One of the most beautiful sights in the world to me is a baby with chubby cheeks. I mean, when I see them, I just wanna kiss 'em!!! One of my cousins used to cover her cheeks with her hands when I came around 'cause I used to kiss 'em so often. I'm sooooo happy I don't know the baby pictured above. 'Cause if I did, he/she would HATE me!!!!! Guaranteed!
Wednesday, July 27, 2011
Sunday, July 24, 2011
A BREAKDOWN is what a BREAKTHROUGH looks like in its early stages!!! That means, my breakthrough is on the way; 'cause this current, professional breakdown I'm experiencing is setting me up for my breakthrough!!! Hallelujah!!!!
"The Heart Of A Trailblazer!" from Touré Roberts on Vimeo.
Saturday, July 23, 2011
Two nights ago I met up with one of my dear friends from college. He was here in L.A. on business. Anyway, we met up at 10 PM or so in North Hollywood. After he parked, we walked up to Big Wangs, a sports bar. He looked great as usual. I always enjoyed him during college. He still maintains the same, kind spirit he had back then. Once inside the restaurant/bar, the first order of business was ordering drinks. He ordered a beer and I ordered a margarita on the rocks with three olives! Haaa! Nobody understands why I order olives with every drink, but the truth is, 'cause I like 'em. No other reason! --- Well, my friend and I began with the exchange of the usual pleasantries, until I asked him if his life truly was as great as he said he it was. I asked if in fifteen yrs of marriage, had he ever felt like ending it. Oh, boy, that wound up being the million dollar question. Within the next hour or so, I learned that he had discovered that his lovely wife had cheated on him during a business trip. And that she had met up with the guy on another occasion as well. Needless to say, my friend was devastated. And the whole ordeal turned him into a man he isn't. Obsessed. Sneaky. Maybe even a bit paranoid. His psyche was so unstable he lost 30 lbs while getting to the bottom of this thing. I sat and listened to him explain, detail by detail, how he learned more & more about her indiscretion(s). He seemed to possess a strong desire to speak to the man in person. I'm not sure why, though. Whenever there is adultery, I always wonder why the wronged is so obsessed with confronting the other party. In my humble opinion, all anger and disappointment rests upon the shoulders of your partner. Luckily, he never met up with the man face-to-face. He seems to be less focused these days on continuing to pursue contact with him. And I'm happy about that. What I'm not happy about is that this affair has changed the man he was. It has compelled him to do things he wouldn't ordinarily do. The real test of time will determine if he can ever regain his trust in his wife. I hope he can. I hope he can for the marriage's sake. And for his family's sake. But mostly for the sake of his own, mental health. He won't feel completely back to being himself until he can forgive her and let this go. What he simply can't do is fret and worry about her whereabouts everytime she's out of his sight. 'Cause the wise man knows, paranoia will destroy ya. Every, single time.
Slowly, but ever so surely, this ol' dude is makin' his way toward some long-awaited professional & personal fulfillment! Reckon it doesn't really matter how long it takes to get there. All that matters is that you get there!!! And I'm headin' in the direction of, there!!!!
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
Queen Latifah's response to the never-ending questions, regarding how she feels about the hate-filled blog comments about her alleged, closeted lesbianism, echoes my sentiments to a "T":
"Everybody else can do the reading; I'll do the living."
There's NO sweeter revenge against those who envy you than LIVING WELL!! God bless her!
As I sit here at my desk---my life seemingly stuck in ho-hum hell---this question nips away at me like a pack of snarling Chihuahuas! I'm NOT goin' to bed tonight till I've come up with SOME kind of plan to shake up this life of mine! I've slept enough.
You ain't gotta tell me twice!!!! 'Cause bitchin' & moanin' about how "The Man" won't give people who look like me a chance in this town WON'T get me ANYWHERE. Well...nowhere 'cept an early GRAVE! And this ol' dude AIN'T ready to take up residence there just yet!!! So, NO more complaining and LOTS more DOING!!!!
If I don't get out of this apartment--PRONTO--and start earning some loot, doing something I truly enjoy, I don't know what I'm goin' to do. I mean, honestly, the adage about idle hands is TRUER than true!!! I've declared to myself that I'll cease at least one, colossal time-waster. I hope & pray it leads me to some unadulterated BLISS!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm hopeful. Yes, indeed, I'm hopeful.
Monday, July 18, 2011
It truly mystifies me how the moment you go to someone else with something you've created, it's never good enough just as it is. It always needs tweaking. Rearranging. Rewriting. Resculpting. Retooling. Re-something. As I've matured, I've realized that people bring their own experiences to whatever they're presented. What else can they do? They can't always bring your experiences to a situation because they aren't you. Or me. One of my dearest friends sent back a critique of my book proposal I sent to her for her opinion. And her opinion is precisely what I got. No, it didn't ravage my work, but it was abundantly clear that she---a talented, book editor---didn't love it. And that's all right. But my question is this: if my proposal was read by 15 talented, book editors---I'd receive 15, similar or distinctly different critiques---but at what point would I, the writer, simply say, it is what it is? I'm of the mindset that whatever it is one creates, if he just puts it out there for public consumption, those who relate to it, will come to it. And, those who don't, won't. Why are books and tv & film scripts written and rewritten a dozen times before we see them? Surely what the artist originally created is no longer. How could it be? When a child is created, you get what you get at its birth. And I like it that way. I really do. Why should a book, script, song, be written just like everybody else's? I know why. Because most people simply don't like ANYTHING in its natural state. Because most people don't believe ANYTHING can be any good just as it is/was originally conceived. Well, I'm gonna truly listen to the words of my talented, book editor friend. But, no, I won't search for a ghost writer (her suggestion); nor will I run to a class (also her suggestion). And I won't do any of those things because the purpose for being directed to do so is so my writing is like everybody else's. When God created me, he created ME. And I'm the ONLY me he created. No rewrites. No ghost Gods. No classes. He simply made a boy who is INCREDIBLE---TALENTED---LOVING---EMPATHETIC---PERSONABLE---CREATIVE---and ACCEPTING...JUST AS I AM.
