Friday, April 29, 2011

God Bless The Child

Today, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, marries, Kate Middleton.  Media all around the world will cover the event.  Good for them.  I won't be watching, though.  Not even a second of it.  Well, when I'm out and about later today, if it's on wherever I find myself, perhaps I'll take a look then.  But only then.  I won't be turning on my own tv set to see it.  I felt the same way back in 1981 when William's parents married.  I distinctly remember where I was at that time.  I was in Hart, Michigan with several other high school students, participating in a leadership program.  We found ourselves in some folks' house, and the wedding was on.  We all watched.  Well, that was then and this is now.  I won't be watching this time.  But I do wish Prince William and Kate a happy and loving marriage.  May God bless the child of the couple who didn't have such a happy & loving marriage themselves.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

My Wish

My WISH for me is that I wake up every day God grants me the blessing to do so and feel like I can't wait to fully engage in the day's events because everything I have scheduled to do excites and enriches me beyond measure.  I also wish that I end each day having made as many people smile and feel good about themselves as I possibly can.  That's my wish.  For me.  And for everybody who has breath. See!  I don't ask for much.  Do I?  ;)

Go With What I Know

I find myself in a pretty restless state of mind these days.  And, truth be told, the restlessness stems from one, simple fact:  lack of professional fulfillment.  I know I've mentioned this topic a million times.  And I'm gonna keep mentioning it until I've embraced my idea of such fulfillment.  What I've been noticing, though, is that tons of folks seem to be relatively content with their profession, but absolutely loathe other aspects of their lives.  It's the profession that has me feeling incomplete at the moment.  I like everything else about my life.  Well, when I write down the likes and dislikes of my life, it's abundantly clear to me that the dislikes are damn near invisible in comparison.  So, yes, I'm fully aware that my blessings are plentiful in the grand scheme of things.  I see that, in order for me to wake up with a smile and take on a new day without worry or fear, it's best I cling to all the positives in my life.  This said, the next time I question myself, or anybody else, about the meaning of life, I'm simply gonna continue going with the ONLY answer I know for sure:


See, FREE healthcare DOES exist!!!  Haaaaaa!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Voice...Finally!

The ads for THE VOICE have been running for what seems like an eternity.  But, alas, the show has finally arrived.  It's on right now, actually.  Anyway, I've gotta admit that I like it's premise.  The four pros who judge the contestants sit with their backs to the vocalists so that they don't see the singer and only focus on their voices.  Brilliant!!!  Goodness knows the music industry as it stands today is more concerned with style over substance; thus, folks who couldn't sing their way out of a paper bag with a million holes in it, are colossal superstars!  They look good.  And that's been enough!  Well, I hope the contestants on this show get  the mentoring the show's producers promise.  And the recording contract for the eventual winner.  I love singers.  Always have.  Always will.  So, I give all these singing contests a listen.  I'm lookin' forward to watching and listening to Scott on The X Factor USA.  No, he hasn't yet been confirmed as a contestant, but the power of positive-thinking is my friend.  Always has been.  Always will be!!!!

P.S.  I noticed two contestants tonight whom I've seen compete on other, televised, singing competitions.  Tarralyn Ramsey actually won Vh1's 2003 series, Born To Diva.  Nothing really became of her career, though.  And in that same year, Frenchie Davis was booted off American Idol for having posed topless on an internet site years prior.  I wish the best for both women.  It's obvious they love singing and will continue to do whatever they have to do to gain the public's affection.  After all, perseverance is omnipotent!!!!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Y'all Gon' Make Me Lose My Mind

I'm used to my upstairs neighbors fighting all the time.  She yells at him.  And she hits him.  Just total chaos up there.  They make me wonder WHY couples just don't seem to get along!  Well, I came home tonight around the 1:30 AM hour, and as I walked up the driveway, I noticed a lean, white dude, wearing only tiny, black, boxer briefs, standing in front of another of my, young, female neighbor's car.  Yes, she was inside the car, asking him to get out of her way, so she could pull off.  Yes, you guessed it.  They were fighting!  Of course, I walked right by them and entered my apartment.  I stood by the window and heard her mention something about him calling his ex-girlfriend or something.  Whatever their drama was, all I could think was, wow, exactly WHO said being single was so bad??????

Sunday, April 24, 2011

3 Nails + 1 Cross = 4given

Philippians 3:10-12

I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. (NIV)

Saturday, April 23, 2011

What In The World...??????

