that many gifts this is the breakdown:

Secret Santa-
In our groupd of friends of 10 people or so, instead of spending a multitude of money, we have decided to draw name sna just spne about $40 on the person whom we drew. Go figure that I get the name of me former boyfriend. He likes i-Tunes, so I may just get him a gift certificate for a few downloads. Quick, simple and brainless.

Mom and My Three Dear Brothers-
Since two of my brothers are typical teenagers and are enthalled with hundred dollar gym shoes and simlalry priced video grames, I am not able to get them exactly what they want to get. Mom, on the other hand is a better pic. I think I am going to make a pit stop at the local Barnes&Nobles book store to knowck four birds out with one stone.

And Then There Was One-
My Gradmother is the last person on my list and is the most difficult to shop for. Never wanting anything and if she did, would never tell anyone, it is always difficult to chose a gift that will make her happy. i think I am going to treat her to the movie, Dreamgirls. I think that she will aprreciate the performances and will be very capable in comparing Jennifer Holiday's rendition of "Your Going to Love Me" and Jennifer Hudson's.

With the marvels of modern technology, us younger folk can do the same thing.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Cincinnati's Indian Food Fetish

I am not sure how popular Indian cuisine is in most other cities, but her in the Queen City, it is one of the more popular restaurants in town. In the area of Clifton, near the University of Cincinnati, you can find a number of restaurants thats specializes in Indian food. If you go to Ludlow Ave, you will find several on the same block.

A friend of mine turned me on to Indian food a few years ago. I have to admit, the first time that a plate full of Saag was placed in front of me, I thought that I was going to vomit, but once that creamy sauce tricked down my throat, I was addicted!

I have to say that my favorite Indian dish Saag Paneer. The green gosh is a bit hard to get over at first but the dish is creamy and filling. Great for mid-western stomachs.

Though I am a fan of all the Indian restaurants in town, my favorite is Akash, located right downtown near Fountain Square. I may be bias because of its close proximity to my apartment but...who am I kidding, that is the only reason why it is my favorite.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Bengals Fall to the Colts

A kick in the hopes
Cincinnati loses key ground in race for playoffs

INDIANAPOLIS - The Bengals last-ranked pass defense lived down to its standing as the NFL's worst Monday night.

Indianapolis quarterback Peyton Manning threw for 282 yards and four touchdown passes, three to wide receiver Marvin Harrison and one to Reggie Wayne, in leading the Colts to a 34-16 victory.

The loss snapped the Bengals' four-game win streak and dropped them to 8-6 and the sixth seed in the AFC wild-card race - one spot behind Denver, where they will play Sunday after a short week.

The Broncos are 8-6, as are Jacksonville and the New York Jets.

The Bengals' loss gave the Baltimore Ravens the AFC North title.

AFC South division champion Indianapolis improved to 11-3.

On Monday night, Manning threw four touchdown passes in a single game for the 15th time in his career. He has 26 for the season, giving him 25 for all nine of his NFL seasons - a league record.

Three of the scores went to Harrison from short-yardage in the red zone - from the 4, 3 and 1-yard lines.

Bengals cornerback Deltha O'Neal was beaten in single coverage twice by Harrison. Wayne twisted Tory James around on an 18-yard touchdown.

Colts speed rush defensive end Dwight Freeney, who came in with just 21/2 sacks, had three against the Bengals. Freeney beat rookie left tackle Andrew Whitworth consistently and forced two fumbles.

In all, Indianapolis had four sacks.

The Bengals did activate left tackle Levi Jones, who always has played well against Freeney, but Jones was unable to play because of his injured knee.

Bengals All Pro right tackle Willie Anderson left in the first quarter with an aggravated right foot injury. Stacy Andrews replaced him, and Andrews and Whitworth struggled all night with Indianapolis' fast ends.

Freeney beat Whitworth to collect three sacks and force three fumbles. The pocket collapsed around Palmer throughout the fourth quarter. He was hit several times.

The Bengals were determined to run the ball against Indianapolis' last-ranked run defense.
Rudi Johnson ran 22 times for 79 yards. Third-down back Kenny Watson ran four times for 30 yards.

In all, the Bengals ran 30 times for 133 yards. The Bengals ran 32 pass plays. Carson Palmer was 14-for-28 passing for 176 yards and no touchdowns and no interceptions.

"These guys didn't throw as much as we thought they would,' Colts coach Tony Dungy said.
The Bengals converted just 2 of 11 third-down plays, but Indianapolis was 5 of 10 on third down.

With the Colts nursing a 31-16 lead, the Bengals could not stop the Indianapolis run or quick slants to Harrison down the middle of the field. The middle of the field was open all night for Manning in the pass game.

Both teams committed turnovers in the first half that resulted in points for the opposition.
Palmer lost a fumble on a Freeney sack. Tackle Andrew McFarland recovered for the Colts on the Cincinnati 46-yard line.

Indianapolis drove 34 yards on nine plays to set up a 30-yard field goal by Adam Vinatieri and give the Colts a 3-0 lead.

The Bengals answered with a 27-yard field goal by Shayne Graham. It capped a 13-play, 66-yard drive. Rudi Johnson ran 21 yards to move the ball to the Colts 19, running through an attempted arm tackle by linebacker Cato June.

Johnson would end the half with 13 carries for 64 yards.

The Colts would move down the field twice, primarily on the pass, to take a 17-10 lead into the half.

Manning, who was 18-for-20 passing for 148 yards in the first half, threw his first of two first-half touchdowns from five yards to Harrison. One of Manning's two incomplete passes was intentionally thrown away.

With the Colts leading 10-3, the Bengals got a big break when Terrence Wilkins muffed a Kyle Larson punt at the 25, where Bengals tight end Tony Stewart recovered. Ethan Kilmer was down in coverage as the gunner.

From the 25, Freeney again beat Whitworth on an incomplete pass. On third and seven from the 22-yard line, wide receiver Reggie McNeal went into the shotgun, faked a handoff into the middle of the line and ran right for eight yards. He is a former college quarterback. Johnson ran in from the 12-yard to tie the score at 10.

Indianapolis took its 17-10 lead into the half by scoring on a pass from the 3, Manning to Harrison, on a near-double pump by the quarterback. Harrison got inside of O'Neal.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Macy's Dazzle Weekend

The Fall 06 semester is over and I have about two weeks to sit on my ass and do absolutely nothing. Well I should not say that. I still have to produce a website for one of my clients. Good thing I bought a book over the weekend that gives me insight to creating one.

To celebrate the sitting for me last final exam of the semester, I did absolutely nothing. It was a bit comforting to be able to simple rest and not worry about studying for the first time in 6 months.

So for the first time in months, I decided to forgo a night of partying and stay in.

This fanned relaxation continued on to Saturday night. Instead of going to one of my favorite haunts for a cocktail, I called a friend of mine to have dinner at Rock Bottom on Fountain Square. To my surprise it was packed. Wall to wall cars sood still in the streets surrounding the Square. I called my friend and suggested that I pick him up since downtown was so crowded. He was already on his way so that was out of the question. As I ended the call, I remembered that this was the night that Santa and his two elves repelled down the side of the Key Bank building.

And when I tuned on to Race Street from 6th, It took me more than twenty minutes to drive a round the block and park in the new Fountain Square Garage. A task that should have only taken a half a minute.

We managed to squeeze into a spot at the bar, for going the hour and a half wait there was for a table. The food was great, fast, but not cheap, but worth it tin the long run.

Thinking that we should get out of Dodge before Santa comes tumbling down the side of the building so that we are not stuck behind a multitude of soccer moms cladden with strollers, but just as we walked out of the doors, we exited to see everyone standing still with their eyes focused to the sky. Being the livestock that we are, we mimicked everyone else's gaze to see Santa repelling the side of the Key Bank building on Vine St. It was actually quite entertaining so we decided to stay and watch the ascent. I am glad that we did so, because fireworks display that followed was OUT OF CONTROL!!! I was very impressed.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Wow...Has it been that long?

Has it been a week since I have updated all my readers about the happenings in the Queen City? I guess it has. Alot has happened but since I am in the midst of studying for final exams, i guess your updates will have to wait until my two week vactaion.


I had one final exam yesturday and it was surprisingly a little bit easier than I had anticipated. I am not sure if that is a good or bad thing, but I will soon know. Wednesday is my next one and I am abit scarred about the difficulty about it. My final paper was chewed up by the professor so I guess tonight will be a cram session...wish me luck!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

New position.....New start...

Well, I would not say that I am going to quit my day job, but I think this may be a great opportunity.

This morning, I had the most amazing meeting with the owner/operator of the Wali Dance Company based here in Cincinnati and they want me to head up their PR efforts. I have some great ideas, and they are all for it.

