Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Years Everybody!

¡Hola! Everybody...
Well, this is it -- the last blog of the year. Last year, I resolved to post at least one blog a day. I did it... LOL! It’s been an “interesting year -- historical, even.

I know many of you are resolving to make changes and sometimes I wonder about that...

I’m not sure about what I’ll do tonight. I like going to Times Square -- and no you fuckin hicks don’t know jack shit about New York, so stop it with the “Omigosh!” statements. Or, I might meet up with some friends and go out to some nightclub. It’s going to be really cold tonight and that makes me think twice about going anywhere. LOL!

Here’s hoping that whatever you do, you do it joyously. Felicidades

* * *

-=[ The Perfection of Guilt ]=-

I quit high school and was hanging out, being a table pimp and shit, until my mother put a damper on all that one cold February morning. She came into my room and requested I wake up. When I didn’t listen, she came back and poured icy cold water all over me.

“Here’s carfare money, get out of my house, and don’t come back until after 5pm, like people who work do,” she informed me.

For the first couple of days, I hung out at friends’ homes until their mothers (who were just as sick of their lazy table pimp sons) let me know I couldn’t be hanging out in their homes doing nothing.

It was winter and it was cold, so it was hard to find a place to hang out. I really thought my mother was being an unreasonable bitch at the time.

Well, I came home one early day, and she gave me two options: I would either finish school and enroll in college, in which case, she’d be willing to sell her ass if need be to support me (my mother has a colorful way with language), or I went to work with my stepfather as a construction laborer. Just to show you where my head was at the time, I chose the latter.

My stepfather did not want me working with his crew. He fought, yelled, and stomped, but in the end, he had to take me to work. I knew jack shit about physical labor -- he even had to tell me to take my hands out of my pockets at the construction site. LOL!

At first, my stepfather would find menial things for me to do just so I would be out of the way. I hated the work. It was hard and it was fuckin cold outside! My stepfather was a patient man, and he took me to the side one day and told me that he was going to teach me some skills that I will always have some use for later in life.

He wasn’t lying.

I learned how to put up sheetrock and then how to lay tiles. I was smart, so my stepfather’s confidence in me grew. One day, he left me alone to do a bathroom from scratch. Now, laying tile is not as simple as it looks. But if you follow the basic rules, you can get the knack of it pretty quick. I mean, set your level, draw the line, add the gook, and start tiling, right? Well, the thing here was that at the time I loved smoking weed. Smoking weed and doing anything that takes some measure of precision is not a good thing -- not very smart. But that’s what I did and when I tiled my first bathroom, I got the leveling wrong and the tiles didn’t match when I made my way around the bathroom -- it was off by a lot, like an inch or so.

My stepfather was pissed off, but he was a patient man, and we were able to fix it up a little. The next day, he looked at me and asked if I could do the deed, and I did. This time the level was fine. The tiles looked quite good in fact, except for two tiles that were at wrong angles. Those two tiles were pissing me off and I thought I had done a miserable job. My stepfather came to inspect my work, and said it was a good job. I looked at him and asked if he was high. I showed him the two errant tiles and he turned to me and said something that I never forgot, “I see the two bad tiles, but I see the other 99% percent of the tiles that are well done.”

In this way, my stepfather taught me good craftsmanship, but he taught me a more valuable lesson. The lesson being that perhaps striving for success is better than going for perfection.

Perfection and guilt go hand in hand. When I looked at the wall, all I saw were the two bad tiles. My inner critic immediately went to work and it filtered my perception of reality. My stepfather taught to build on my successes rather than to focus on my failures. Eventually, I developed into a good tile-setter and I learned other basic carpentry skills that have stayed with me all these years. Skills that helped me get a job wherever I went.

In my work as a healer, I see this perfection/ guilt trap all the time. People end relationships because all they can see in their partner are the “two bad tiles.” Many become depressed because all we can see in ourselves are “two bad tiles.” The reality is that there is more that is good about us than we care to admit, we just can’t see those qualities. We focus too much on our mistakes. The mistakes are all we see, they’re all we think are there and so we go into an internal war to destroy all that. And sometimes, unfortunately, we destroy a good piece of work.

I hope that whatever you “resolve” to do this coming year that you focus on what’s good rather than the negative. I hope you drop the internal war and the guilt trips. Those are all traps -- prisons that keep you locked up. I actually hope that you develop a mission rather than a resolution. A mission is about being about something, standing up for something. As the saying goes, if you don’t stand for anything, you’ll fall for anything.



Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Song of the Caged Bird

¡Hola! Everybody... So, I was running around yesterday doing some errands and when I get back home, I hear that Jazz great, Freddie Hubbard passed away. I was saddened because when I was a young man seriously considering a career in music, Hubbard was one of my favorite trumpeters. He and Lee Morgan were the archetypical cocksure horn players -- horn players who played with a balls-out-testosterone-saturated verve. I loved that type of playing and tried to emulate that approach on my own horn.

Among musicians, trumpet players are considered kinda weird. You had to have a certain type of personality to make it as a jazz trumpet player and there are countless stories regarding the legendary exploits of trumpet players.

Hubbard combined a big sound with an almost scary technical expertise that was a pleasure to listen while Morgan had more gut to his playing -- an intuitive sense of what to do next -- but could also rip off a series of runs that were dazzling.

Morgan died in the early 70s -- shot by a spurned lover while playing onstage. Hubbard passed away yesterday.

RIP Freddie...

In keeping with the art motif, today I’ll feature a poet that not too many people may know about. Many people know Maya Angelou’s memoir I know Why the Caged Bird Sings, but not as many know of the poet who inspired the title, Paul Laurence Dunbar, the first African-American to gain national prominence as a poet. He died much too young, at 33, but his work is as fascinating as it is beautiful. Two side notes: he fought throughout his career to publish in Standard English, while publishers would only accept poems he wrote in Black dialect. The thing is, he was brilliant in both. Also, his wife, Dorothy, an accomplished poet herself, wrote complementary poems (I think this documentation of their love was collected into a volume called Oak and Ivy -- not sure).

