Sunday, May 28, 2006

Runner's Log #2

Last week I made a mental commitment to run the Racing To Read 5K run sponsored by the Kenton County Public Library. Even though the commitment was there, a running plan was not.

Thursday I did some research on training for a 5K and found some good advice and training runs that I felt comfortable with.

Thursday, was an easy training day so I walked on the treadmill for one hour and went 2.88 miles.

Saturday was a hard day, so on the treadmill I ran 30 min and went 2.82 miles.

I dont seem to ge getting any faster.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Class of 2006, Congrats!

Just after the bought of major storms that passed through the area on Thursday and early Friday afternoon, it was refreshing to leave work Friday afternoon to be greeted warmly by the shining sun.

After a quick stop back at my apartment, I headed to my al ma mater to watch my younger brother receive his high school diploma. As I drove up the parking lot was packed but eerily silent. I walked past the football team’s practice field and as I entered the stadium, the memories of not being able to find the Field House and awkward walks down the school hallways flooded my mind.

I looked down the stands to see the stage set up on the 50 yard line smack dab in the middle of the un-manicured football field. I can remember standing on that same sideline 11 years ago on a cold Friday night watching my fellow team mates trying to cover Shaun Alexander (yea, I did play football against him in high school) and me yearning to be told by Coach Turner to go in as cornerback and thinking how much time I was wasting coming to football practice everyday after school and never getting in on Friday night.

Twenty minutes of nostalgia was about all that I could handle. Which was good, because just as I was about to wonder when the show was going to get on the road, when the band fired up and the faculty started enter the field? 30 minutes, 2 boring speeches, and a rousing account of childhood memories by the class' valedictorian I see my brother walk across the stage.


Congratulations Wale!

Coincidentally, one of the boys that Wale used to hang out with when he was younger has a sister, Ashley Beasley, whom is the valedictorian at Covington Latin High School's class of 2006. Covington Latin is a private, college preparatory high school administrated by the Diocese of Covington and located in the inner city Covington, KY. It is unique because the average age of an in coming freshman at Latin school is 12yrs old. Latin School’s close proximity to downtown and its excellence in education has led many suburban parents to send their children here to include George Clooney and Dave Justice.

When I attended Latin School during the 1991 academic year, it was all male and I was the only African American student. It great to see that this year, Latin School's valedictorian is female AND African American.

It’s amazing how things change in 15 years.

Proud To Be An American

Memorial Day is a United States federal holiday that is observed on the last Monday of May. It was formerly known as Decoration Day. This holiday commemorates U.S. men and women who died in military service for their country. It began first to honor Union soldiers who died during the American Civil War. After World War I, it expanded to include those who died in any war or military action; now, the day appears to have expanded to include any person who was ever a service member who has since died, and observances of the day appear to be dominated by still-living veterans. One of the longest standing holiday traditions is the running of the Indianapolis 500, which has been held in conjunction with Memorial Day since 1911. Now, many Americans use the date as merely marking the unofficial start of the summer vacationing season, and many government parks and beaches start their summer schedule on the Friday before.

I already have my swimsuit and towel ready to hit the pool on Monday. Courtesy of the Cincinnati Enquirer, here is a list of Memorial Day events around town.

Put Your Money Where Your Heart Is

In the ever striating competition between big business competitors, many larger firms are looking for the next “un-tapped” market to sink their teeth into. One of those markets is the over criticized and under estimated gay and lesbian market.

One morning, David Morganlander heard an ad aimed at gay man looking for a date and decided the time was right for national advertisers to target gays and lesbians on a larger scale than they ever had before. Six months later, Mr. Morganlander was president of marketing firOtopiaia Media, which helps companies and their advertising agencies reach gays and lesbians. His firm joins a growing roster of companies serving an increasingly large group of advertisers keen to reach gay audiences.

The reason for advertisers' interest is the annual buying power of the approximately 15 million-strong gay and lesbian population that adds up to $485 billion, according to marketing firm Witeck-Combs Communications.