You will hear more about it in the posts to come.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

What happened to MTV?

I am sitting infront of the television on a Sunday morning. I am the only one awake in the house so I decided to watch a bit of MTV. A smile appears on my face because two of my favorite shoes that I used to watch regularly were on back to back. Making the Video and Real World.

I was not impressed.

The episode of making the video followed Beyonce on the video shoot of 'Listen' from the movie Dream Girls, which I am really excited to see. Though Beyonce's voice is amazing and her stage presence is awesome, the video could have been more exciting. One scene, one costume change, one person and shots from the movie were not enough to pull off this movie promo.

On to the Real World. As most of you have read on 'The Right Side...' I have been a fan of The Real World since its first season in New York in 1990. I religiously followed each season until they ventured to Miami. Because of my stint in the US Army, my RW homage was deterred a bit, but I still knew the plots and characters of each season.

This morning, they are airing the first episode of RW:Colorado, which I have never scene before. The kids are boring, lifeless and have little life experience. The all are college students, so their view on life is a bit naive and sheltered. One girls said that she was not used to living in a place like this because she is living in a 3 bedroom Condo with her mom and sister. You have got to be kidding me. Of cause, there are two educated African American males on the season so I guess I can at least watch this episode,

Thinking about it, what was I supposed to expect. Why should I presume the MTV would changed its target audience to suit my entertainment needs. The reason why I watched shows like RW was because I wanted to see life outside of Covington, KY. I wanted to learn about people who have different viewpoints to myself. I have already lived the life of those personified on this reality show. I think its time for me to move on.

My sentimental awakening has just been confirmed. I have now surpassed the first episode filled with introductions. Within that first episode, that was, in reality, a span of about 12hours, two woman have made out with each other, I learned that one of the African American males has 'homophobic tendencies' and the other is going to be personified as an aggressively hot headed Terrell Owens. Not good.

The token gay person is present...He is a Southern Baptist.

The gay is sharing a room with the may be a bit better than I expected.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Gotta Give Props Where Props Are Due

After a great dinner at the Korean restaurant, Riverside in Covington, KY. A friend and I loafed on the couch and watched the last three quarters of the Ravens-Bengals football game. Though hoping for another blowout, I was satisfied with the 13-7 Bengals; win.

Though I love to watch the game, I am not the best at conveying the high points of the game, so I will leave that to Mark Curnutte from the Cincinnati Enquire.

Backed into a corner and facing the possibility of seeing rival Baltimore
take the division crown away on their home field, the Bengals defended their
house Thursday night. The Bengals almost pitched their second consecutive
shutout for the first time in franchise history, winning 13-7 to tighten the AFC
North race and help themselves greatly in the wild-card chase.
Bengals coach Marvin Lewis had nothing enlightening to say to explain his defense's rapid improvement.

A big play came with 6:20 to go in the fourth quarter.
On fourth-and-3 to go from the Bengals' 11-yard line, the Ravens threw a quick
slant for Mark Clayton that cornerback Tory James knocked down. The Bengals led
13-0 at the time, and the Ravens could not go for the field goal, needing two scores.
But James was beat by Derrick Mason on a 36-yard touchdown pass from
Steve McNair with 1:01 remaining in the game.

Attendance was 65,973 on a rainy but unseasonably warm night.
Bengals won their third in a row and snapped the Ravens' five-game win streak,
slugging it out with a Baltimore team known for pushing around its opponents.
The Ravens came in with the league's second-ranked defense.

The Bengals finished November with a 3-2 record.


Thursday, November 30, 2006


Though luv has kept us close,
Lust is breaking me away from u.
The over-the-counter sentimental sentiment,
Coated with gleaming teeth,
Filled with overwhelming friendlyness
Is making me sicker as days go by.
Maybe I should not take your pill anymore.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

How Sweet It Is

With the devastating events that occurred in April of 2001, many thought that realestate investments, community involvement and societal outlets would wither away from downtown Cincinnati.

In 2001, I must admit, I did flee the inner city and move back across the river to the state that I was born and raised. Though I enjoyed my temporary stay in the Bluegrass State, the Siren's call of Downtown life brought me back to it's bosom, and I have yet to regret the move back.

If you have not guessed, that is what this blog is all about!

It would be a shame if I did not use this forum to exploit my neighborhood's national press. In last week's New York Times, there was an article chronicles Over-the-Rhine's progress since the Riots of 2001.

Channel 9 News has been doing an I-Team expose on different streets that were most hit by the Riots. They even interviewed a couple that I know to show that regular, some what affluent (I know, this is a relative term) individuals still choose to reside in the depths of Over-the-Rhine.

I thinks its great, and hope that we all can benefit from this exposure.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Truly a Cincinnati Weekend Holiday

I can not think of the last time that I have had a more enjoyable weekend. The warm weather coupled with the kick off to the holiday season with a four day holiday weekend caused there to be a bit more going on in the Queen city the on normal weekends.


Well I am guessing that you want to know about it. I thought that you would never ask.

Of course the weekend started off with a feast at my mom's new apartment over looking the fair city of Covington, Ky. Me not a cook in the least, I whipped up some mashed potatoes to serve at the Thanksgiving gala. It was the first time in several years that I have been in the same room with all three of my brothers at the same time. Here as some pics from my family’s Turkey Day.

On Friday, the continued re-opening ceromonies of Fountain Square continued with the lighting of the seasonal Christmas Tree and the opening of the ice skating rink. This is where it was nice to have the warm weather. Unlike the first opening ceremony, Friday was unseasonably warm. Though I did not partake in the ice skating frenzy, I read in the Cincinnati Enquirer that thousands were in attendance.

Saturday, Eden park was on fire with the Balloomanaria event. This is where several colorful hot air ballons light up the dark sky. The reflection of this site off of mirror lake is amazing.

Why can't every weekend be like this?

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Law School or Library School....The Decision of the Ages

Yesterday, I met with the head of the Political Science Dept. at the university that I attend. For some strange reason, it is mandatory to choose a minor in addition to declaring a major at this university. With an associates in Korean Studies already under my belt, I opted to choose a minor in International Studies, which is a part of the Political Science program.

I was floating on air after my meeting with the Dean because I found out most of my credits from my associates degree could be used in obtaining my minor, placing me closer to graduation than I had imagined.

Now that I have one (at the most three) courses left to finish my degree, I have to solidify my plans for graduate study. I have narrowed my choices of graduate work to either obtaining a Law degree or obtaining a Masters in Library Science (MLS).


The good thing with either of the two programs that I choose to take will be free, so that is one less thing to worry about.

There may be more opportunity for me if I obtain my MLS first, but on the other hand, I would have to drive to Lexington a few times.....

Law School would be interesting and there is a program close to me where I can attend in the evenings, but on the other hand it will take longer to complete than Library School.

Both are equally exciting to me....

I would be interested to hear what any of you out there have to say...

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

I Can Remember These Days

Ever since the first season of MTV's The Real Worl hit the air in 1990, I have been an avid fan. I can remember the nights that I spent in highschool wishing that I was fortunate enough to be thrown in together with such an ecclectic group in a strange city and have all of our anticks recorded on video tape. I have to say that my favorite season is still Real World London. I even applied for Real World Boston.

Due to the fact that I no longer subscribe to cable television, coupled with the fact that I am getting older, have led to me to fall off Real Worlds radar.

Thought London was my favorite season, my favorite character was Danny from Real World New Orleans which aired in 2000. In 2000, I was in the military and stationed at Ft. Hood, TX, living off post with a group of good friends whom I was not allowed to show who I really was. Danny's story hit home and I was glued to the tube every Thursday night.

Can you understand why?

Monday, November 13, 2006

Was There Ever A Better Reporter

1941 - 2006

You must be living in the stone age (no offence to cavemen) if you have not heard about the untimely passing of Edward Bradley. This respected reporter lost his battle with leukemia early last Thursday morning. Mr. Bradley was born in Philadelphia in 1941 and in his 65 years of gracing the American audiences with his stature, presence and poise, he managed to inspire us all.

I did not like Mr. Bradley simply because he was a successful African American. I liked this accomplished reporter because of his style of intervening. He was not afraid to interject his personal idiosyncrasies while interviewing a subject. He did this without seeming biased, prejudgmental or callous.

To me, he was one of the greats that exemplified exuberance, intelligence, style and grace. He will be sadly missed

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

The Tide FINALLY Changes

Did anyone think that this day would come?

After casting my vote, I helped out at Ohio's Democratic headquarters and things looked a bit bleak while I called registered Dems to get them out to the polls. Most were either not home or were not voting because they no longer trusted the 'system'.