With that, I leave you with...

* * *

-=[ Sympathy ]=-

I know what the caged bird feels, alas!
When the sun is bright on the upland slopes;
When the wind stirs soft through the springing grass,
And the river flows like a stream of glass;
When the first bird sings and the first bud opes,
And the faint perfume from its chalice steals —
I know what the caged bird feels!

I know why the caged bird beats his wing
Till its blood is red on the cruel bars;
For he must fly back to his perch and cling
When he fain would be on the bough a-swing;
And a pain still throbs in the old, old scars
And they pulse again with a keener sting —
I know why he beats his wing!

I know why the caged bird sings, ah me,
When his wing is bruised and his bosom sore,—
When he beats his bars and he would be free;
It is not a carol of joy or glee,
But a prayer that he sends from his heart's deep core,
But a plea, that upward to Heaven he flings —
I know why the caged bird sings!

-- Paul Laurence Dunbar (1872-1906)

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Sunday Sermon [Loneliness vs. Solitude]

Hola! Everybody...
I had something entirely different planned for today, but reading a friend I was inspired to repost the following instead...

* * *

Today's blog photo is courtesy of Mario Tomic (click here)

-=[ Loneliness ]=-

Being apart and lonely is like rain.
It climbs toward evening from the ocean plains;
from flat places, rolling and remote, it climbs
to heaven, which is its old abode.
And only when leaving heaven drops upon the city.

It rains down on us in those twittering
hours when the streets turn their faces to the dawn,
and when two bodies who have found nothing,
disappointed and depressed, roll over;
and when two people who despise each other
have to sleep together in one bed-

that is when loneliness receives the rivers...
-- Rainer Maria Rilke

I haven’t been “lonely” in a very long time.

Like many others, however, I have felt the cold sting of loneliness throughout my life. To feel alone and isolated – even in the midst of life itself – can be one of the most painful experiences. If we live our lives asleep, habitually running from pain and clinging to pleasure, loneliness is the cruelest punishment. For as human beings, we die without connection.

In a very real way, we can die from loneliness.

However, when I look back to the times when I felt loneliness, I realize now that it was me who was creating the consequences of loneliness. It was my reactions to the sense of feeling alone that created my suffering, for how can you possibly conceive of yourself as being alone?

It’s a rhetorical question, needing no answer.

Just take a moment and reflect on that question a little: “who” is feeling lonely? If you perceive yourself as separate from all Creation then your loneliness is the vilest curse. On the other hand, if you’re able to glimpse through the surface, you quickly realize that this bag of flesh you inhabit is not everything. I am not merely a concept we’re all agreeing to call “Eddie.” I am much more than that. I am part of an infinite process that unfolds moment to moment.

This is not to say I don’t feel what we call “loneliness,” I just experience that deep feeling differently. Loneliness, or rather, running from loneliness, has made me do some really stupid shit. Like settle for less, or engage in sexual acts as a substitute for true intimacy. This escape from loneliness has at times cost me my human dignity and at other times made me cruel person.

Until I stopped running…

Then I was able to face my sense of loneliness and feel, as if for the first time, the purifying coolness of my tears. Tears like rain, washing away all my pretenses and defenses. And when I finally stood there and saw with fresh eyes, I realized that I was never alone. The fact was that I had made of my desire a prison where I indulged in the excesses of my ego-driven madness for validation.

I haven’t felt loneliness for a long time.

I guess the value of solitude depends upon the individual; it may be an oasis or a prison, a refuge or a punishment, a heaven or a hell. Ultimately, we make it what it is.

Today, I have realized that in my loneliness I can create a garden of solitude.



Saturday, December 27, 2008

Adela, Ensalada de Pulpo and A Tribute

¡Hola! Everybody...
I went with some friends to my fave restaurant,
Casa Adela, yesterday and Adela herself scolded me for staying away so long. She then promptly prepared fresh alcapurrias for us that were to die for. She actually hurried a couple of yuppies out of their seating so we could have our favorite table and then proceeded to crack her up.

I was all over the place and anyone who’s ever met me knows what that means (out of control LOL).

I wasn’t that hungry, but I ate a plate of
mofongo, though I preferred an ensalada de pulpo (she didn’t make any yesterday). Today I’m going back for a half-dozen of pasteles. Other than my mother’s, Adela’s are the only pasteles de yuca I will eat. If you’re ever in New York, Adela’s is a must-visit -- tell her Eddie sent you and she’ll laugh.

Today, I’m checking out a salsa dance school. A friend told me the school is chock full of white girls with Latino men fetishes.

It’s been two years since James Brown passed away. I wrote this back then...

* * *

-=[ Tribute: James Brown ]=-

At a crucial point in the award-winning film, Mr. Holland’s Opus, the teacher of the title is fighting to save the high school arts program from budget cuts. The exchange goes something like this:

Vice Principal Wolters: I care about these kids just as much as you do. And if I'm forced to choose between Mozart and reading and writing and long division, I choose long division.

Glenn Holland: Well, I guess you can cut the arts as much as you want, Gene. Sooner or later, these kids aren’t going to have anything to read or write about.

It is a telling moment in a movie that’s principally about teaching our young. The fact of the matter is that art is indispensable to genuine teaching. Numerous studies have shown that children who are immersed in arts programs tend to do better in reading, writing, and mathematics, for example. The word educate comes from the Latin root word educare, which means to draw from. The implication being that education is not about filling children’s minds, but drawing out the potential that already exists. It is unfortunate that today we eat our young and then blame them for our own collective narcissism and shortsightedness.

