Saturday, September 24, 2011

What I am Reading Now

I have to say that we here in Cincinnati have one of the best public library systems in the area (aside from my former employer Kenton County Public Library of course).

I have always had a problem reading a traditional book without falling asleep or something and because of this; I took up listening to books on tape of CD's ever since I left college. So imagine my surprise when I happened upon the new choices that our library system has to enjoy our favorite read.

I have heard so much about "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo" series that I had to dive in to this book head first. And I was even more excited when I had the option of either downloading the book to my Samsung Tablet OR using one of their new PlayAway devices.

The PlayAway device is essentially a portable book that you can plug your headphones into and listen away. The only thing that you have to do is to provide the ear buds and a AAA battery (it was my luck that there was already a battery in the device when I picked mine up last week).

I have to say that it's an awesome way to read a book! I am already on the fourth chapter of the 1st series and the plan is to have it completed this weekend...while getting all of my other errands done around the city.

Despite the fact that MidPoint Music Festival has been holding my top spot of "things to do" this weekend, I am kind of glad that it's a little crummy outside right now. Great time to curl up with a great book and take a long nap....that is before MidPoint starts up again tonight :)

Friday, September 16, 2011

Being A Triple Threat

Published on Associated Content on Feb 6, 2011 - Read article here

Generations have been generalized for the past few decades. There were the Baby-Boomers of the 1950's and the hippie generation of the 1970's; more recently, generation has been given a much simpler moniker, Gen-X and Gen-Y. Have we really gotten so lazy as Americans that we have to shorten the names in which we label things down to simply a letter? But I digress.

Harkin back to the olden days when the founding fathers of the United States of America were dutiful enough to bring into existence the Declaration of Independence, stating its emphatic separation from the evil English and their outlandish ways; declaring its vow to forge forward as a land where all citizens would be able to enjoy the fruits of their own labors, giving all who settle here in the United States the ability to live freely, enjoy liberty and pursue happiness without any equivocation. What if they were just as lazy as we are today, The Declaration of Independence would be nothing more than a few sentences saying "You are free to do as you want; just as long as you don't hurt no one else."

In some ways, brevity, for the sake of being quick is not always the best thing to have; which is why I am calling for the return of elongated titles. Being simply called Black is not cutting it anymore. The term African-American, though had taken awhile to become en-vouge, should stand for something again. Calling a gay person a fag or homo seems to be such a shortened term...don't insult members of the aforementioned by degrading their name. At least don't insult yourself by seeming dim-whitted or slow, if you really want to degrade them by showing how smart you are, you would call them "homosexuals" or better yet "a member of the GLBT community (for those who had to ride the short bus in grade school back in the 1970's and 1980's GLBT means Gay/Lesbian/Bi-Sexual/Transgendered).

Today I call for the term "triple threat" to have a brand new meaning. Our society has come to know a person with this term to be talented in acting, singing and dancing or a dynamo in three different sports. Not this inference. I call for the term to be used to describe, African American homosexual youth.

For many different reason's American youth have been ostracized and sometimes misunderstood or generations, mostly for their in-experience and dimwittedness, but also for their fervor. A recent example could be found in the way in which American youth rejected the lifestyles of their parents during the 1960's and 1970's.

Another term that should be elongated is the term Black to describe African American. African Americans have gone through a litany of horrifying trails through out American history. And we have gone through too much to be relegated to just a one word description. Not to discriminate, gays and lesbians need not to be left out of the mix either. Why should they just be called gay. Homosexual men should be called gay and their female counterpart are respectively deemed as lesbians.

Gay and lesbian issues, which have held an underlying presence in American culture for decades, have been recently pushed to the forefront due to debate on legislation pertaining to giving same sex couples the right to be married in the eyes of the Federal Government and about gay and lesbian soldiers being able to serve openly in the US Armed Forces. Though this segment of the population is less discernable than the previous two, their rights or no less important.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Never Too Far Away...

I know that I have said this in the past, but it has been soooooo long since I have written on this thing. I am surprised that most of you have not been checking the obits to check to see if a handsome Black gay guy was found lying in the gutters of Over-the-Rhine. No that was not me, but over the past I have been hard at work and you will see a resurgence of the Cincinnati NAMjA in the months to come.

One of the things which has been taking most of my time is re revamping of my personal consulting business, BookMark Online. Not only have I redesigned the website, but I managed to know out the first quarterly email newsletter. You gotta love MailChimp!

Due to all this hard work, both at my daytime job and my moon-lighting gig, I will be taking a little siesta in about a week or two. Not sure where I am going or how I will get there, but I will be taking 7 days to catch up on my writing. More on that to come. And I suspect there will be a few good blog posts to come out of that little adventure.