In a suburb of Chicago, Ill., Oak Park real estate agent Donna Karpavicius decided to specialize in marketing to gays and lesbians.

"I had virtually no competition," the Prudential agent recalls of her early career on the city's Northwest Side. "Unfortunately--for me, anyway--there's a lot more now."

Although other gay-related issues have made "breakthrough" headlines, the real estate business quietly has turned the once-taboo practice of marketing to gay consumers into a coveted specialty.

Certainly, real estate isn't alone in trying to latch onto the gay bandwagon as it rushes by with its mother load of marketing potential. Companies such as Ford Motor Co., United Airlines and Starbucks Corp are a few examples of businesses that have had same-sex-couple ad campaigns aimed at gays.

Another firm, Cincinnati, OH based Procter & Gamble, is on the forefront of this new wave of marketing. P&G is a cautious advertiser. And as one of the country's largest, it has a lot of clout. So when it does something drastic with its advertising dollars, other companies pay attention. So its decision to pull its advertising on nationally syndicated radio talk show host Dr. Laura Schlessinger's TV show after protests over remarks that offended gays and lesbians was an eye opener on many fronts. It was not only a significant acknowledgement of the economic power and voice of the nation's gay community, but also of the decisions that television executives must now consider when delivering programs in a more competitive TV world.

Because of P&GÂ’s alliance with gays and lesbians, many conservative groups have called for a boycott of the companyÂ’s products. There were reports that two influential conservative Christian groups were calling for a boycott of two best-selling products of P&G to protest a statement on the company's internal web site that opposes a local statute to exempt gays and lesbians from special civil rights protection. The group's contention was that the company is implicitly supporting same-sex marriage.

My study of economics has taught me to be weary of the proceedings of large corporations such as P&G. Most big business has continuously hurt the American people by outsourcing jobs to foreign lands and have a history of exploiting foreign labor. But I do have to put me stamp of approval of the non-lethargic way that P&G has repeatedly stood its ground on issues concerning the gay and lesbian community.

Buy P&G and buy big. (Although they could cut the price a bit of their razors)

Commercial Closet

Historical study of Advertisements

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Bush and Snow: A Pair For The Ages

Two members of the GOP have personally disrupted my normal thought process yesterday.

George Bush, leader of the free world and President of the United States visited Northern Kentucky University yesterday. NKU is a somewhat small campus with only four ways into or off of the campus. Needless to say, the campus was shut down due to the Pres' visit. The employees were allowed to leave work at 11:30am Friday morning, as not not get trapped in the chaos.

No one had to tell me twice. I left at 12pm.

Then I find out that Tony Snow, a native of Cincinnati (or atleast he graduated from Princeton High School) used the term "tar baby"!

How can a person make it to be Press Secretary for the White House and not realize that using that term, either directed towards someone or not, would cause uneasiness among a segment of the US population that is already under a great amount of stress caused by this country's leadership (or should I say, lack there of)?

What a day.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Runner's Log #1

In that past few years, I have flirted with the idea of becoming a better runner. Last year I ran two 5K races, The Mini Heart Marathon and the Reggea Run. Both were fun and both challenged my running ability.

Today, I remembered that a former employer has sponsored a 5K Run for the past couple of years so I visited their website to see if they were going to continue in the tradition. Sure enough, they are. Kenton County Public Library will be hosting their 3rd Annual "Racing 2 Read 5K Run/Walk" on June 10 at 9am.

No longer an employee of KCPL, but they have been an employer of mine for a good part of my working career. I starting working for KCPL the summer I graduated from highschool in 1995 until I entered the military December of 1997. Upon my release from the Army early 2001, and was rehired at KCPL as Reference Desk Librarian assistant. Over the next three and half years, I moved up the ranks to the Computer Learning Center Program Director and then to the Supervisor of the entire circulation Department. In October of 2004, I left KCPL to pursue other avenues.

This June will mark the third 5K hosted by the Library. At the first one, I was in charge of the Kids Fun Run which was a block long race just for kids.

How fun...

I had planned to run the 5K the second year, but a mishap and a night watching Monique at Newport On The Levee prevented me from participating.