I won’t get into that today, but I mention the arts because it has been such an integral part of my life. Art, or Beauty, or Truth, or whatever you want to call it, saved my life. When I was at the lowest pint in my life what saved me, was art. What saved me was the knowledge that in this focked up world, full of petty motherfuckers racing like lemmings to catch/ buy/ sell/ the latest trend/ sound bite, flavor of the month, there was Beauty.

In my destitution, I could find sustenance in the intricate beauty of a Faulkner paragraph. I could drink Neruda’s passion; I could listen to John Coltrane’s fearless wide-eyed peer into hell. Knowing and experiencing the beauty of a Monet assured me that there was sanity in this world and that it was worth living. Therefore, it is with great sadness that I mark the passing of great artists – those who sustained me, when I felt I couldn’t do it myself. I feel a profound sense of gratitude for the archetype of The Artist, because they serve to remind us that there’s more to this momentary passage of time on this green planet. The Artist, sometimes at great personal cost, follows her vision and sometimes points us to what matters most, though we oftentimes don’t pay heed.

And so it was with James Brown. I remember growing up listening and dancing to the sounds of James Brown. As a young teen, I danced the Camel Walk to James Brown. And who can forget his anthem to black pride when he sang, “Say it loud! I’m black and I’m proud!” At the time, it was a radical notion, for people of color to be proud of their skin color, their hair, and their culture. We take it for granted now, but there was a hard war fought in order for us to assume that we should be proud.

I was born of Puerto Rican parents and raised in the slums of New York City, rubbing elbows with African-American neighbors who also lived in those ghettos. I remember it was 1967 when we moved to East New York Ave in Brooklyn, right behind the Pitkin Theater (that’s the Pitkin Theater above). In those days, movie houses were built to resemble opulent palaces: velvet seats, golden trimmings, lush carpeting in huge auditoriums facing a great stage where a huge silver screen hung. There was even a balcony and the older kids would go up there to make out.

At the time, we were the only Puerto Rican family living on that block embedded in a predominantly African-American community. In the beginning, I had to fight my way to and from school almost everyday. Eventually, I would befriend most of my neighbors and the first girl I ever kissed was this beautiful light-skinned girl called Gail. Actually, she would kiss me when we stood on line in school and I hated it because I didn’t like girls – yet! LOL

On Saturdays, my mother would give each of us something like seventy-five cents and send us to the Pitkin Theater across the street on Pitkin Avenue (our apartment faced the back of the Pitkin Theater). The cost of admission was twenty-five cents and for that sum, you would see two new releases, plus the cartoons sandwiched in-between!

But the Pitkin Theater also held live shows and this is where I first experienced live soul music. I remember seeing Little Anthony and the Imperials there, and there were other acts. Many of the then up-and-coming Motown acts used to pass through in those days, part of the circuit and these were hugely popular. I remember the first time I was sitting down at the Pitkin and they were showing, between films, the hottest acts of the day. It was the first time I remember where all the white acts were booed and the Black performers cheered loudly! LMAO!

Now, James Brown, he was no up-and comer. JB was the King of Soul, the Godfather of Soul! I don’t know if he ever played the Pitkin, but whenever I think of JB, I’m reminded of the Pitkin and those days. JB took the field holler and put it to a fatback backbeat. When JB squealed, screamed, hollered, it was almost as if collective pain and anguish of the oppressed was concentrated in those musical moments. JB had the nastiest, funkiest rhythm section and if you listened closely, all the West African rhythms were encapsulated in his vocal stylings. To listen to James Brown was to be reminded that you were alive, that you were sensual, sexy, and a bad-assed muthafucka on the dance floor.

Without James Brown, popular music as it exists today would not exist. JB was the most sampled artist, the most emulated, having influenced people from the great Miles Davis to Prince and everybody in-between. Our world is a better world because of James Brown, whatever his inner demons were and today, we’re a lot less richer because of his passing.

Rest in peace, JB...



Friday, December 26, 2008

The TGIF Sex Blog [Brujerias, Magic, and Love Potions]

¡Hola! Everybody...
Yesterday we lost another sexual icon, the self-proclaimed “sex kitten” Eartha Kitt. Rest in peace, dearest and thank you for the sexual life force you so freely shared while you walked among us.

Ladies, if you didn’t receive a gift from me, it means you didn’t give me a BJ this past year. Sorry, but yeah, I roll like that. But not to worry! You have all of next year to earn your gift! LOL

Speaking of which... this is the last Sex Blog of the year...

* * *

-=[ Brujerias, Magic, and Love Potions ]=-

“True magic is the high knowledge of the more subtle powers that have not yet been accepted by science because the methods of examination that have been applied are not yet sufficient for their understanding and use, although the laws of magic are equivalent to all official sciences of the world.”

-- The Science of Magic

I have dated my share of brujas (witches). In fact, if I don’t date another bruja in my life, it will be too soon. And I don’t mean bruja in the euphemistic sense -- I mean real witches.

My ex-wife was/ is a bruja in the Puerto Rican espiritismo sense, and I have dated Santeria priestesses as well as Wiccans and even one Haitian Voudun practitioner. It’s not that I seek out these women, rather, they seem to find me. I have been told by more than a few people that my spirit guide is supposed to be one bad-assed muthafucka in the spirit world -- very powerful. I had one girlfriend who was a witch whose mother was a witch. When she introduced me to her mother, her mother ran screaming from me! LOL

Let me state right out that I am neither a believer nor disbeliever in the hereafter. To me, discussion of such topics is a huge waste of time. I have a very Buddhist take on such discussions: it doesn’t matter.

However, I have seen and experienced too many incidents to be cynical about all this. In fact, science tells us that the vast majority of reality is hidden from us -- undetectable and immeasurable by our current methods of measurement. I forget the estimate, but I think that more than 90% of reality is hidden from us. So, if you’re one of those strict empiricists, who dismisses anything they can’t see, then you are a blind fool.