As it turned out, we prevailed! Not only in Ohio but nation wide, taking a majority of the House seats and hopefully, the Senate too.

The race that I was most watching with the gubunitorial race here in Ohio and it was a great sign to see Mr. Blackwell concede even before the first vote was officially counted. Another race that I watched was that of Phil Himlich who fell by the waistside.

After volunteering, I met a few friends at Molly Malone's Irish pub and then went to Cranley's Election party. I say election as opposed to victory for obvious reason.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Friday Night Fever

A few weeks ago, I was driving on Delta Ave in Mt. Lookout and saw this great place called Aqua. I got a few people together to head out to see how it was, but we ended up having dinner at Nectar, just a few doors away from Aqua.

The night started off with a few hor d'orves and a glass or two of wine at my apartment with the two friends that I had dinner with. This is only the second time that I have invited people over in the year that I have lived there.

After drinks at my place, we proceeded to Nectar where we had a fabulous meal and ran into a few friends. From there, not wanting the night to end, we traveled a few dors up Delta Ave. to have a drink at Aqua.

I do not know who's idea it was, but after dinner and few drinks we thought we could sit through a movie, so we trekked to Newport On The Levee and took in the movie Borat. We capped off the night at a small Newport bar called The Crazy Fox.

All in all it was a pretty eventful night.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Covington Is Really HAPPENING

As some of you may know, though Cincinnati is my adopted home, I was born and raised in the good ol' Southern city of Covington, KY. Here is a pic of the shores of Covington taken from the shores of Cincinnati.

I was lucky enough to venture to Covington this morning so I was forced to read the Kentucky Enquiere. I am so glad I did. Living in Cincinnati, I sometimes forget all of the great things that are happening just across the river.

I read about some upcoming events that I want to see at the Carnegie Arts Center and one of Nikki Giovonni's stops was at NKU's campus.

I guess Covington's new slogan 'It's Happening' is really true.

Monday, October 30, 2006

This Is For The Economist In You....

Just last week, I was afforded the opportunity to take in a lecture at a Cincinnati law firm which gave insight into doing business with Japan. This caused me to take a good look at some of the differences between the way that Western economies (theorized by such economists as Smith and Ricardo) and Asian economies (theorized by German economist List) conduct business.

I found several resulting implications formulated from each set of ideas that coincided fantastically from what I heard during the presentation. I guess my education is not a waste of time.

In the Western world economic policies followed the belief that economies should have 'automatic' growth, measured by as how much well off the consumer is. Conversely, the Asian mindest is to run their economy in a more deliberate or controlled way, with growth being measured by how well off the producer is and not the consumer.

Yet another difference in the two style of economic policy making is that most Western societies subscribe to the thought that in order for growth , the process to which producers obtain wealth should be protected but the Asian market want to take a different pill. They think that the key to wealth should be to make sure that the producer's out come was fair, and not the process.

Also the Western societies had an over lying idea that business should cohabitate peacefully with one another, which is very different as to the way that Asians feel about business relationships. They feel that the more the business compete with each other, the better, very similar to being in a perpetual state of war.

I know that this may seem Greek to many of you, but some practical examples of the aforementioned economic thought could be found when looking at the economic decisions made by Britain and Japan.

During Margaret Thatcher's reign as Prime Minister of Britain, she forced her country to dismantle the 'Commanding Heights' and sell government controlled industries and place them in the hand of private ownership, letting competition dictate who would prosper and who would faultier. While in Japan, during the 1950's, this Asian nation viewed economic policy as being inherent to the control of the government and that government intervention should be a "national component of economic policy".

I am going to think twice when dealing with an Asian nation.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Teenager Shot Trying To Get Home Before School

OK...may be misleading

Quavale Finnell, a 14yr old 8th grader was shot Monday morning here in the great city of Cincinnati. He was killed at 6am while he attempted to steal a car that was running. Bennie D. Hall Jr. went in the house after turning on his car to warm up and came out to find his car being stolen.

To me this does not seem like a random robbery. Quavale most likely knew that Hall warmed his car the same time every morning. But I have been incorrect before.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Columbus A Go Go

Wanting to get out of the Nasty Nati for a bit, I sort of bamboozled my way into hitching a ride with a friend of mine to Columbus, OH for the night (sorry DEW). Columbus is about 110 miles north of Cincinnati so when you decided to leave at 8:45pm on a Saturday night, you do not have long to get ready. So in 2.2 seconds, or so it seemed we were out the door and on the road.

We were able to snag a room at the Courtyard Marriott, Downtown Columbus, within walking distance from most of the hotspots that we wanted to hit up.

Arriving in Columbus just before 11pm, we freshened up and headed out. It has been almost six years since I had even set foot in Columbus so needless to say, some of the bars and their locations have changed. Q, located on N 5th Street was our first stop, and just 4 blocks east of our hotel, was an easy walk. The crowd was a bit older than I had expected and a bit sparser than anticipated, though lived up as the night progressed. Though small, Q has two levels with lounging areas, a dance floor, square bar tops and a front bar, this little chib (Korean for house) can pack a big punch.

As the night wore on the capacity of the little placed filled and I felt as if I was in Chicago at Hydrate on a Saturday night so we decided to head to Axis just a few blocks away on High Street.

Bad idea.

The club was fun the last time I went, but of course that was close to six years ago when I was a lot closer in age to those that populated the place this past weekend.

This Saturday taught me a lot of things about Columbus and myself, because of that, I am glad that I went.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Fountain Square Opens To The Public

Saturday evening I trudged down to the heart of downtown to take experience the events that were planned for Fountain Square's re-opening celebrations. The music groups that I took in were great! Taileb Kwalib and High Tech energized the crowd, as did Los Lobos and OK Go. The fireworks that were set atop of the Fifth Third parking garage were a welcomed surprise to cap off the evening.

The events started at noon and part of me wish I would have made it to see Nikki Giovonni's reading of her poem "I Am Cincinnati". Here are excerpts for her reading:


Former Cincinnati resident Nikki Giovanni read an original poem at the reopening of Fountain Square Saturday. The following is an excerpt from a recording made at the ceremony.

I am Cincinnati
I ran from the whips and the dogsAcross the frozen pond
I made my home in the West EndWhen the Civil War came
I dug the trenchesShowing the SouthFree men live here

Who are unwilling to yield
I kept the city safeI am the Seven Hills

I am the neighborhoods
Community Centers
Shopping malls
I am the Bengals
The Reds
The incomparable Underground Railroad Museum

I am history
I am Findlay Street market
I am the best 3-way chili in
the world
I am Montgomery ribs
I am the University of Cincinnati
I am Xavier

I am Sister Jean Patrice Harrington bringing Mount St. Joseph into the 21st century
I am Eden Park and the Conservatory of Music
I am Symphony Hall and the oldest Opera company and one of the world's
greatest teaching zoos
I am Spring Grove Cemetery
My dead rest in beauty and peace
I am Marian Spencer
I have watched segregation reign and have built a bridge between that island and the city
I have watched policemen
Shoot young black men in the back
And have watched my community respond, a people who once saved this
I am the Cincinnati Western and Southern Tennis Championships though
I am played in Mason..
I am not a son of a bitch like Kenny Blackwell
I will not use the color of my skin to cover the hatred in my heart
I am not a political whore jumping from bed to bed to see who will
stroke my knee

I am Mark Mallory

Talking to everyone
Walking with everyone

Listening to everyone
Leading by consensus not fear
I am Cincinnati

I slaughter hogs and make soap
I am the biggest Oktoberfest outside Munich Germany
Though I have been boycotted
I am not shirking my responsibilities to the next generation
I am finding a way to be great again
I am the lady in the fountain
Let my waters cleanse and refresh you

Let my waters heal
Together we can still save this city.

Do you think Ms. Giovonni and Mr. Blackwell crossed paths early in their careers here in Cincinnati?

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Re-Opening And A Re-Awakening for Downtown

Over the past few years, Cincinnati has been plagued with negative national publicity. The Cincinnati Riots of 2001 coupled with the multiple killings of African American youth have given a black eye to Cincinnati, especially its downtown area. Shortly after the Cincinnati Riots of 2001, many prominent African American celebrities and leaders canceled their engagements in Cincinnati in the name of a boycott. Some among the list of 'boycotters' were Bill Cosby (comedian and Cosby Show fame) and comedienne and Academy Award winner Whoppie Goldberg.

Things are starting to change here in Cincinnati. Not only can you take in either a Major League baseball game at Great American Ball Park, you can also walk a few city blocks and partake in the frenzy of a National Football League football game at Paul Brown Stadium. Currently, Cincinnati’s professional football team, the Cincinnati Bengals are well on their way to recapturing the AFC Championships as they did in 1988, and on their way to another appearance at the Super Bowl.