Suprisingly the time that I have completed the last two 5K's in the same time, 33:25 mins, kinda scary, I know

Today, I ran for 30 min and traveled 2.85 miles. It looks like I have got some work to do. I want to shave at least 5 min off the 5K in June.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Business As Usual

Monday night's softball game ended in the usual way. We lost. We were pitted against the Broadway Monkeys and the game ended with us getting very few runs. A few of us got some good hits but most of them were caught on the fly. It was fun to look up though. Though we are 1-3, the enjoyment that ensued makes up for the loss. God luvs them hecklers!

Monday, May 15, 2006

A Dreamgirls Revival

Reading Keith Boykin's website, I was reminded that Dreamgirls, the movie, is soon to be released in the States. On Keith's website, it mentioned that a 20 minute clip is scheduled to be previews at this year's Cannes Film Festival this Friday.

I have always been a fan of the song, "And I'm Telling You", as performed by Jennifer Holiday, when Dreamgirls was a Broadway musical. Should I dare say that it is one of the top 5 in the list of my all time favorite songs.

Even with hearing Jennifer Holiday's rendition of this musical piece hundreds of times and knowing every lyric, I have never witnessed the entire musical and barley know the premise. So I did a little research and this is what I found.

Dreamgirls tells of the meteoric rise of a Supremes-like fictional girl group
"The Dreams" from a talent competition at New York's Apollo Theatre in the
early 1960's to international fame and fortune in the early 70's -- and all of
the personal ups and downs along the way. Nominated for a record 13 Tony awards,
glamorousourous Motown-esque feast for the eyes and ears is part pop concert,
part Las Vegas showroom, part Broadway musical, and part rock opera. A truly
spectacular celebration of show business!

The following is a clip of Ms. Holiday's perfomance of the song at the 1982 Tony Awards. If you look closely, you will find a young Sheryl Lee Ralph and Loretta DeVine as the other two members of the "Dreams"!

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Sundays On Main

Second Sundays On Main is back!

Here is the promotional blurb from the Over-the-Rhine Chamber

Second Sundays on Main
The Over-the-Rhine Chamber is pleased to announce the
return of Second Sundays on Main for the 2006 Summer. Second Sundays on Main is an open-air sidewalk marketplace on Main Street between 12th and Liberty Streets in Over-the-Rhine. It is an urban treasure hunt of food, fun and shopping. Second Sunday will start Sunday, May 14, and continue on the second Sunday of each month through October. For more information, check out

Some of the others attractions that were scheduled for Second Sundays included a presentation by Jean Robert de Cavel from Pigall's (Cincinnati's only 4 Star restaurant) on the Evolution of French Cooking, and a free concert by The Modulators. Wine tasting and terrot/palm readings rounded out the list of other scheduled attractions.

While I enjoyed a much needed brunch at Kaldi's (which was rewardingly busy due to today's events), while waiting for Second Sunday to jump start, I was visited at by several friends and acquaintances, some I have not seen in a few weeks and others I have not seen in a few months. It was a great to see so many familiar faces and to catch up. This is one perk of having an ongoing event just around the corner from your house.

After brunch, I headed to Second Sundays to find Brian Tiffany, president of the OTR Chamber perched outside of OTR Chamber's offices, handing roses to woman in celebration of Mother's Day. Also, Julie Fay, owner of Urban Eden was caught creating banter with some fellow downtown Cincinnati dwellers.

Just as I was leaving Second Sunday, in hopes to hit up St. Mary's Baptist Church's bake sale and make it to an appointment later this afternoon, I caught a glimpse of The Modulator's as they were setting up to perform.

Great things are happening... can you feel the change?

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Book Review:Freedom In This Village...(B+)

I bought this book, Freedom In This Village (E. Lynn Harris 2005), last summer, but just recently picked it up to read it after seeing that it made it on the LAMBDA list. After several months, I have finally made it though all 462 pages. This collection of short stories, poems, novel excerpts and editorials span the years of 1979 to present, conveying the thoughts, struggles, and current advancement of Black gay men through fictional prose and non-fiction rhetoric.