Historically, the extent to which we have gone to put love spells on the objects of our affections is extreme. Potions and charms to make others fall in love are among the oldest recorded forms of magic. Brujas and Love Spells have been around since our ancestors dwelled in caves. The first recorded love spells have been found in Paleolithic rock paintings, but the first recorded love spell was used by men in ancient Sumera. They mixed the milk and fat from holy cows in a ceremonial green bowl, and sprinkled the mixture onto the breast of a young girl, who was meant not only to become sexually available but to follow the man who had applied the spell. In much of the ancient Mediterranean and Near East, it was believed that the liver was the seat of the passions, and the liver of a young person who was killed while full of passionate arousal made for a potent love potion, as well as an effective aphrodisiac.

The ancient Greeks preferred using a wide variety of animal parts and organs to make love potions, including calves’ brains, wolves tails, snakes’ bones, the blood of doves, and the feathers of screech owls.

Some potions were highly toxic, causing the Romans (who adopted magic recipes wholesale from the Greeks) to outlaw love potions.

Today, Trobriand Islanders are encouraged from an early age to gain sexual self-knowledge. To the Trobrianders, magic is no different from the process of falling in love. Young men and women will court a person with spells that not only make themselves more attractive, but also carry enticing dreams of themselves into the beloved’s head. Trobriand Islanders greatly value grace and physical beauty, and use a number of magic spells to enhance their attractiveness on ceremonial occasions. Perhaps, considering our lucrative cosmetics industry, we are not that different from the Trobrianders...

The Greeks, when confronted with someone who would not respond to their advances, would roast images supposedly representing their objects of affection over a low fire. They believed that people thus represented would become warmed with love. The point was to make the image soft but not to melt it, as this would break the spell on the beloved.

The most common method to make someone fall in love is to gain control over him or her by acquiring an intimate object of theirs, such as nail clippings or hair. On the other hand, the beloved could be brought into contact with an intimate physical part of the lover, especially a bodily secretion such as sweat, semen, or even menstrual blood. This latter practice is highly favored by practitioners of African-derived religions such as Voudun and Santeria. I know some Caribbean women (especially the Haitians) who would use menstrual blood as a way of keeping their men. So, if you’re eating spaghetti sauce prepared by a caribeña, you should think twice. Besides, Caribbeans don’t know how to prepare spaghetti to save their lives. LOL!

One Santeria spell reveals a postmodern twist on how various influences converge to create culture. It is a fast-food love potion: “Prepare a hamburger patty. Steep in your own sweat. Serve it to person desired.”

A popular spell in Scotland had the lover draw a circle on a wafer with blood from the ring finger. The was then consecrated, and half of it eaten by the person casting the spell, the other half administered to the beloved. This ceremony not only ensured not only that the object of affection became receptive, but that the passion of the lover did not wane.

Not all love magic was concerned with acquiring, or controlling a love interest. Much of love magic was full of medical advice ranging from cures for male impotence (Viagra can be said to be a modern form of love magic), to formulas for enlarging a man’s jade stalk (penis), or tightening up the jade gate (vagina) of a woman who had become enlarged. There were cures for women who experienced pain from excessive intercourse enjoyed by their overly sexual husbands.

Love magic is found in some form or another almost everywhere, but it is less developed in cultures where sex is treated in an open and direct manner. Perhaps the reason for this is that there isn’t a need to control sexual behavior in cultures were sexual advances are rarely rejected.



Get your own playlist at!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

The Roads of Hell...

¡Hola! Everybody... So! I went to dinner at this young lady’s home and some of her family was there. Her lovely seven-year-old daughter was there along with her mother. Her mother is younger than I am (but I look younger. Kidding!). Anyway, her mother is quite an attractive woman and that got me to thinking... I’ve never...

Never Mind! LOL

I didn’t stay long, but my friend insisted on seeing me to the door where she planted on soft kiss on my lips. I kissed her back and grabbed that ass, which shocked her, but she laughed and playfully punched me on my shoulder...

To be continued (but not here )...

Later, I met up with some friends and after doing some service, we hung out. Life is good.

* * *

-=[ Intelligent Compassion ]=-

“A deaf husband and a blind wife are always a happy couple.”

-- proverb

If we use the metaphor of a beautiful dove to symbolize compassion then its wings must surely be wisdom. Compassion without wisdom is dangerous.

It’s like that comedic where he thinks he’s performed a good deed for the day by guiding an elderly lady across the street. The trouble being that she didn’t want to cross the street in the first place; she then pummels the man with her umbrella. LOL

However, that skit speaks to the truth about the way many of us view compassion. The trouble being that we too often assume that know what’s good for another person.

I have a close friend that I don’t see too often these days, which is sad. But I just need to stay away from him for my own sanity. You see, for the past two years, he’s been hanging out with a bunch of “Born Againers” and I have found that the more he reads “scripture” the more intolerant he becomes. He’s quick to judgment and if you walk down the street with him, he begins pointing out what he perceives as people’s shortcomings. When I point out that his behavior isn’t very spiritual, he catches himself and tries to put a cover on it, but it’s there -- the judging. The sad part is that all this scripture reading hasn’t done much for his issues of lust and manipulating for sex (something he has struggled with for years). He tells me that it has been suggested to him that when he notices lust rise within him, that he should take out his bible and read passages from it. He became angry with me when I informed him of case histories of sexually motivated serial killers who used the same strategy. LOL!

I can deal with all that, but I can’t abide his steadfast, immovable belief that one can spiritually evolve only if that person accepts Jesus as his savior. I always respond with, “Fuck Jesus” and that usually stops his bullshit.