Sports are not the only thing that Cincinnati has going for it. The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center is unabashedly positioned in between Cincinnati’s two professional sports team's stadiums. Located on The Banks of the Ohio River, you can meander through this state of the art museum and learn about Cincinnati's role as being the gateway and primary destination for African Americans as they escaped the horrid institution of slavery in the South.

This museum was one of Cincinnati's first instances in its pro-active stance to bring culture to this city. Other attractions, thought not permanent, that you could find here at Cincinnati are its annual MidPoint Music Festival, Oktoberfest Zinzinnati and this past summer, one was be able to catch the high flying antiques of Cirque de Soleil, as they set up camp on The Banks.

This push towards cultural diversity is nothing new to the downtown area of Cincinnati. The ‘Final Friday’ (FF) event that has been taking place in the Pendleton neighborhood has been a staple of downtown living for at least the past two decades. Over the years this display of monthly exhibition of artesian expression has spread to other parts of downtown and Over-the-Rhine (OTR) areas to include the downtown business districts and Main Street. This event occurs (as you may know from the name) on the last Friday of every month, from 8pm to 10pm, where art gallery and shops in the downtown keep their doors open later than normal, seducing patrons with free wine and appetizers. I fell in love with this even my first year of college when the parent’s of a high-school friend opened an art studio in this area and invited my to my first FF event.

The crowning jewel of Cincinnati and one of the most notable landmarks of downtown is Fountain Square where you will find the Tyler Davidson Fountain. A must see if you are visiting within 50 miles of the area or any area in Greater Cincinnati. Currently, The Square, as it is so affectionately called to those who were born and raised in the Queen City, has been under a major face lift. The last time that The Square was remodeled was in the 70’s. Closed for the past several months, The Square is scheduled to re-open October 14, 2006, with a celebration that you should not miss if you are visiting the area. There are many hotels in the downtown area were you can stay to experience the re-opening celebration where the unveiling of the poem, 'I am Cincinnati' written for and read by native Cincinnatian and distinguished author Nikki Giovonni.

The weekend of the re-opening celebration of The Square is a perfect time to visit the city of Cincinnati and experience all of the uniqueness that this city has to offer. At the celebration, there will be performances by the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Cincinnati Ballet and the Cincinnati Opera, in addition to the unveiling of the new and improved Tyler Davidson Fountain. Other attractions of this weekend will be performances by OK Go, a band that is mixed between indie, stadium and straight up rock. Nationally known Talib Kweli and the band Los Lobos will also e in attendance for performances.

So I hope to see you there!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Editorial...The Sheriff Came to Town

Here is the editorial that I wrote in responce to the Cincinnati Enquire's article "Duputies get tough on OTR." i doubt it will get published in the Enquirer, so I thought I would post it here.

I have to say, it is a bit daunting to drive on a downtown city street and have a Hamilton County Sheriff drive behind you for any period. In fact, just yesterday a sited a few patrolling the area that I live, in Prospect Hill.

I am glad to see that the Cincinnati Police Department has gotten passed its squabble with Hamilton County and have agreed to have its sheriffs aid in the patrolling of our city’s downtown streets. After reading Monday’s article, “Deputies get tough on OTR” I see that many residents, who have first hand experience to the ‘change’, think that the patrols are doing
some good.

Though I agree with the downtown residents quoted in the aforementioned article, I am far pressed to say that it is only the additional downtown patrols that are causing downtown streets to become more enjoyable for its residents.

Over the past several years, the University of Cincinnati in collaboration with the City of Cincinnati’s Department of Community Development and Planning has been integrating a vision to revitalize downtown. On September 21, both institutions jointly sponsored the OTR
Summit where they invited the residents to hear their accomplishments and the
activities of other organizations that share in the downtown revitalization

In addition, events such as Second Sundays on Main, sponsored by the OTR Chamber, have been a huge success. This monthly street party is in its second year and continues to draw residents out from in front of the television and into the streets to meet, greet and be merry.
This is a perfect example of strengths in numbers. I attended this event this past Sunday. There I was able to take in two free concerts by an up and coming band made up of students from the School of Creative and Performing Arts, and an accapella choir. After I chatted with different members of the community, I took in brunch at Kaldi’s.

The sheriff coming to town has been a big help in deterring crime on the streets of downtown, but let us not forget the efforts of community leaders and organizations that have been
struggling to keep their community safe as well.

Monday, October 09, 2006

The Weekend Rundown

I regretfully did not make it to the opening weekend of Dream Girls as I had planned on Friday. I instead attended the wedding of a woman that I graduated highschool, followed by a B-day party at the Lazy Gecko.

The weeding was great, but I felt as if I were in a time warp. As I said before, a friend of mine that I graduated highschool with got married. The man that she married was the son of our highschool girl's basketball team and well respected in our school system while I attended. This meant that a bevy of teachers and school administrators were present. Flashes of 10th grade algebra and 11th grade homeroom sessions darted back to me as I watched the two take their vows and during the reception. Coincidentally, the grooms older sister was among my graduating class as well.

After the wedding, I rushed home to change out of my wedding attire and into party gear where a met up with a few friends for a D-day party at the Lazy Gecko in Dayton, KY. This little known gem had a live band playing all night which added to our fun.

I swear I will see Dream Girls this Friday. I'll let you know if the reviews were truthful or not.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

And I Am Telling You...

I can't tell you how excited I am.

Jersey Productions' Dream Girls opened last night at The Carnegie in Covington, Ky. My involvement was a bit suspect when I had to bow out of their production of RagTime due to my time commitments. The out of control summer vacation did not help my commitment too much either.

I can't remember the first time that I heard the song that propelled Jennifer Holiday into the mainstream of vocalist, but I immediately fell in love with it. Not knowing the context behind the song, "You're Going To Love Me" optimized the struggle that some go through to show the world that they are confident enough to succeed in what ever endeavor they put their mind too. Little did I know that the sound was capping off the failed career of a third of a successful girl singing group.

Everytime I hear the song on the radio, watch the original performance on YouTube of hear the song sung at Universal Grill's karoke, tears come to me eyes and a jolt is felt in my loins.

Dispite the not so good reviews, I plan to see it on Sunday Night.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Is Ken Blackwell Good For Us?

When I say Us I mean a plethora of different things. African American, Ohioans, Gays and Lesbians, they can all quantify what I mean by the word ‘us’

Though Blackwell has been blasted into the national arena with both is election day schnanaghanns and him running for the Governor’s seat here in Ohio, Blackwell got his start right here in the Queen City.

Blackwell was born in Cincinnati, Ohio and married his wife Rosa (superindentact of Cincinnati Public Schools) in 1969 while he was in college. Blackwell attended Xavier University on a football scholarship and received a bachelor of science degree in psychology. He went to receive a masters of education degree, also from Xavier, in 1971. It all seemed a success story for an African American man who grew up in Cincinnati.

From 1979 to 1980, Blackwell served as Mayor of Cincinnati, Ohio. Earlier, he had been a member of the Cincinnati city council. Blackwell was then willed away from Cincinnati and served in the administration of President George H.W. Bush as undersecretary in the Department of Housing and Urban Development from 1989 to 1990.

It all went downhill from there. I guess this is why Blackwell did not register on my radar until the election fiasco of 2004.

This morning I was listening to Russ Par’s morning show and was astonished that he taking listener’s calls to talk about something substantial (still luv ya Russ). This morning, Russ posed the question “Should we vote for a person just because they are Black.” I was sanctified when I heard that all of the callers (at least all that I listened to in my 10min commute to work) said that they WOULD NOT vote in a person simply because they were Black. On the other hand, many said that would not have a problem voting in a republican candidate.

My heart skipped a beat. I thought of an entire contingent of Black voters in Ohio voting in Blackwell. Then I thought that we are smarter than that. Though Blackwell is a successful African American and is (superficially) a role model for young African Americans, he is not the only Black role model out there. So the ‘insult’ shield that some of us stood on the other side of when Clarence Thomas became supreme Court Justice and when Condalisa Rice became Secretary of State, or when Colin Powell became the Head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, (not that Colin did a bad job, just proving a point here). should be done away with. Because of the growing number of African American role models, we should not be afraid to condemn those African Americans who are incompetent to hold government office should not be immune to the scrutiny of reporters and hurtful comments brought on by being a politician.
To take the words from Forrest Gump’s mouth, “Stupid is as stupid does.”