I stumbled across this story online, about a 15-yr-old boy named, Seath Jackson, and was...well...I was just soooo incredibly saddened.  I mean, why...WHY are human beings so cruel?  This fifteen-yr-old boy was beaten, shot multiple times, then BURNED!  And I'm talkin' burned down to ashes!  And all because of...a...GIRL!  'Tis truly a pity that youth is wasted on the young!  I wish the very best for the young boy's family.  And I hope & pray that the people who did this to him one day realize what they've done.  And feel a tremendous desire to make life better for EVERY person they encounter from this point forward!!!  Geez!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Hurts So Good

I've come to accept all the neck pain I'm probably gonna experience in my lifetime; 'cause I'm NEVER gonna stop LOOKIN' UP!!!!!!!!!  Yes, indeedy!!!!!!

Oh, Father

One of my dearest friends sent me an e-mail the other day, telling me that he referenced one of my blog posts in an homily he performed at his church.  He also sent the homily he wrote.  WOW!  What a powerful homily!  Its message truly resonates with me, too, because, in a sense, I, too, am a servant like the one he speaks of.  Off and on for the past twelve years---almost thirteen---I have earned money, working in the catering field.  As either a cater-waiter, captain or party supervisor.  And, admittedly, I have not performed those tasks with the dignity they deserve.  On more than a few occasions I have shuddered at the thought of running into someone I know while working a big party.  In a nutshell:  I've been ashamed of the fact I do the work.  I'm a college graduate.  I'm intelligent.  My haughty way of thinking told me repeatedly that I shouldn't be "serving" people.  Yes, inherently I know that's the wrong way to see things.  However, what I truly know and how I truly respond to what I know are sometimes two, entirely different things.  How foolish of me.  As my dear friend states in his terrific homily:  "If the all-powerful, all-knowing God would wash my feet…then how can I possibly be diminished by washing the feet of others?  More importantly, how can I possibly refuse to wash the feet of others?  How could I see myself as somehow above that kind of service?  Am I above God?"  ENOUGH SAID!!!!  --- My friend is a Catholic priest who truly represents everything priests are supposed to represent.  Flaws and all.  It makes me feel soooo flattered that he gleaned some inspiration from THIS post.  Father Reding, my dear, dear friend, THANK YOU.  And may humility inhabit me for the rest of my life. 

40 Days & 40 Nights

Next year, during Lent, I'm gonna try my damnedest to give up LUST.  'Cause, honestly, it can sometimes be all-consuming!  And, dang it, I truly want to see human beings as human beings.  I truly DO!  I DON'T want to see them something other than!!!  I truly DON'T! 

Thursday, April 21, 2011

A Cookin' Fool!

In a bit, I'm heading over to a friend's place to enjoy some of his ridiculously good home-cookin'!!!  Tonight's menu includes prime rib and some of his soft and buttery, home-made bread.  No, it's not monkey bread, but just as good!!!  I wonder how he'd do on Food Network's "Chopped," show.  No, he doesn't have the technical training like the chefs usually featured on the show, but I feel confident he would be able to whip up dishes that were equally as tasty as theirs!!!!  I can't wait to get there!  Yum!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Best Pit Stop In Town

My friend, Larry (aka Ulrich), introduced me to a terrific, frozen yogurt shop last week.  It's called, YOGURT STOP.  I ordered the flavor, Lezbionic Tonic Acai-Blu-Pom.  A mixture of Acai, Blueberry and Pomegranate.  Yes, it was a lil' tart, but oh, so good!  Especially after I added granola and Oreo cookie crumbles and nuts and fresh blueberries & mango!  Yum!  The mother cost dang near $6.00, but I loved it!!!!  And despite the name of the concoction, you don't have to be a lesbian to enjoy it!  Haaa!!!!

Just A Feeling

Sometimes I wake up and have an exhilarating feeling that the day is gonna go great!  On those days I'm filled with anticipation for events that are yet to come.  You know what?  Now that I think about it, it probably serves me best to have this feeling every, single day!  I called a friend this morning and left him a voicemail, telling him about this feeling.  Then, it hit me:  the day was great the moment I opened my eyes!  I mean, somebody---somewhere---DIDN'T open his eyes this morning!  That said, I'm gonna use this day to push forward in my pursuit of professional fulfillment AND treat a dear friend to some delicious yogurt AND try my damnedest to elicit a smile from whomever else I encounter as the day unfolds!!!!!  Yep!  The very moment I awakened this morning was the start of a GREAT/FANTASTIC/BLESSED DAY!!!  And this is so because I CHOOSE for it to be!!!!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Easy Breezy