But I see this tendency to assume in a lot of people. We do this in our relationships -- especially our romantic relationships. We meet someone and no sooner that we begin a relationship, we want to change the other person because we seem to think we know best. It seems we always know what’s good for the other person when half the time we don’t even know what’s good for us. Come with a problem and everybody and their mother has an opinion or advice. Advice is dis-empowering -- it takes away from a person’s ability to find solutions for themselves. And half the time, you don’t know what the fock you’re talking about and if you did, you would know that advice is probably the worst thing you can offer a person.

I recently saw a special on this relatively new and inexpensive procedure that restores full hearing in people who are born deaf. I think we all would assume that everyone born deaf would want this. Well, a young man whose hearing was restored was so angry and upset at this parents and doctor. You see, no one asked him if he wanted to hear. Now he had to endure this torment of noise that he could make little sense of. He never wanted to hear in the first place.

Compassion that carries such assumptions is foolish and dangerous and the cause of much suffering in the world. Compassion without intelligence or wisdom isn’t compassion.



Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Happy Holidays

¡Hola! Everybody...
Due to my procrastination, I will have to work especially hard today. But after today, I will be off until the New Year, which is a good thing...

* * *

-=[ Feliz Navidad ]=-

“All great truths begin as blasphemies.”

-- George Bernard Shaw

I won’t get the chance to go around to everyone and personally wish them a Merry Christmas, so this will have to suffice. In a real way, many of you have become part of a daily ritual that keeps me honest and for that I would like to thank you all.

I realize it’s popular to say that this isn’t real, it’s only the internet, but I believe that’s an excuse for some people to act without conscience. As if we could compartmentalize our lives in ways that release us from accountability for our behavior. That’s a lot like a friend who believes fellatio isn’t really sex, so he goes to the massage parlor for a “happy ending” though he’s married to a lovely woman.

Or the woman who let me have anal sex with her because to her that wasn’t really sex, and it allowed her to maintain her virginity (yes, I loved her dearly).

Or the people who come on here and fake it all.

I’m not pointing this out in order to set up some bullshite rant -- opinions really suck. I’m more concerned with pointing out the reality that what we say and do matters no matter the context. And I point this out because I just wanted to take a moment and thank you for being who you are-- whatever that is.

Today, I will be visiting with friends, having fun and celebrating life mostly with people I love and who are like my second (chosen) family. I am happy in a way I could never adequately describe to you and looking back at the bulk of what I written here, I guess my message has always been that you too can be happy.


I think there’s an important message in this holiday -- one that gets lost. Let’s forget about divinity and dogma for a moment. I think the core message today is that we would be better served if we brought our spirituality attention back to earth -- down here on the ground. If we could stop living as if this were merely a temporary training ground for a life in the hereafter, we could then begin to feel ourselves as part of the life of this planet and begin to take better care of our environment. If we could bring our sense of the divine to this earthly existence, we might find more joy in living, however briefly, in the here and now.

There’s the story of a humble birth in a manger -- the manifestation of the divine in the body of a man. And you’ll argue with me, but the way I see it, he said we’re all children of the divine.

Psychologically, the life of Christ is retold within all of us. That is what forces us to live completely, an adventure which is often as heroic as it is tragic. It leads us into all dangers and defeats, and into the light of knowledge, which is to say, into a higher consciousness. This is the evolutionary drive that compels to become whole, or as One with Creation.

So let’s stop looking upward in prayer and gratitude for this or that. Instead, let us bring our awareness here to the earth and all around us, to celebrate Nature, the instrument of our creation and the most obvious of all our gifts.



Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Hatin' Ain't Easy...

¡Hola! Everybody...
Merry Creeeka! (<-- ya’ll non-Nuyoricans won’t get that... ).

FUCK! I have a lot of work to do today! Under the gun, here folks.

OK! So this young lady and I finally got up enough courage to meet with each other. I've been flirting with her for a bout two years. I called her once, but when she didn’t return my call, I was, like, movin on (that’s how I roll, I don’t be beggin, my momma would slap the taste out of mouth). Anyway, she invited me to her house for Noche Buena yesterday and I accepted. I’m getting her flowers, but I know she has a seven-year-old girl and would like to get the little wench something. Nothing too ostentatious, just a token of my appreciation for the Christmas bootie I hope mommie gives me.


Any suggestions from the ladies?

* * *

-=[ Hatin’ ]=-

“Courage is simply the willingness to be afraid and act anyway.”

-- Robert Anthony (1916–)

I think we all know what is meant by the popular use of the word hatin’. Hatin’, in the vernacular is somewhat like envy or the state of being envious. Why you hatin’ on me cuz the girls like me? An individual might ask a poosie-blocking man. You know those doods -- they were the guys who would stick around in high school hookie parties even though they knew you and the shawtie wanted to make out.

Hatin’ because he couldn’t kiss her.

Those are probably the same doods that hang around blogs trying to foment unrest because they’re still feelin’ no love from women.

That’s one type of hate -- or the practice of hatin’. Then there’s the classical definition of hate: an intense and oftentimes irrational dislike for another individual. Both types of hate are based on fear. If you feared no one, you would hate no one. Hatin’ is about insecurities -- extending your focus externally when you should be looking within. Hate is about stark fear. Hate is a powerful emotion in which one individual can go as far as wishing another bodily harm or even going as far as inflicting harm.

Whatever the case, hate takes a lot of energy sapping the hater of their psychic energy in the process. Ever notice that haters often suffer from physical and emotional discomfort and dis-ease. In fact, I would go as far as saying that hate is the ultimate state of dis-ease. LOL I like that!

Today, I’m going to try to help the haters amongst our midst, so haters? Please pay attention. And if we are honest with ourselves, I think we can admit that, while we may not be extreme haters, all of us have the potential to hate and sometimes we do fall into the trap of allowing others inhabit space in our heads for free. LOL!

So, gather ‘round children, listen to learn and learn to listen...

I want you to hate everyone you see today. Hate strangers, family, friends. Look at each person you meet today and generate feelings of hate.