In running with the fashion of living downtown, I have usurped driving my car to work and opted to taking public transportation. Not only does it give me more time in the morning to catch up on my ZZZZ’s as I ride in to work, but at times it becomes my mobile office….and everyone loves to have a mobile office don’t they?

Not only have my transportation habits changed, but a 24hr gym has opend a few blocks away…my dreams have come true! No more driving 5 miles to the gym out in the suburbs or trying to beat the be-withching hour of the YMCA.

Needless to say the world of Downtown Cincinnati is changing and I plan to be a larger part of that change!

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Back In Da Habit Again

Over the past few months I have definitly been lacking on my posts.

Mostly because I threw myself into a number of projects.

In the past week, there have been some starteling life changes that have forced me to reorganize my priorities and focus on personal and professional projects which have been on my Bucket List for quite some years now.

One of them being documenting the life of a Dowtown Cincinnati dweller in the midts of a complete urban make over.

The good news for those who follow this blog is that you will again get an insight of what is happening in Downtown Cincinnati that you would not otherwise read about from other traditional media.

Yeah there are other blogs that give their perspective on the change, but I feel that my take on things will come from a more organic place and show the real possiblities of the area both from a resident, a lover of urban design and as a gay African American man.

If there are questions that you want answerwed about area, feel free to drop you a line and I will do my best to give an unbiased answer.

Otherwise, I will continue to enjoy my cup of coffee from Coffee Emporium while reading the New York Times.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Taking Some Time For Me

Has it really been this long since I have blogged?

I guess that’s not a bad thing. Over the past several months, I had thrown myself into community initiatives and am now taking a little time for myself.

If you are one of the diligent readers of the sparsely commented-on blog, you know that I have a few different on-going life projects that I have been plugging away at over the past few years. After making my 2011 New Year Resolution, I vowed to finally take most of them off of my plate, and so far had done a pretty good job.

Now I am ready to make the final push to get it all completed, and the “it” that I am spaking of is finally completely at least one of the novels which I have been writing for the past 10 years. I was thinking about taking some time from work and taking some sort of self inflicted writing sabaticle, combining it with a mini-vacation; some place that I have been dying to go, but never seem to quite have to time do get away and do so.

Here are my top few choices:

Montreal, Canada - I have been to the gay Mecca once before and fell in love with its European appeal. Not only was I able to speak French without crossing any major ocean, but I was also able to use my Korean on a regular basis….who knew? There are a few beds & breakfasts there that would be perfect to stay, while completing my novel, and without breaking the bank. Toronto may be another place to look in to as well.

Barcelona, Spain – Never been, but I have a good friend that lives in this city and visits here in Cincinnati a few times a year. Most recently, he was here visiting family during the week of St. Patrick’s Day and emphatically kept taunting me with a free place to stay if I were able to flip the bill to make it across the Ocean. Bad thing is, I do not speak Spanish and never really enjoyed visiting a county which I was not fluent in the language. Spain still tops my list though.

The Netherlands - Similar circumstances as Spain, but I am sure that it would be a lot cheaper once I got there. In this county, I have two different set of friends who live in cities about 20mins from one another (by train…so cool) I would have inexpensive places to stay in two different great European cities.

Of course there are great hideaways here in the States, and even more here in Ohio, but even though Cincinnati is my love, the city is disappointing me right now. I may get over it once I take a little hiatus, but the sore spot that is sticking in my side is the amount of opposition to the city’s street car. I am sick and tired of living in such a conservative city, where even proven economic stimuli is considered too radical….but I digress…this post is about where I will be taking my next sabbatical.

I am sure that there will be more places meander on and off of the list as I do my research, but I would love to hear your thoughts about the cities that I have named so far.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Quote O'The Week

"I've always enjoyed going back to Cincinnati. When it's one of the places youv'e played, as a coach you say, 'I hope I can go back.' I was elated. It'a a good feeling to coach where you've played." - Billy Thatcher (Cincinnati Reds)

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Take Back Your Mink

I have to take back what I said a few posts ago about my little brother.

I wrote that I was so proud of him staying in school and playing basketing ball for a privet college in Ohio.

As you know, I have my own business where I create resumes and cover letters for those who are otherwise challenged at doing so.

Just last week I get a text from him asking if I could create a resume for him. The first thing I think is great...he is being proactive in looking for a part-time job during the off season of basketball.

In the next text he dropped the bomb on me that he is no longer in school and is now back home.

He claims that his father (we have different dad's by the way) stopped paying for tuition.

To me there seems to be more to the story...I will let you know more soon!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Gay Travel in Columbus, Ohio...Where to Eat, Stay and Party

For gay men, travel in the United Stated for gay men could be a bit daunting. Ever since the horrific events that took place at Stonewall in the mid seventies gay and lesbian issues have been brought to the forefront of the American consciousness.