Today I rolled outta bed, feelin' like I'm ready to make some BOLD moves!!!  I started with my usual, mornin' leak, then called up my landlord and left her a sweet, lil message!  Followed that up with a call to one of my dearest friends, Tyshawn.  Told him how much I appreciate & love him!!  Now, I have calls to make to get myself booked as host of somebody's industrial/game show/reality show, etc!!!  Yes, indeed, I'm feelin' pretty damn invincible today!!!  And, truth be told, I'm feelin' this way 'cause I realize my POWER!!!  Hot damn!  A change in attitude brings about a change in CIRCUMSTANCE!!!  Halleloo!!!  (thanks, Shangela)!!!  Haaa!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Faster Than A Speeding...

When I was a kid, I used to love reruns of The Roy Rogers Show.  Watching the two of them triumph over the bad guys was proof to me that good conquers evil!  Haaa!  Although I appreciated what the two of them did for the betterment of the world, I was more intrigued by their pets.  Roy's horse, Trigger, was greater than great.  He always managed to show up whenever Roy needed him most.  And Dale's horse, Buttermilk, although not as showy as Trigger, was still a great friend to Dale.  But what really kept my eyes glued to the tv screen was the hope that I'd see, BULLET, Roy's trusty & absolutely gorgeous German Shepherd!!!  Heck, back then, I watched any and every tv broadcast that featured a dog.  As time went on and The Roy Rogers Show wasn't shown as often, I found myself cheating on Bullet with another exceptional canine!!  Loved huh!!!!!!!!!!!  :)

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Since I Fell For Me

As the years roll by, one after the other, I've noticed that I've become more and more my own person.  Choosing to do what I want.  Say what I want.  Live as I want.  Without too much regard to what others say or think.  It's my goal to get to a place where I couldn't care less what others think of me as long as I live with a sense of kindness, consideration & empathy.  I haven't always lived this way, for sure.  But, being a work-in-progress, I'm gonna get there.  Or as close to there as possible.

I Just Can't

The Reverend Jesse Jackson is being sued by a former, male employee for "asking" the employee to suck WHAT?????  Nooooo, I just can't!!!  So, I'm gonna P.U.S.H. this tidbit of info right outta my lil' ol' spinnin' head!!!  Geez!!!!  --- Cringe at Read the story HERE!

Not The Apple Of My Eye

I've come to the conclusion that I highly doubt I'll ever buy another Apple product again.  I'll never replace my broken iPod.  I'll probably never buy an Apple laptop.  Nor an iPhone or iPad.  To get my music fix, I've started going to YouTube and assembling a playlist of all the songs I like.  That really works for me.  And it's FREE!  Since ear phones won't stay put in my ears, there's no need replacing my broken iPod.  Now I hike the mountains of Griffith Park and walk through my neighborhood with only the sounds of the streets pulsating through my ears.  And, if I have to be totally frank, the sound of my own voice.  Yes, I talk to myself when I'm out and about.  And I love the conversation! --- Steve Jobs has done and continues to do a terrific job, running Apple.  But this ol' dude doesn't need to be a part of the "in" crowd, so I'm perfectly fine with never owning another Apple product.  Truth be told, an Apple a day just ain't the fruit of choice in my book any longer!!!  I've moved on to acai!!!!

Weapon Of Mass Construction

Throughout my adult life I have enjoyed some tremendous highs (college graduation, moonlight, champagne toast on a beach in Barbados, dancing in NYC with dear friends) and endured a few, dismal lows (my mother's death, near bankruptcy).  What pulled me through all those lows was one, simple, intangible possession...
And what I know for sure is that without it, I'm NOTHING.  ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!!!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Just Sayin'

When I was a little boy I thought being an adult had to be the easiest thing in the world to be because I thought there were no tests and no quizzes and no listening to teachers all day!  Haaa!  Boy oh boy if I knew then what I know now, I would've savored every, single day of my childhood and young adult years!!!  Being a responsible & productive adult ain't easy.  In fact, sometimes it's so dang difficult you wanna sit in a corner and cry.  All dang day!!!!  Don't get me wrong.  I'm happy to be the man I am.  And I look forward to growing toward being the man I'd like to become.  However, this "in the meantime" is tryin' to kick my I-wanna-live-a-life-of-service b-u-t...!  But I'm still here.  And I'm still optimistic.  And I'm still hopeful.  And I'm still finding my way.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Pot & The Kettle