Don’t slack! If you aren’t hatin’ then work at it! Hatin’ ain’t easy! Hate the woman in the car in front of you. Hate the next man who calls you on the phone. Hate the very next person you see -- intensely.

As you’re going around generating all this hate, imagine yourself dying, right now, while hating. Hate, and then feel as if you are dying. Ask yourself the following question: Would you rather die a different way than hating?

How would you rather die?

Now, don’t tell me the answer to that question, live the answer to this question -- offer the outlook in which you wish to die -- from this moment on.

If you notice yourself slacking off, then, once again, practice being a hater -- hating every person you meet. Really hate him or her, hating as hard as you can, and feel if this is how you want to die, in hate.

Relax and open up to be lived by the force of Love. If this feels difficult, then hate for just a moment in order to help you commit to how loving you want to be when you die, which could be right now.



Monday, December 22, 2008

The Happiness Cross-Training Machine

¡Hola! Everybody...
It’s cold out here!

I have a few busy days coming up right before Christmas. I was out sick for a couple of days last week, and now is catch up time!


* * *

-=[ Happiness 101 ]=-

“Only one thing has to change for us to know happiness in our lives: where we focus our attention.”

-- Greg Anderson (1964–) NBA basketball player

For many of us, being happy is a state of mind just around the corner. It will come, but only when we get that job, education, lover, shoes, or bag. We will be happy, we seem to be saying, only when we somehow get our act together. In essence, what we’re saying is that we don’t deserve, or cannot attain, that elusive feeling of happiness right at this moment.

I’m here to tell you today that’s all a bunch of crock. We can only be happy right now, this very moment, even in the midst of pain and loss.

If not you, who?

If not now, when?

Yesterday? Tomorrow?

Keep digging up those bodies of yesterday – the trauma and the hurt of your past -- and all you will get are memories. What about tomorrow, you ask? Won’t happiness come tomorrow when we get it together, meet the perfect lover, get the perfect job, find the perfect Coach bag? Find God?

Maybe you’re busy creating a slew of resolutions for the New Year!

Dearest, tomorrow is but a fantasy, a figment of your imagination, and get this bit of news: it’s not even guaranteed. You could drop dead today, right in the middle of reading this, say, or crossing the street, or while taking a particularly challenging dump (your mother was right: wear clean underwear).

All you have, dear reader, is this moment – right here right now.

Here’s a revolutionary notion: Why not be happy now?!! What’s that you say? You have problems and I don’t understand? You have no food and are hungry. You’re bi-polar and heavily medicated? You have no home and are a broke, wretched soul?


You’re not as unique as you would like to think maybe part of the issue is that terminal uniqueness you cling to so tenaciously?). If you’re not happy this very moment it’s simply because you have chosen not to be happy. Face it: most of us are addicted to our sadness and our wounds, it’s what we know and leaving sadness and pain can be very traumatizing because then we come to the realization that our happiness must radiate from within. In leaving your default attitude of cynicism and sadness, you come face-to-face with your own accountability.

Go ahead, leave, but before you close my door, please know that sooner or later you’re going to have to face the fact that what you most want can happen today, not tomorrow, but right now -- in this very life.

If you want it.

Yes it is that fuckin’ simple... The issue is that we buy into the conditioning that somehow we’re incomplete. We practice being miserable. We’re even proud of it -- proud of our cynicism and bleak outlook. It’s really cool to be in touch with our misery. We seem to be trying to outdo one another in just how miserable we can all be and how cool we can look while feeling it. My even pointing out that happiness is attainable at this very moment is the height of being uncool.

I’ll leave you with something today and I know 99.99% of you will be too busy analyzing it and miss the forest for the trees, but if even one person actually tries this, then my own life is richer because there’ll be one less miserable person on this little plot of greenery we call Earth.

Just do it…shut the noise for a second…

The Practice

Think of something you really desire. It could be a new pair of shoes, a Benz, or that Grand prize: the ever so elusive “The One” -- your soulmate, the perfect lover! Or, it could be twenty million dollars. Whatever comes to your mind first, something you really want, but don’t have.

Think of that... Got it?

Now, imagine that you have it. How would you act, right now? How would you feel, right now? Act and feel as if you had what you desire, right now. Breathe, move, speak, and adopt the facial expressions as if you had it. Act this way for a few minutes; become comfortable with the feeling of abundance that comes with having what you want.

Don’t just sit there and think about it, do it! Go!


Is acting and feeling this way basically better than how you were acting and feeling before you imagined having what you desire?

If the answer is yes, then continue acting and feeling this way! Why not allow yourself to feel this abundance now?!! Why are you still waiting for an excuse?

If the answer is that feeling this way is not better, then ignore and forget about the object of your desire because getting it won’t make you feel or act any better than how you’re acting now.

The saying goes that there are two great disappointments in life: not getting what you want and getting it. I’ll disagree with that. I will submit that there are desires that can lead us to be happier, but why wait?

A better way of putting it would be:

1. Act like you feel as if you had everything you wanted. Or…

2. Ignore your desires because they don’t lead to happiness anyway.

Either way, it’s a no-lose situation: you are free.

* * *



Sunday, December 21, 2008

Sunday Sermon [Living Time]

¡Hola! Everybody...
So, I finally ventured out after a few days of staying indoors (strep throat, I think), and I went to see
The Wrestler, with Mickey Rourke giving one of the most powerful acting performances I’ve seen in quite some time. In fact, I don’t think you’ll see an actor inhabit a role the way Mr. Rourke does in
this film. I caught myself flinching at the utter transparency, the total openness of his performance. The film could’ve easily veered into over sentimentality (as films of this kind often do in Hollywood), but it’s deftly directed with an appreciation for our ability to think and feel for ourselves. Marisa Tomei excels in a smaller supportive role.