Being a fan of both, I felt that most of the editorials in this compilation were long-winded and filled with blame without any true plan of advancement or concise empowering thought.

There are always exceptions.

From Beyond the Down Low: Sex And Denial In Black America (Keith Boykin 2004) scrutinized the anatomy of the newly sensationalized (although old in concept) term of "DL" or "on the down low". It gave great insight to a segment of the gay population that is hard to quantify due to the fact that the subjects in question are difficult to identify.

The fictional prose in this collection were outstanding, careful to depict varying aspects of Black gay society. From Just Above My Head (James Baldwin 1979) speaks of life as a gay male on the streets of Harlem and after the normal introduction of characters, the reader is immediately transported to a realm of consciences enamored with subtle sexuality and lined with lust. Leaving the reader yearning for more. This is relieved with a number of short stories to follow, including Foundations Of The Earth (Randel Keenan 1992) where there is not a Black gay male present in the entire short story, but does a thorough job in touching the mind's eye by lending understanding to those who do not comprehend the attraction that some Black men have towards white men.

The absence of science fiction, though saddening, represents the lack of interest of Black writers, gay or otherwise, wanting to dive into a world not able to be correlated with their own reality. From Walt Loves The Bearcat (Randy Boyd 2004) was the sole science fiction piece included in this compilation. Though noble in gesture, was a feeble attempt in practice.

Works by E. Lynn Harris bookends this collection with a non-fiction editorial that opens the collection and closes with a middle aged gay man's fictional account of his delima when trying to navigate through the digital age of "hook-ups".

An eye-opener and a true diamond in the rough, Freedom... could have added to it's uniqueness by for going a number of non-fiction works to make way for Black, gay writers who write about subjects other than homosexuality.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006


I thought my my Grandmother told the funniest stories...

I have always been a fan of those who could spin a good story. I remember listening to my Grandmother regail about her younger days and eavesdropping on the "grown folks" at family gatherings talking about the teenage romps of my four uncles.

I recently interviewed a few Metro bus drivers for InTank's Bus Project which will culminate in a theatrical production to be showcased at Cincinnati's Fringe Festival. You can read here about another's experience interveiwing the drivers.

Talk about hitting the jackpot.

Having worked with the public for quite a few years, I was expecting some good stories about the different types of people that you are in close proximity with on a daily basis, but I never would of guessed to get such fascinating stories as the ones that I pulled out of three bus drivers.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Sports Brief

The start of the summer RiverCity Softball League began last night (ok it really started last week but I missed that memo). I have joined Team Adonis, formally Shabby Chic. Last year I played on Shabby Chic's team but was only able to play a few games in the season due to school. Eventhough we lost every game last season, it was still fun to hang out and play.

The newly formed, Team Adonis has a number of former Shabby team members with a few new-comers. The new additions are great! We played a double header last night. The first game we lost, but we won the second game.
We won???

Sunday, May 07, 2006

I Wish A N!@#$% Would...

If you are a fan of Cedric "The Entertainer"'s performance in the onstage comedy show/movie called "The Kings of Comedy" you know exactly what is trying to be conveyed by the title of this post.

For those of you who are reading these words with furled eyebrows and a lost look on your face... rent the movie!

Today, a woman was evicted from her home by the City of Cincinnati under the guise of eminent domain. Due to necessity for the greater good, I definitely see the benefits of having the government declare eminent domain. Larger expressways, new sewer lines, you know, things that make our lives run smoothly. The bad thing is, money also makes our lives run smoothly. Or maybe just the lives of those who work in city government.

The neighborhood of Hyde Park knows all about eminent domain. Several homes were seized in order to make way for Rookwood Exchange, a complex of offices, retail, condos and restaurants, can be constructed. Also, adjacent to the University of Cincinnati's college campus, some of the best bars and restaurants were demolished so that a non profit developer could build a couple of pretty looking buildings

The city has done it again. They just kicked an 80 yr old woman out of here own home. From what I can see, its to straighten Dyxmith Ave. so that Good Samaritan Hospital can have better emergency vehicle access. I would who made out on that deal, Good Sam's or the city.