Friday, September 29, 2006

Way Too Funny

Sometime I forget how funny the Dailey Show really is. When I saw this, it hit home. While I served my country in the US, there were several of my friends whe were asked to leave the military because the chose to love and care for someone of the same sex. The following segment from the Dailey Show exeplifies the ignorance of the military policy.

Scary But Good

In a small high school in a rural Northern Kentucky town, two dozen or so high school students and middle school met in the early morning hours, before school started to sing Christian songs around the school’s flag pole. Why you may ask? This was an even planned to commemorate "See You at the Pole", an annual, global event that happens at public school flag poles on the fourth Wednesday of September. During this ‘celebration’ the students proceeded to ask God to send “moral and spiritual awakening” to their small campus and to other high school campuses around the county.

With the uproar that has been given to religion at public school (ohh, did I mention that it was a public school that this prayer service was conducted at?), I am surprised that there was not more of an outcry of dis approval and anger.

It funny for me to say, but I say good for them. Though I think that its is a bit weird to depart your yellow school morning and to see a group of students chanting outside of your school doors, circling a flagpole, since we live in a country where free speech is king, I say go for it. The same thing that lets them celebrate this way is the same thing that keeps me writing this blog.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Another One For The Bengals

This title may be a bit misleading title.

Yes it is true that the Bengals reclaimed their dignity in a major way with the comback victory against the Pittsburgh Steelers. We all here in Cincinnati remember Cincinnati's final game of last years season when a player form the Steelers 'accidental' took Palmer out on one of their defensive plays. Many thought it was the single act that kept Cincinnati from going on to win the AFC championship and the SuperBowl.

But one would never know.

The title of this blog could also remark about yet another black spot on the pride of Bengals and their fans with the arrest of Odell Thurman for driving under the influence after the aforementioned Bengals win. Thurman, who is already suspended for infractions against the National Football League's Substance Abuse policy, was stopped on Kellogg Ave in the East End at a sobriety check point , after he a a few other team mates celebrated their comback win at the popular night club, Annie's. It did not help that Chris Henry, one of the shinnig stars of last Sunday's victory, was also in the car and preceeded to vomit during the altercation with the police.

Today, Marvin Lewis, Head Coach of the Cincinnati Bengals said that Thurman was done for the 2006 football season. I guess that was the correct thing to do. We do not want to give the impression that the Bengals are above the law or anything like that.

I think that it is a shame that Thurman got caught by the police on this matter. I think that if it was kept internally, Thurman would have had a shot in playing sometime this year. Thurman is a large guy and it seems to me that the .17 that he blew in the breath-alizer did not adequately show how inebriated he was. Buy of course I am no scientist or doctor so I could be totally off base here. Lewis hit it on the head when the only thing that he said about Henry is that it was 'bad timing'. I is not against any rules for Henry to drink. Thank God he was not driving.

But of course that's just my thoughts

Monday, September 25, 2006

What Writing Block?

Have you ever wanted to read a story that you wished exemplified your life, or an experience that you wanted to experience? I would assume that you have and even if you haven't, there are many who read and purchase novels just for this very reason. This is the reason why I am in the process of writing the novel entitled Ten to One. I have looked longingly for a novel where the stories centered on someone that I could completly relate. Coming to terms with the fact that those novels are far and few between, I decided to create the novel myself.

Ten to One follows the life of Jacob Taylor, a new college graduate living in Cincinnati, OH. Shortly after graduation from the University of Cincinnati, Jacob lands an unwanted job at the Midnite Starr, a tabloid based in Cincinnati. While on assignment with his cigar smoking, quick lipped and tight assed partner, Franky Simpson, who spends more time trying to put Jacob down rather than help him become acquainted with his new job, stumbles on a murder plot that has been more than twenty years in the making. The novel takes you through the process of trying to find the murderer. His long time friend, and fag hag, Gi-Gi helps Jacob with his personal life, especially with the fact of Jacob's love life. The story also chronicles Jacob's quest in trying to come 'out' to his ultra-conservative relatives in the midst of a family tragedy.

Can't wait until I am finished with it!

Friday, September 22, 2006

A Comeback To OTR

Over-the-Rhine (OTR) may seem an odd name for a neighbor's but to us downtown dwellers it is common place. To non-downtown dwellers, OTR may bring a connotation of filth, poverty, crime and unsafe feeling. To us who live here know that the cramp living quarters and close proximity to jobs and transit hubs brings some who are poor which draws criminals, but we also know that OTR is more than that and definitely has more to offer.

The University of Cincinnati launched a major revitalization project in OTR in 2002 and yesterday, they invited the community and its organizations to Memorial Hall at 1229 Elm to give a presentation of how far they have come. The former OTR Community Council president spoke after a few invigorating and thought provoking prose by one of InkTank;s writers. Brian Tiffany, president of the OTR Chamber of Commerce then gave a laundry list of their efforts in trying to stimulate economic growth in the area.

After UC gave their presentation updating their project in OTR, Milton R. Dohoney, Jr., gave a rousing speech chronicleing his experience in Lexington and Louisville and his vision for this area. He was candidly honest in saying that the National Underground Freedom Center may not have been the best idea for this area, not to say it was a bad idea, just not the BEST idea. He also claimed that we, as a city, can be abit more cleaner.

I was surprised that their were not any bo's or hisses that emanated from the crowd at his surprisingly honest approach. I think that it may be he gave more enlightenment than gloom. His speech was capped off with a resounding cry for investment in our neighborhood.

Monday, September 18, 2006

The 'Final Friday' Name Is Mine

The ‘Final Friday’ (FF) event that has been taking place in the Pendleton neighborhood has been a staple of downtown living for the past two decades and I have attended on and off for the last 10 years. Over the years, this monthly exhibition of artesian expression has spread to other parts of downtown and Over-the-Rhine (OTR) areas to include the downtown business districts and Main Street. This event occurs (as you may know from the name) on the last Friday of every month, from 8pm to 10pm, where art galleries and shops in the downtown keep their doors open later than normal, seducing patrons with free wine, appetizers with jovial conversation.

I fell in love with this event my first year of college when the parent’s of a high-school friend opened an art studio in this area and invited me to my first FF event.

Recently, I was driving through the neighborhood of Oakley and noticed a banner hanging across its main thoroughfare which boasted ‘Oakley’s Final Friday’.

I could not believe it. The swanky, slightly more affluent northern neighbor was trying to steal a downtown tradition that had been very successful over the years.

I was glad to see that residents of the downtown area were not taking this lying down. This was apparent after reading “Feuding Over Friday’s" in last Friday’s Cincinnati Enquirer. Brian Tiffany, president of the Over—the-Rhine Chamber of Commerce stated, "We just really felt that we had some incredible momentum going," he said. "For this to be just scooped up and taken away at what we consider a critical time - I mean, can't you pick another day? Can't you pick 'Final Thursday?' or 'Last Saturday?'”

Oakley could have been more original with its event’s name and was un provoked in its blatant attempt to try and draw crowds form downtown’s FF event. OTR chamber will not be hard pressed to legally get Oakley to change the name. The Enquirer stated that the Final Friday name was trademarked by Thirteen Ten Pendleton Corp., a subsidiary of the Verdin Bell Co. Company president Jim Verdin registered it in 2004 to describe the "arranging and conducting exhibitions of art and artists." which is still the case for downtown’s FF and has also morphed to include commerce and other commercial venues.

Bottom line is that if Oakley had created an innovative and ORIGINAL slogan to promote the events occurring on the last Friday of the month in their neighborhood, myself, and a considerable number of other downtown residents, would have had a little more respect for their efforts. If Oakley decides to continue this outlandish display of rivalry, bridges may be burned and the efforts of both downtown and Oakley may be at risk.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

I Remember Where I Was

We have all been bombarded with remberances of terrible day when several sub human beings thought that they would smart enough to destroy the infastructure of our nation.

Of course I am talking about the the events that accord on 9/11/01.

I had been off active duty from the US Army for seven months and had almost adjusted to being a civilian again. I was a full time student attending the University of Cincinnati's Economics program and an active member on Pi Kappa Alpha.

Though mostly adjusted to not wearing BDU's every day from dusk till dawn, the military life had not completely left my routine. I was enrolled in R.O.T.C. classes at UC and was in the Ohio National Guard.

the day that will be permantly engraved in my mind's eye, I was working as a student employee in UC's Veterans Affairs office. A co-worker came in just after 9am and said to me the following, "A plane just flew into the World Trade Center."

No bells or whistles went off in my had at that time. I had immediately shrugged him off and thought him to be kidding. I retorted mockingly with "How can that be?" I rolled my eyes and sucked my teeth and continued with, "There is not a run-way in the middle of New York."