The question remains: do we need people, do we crave connection, and what is life without that connection? It’s a little film, but if Rourke doesn’t get at least an Oscar nomination, it’s bullshit. The only other performance that comes close is Penn’s Milk, and as great as that performance is, it comes nowhere near the raw nakedness of Rourke’s turn.

I was watching the under-appreciated Shall We Dance (with Richard Gere, Susan Sarandon, and Jennifer Lopez) this morning and it got me to thinking about whether I should start salsa dance lessons again. I have no passion for dance and the last time I went for lessons it was because I was hot for this Asian chick. LOL There’s a fairly large school right here where I live and work and there really is no excuse. It’s either dance or carving masks for me in 2009. My life is an open book... ::sigh::

* * *

-=[ Living Time ]=-

“The book of love has music in it... in fact, that’s where music comes from.”

Peter Gabriel, The Book of Love

I could very easily fall into a deep depression if I chose to look at life at certain way. Like most, I have problems, experience frustrations, and perhaps like many others, anxious desperation. I think we all suffer these emotions -- it’s part of the “full catastrophe” that Zorba the Greek spoke of...

On the other hand, rather than choosing to feel like a small boat in the midst of a perfect storm, I can choose to feel like the ocean itself. In that way, the waves are not as threatening, life isn’t so damned serious.

It’s just a wave; I ride it, feel it, accept it, and let it go.

If I’m feeling especially emotional, I step back and note my gratitude. You can’t be grateful and miserable at the same time, people. Life is hard and to live is to know suffering, but it’s not enough to suffer or just note how much life sucks.” Aren’t we a wee bit long in the tooth to cling to such delinquent notions? You have to be pretty narcissistic to stay stuck on Broadway like that. Life is also about smelling the flowers and loving. And you know what? Suffering is optional. Get the fock outta my face with that pathetic bullshite “life sucks” routine, it’s embarrassing.

And if the shit really hits the fan and I’m all focked up (tragedy!), I simply remind myself that, no matter where myself today, it’s infinitely better than when I was stuck on stupid (aka as “life sucks” mode). For example, today when I woke up and I wasn’t addicted to anything; I woke up in my own bed fully conscious of who and where I was. That wasn’t always the case. In addition, I woke up today a relatively free man. That too wasn’t always the case. Some of my saddest Christmases were spent in prisons -- once in solitary confinement.

One of the things I am most proud of is that throughout all of my incarceration, I got into only 2-3 fights. That’s a huge thing. Prison isn't Oprah Winfrey or getting in touch with your inner child and violence is always seethjing under the surface. One year, out of fear, I had to put someone in the hospital and as a result, I ended up doing a week in solitary confinement. You know what I did there? I meditated. That cell became my sanctuary. So, if I could find some measure of serenity in that extreme situation, what’s your excuse?

::blank stare::

I know, I know you’re probably saying those are low standards, and that you’ve never been addicted nor have you ever been incarcerated, so your frame of reference is different from mine. You are not like me! LOL Blah! Let’s not take this relativity bullshite too far, people -- Besides, I happen to think many of you are hopelessly addicted and are prisoners of your minds.

I learned the art of liberation while incarcerated, one of the many paradoxes of this Redemption Song I call my life. I learned that prison is a state of mind, not an actual place. Yes, the state can force you to be in a physical prison but only you can give anyone permission to imprison your mind. Please take note of that because you all freely give that permission on a daily basis. I can guarantee you that much.

There’s a well-known lesson in prisons. It goes something like this: you can do the time, or let the time do you. It’s a reference to the fact that, while the reality is that you’re in prison, you can still work on yourself. I wonder how many so-called free people are allowing the time to do them. In fact, I will do away with the whole paradigm and simply say that some of us are doing time, while others are living it.

As you bemoan your fate today because you don’t have this or that, or because you live in circumstances apart from your wishes, or your parents were focked up, or any other complaint you might have, please know that that time could have been better spent living. Don’t worry, there’s another moment coming right now and you can either celebrate it, or lock yourself up. Which one is it? Keep in mind the next moment isn’t guaranteed. Will you do time, or will you live time?



Saturday, December 20, 2008

The History of One Tough Muthafucka

¡Hola! Everybody... When I was a child, I was considered gifted. Most of the adults around me recognized something ion me and saw in me the potential to become something. It wasn’t that I was given a favored status (quite the contrary), it was more like to some people I represented the promise of our people.

My mother wouldn’t allow us to have pets, but in a very real way, she collected stray people. People who had lost in life, or had committed some taboo or another, to be rejected from wherever they came from. They were the lost ones, the “losers” who, having known defeat, had somehow also emerged somewhat who;le, if terribly fractured. It was these imperfect human beings who were often the most kind to me, the ones who really saw and wanted to support whatever it was they saw in me. I came to love those people.When I write, I often think of these people, the unforgiven, the lost but kind souls who came into and out of my life.

Carles Bukowski is an admittedly acquired taste, a man who never had a formal education and who “left writing in favor of drinking” until he couldn’t drink anymore and began writing again (and then left for some more drinking). Bukowski felt that as the hero of his own life, he had the right to make up the details of his stories, which he told with so much conviction and authenticity that readers accepted them as the unvarnished truth. While I would never compare my meager writing skills to his, Bukowski and I both share an intense identification with and love for “the defeated, the demented, and the dammed.”