Seems that all hell has broken loose!  Reason being:  the four, most popular, cast members of Mtv's New Jersey Shore are gonna be paid $100,000 per episode for Season Four of the series.  I see that people all across the web have something snarky to say about that, but hey, if you were in your twenties and someone wanted to pay YOU for behaving ridiculously, I'm sure you'd accept the moolah, too!!!!  I'm SURE of it!!!  What really made me chuckle, though, was Anderson Cooper's queeny bitchy commentary on Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi. He described her as a "...juicehead-loving, muscle machine." Haaa! Now, I ask you, if you take one look at the silver-haired fox's career AND the company he keeps, how does his description of the beloved Snooki make HER any different than HE????

Monday, April 11, 2011

FRANKly Speaking

I've experienced it several times already.  First, my mother.  Then, my aunt.  Then, sister.  Then, father.  Each time was less of a shock than the other.  You see, repetition seems to have a way of lessening emotional pain.  Right now, I feel...well...I feel...numb.  You see, one of my newfound friends passed away last week.  He was darn near 50 yrs older than I.  How we came to be friends is a bit unusual.  Let me explain.

My father passed away in June 2009.  He was 85 yrs old.  He had been living under the expert care of my youngest sister for five years.  Dementia was playing peekaboo with him.  Sometimes his memory was there.  Sometimes it wasn't.  A too-fast-for-indoors electric wheelchair replaced his favorite La-Z-Boy .  He rarely recognized the photographs of my six siblings.  But he always got MY photo right.  ALWAYS!  Anyway, he lived in Indiana and I live here in Los Angeles.  So, I didn't see him as often as my siblings did because they live in Indiana, too.  After his death, I was determined to spend time with people who were just like him so that I would have some of the same experiences my siblings enjoyed.  Or endured, depending on which sibling you talk to.  For several years I've driven past a Senior Living residence in Studio City.  I've always commented to myself about how attractive the building looked from the outside.  I never thought in a million years, though, that I'd actually have a reason to step through its doors.  But, one day, out of the blue, a thought came to me to walk into the residence and inquire about volunteering.  So, I did just that.  Immediately after I exited the residence  I e-mailed the director of Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters Los Angeles Camp Max Straus (Whew! That's a long title) and told him I wouldn't be returning to the volunteer work I had been doing with children since 2007.  Instead, I told him I was going to share my volunteer time with the elderly.  And I intentionally say, share, instead of give, because I don't give them anything.  They give to me.  I simply share with them.  When October 2010 rolled around, I began my work at the Sunrise Senior Living Residence.  And it is there that I met my friend.  Frank.

After co-leading Frank and the other residents in a rigorous, hour-long exercise routine, I'd join them for lunch.  Truth be told, I should use the lunch hour to sit with all the various residents so I can become better acquainted with everybody.  But, I'm human.  And being human, that means I gravitate toward those whose spirits inexplicably pull me toward them.  And Frank's spirit did just that!  During lunch, we'd talk about his life prior to California.  I moved to L.A. from Brooklyn, so having lived in Brooklyn was something we had in common.  He talked about his beloved, deceased wife and how much he loved her cooking.  He talked about his love for his big ol' roomy Buick Electra 225 automobile!  "Deuce & a quarter," he'd call it!  He talked about the woman he was seeing before he moved to California.  She didn't want to move west, so he left her back on the east coast and never looked back.  He told me that he had sons, but he never really went into detail about them.  The person he couldn't stop talking about was his daughter.  Boy oh boy was he proud of his daughter.  Every time I joined him for lunch at HIS corner table in the front of the dining room, I heard something about his daughter.  "I've been to the Academy Awards and all sorts of premieres," he told me once; ever so nonchalantly, mind you.  "'Cause my daughter's a bigwig at Universal."  Haaa!  During the past, Oscar season, he quizzed me about the nominated films I'd seen.  Since I'd seen virtually none of 'em, he offered to let me view the screeners his daughter, "the bigwig," let him have.  Lol!  What a character!  Lol!