After a brief explanation, all in the office were immediately glued to the big screen television on the first floor of One Edwards Place.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Its A Family Affair

This past weekend was a weekend of relaxation and frivolity.

Dispite that I just about to skip this event, our family reunion was this weekend.

A little smaller than last years, we have a hge cookout at my cousin's company park near the Greater Cincinnati/ Northern KY Airprt on Saturday. I guess I missed the memo that we were supposed to only wear Black and White.

Sunday was a bit more relaxing because we were not the one doing the cooking and cleaning. Our family rented a riverboat and went on a 3 hour tour of the Mighty Ohio.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Vive La Cirque

I am not sure about you, but for weeks after I first witnessed a Ringling Brothers' Barnum and Bailey Circus, all I dreamt about was running away and being in the 'Circus'. I am not sure if it was the roar of the lion or the high flying antics of the trapeze artist, but something allured me to the razzle and dazzle of the big top. I tried tiredlessly to convince my mother to let me run away with them.

Maybe that's the reason why she never took me back to see another show.

That was then and this is now. No longer am I a snotty nosed toddler (although, some may think that I still act like one). If my heart's desire leads me to become a circus performer, than I better lace up my walkin' shoes and 'get to steppin'.

Since my mind's eyes does not want to follow in the footsteps of Siegfried and Roy, I guess I am going to have to settle for only a glimpse into the magical world of arcobatic mayhem. Good thing Cirque Du Soleil had pitched its big top here in the Queen City.

It's doubly lucky that I was given a ticket to one of their performances for my 28th B-day last month.

A little disappointed that I will not be able to see lions, tigers and bears at this circus, I was interested as to what I would actually be witnessing, so I did a little research.

Cirque de Soleil, based in Montreal (one of the best cities I have ever visited) has 7 shows which travel around the world. They each have a definite plot, with one offer up a story that celebrates life, offering a new way of looking at urban life. Amazing!

Not all of their shows are simple light hearted frolics through the woods.

Another one of the shows is more artistic, more open to the interpretation of the watcher. It takes the viewer into the lives of several people from different walks of life and shows us how they defy time and the circumstances effected by it.

The show that opened last evening here in Cincinnati is called 'Quidam', meaning anonymous. The following is a synapses of the show from their website:

Quidam: a nameless passer-by, a solitary figure lingering on a street corner, a
person rushing past. It could be anyone, anybody. Someone coming, going, living
in our anonymous society. A member of the crowd, one of the silent majority. The
one who cries out, sings and dreams within us all. This is the "quidam" that
Cirque du Soleil is celebrating. A young girl fumes; she has already seen
everything there is to see, and her world has lost all meaning. Her anger
shatters her little world, and she finds herself in the universe of Quidam. She
is joined by a joyful companion as well as another character, more mysterious,
who will attempt to seduce her with the marvelous, the unsettling, and the

Yep, does not look like I will get to see any lions, tigers or bears, but I think the abundant amount of men in tights will keep my mind occupied.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

A Novel Is As A Novel Does....Take 2

Have you ever started something and never get back around to finish it?

Well, If I told you that I have never done that, it would be just like me telling you that I was voted 'most popular' in my 1995 high school graduating class.

I mentioned in a few posts that I have been been interested in begining a career in as an author (one of the reason why I started to blog) and that I have ambitions on finishing my mystery novel that I have been slowly writing for the past 5 years.

I have decided to force myself to complete the novel by creating a monthy deadline per chapter. Each moth, I will plan on publishing one chapter of the novel on this blog.

(Lets see how well this one goes)

Friday, August 18, 2006

Alot More Than Just The Jeffersons On TV Nowadays

I watched a minute of so of the first episode of the second season of Noah’s Arc on the internet the other day because Cincinnati cable networks do not offer network that hosts the groundbreaking show, LOGO.

I watched a clip from the first episode of the first season on the internet right when it debuted from the internet as well. Honestly, I am not impressed with either of the two clips. Not to say that I do not like it, but the acting is less than desired. Of course, most of the clips have been of the ultra sexy, but hyper-effeminate lead actor, Darryl Stephens. So maybe some supporting roles may help to carry along the plot.

Again, since I have only watched a few minutes of the shot, I am interested to see how they portray black gay America. As in Keith Boykin’s book, Beyond the Down Low, gay black life is varied with a tumultuous amount of ins and out that one must be very careful when making broad statements about. I have just ordered the first season of this show from Netflix.

I will keep an open mind.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

I Can Breathe Again

Way back 1992 , I just entering my sophomore year of highschool. I thought that I was so cool, wearing my new purple and black jean pant/jacket set and my Hampton University t-shirt which matched the set. I had started wearing my hair long, hoping to simulate the style of Kid from the Kid and Play and the Kris Kross fad days. That copy cat hair style not with standing, I even wore my pants back wards and inside out, trying to duplicate the duo.

Little did I know that a few miles north, the battle for protection under the law by gays and lesbian was well underway, affecting my future way of living.

In 1992, Cincinnati City Council passed an ordinance that bared discrimination based on race, religion, handicapped status, gender, Appalachian origin and sexual orientation.

In 1993, voters passed Article XII, taking sexual orientation off the list of things that people could not discriminate against.

I wish I would have been paying more attention to this debate when I was younger. maybe then I would not have been walking around neighborhoods two years ago, informing people about Article XII and asking for their support in repealing it.

Well that year we won, but the opposition reared its ugly head again this year. The Equal Rights Not Special Rights organization planned to petition for the Article XII to be repealed again this election year. In retalliation, the Cincinnati leg of The Human Rights Campaign geared up to oppose the opposition. I was invited to attend their rally a few weeks ago.

It was a great relief when Equal Rights Not Special Rights Organization decided NOT to submit their petitions so that opposition would be placed on the ballot. According to The Cincinnati Enqiurer, they had only obtained two signatures more than what was required to place opposition on the ballot this year. Apparently, Fidel Castro's signature (among a number of others) could not hold up informs of a court of law.

Friday, August 11, 2006

As noted in some of my recent posts, I have spent sometime in the military. In fact, even though I enlisted in the US Army well after the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy went into effect, I remember sitting in front of the recruiting officer in 1996, and one of the initial questions that he asked me me was if I had ever had sexual relations with another male (I am pretty sure that is verbatim). Well, I did not lie to the officer, which is why I was able to enlist in the military, but as you can tell by my blog, we are not exactly routing for the same team.

This is why the issue of Gays in the military hits home everytime that it is brought up because I have seen lives destroyed and egos mangled because of it.

I used to be one of those shattered souls.

Which is why I was so glad when I read this article about a straight West Point student being awarded for his senior thesis discussing the matter. 24 yr old Alexander Raggio's senior thesis won the top award in the Art, Philosphy and Literature deparment in West Point's English department last year.

In his piece, he states his opposition to the ban of homosexuals being allowed to live their life as heterosexuals and goes on to say that he is not being insubordinate by stating the fact that it is wrong for the military to discriminate against homosexuals when it is against military regulations to discriminate because of race, religion and even sex (very marginally).

Didn't we already go through this?

I think that we are still a few years away from homosexuals being able to serve openly in the military. I would not be surprised if the government revisited its thoughts about segregating troops that they deemed un worthy of serving with regular troops.

I can just see it now. An all gay Army? I am pretty sure that I would consider re-enlisting if that was the case.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Joke Of The Week

What do you get when you put Jay-Z, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, and President of MTV Christina Norman in the same room at the same time?
OK...this really isnt a joke. I was reading this blog and thought about the most intersting situations I have found Jay-Z. These three personalitlies got together to announce Kofi Annan's collaboration with MTV and Def Jam to raise awareness on the worldwide water crisis today in New York City. Thanks Crunk!

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Guess Who's Coming To Dinner?

Can you believe it? The Progressive National Baptist Convention is being held this year here in the Queen City. Who gave thier soul to get this organization to visit our fair city? I think there are only just a handful (3 I think) of Progressive National Baptist Churches here in Cincinnati.

At this very momment, around thousands of Progressive National Baptists are galevantiing in the City of Flying Pigs and leaving thier impressionable mark on the newly renovated Duke Energy Convention Center.

The coming of this group also brings the Rev. Jesse Jackson, Sr., Founder and President, RainbowPUSH Coalition, Inc., and Rev. Al Sharpton, Director, National Action Network.

Just today, the Black Prof posed the question if it is reasonable to think of Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton exemplifying phony leadership in the Black Community.


I would not say that Jesse and Al exemplify phony leadership in the Black community. It would be more appropriate to say that the are on the left side of Black leadership. As mentioned on NPR just a few days ago, there are many Black leaders that are not considered so because there are not political activists. Now that we have moved further and further away from the Civil Rights movements of the 60's, the strategy that was used to change political issues and society back then is not as productive as it once was.