* * *

-=[ The History Of One Tough Motherfucker ]=-
by Charles Bukowski

he came to the door one night wet thin beaten and
a white cross-eyed tailless cat
I took him in and fed him and he stayed
grew to trust me until a friend drove up the driveway
and ran him over
I took what was left to a vet who said,"not much
chance...give him these pills...his backbone
is crushed, but is was crushed before and somehow
mended, if he lives he'll never walk, look at
these x-rays, he's been shot, look here, the pellets
are still there...also, he once had a tail, somebody
cut it off..."
I took the cat back, it was a hot summer, one of the
hottest in decades, I put him on the bathroom
floor, gave him water and pills, he wouldn't eat, he
wouldn't touch the water, I dipped my finger into it
and wet his mouth and I talked to him, I didn't go any-
where, I put in a lot of bathroom time and talked to
him and gently touched him and he looked back at
me with those pale blue crossed eyes and as the days went
by he made his first move
dragging himself forward by his front legs
(the rear ones wouldn't work)
he made it to the litter box
crawled over and in,
it was like the trumpet of possible victory
blowing in that bathroom and into the city, I
related to that cat-I'd had it bad, not that
bad but bad enough
one morning he got up, stood up, fell back down and
just looked at me.
"you can make it," I said to him.
he kept trying, getting up falling down, finally
he walked a few steps, he was like a drunk, the
rear legs just didn't want to do it and he fell again, rested,
then got up.
you know the rest: now he's better than ever, cross-eyed
almost toothless, but the grace is back, and that look in
his eyes never left...
and now sometimes I'm interviewed, they want to hear about
life and literature and I get drunk and hold up my cross-eyed,
shot, runover de-tailed cat and I say,"look, look
at this!"
but they don't understand, they say something like,"you
say you've been influenced by Celine?"
"no," I hold the cat up,"by what happens, by
things like this, by this, by this!"
I shake the cat, hold him up in
the smoky and drunken light, he's relaxed he knows...
it's then that the interviews end
although I am proud sometimes when I see the pictures
later and there I am and there is the cat and we are photo-
graphed together.
he too knows it's bullshit but that somehow it all helps.

* * *


Friday, December 19, 2008

The TGIF Sex Blog [Christmas and Sex]

¡Hola! Everybody...
Feeling a little under the weather recently... We’re expecting a few3 inches of snow today -- perfect weather for spooning! LOL

Today’s blog photo comes courtesy of my very sexy 360 friend, Angela. I love her almost animal-like sexual oeuvre -- very becoming. I would do my best to make her sore!

Kidding! LOL

* * *

-=[ Christmas & Sex ]=-

“Reminds me of my safari in Africa. Somebody forgot the corkscrew and for several days we had nothing to live on but food and water.”

-- W. C. Fields

Back in my “active” days, when I drugged and drank, The Christmas/ Holiday season was also the high season for drunkenness, getting drugged up, and, of course, getting as much poosie as possible. And be honest ladies, many of you were ready, willing, and able to give it up at the office Christmas party! ::grin::

I actually used to “train” myself for the holiday season. The intensive training began during Thanksgiving, but I really stepped up my game during Halloween, pagan that I am at heart. In fact, my whole year was dedicated to getting myself in “shape” for the holiday debaucheries. Many of you can identify. Of course, the married folk with kids are quite boring, so please just leave now, I really don’t give a fuck what you’re getting for your brats or the Christmas tree or any boring shit like that! In fact, I will stand up for single people everywhere and just say it:

Christmas is for fucking strange people!

Real training began in May, right after my sister’s birthday. The weather getting warmer and three birthdays on consecutive weeks, with mine being the last set me off on a summer romp. Summer is also about poosie -- at least it is for single people (you married people still reading this?!!). I would spend the summer blasted out of my mind, usually involved in a profoundly dysfunctional relationship which usually ended up in some measure of heartbreak. Unless, of course, if it was a really good summer and I was getting strange poosie on a regular. Getting fucked up and fucked was what summer was all about. Then September would roll around and I would have to do some kind of work or sober up enough to take stock of where I was and what year. But no sooner Halloween rolled around, with the Village Parade that it would begin again: sex, drugs, new wave music, and more sex. By Thanksgiving, my threshold for alcohol and drugs was once again reaching precarious levels, hopefully peaking during the Christmas season. Sometimes I would over do it, just burn myself out right before Christmas, but that’s why the baby Jesus invented speed!

Then the office parties would start and it would be a matter of knowing which office party had the horniest secretaries. I worked on Wall St. and the horniest girls all came from nearby New Jersey. The big hair, snapping-the-gum stereotypes would get really drunk, really fuck the taste out of my mouth, and then cuss me out when I didn’t return their phone calls. Everybody’s talkin’ about shoe throwing, but let me tell you that shit ain’t nuthin’ new, I’ve had some of the best shoes thrown at me!

After Christmas came New Years and that was definitely all about the poosie. Man! If you can’t get laid on New Years Eve, then you should just cut your dick off and give it to science, where it would be put to better use.

My New Year’s specialty was what I called “Blackout Sex.” Getting so blasted, I would wake up next to a total stranger whose name I didn’t even know! Now that was some good shit right there!

It did present some problems, though. One year I woke up after several days and I didn’t even know where I was or what day it was (a couple of days after New Years). All I know is that I woke up in a strange home in someone’s bathtub next to a woman I had never seen before in my life. I thought I was in Brooklyn, but I was wrong... (I was in Connecticut)

Anyway... aside from massive loss of cognitive functioning resulting from huge loss of brain cells, the holidays were often a lot of fun for me in my younger days. And I don’t care how much you want to deny it, you know you want some strange dick/ poosie for Christmas. Moreover, I’m not talking about the same-o/ same-o boring poosie/ dick you’ve been getting all year (married people!). I mean, c’mon, y’all got the routine down pat: lick ‘em, stick ‘em, and cum. Naw, I’m talking about that juicy strange dick/ poosie shit! And let me tell you: I loved -- absolutely loved -- each and every strange woman that I fucked/ fucked me. Especially memorable was each and every time I slipped into a woman’s velvety poosie. Once connected, I loved every woman I ever had, even those I don’t remember.

So, let’s hear for strange Christmas/ Holiday poosie, there’s no better poosie in the world!




[un]Common Sense