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.