Of course, I could be wrong and I probably am, but it just makes you think.

I wish a N!#$%^ would try and take my house...

Oh wait, I don't own a home...but you get the point.
And now a little old lady

I thought I would add a clip from The Kings of Comedy. I have to warn you, this is an R rated clip.


Saturday, May 06, 2006

Send In The Clowns

Weekends like these are the ones that make me glad that I chose to live downtown. I decided that instead of isolating myself in my dungeon-like basement apartment, I would take a trot to Kaldi's and have a light lunch while I work on an array of items that I have multiplying in my head. At around 11 am, I walk outside of my apartment to head to Kaldi's and am blown away by how clear and blue the sky has become in the hour or so since I had walked in the door from sleeping over a friend's house (a la Cinco de Mayo celebrations).

Because I had to run a few errands before I plopped myself infront of my laptop for a few hours, I hop into my car. Sunglasses dawned and windows down, I am again amazed of the beautiful weather and think of how great all of the outdoor weekend events will be. I took a spin near the Civic Garden Center's Annual Herb and Hostas Sale. It looked like it was hoppin and I heard that they had a great showing at the sale's preview party last evening.

As I sit and write to you guys, I am recalling three things that caught my eye while reading some of the blogs that I follow.

Number 3 :How many jiggers does Jigga have?

Having very similar mannerisms as my younger brother, Jay-Z is one rap artists that continues to hold my attention. If he is not designing his own line of designer watches for Audemars Piguet he his keeping company with 1/3 of one of the most popular female R&B groups that have come along in decades. I recently ran across a picture of Jay-Z a.k.a. "Jigga" playing chin music for none other than Bill Gates, founder and C.E.O. of Microsoft. I wonder what they were rappin' about?

Number 2: E. Lynn Harris takes it to the Church

One of the most provocative popular fiction writers of the day has released his newest novel. E. Lynn Harris has prided himself on writing about the gay, Black, male experience. One could only imagine how hard it is to truthfully convey this particular demographic of people whom have that been misunderstood, shunned and chastised by America and the Black community for so long. His new book is called I Say A Little Prayer, and this time he's taking on the black church. If you thought last year's "outing campaign" was provocative, you ain't seen nothing yet. This book has the potential to be even more explosive. I will definitely place this page turner on my "to read" list. I am currently the process of completing, Freedom In This Village, which is a compilation of Black Gay male writings from the past few decades. Coincidentally, this collection of writings was edited by Sir. Harris.

Number 1: Aint That A Kick In The...

I just thought that sometimes, we all need a little bit of cuteness to enter our lives.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Happy Cinco de Mayo!

Cinco de Mayo is a date of great importance for the Mexican and Chicano communities. It marks the victory of the Mexican Army over the French at the Battle of Puebla. Althought the Mexican army was eventually defeated, the "Batalla de Puebla" came to represent a symbol of Mexican unity and patriotism. With this victory, Mexico demonstrated to the world that Mexico and all of Latin America were willing to defend themselves of any foreign intervention. Especially those from imperialist states bent on world conquest.

It's strange that this celebration of national pride has escalated into a druken feast to be riviled with other drinking holidays such as St. Patrick's Day. Of course, Cincinnati does not stray too far from the tree of druken parties, referring to the Cinco de Mayo on Stratford St. back in 2003.

Eventhough I should be out partying until the early morning, not because of Cinco de Mayo, but becuase I have completed all of my final exams for the semester, I had already made plans to grill out at a friends house.

Click here if you have an itch to get out of the house tonight!

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

So far this week has not been too exciting, which is why I have not been blogging. There are a few upcoming events that I am looking forward to attending.

This Friday, the Civic Garden Center's Annual Herb and Hosta Sale will start and go on until Sunday and Krohn's Butterfly Garden Show opens this weekend too.

Wait a minute.

I totally forgot about Cinco de Mayo!

I think I am going to turn it into Martini de Mayo....