A little over a month ago, I returned to the residence on my usual Sunday and was told that Frank had been hospitalized.  I was shocked.  Yet, I don't know why, because every week that I return to the residence I hear something new about one of the elderly residents.  And, that "new" thing I hear has actually gotten quite old.  Frank was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.  Oh, boy, I thought.  This isn't good for anybody!  Especially not a 91-yr-old!  Well, the next time I returned for duty, he was still in the hospital.  When he returned back home, he had been moved into a larger room so that his family could stay with him.  And, less than a week back home, he passed.  Just like that.  I never got a chance to see him after his hospital stay.  I mean, it went like this:  one week I'm talkin' and laughin' with him during lunch.  The next time I'm at his residence he's in the hospital.  The next time I'm there his burial takes place that very same day!  Just like that!

This past Sunday was Frank's burial.  And, sadly, I wasn't able to attend his funeral.  Well, truth be told, I could have, but one of the full-time employees of the residence deeply wanted to attend, and she couldn't unless she found someone to substitute for her in her absence.  I volunteered to be that someone.  So, while she (who adored Frank very much, too) attended his funeral service, I remained at the residence and called the two, Bingo games she would've called for the assisted-living & Alzheimer's residents.  But, the whole while, I wondered what Frank's spirit was doing.  Was it getting gussied up to rekindle a long, lost love affair with his wife?  Was it grabbin' a cocktail in celebration of not having to worry about diabetes any longer???  Or was he just thanking God that his daughter and sons and grandchildren and friends were all in one place?  Safe.  And sound.  No, he wouldn't have wanted any tears.  He was too practical for that.  He would've wanted a celebration!  So, celebrate I shall!

Frankly speaking, I finally understand why God & His Universe gave Frank his surname.  'Cause the Frank I had the distinct privilege of knowing was indeed a GOOD MAN.

MR. FRANK GOODMAN, no matter how many different ways it's spoken or written, the sentiment remains the same:  good-bye, my friend.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Oops, I Almost Did It Again!

Several years ago I forgot a sister's birthday.  I felt so bad I sent her an enormous Mother's Day card to make amends.  This year, I didn't forget it.  Well, I sorta did.  What I actually did was send her birthday greetings two weeks EARLY!  Yep, her birthday is actually on the 19th, but I thought it was the 9th (I knew there was a nine in there somewhere) and sent her an e-card and called her on that day!  She chuckled and kindly reminded me that the 19th is her birthday.  Then, went on to explain that the 19th has been her birthday for dang near 51 yrs!!!  Oh well, I'll send her birthday greetings again on the 19th.  That is, if I can remember!  Haaa!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Half A Century + 1

My big sis, Marguerite (more commonly known as, Honey) celebrates her 51st birthday today!  51st!  WOW!!!  When she turned 50 last year I thought, WOW!  Now, I'm thinkin' WOW+1!!!!  In just two years she'll be the same age our mommy was when she went HOME.  As always, I'll call, Honey, and wish her a glorious birthday over the phone!!!  And she'll get a 21st century e-card, too!!!  She's a phenomenal woman!  And ain't so bad at being a friend, sister, mother & grandmother, either!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, April 8, 2011

My Other Brother

When I was a kid I couldn't get enough of Michael McDonald's voice.  It was husky.  Thick.  Smooth.  And soulful as hell!!!!  That white boy could sing!!!  The Doobie Brothers wouldn't have been the same without him.  I'd love to meet him one day and tell him how much I enjoyed his music.  Back then, vocalists could sing in AND out of the studio!  Wherever he is today, I hope he's still singin'!!!!!!!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Put One Foot In Front Of The Other

I'm headin' out now for a nice, brisk walk.  Sittin' at a desk all day isn't good for ANYBODY!!!  It sure isn't good for MY body!  I intend to walk till I can't walk any longer!  I bet the real reason I don't have a car now is so that I'll walk more.  Haaa!  At least that's what I'm gonna keep tellin' myself!  lol

It's My World

Yes, at this very moment, it might feel like I'm carryin' a world's worth of debt uncertainty on my shoulders, but this ol' dude TRULY believes that FAITH the size of a mustard seed can bring one through the fiercest of adversity!  And MY faith is a whole helluva lot BIGGER than a mustard seed!!!!!!!!!  So, onward & upward I go!!!!

If You Want Something Done Right...

It's 2011 and the television, film, music and publishing worlds just ain't what they used to be.  Now, actors, musicians and writers don't have to wait on big companies to get their work out to the masses.  And, for unknown artists like me, that's a colossal blessing!!!  I say all this to say that my first novel IS gonna see the light of day whether or not Random House, HarperCollins et. al. know I'm alive!!  Yippee for the power of self-publishing!  Uhhh...FREE self-publishing, that is!!!!