New leaders bring new ways of providing solutions to the 'problem', whatever the problem may be.

I think this is where Cosby is coming from. His statements over the past few years concerning African American blaming their plight on the white man, are radical compared to the traditional adage that most society deams as the only way to bring about change, which is why there are so many Balck leaders who question him. You have the right to question if he is correct or incorrect in his rhetoric, but you should not question his motive. He is a Black leader who is trying to provide a solution to the 'problem'.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Bloopers, Blunders And The Bengals

Needless to say, the 2005 season brought glory and riches to Cincinnati and their beloved, and sometimes scoffed at, Bengals. Coming into that season, they already held the franchise season record for the fewest number of fumbles and during the 2005 season broke that same record.

This recovery strategy coupled with the fact that the 2005 Bengals also set a club record for turnover differential, tied club records for most takeaways and fewest giveaways, and posted the second-most interceptions in team history, all brought hope to the 'Who Dey' team and brought dreams of another AFC Championship to the realization of hopeful Begals fans.

Its seems ironic that this same team that, in 2005, had an orchard full of prospects, has been riddled with a bunch of bad apples.

A week before the first pre-game of the season, already Bengals have had a number of very public run-ins with the law.

In recent news, left guard Eric Steinbach seemed to have forgotten that driving under the influence is the same as boating uder the influence. He was stopped for speeding while on his boat on the Ohio River. According to the Cincinnati Enquirer, Steinbach failed a series of sobriety tests.

This incident falls on the hills of defensive tackle Matthias Askew being stunned with a taser, no less, alledgedly, for not doing what a Cincinnati Police Office asked.

(And people say that Cincinnati Police officers are not trigger happy)

With a history of sexual mis conduct, the Bengals still draft Frostee Rucker and in June he was charged with two counts of vandalism and two counts of spousal battery for something that happened in California the previous year.

Talk about drama.

Enter Chris Henry, resident hottie second (or maybe third) to Chad Johnson has had more than just a run in with the law enforcement in the Cincinnati area. The year started out with Henry's adorable face being flashed across the television screen because he was charged with possession of a concealed firearm, improper exhibition of a firearm and aggravated assault with a firearm while in Orlando, Fl. Then in June, an officer in an adjacent county to Cincinnati arrested Henry for DUI. If that don't beat all, just a week or so later Henry was arrested in Kentucky for providing alcohol to three under-aged females.

Just a few months after the Bengals picked up A.J. Nicholson, he was charged with burglary and grand theft (both felonies) and vandalism (a misdemeanors) for allegedly breaking into the apartment of a former Florida State teammate in mid-May and stealing $1,700 in electronics.

I know Marvin Lewis' paths have crossed with Bill Cowher, but I do not remember reading where Lewis went to the same coaching school as Bob Huggins.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Don't You Take My Baggy Pants Away

As I dressed this morning, I was looking through my closet, trying to find a decent pair of pants to wear into the office. I had waited a bit too long to do the laundry and had to keep passing over pants that were either too large for me or were not appropriate for a day in the library. More than not, that pants that I over looked were too large for me.

Finially choosing a pair of black slacks that were hiding in the back of my closet, I jump into the car and headed down Sycamore street, only to be stoped while turning left onto Libraerty by a young looking man, who's tee shirt was as long as his entire body. Moving slower than molasses on a cold day, he used the bottom of his 5 ft long white T to wipe his forehead and upon lifting it showed that the waist of his pants were strangling his knees.

No wonder he was moving so slow!

Dont' get me wrong, I am all for expression of dress and, on some, a little bit of sag can be a bit sexy, but come on...

What if this saggy britched perp had to run away from a scorned lover, a jealous friend or, heavan forbidd, the Cincinnati Police!

They would stummble on the pant leg thier over-priced bottoms before he could try and make his escape.

Not to mention that when he walks, safe from having a belt on, he still has to use his two knees to keep his pants someway pulled up. Which makes him look as though he is auditioning for The March of the Penguins. Now that is what I call attractive.

I am not sure if this sag-wheelding, pants wearer is aware that he, potentially, could have health problems down the road if he continues to follow this fashion trend over a number of years (is this true?).

As the I passed the youngster, I peared in my rear view mirror to take another glance at him. He stopped just as he planted both of his feet on the side walk and reached into his pocket for something. I chuckeled to my self as I noticed that he had to bend almost 90 degrees to obtain the contains in is front right pocket.

If I had to bend over that far everytime I had to grab my cell phone from my pants pockets, I would be in more touble than a 16 year old twink who managed to sneak his way into the Goldon Lions.

As I crossed the Big Mac bridge, I glanced over to look and the Purple People Bridge and thought about some of the reasons why sportin' the sag is one urban fashion in Cincinnati that has not gone out of style.

For one thing, it IS a style. Everyone from the B-boys hanging out on a downtown street corner living downtown to college student with his nose burried ina textbook see this as style. So those who see them as role models, unsurprisingly, will try to immulate thier dress.

In a way, the excessive sag shows dominance and prowess. In the blue and white collor world, if your pants are too tight, you are seen as being too up-tight. I ever remember back in highschool, only nerds or the unpopular kids wore pants that fit properly. Fitted pants also convey a since of comformaty. Not to be pre judgemental (but you know I am going to anyway) nothing about the guy that was holding me up this morning as he crossed the street screemed that he was a conformer.

I love living downtown.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

EnVouge Had It RiGHT

lie (v.1)
"speak falsely," O.E. legan, ligan, earlier leogan (class II strong verb; past tense leag, pp. logen), from P.Gmc. *leugan (cf. O.N. ljuga, Dan. lyve, O.Fris. liaga, Goth. liugan), from PIE base *leugh- "to tell a lie."

It is such a short word, but the ramificationsns of this simply word can be quite detrimental.

People are imprisoned because of it.

Lives are ruined because of them and hearts are broken when they are discovered.

Whether the one that you tell is little, fat or white, be careful to whom you communicate yours to.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

How Do You Like Me Now

A series of bad experiences and weird days over past week have prompted me to change a few things. Including my weblog. It is still very much a work in progress but, let me know what you think.

Monday, July 31, 2006

Birthday Wishes And Caviar Dreams

As I have grown older, I have become founder and founder of birthdays and birthday parties (or should I say, the anniversary of my birth). Growing up, my family did not put that much emphasis on this special day, so my knowledge of birthday celebrating has been slightly stunted. My brother's birthday was last month, and when I asked my mother if she was going to have a party, her response indicated that it was the last thing on her mind.

I have been fortunate enough to have my life's path run along side those of friends who appreciate the celebration of life and show thier feelings by way of attention, affection, concern and love.

Saturday, some friends threw a party for me and another of our friends to celebrate our births, for our dates are less than a week apart.

I do have to say that this party was a perfect end to a month of traveling and new experiences. I was surrounded by people whom I loved and, according to the entires left in the journal that I received that night, those who love me. The specially chosen songs that were played on the karoake machine (a gift from the couple to who's wedding I attendined in Michigan during the beginning of July) were a tesitment to the feelings that were abundant that evening.

I have to say, the 2nd row tickets to the up coming Cirque du Soleil show was the gift that was most unexpected (thanks Joy, Dave, Chelsea and Dan).

Thanks again for making this one of the best celebrated birthday I have had in awhile!

Friday, July 28, 2006

Just Makes You Think

Just when I thought that romantic antics were too far gone from our society to place any significant weight on a person's heart, I find something like the following prose, written by a fellow Cincinnatian speaking about his missed connection with a soul as fragile as his.

I should have stayed. I wanted to but was afraid of the ramifications -
even after clarifying them in a matter of fact manner that probably seemed mean
but wasn't. You were a perfect host and eager with an innocence in stark
contrast to the situation's lack of it. The the breeze relaxing, the city
beautiful, and my excuse for not leaving sooner was worse than any Our Decider
could give. It was the type of electric night most romanticize but few bother to
live. I should have stayed. 3:55 am and I should have stayed. The fear ate a
hole in my gut and I fled. But what value is a great romantic moment without a
bittersweet tinge of regret?

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

How To Finish Rich

I still have my feet on the ground, I just wear better shoes.
Oprah Winfrey (1954-)

Let’s talk about something that everyone wants but no one has enough of. No, I am not talking about the number of sexual encounters with Mr. Right. I am talking about the ever-elusive dollar. As the number of Americans in debt continues to increase each year, the need for debt recovery and debt management resources becomes more apparent. This fact makes the beginning of the new fiscal year a perfect time to look at your finances and make changes that will help you get that summer vacation debt off your back.