Even today, gay marriage and other rights of gays and lesbians are being challenged in major political races across the country. Since Stonewall, gays and lesbians have made it a point to nurture and create communities that caters to their needs and wants. Most major cities have gone so far as to establish gay communities to help flounder this, Montreal being one of those cities which has created the largest gay district in North America.

The mid western cities littered though out the United States are starting to follow suit. Columbus, Ohio has a flourishing gay area and here are some places that gays and lesbians traveling to Columbus must see during their stay.

Read the entire article here.

I would love to hear from my readers if anything has changed...

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Review of Another Gay Movie

Another Gay Movie, directed by Todd Stephens (and also the one who wrote the screenplay) and starring Michael Carbonaro, follows the line of Scary Movie films by spoofing, American Pie. This time, as the title leads you to beleive, it takes on a decidedly homosexual theme and does so by incorporating scences from other gay-themed films.

Read the rest of the article here.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Its A New Year.....So Time For A new Car?

Fat chance...

With my credit score, the only car that I would be eligible to finance could be carting around a family with the last name of Grizzwald.

I know....bad joke, but I digress.

If you are in the market for a new car, the beginning of the new year is the best time for car buyers. Car dealers are chomping at the bit to get rid of their last year inventory to make way for the shiny, brand new boxes on wheels.

I wrote an article about how not to be taken for a ride by a car dealer when you set your sights for a new ride.

Let me know what you think, and if you happen to use my advise, let me know how you fared.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Never Another Brother 2 Luv

There really is something to say about he placement of your order when it comes to you and your siblings.

I see it exemplified more and more as I get older and I see my younger siblings grow up and become their own person, attempting to navigate the world.

I am the oldest of four boys and from what I can see so far, have definitely had more experience as far as seeing the world and growing up faster than the rest.

That's not to knock the accomplishments of my younger bro's.

The fourth and the last of my clan has exemplified the notion that the youngest gets to reap all of the benefits. He currently in his second year of college playing basketball for a private mid-western school and is the only one of us four who has made it two years in college....straight that is.

The other two have had their ups and downs...and since there is an even number of use, the two middle brothers have shared the auspice of being deemed "the middle child" and each one seem to personify the polar opposites of the definition.

Needless to say, I still love them...all their hard-handedness and and would never trade them for any other brother in the world...

Sunday, January 09, 2011

New Year's Resolutions - Revisited

It’s a new year and yet again we are all revisiting our life goals and re-evaluating the order of the bucket list that we have spent years comprising…inevitably having the list become just that; a list that is long forgotten until the next time that the ball drops in New York’s Time Square.

This year I fought the urge to create yet another set of promises that I will fail to make come to fruition. But then I thought, why should I for-go the time honored tradition of making promises to myself. Not only does it urge you to take an inventory of what you have done with your life and will help you put your life’s goals into prospective.

So I dug out the past several years of New Year resolutions and found that there was an outstanding theme that jumped out at me…and that was to finish a novel that I have been working on for the past several years. So I guess that will be my resolution for this year.

It’s not like I don’t have the problem of beginning from scratch. There are three particular works which I have been toiling over and are very close to completion, so this year’s resolution should not be that difficult to turn in to reality.

10 to 1 (working title)

With a newly unfurled college diploma framed and hanging above the mantle of a small apartment, mystery novel follows Jacob Thompson as he is about to begin his adult life in a major way. In trying to come to out as a gay man to his ultra-conservative, relatives during the midst of a family tragedy, Jacob uncovers a murder plot that has been over twenty years in the planning, and must save the last victim before it is too late.

Triple Threat-Misconceptions of being Young, Black and Gay in America

My first attempt in the realm of non-fiction, where I take on the trials and tribulations of being young, gay and Black in America.

1865 (working title)

Taking a page from history, this novel, originally planned to be a short –story, but has morphed in to a full fledged novel, follows that story of a white, small business owner in the late 1800’s in Northern Kentucky who falls in love with a Black traveling worker.

20+ cool points goes to the one who can predict which one gets completed and published first.

Saturday, January 08, 2011

Men's Fitness Fashion

For years, men with steroid filled veins and paper-thin muscled tee shirts have ruled the gym. Their oversized arms and elephantine legs made many of us men scared to show our face (or should I say our chicken legs and our bird chest) in the gym, in fear of looking foolish in the wake of most of these behemoths.

It has changed greatly from when we were kids and our father’s idea of getting a good workout was mowing the lawn or performing other types of housework. The days of men’s spaghetti tank-tops and using pushing the lawnmower in replacement of a dumbbell is long passed us. In greater and greater numbers, men are taking much more responsibilities for their looks and physical fitness.
Read the rest of the article here.