The first step, make sure you find out what every loan officer, bank, creditor, or potential landlord already knows about you. Take advantage of your free annual credit report. Many of those who have acquired debt assume that since they stop getting past-due credit card statements in the mail that those credit card companies have simply forgotten that you owe money to them. I recently took advantage of this and found out a few things that I have forgotten about.

The next step is to get all of your paper work in one place. Many times, I have tried to organize all of my financial paperwork in hopes that it would prompt me to start making my way out of debt. Of course, this did not happen, because I had no idea what I needed to find and put together. Here is a great place to find a comprehensive list of papers that you should have in one place.

Last but not least, the only way that you are ever going to save money is by making a plan. As Antoine de Saint-Exupery once said, "A goal without a plan is just a wish." Depending on the level of debt that you are in and your financial situation, many different savings and budgeting plans will expedite your travels to financial freedom. I have focused paying off the debt that is costing me the most ( i.e. interest bearing debts) Once those are paid off, then I plan to focus on the debt that I can pay off the fastest.

The longer you delay, the longer it is going to take for you to finish rich!

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

I Don't Feel Any Different

Someone told me that your 28th birthday is not that important, but it's your 29th that you need to celebrate because Venus is in the same place as it was when you were born. I think he was correct because today, on my 28th birthday, and I do not feel any diffrerent.

I wonder if this young one will feel the same when she hits my age...

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Isn't This Where Dave Chappelle is From?

Living in Downtown Cincinnati has its benefits. Culture, close proximity to public transit, breath taking river views and amazing restaurants all contribute to the allure of Cincinnati urban living. Despite all the wonders of the city, sometimes taking in a slower pace of life and experiencing nature can be quite refreshing.

Last week, a friend of mine who works as an architect (The Architect) turned 40 years old. To celebrate, he booked every room at The Springs Motel in Yellow Springs, OH and invited a few of his friends to join him so thats just what I did.

Yellow Springs is 65 miles north of Cincinnati and serves as a weekend get-away for a number of Cincinnatians. Yellow Springs is home to Antioch College and is a small town with a population of about 4,000. The city is named for the curative spring water that are found through out Glen Helen Nature Reserve which you can experience through several different nature hikes.

While visiting the small, but busy downtown, make sure that you start your day with brunch at the Sunrise Cafe. The wait for a table is not the best (about an hour for us on Sunday morning) but the pesto-tomato omelet, home-style potatoes and wheat bread (made fresh daily in house) are all worth the wait.

After brunch, meander your way through the downtown areas where you may have to dodge a few shoe-less teenage skate boarders and middle aged bikers while you travel from shop to shop. Antiques, hand crafts, nature inspired furniture are all store choices and, on a warm summer Sunday afternoon, have no problem in finding patrons to partake in their wares.

DarkStar Books & Comics is a definite stop if you are an avid book collector/reader (so you know that was one of the first stops for me). Eventhough the store is filled from floor to ceiling with shelves of books (arranged both by subject and author) it's specialty, by far, are comic books.

If clothes are what you are looking for, I suggest a stop in at Basho, a custom apparel boutique. If you give them about 24 hours, they will design an article for you.

In between shops, if you feel the need for a mid afternoon snack, Crepes, a small tented crepe stand smack dab in the middle of downtown, will ease your cravings. I would suggest the veggie crepe with egg, but they also have more traditional crepes like Nutella and bananas.

After you have had your fill of shopping, head to Peaches, where you can get a plethora of fried appetizer.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

I Stand Corrected

Far be it for this Cincinnati NAMjA to mis represent one of Cincinnait's oldest establishments (not to mention the nation's first baseball team). Daedalus was gracious enough to point out the error of my speech when I stated the following my Opening Day post:

Even though the Cincinnati's baseball team has failed to produce a winning National League baseball team since 1990...

In fact, Daedalus pointed out that the Reds had winning records in 1992 (90-72), 1994 (66-48, best record in baseball in strike shortened season with no WS), 1995 (85-59 in short season due to strike, NL Central Division champs, went to National League Championship Series), 1999 (96-67, lost one game playoff to Mets to miss Wild Card berth), and 2000 (85-77).

To add to this, last night the Reds beat the Brewers in Cincinnati 6 to 5.

Maybe I should do more research before I speak of something I do not follow. Thanks Deadalus!

Friday, July 21, 2006

I Never Thought This Day Would Come

There are not going to be many occations where George W. will be featured on this blog, so when you see his picture, it is because he has done something BIG!

The current president has been in office for about 62 months now and until yesterday had NEVER given a formal address the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (N.A.A.C.P.), despite it being one of the largest African American organizations in this nation.

The Prez is picturered here greeting Julian Bond, Chairman of the N.A.A.C.P., as he prepares to give his address.

I have got to say one thing for the guy, he has some very talented speech writers. It is really difficult to stand up infornt of the N.A.A.C.P. and speak about a trip to the Lorraine Motel WITHOUT ever mentioning the name of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

You can read his entire speech here.

Another One Down.... God Knows How Many More To Go

I mentioned in a few of my other posts that I have been enrolled in a personal training course at the university that I work for. The degree that I am gunning for this time is a Bachelors of Science (B.S.) in Economics (I obtained my Associates in Korean Studies from Monterey Peninsula Collage in 1999). This summer semester's course load included a co-op and the personal trainer class.

Yesterday, I sat for my final exam in the personal trainer class ( the co-op class will not end until mid August). I felt pretty comfortable with the material on the exam, but let us see what the final grade is.

Some of you may be trying to conjure up the connection between personal training and an Economics degree. Well there is not one, meaning this class is not a requirement.

While I was in the Army I became very interested in physical training scored perfect on a few of my Physical Fitness Tests (PFT's). Soon I was leading workout sessions and physically training those who were unable to pass the PFT.

In the civilian world, this interest continued, but you need to be a certified personal trainer for anyone to hire you.

Anyone need a personal trainer?

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

People Can Say The Stupidest Things...

On the website you can find the following story:

Gay, lesbian groups dismiss apology

Two gay and lesbian advocacy groups in Kentucky are dismissing an apology from state Sen. Richard "Dick" Roeding for referring last week to one of
the organizations as "a bunch of queers."

The Fairness Alliance and the Log Cabin Republicans both say that Roeding, R-Lakeside Park, has not directly issued an apology, instead opting to
have Senate President David Williams, R-Burkesville, speak for him.

"We do not accept this lukewarm, second-hand apology," said Fairness Alliance Executive Director Christina Gilgor. "Dick Roeding owes fair-minded
Kentuckians an authentic, direct and sincere apology."

Roeding came under fire last week for calling homosexuals the "wrong kind of people" after the University of Louisville Board of Trustees
voted 14-1 to allow non-married straight and gay partners of employees to participate in the school's health insurance plan. Trustees said the move would
make the school competitive with other universities in attracting and retaining top-notch faculty and staff.

In a later conversation with The Kentucky Post, Roeding referred to the Log Cabin Republicans as "a bunch of queers" after the gay and lesbian advocacy
group called for his resignation. Williams said Friday that he called the Northern Kentucky legislator and told him the use of the word "queers" was inappropriate. Williams reiterated that statement Tuesday.

"Upon reflection, Senator Roeding agreed and stated, 'The language used is inappropriate and if I offended anyone, I apologize,'" Williams said in his statement.
When asked Tuesday whether he had apologized to the Log Cabin Republicans, Roeding said, "I haven't met one."

Roeding said he had apologized to Williams but that he had not issued a formal apology himself .
"The second-hand apology to David Williams doesn't
count," Kentucky Log Cabin President Jimmy LaSalvia said. "Senator Roeding owes an apology to the people of Kentucky."

LaSalvia said he is less concerned about the name-calling than he is about the Senate Republican leadership's silence on Roeding's overall stance on
domestic partner benefits for same-sex couples.

"The important issue is: Is the Republican leadership going to allow Dick Roeding to speak for them when it comes to issues that affect gay and
lesbian Kentuckians,?" he said.

While Williams conceded the 2007 General Assembly might take up the issue, he said he considered it "bad public policy" and thought it would be strongly opposed by state lawmakers. Legislators could not adopt a bill that specifically targeted U of L, but could develop a policy dealing with all state schools. The conservative Family Foundation of Kentucky also has weighed in on
the controversy, calling on the Fairness Alliance to apologize for disparaging religious conservatives now that Roeding has issued his apology.

Eventhough I am proud to be born and raised in the Commonwealth of Kentucky, sometimes I forget how many insensative people there are who reside there. More interestingly is that just after the story, there was an online poll that asked the question if Sen. Roeding should have apologized for his dirogatory statments, and 34% answered no.