Sunday, July 17, 2011
I was just referred to my fave, YouTube, to check out the commencement speech Harry Potter author, J.K. ROWLING, delivered to Harvard grads back in 2008. BRILLIANT! Absolutely BRILLIANT! I'd like to highlight several of her thoughts that moved me most:
"[Poverty]...is not an ennobling experience. Poverty entails fear, and stress, and sometimes depression; it means a thousand petty humiliations and hardships. Climbing out of poverty by your own efforts, that is indeed something on which to pride yourself, but poverty itself is romanticised only by fools."
"Ultimately, we all have to decide for ourselves what constitutes failure, but the world is quite eager to give you a set of criteria if you let it."
"So why do I talk about the benefits of failure? Simply because failure meant a stripping away of the inessential. I stopped pretending to myself that I was anything other than what I was, and began to direct all my energy into finishing the only work that mattered to me. Had I really succeeded at anything else, I might never have found the determination to succeed in the one arena I believed I truly belonged. I was set free, because my greatest fear had been realised, and I was still alive, and I still had a daughter whom I adored, and I had an old typewriter and a big idea. And so rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life."
"...some failure in life is inevitable. It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all – in which case, you fail by default."
"The knowledge that you have emerged wiser and stronger from setbacks means that you are, ever after, secure in your ability to survive. You will never truly know yourself, or the strength of your relationships, until both have been tested by adversity."
"Life is difficult, and complicated, and beyond anyone’s total control, and the humility to know that will enable you to survive its vicissitudes."
"...if you retain the ability to imagine yourself into the lives of those who do not have your advantages, then it will not only be your proud families who celebrate your existence, but thousands and millions of people whose reality you have helped change. We do not need magic to change the world, we carry all the power we need inside ourselves already: we have the power to imagine better."
"As is a tale, so is life: not how long it is, but how good it is, is what matters."
It is my goal to live a GOOD life. So...having been taught over & over again that I'm a SURVIVOR, I shall do whatever I have to do to live the life I KNOW I was born to live. It won't be easy. But it'll be worth it. This, I know. For sure! I've never read any of her books, nor seen any of the films based upon them. But, for this commencement speech, I say, "Thank you, J.K. Thank you very much."
Today's church sermon was about summoning up the fight within. Focusing on that fight and attaining the higher level of living each of us wants/deserves to live! I am a prime example of a person whose fight has lessened due to life's circumstances. A part of me feels like I've been pummeled into virtual submission by professional setbacks; which rolled over into financial setbacks. Through it all, I still holdfast to the belief that I CAN turn things around. And make those things PRECISELY what I want them to be. So, I'll begin this week with the same FAITH I've held onto for years and years and years. I WILL overcome this "ho-hum" existence I'm oftentimes feeling. Because I DO see the light at the end of the tunnel!!! I'm not ready to step out of the ring just yet. This ol' dude STILL has some fight left in him!!!
Friday, July 15, 2011
Tomorrow, my boy, Chris, and I are gonna hop onto the train and head over to Sunset Gower Studios to check out a feast for the eyes, nose and taste buds! And all in the name of a great cause: The Saban Free Clinic. If it wasn't for the clinic, my cholesterol wouldn't be as low as it is. I'm eternally grateful for the generosity of those who help keep the clinic running. I hope & pray that I, too, will one day contribute a pretty penny to its efforts! Until then, I plan to eat, drink and be merry tomorrow during the fund-raiser! Yum!!!!!
While workin' on the set of a Snapple commercial two days ago, I met a dude named, MELVIN TENNER, who told me he'll be forty years old shortly. He's practically a newbie in the world of bodybuilding and has already won a competition or two. He's living proof that one can make incredibly positive changes in life at ANY age. All one has to do is DO the work! The dude looks great and seems to possess one helluva positive attitude, too. God bless him. I think I'll actually check out his next competition in October!!!! And make some positive life changes of my own!!!!!
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
Tomorrow afternoon I'm back on the set of yet another commercial shoot. I'll be contributing my vast talents as a background performer! And, you know what? That suits me just fine! But, truth be told, if I'm gonna keep doin' this work, I'd better get a commercial agent again. I haven't had one since 2003 or so. And the real money is made as a principal performer. NOT workin' background! For now, though, with this background work, I'm as happy as a sissy at the "Y." Haa!!!
Last Sunday I treated myself to the new film, A BETTER LIFE. It's the story of a Mexican immigrant who longs to build a better life for himself and his fourteen-yr-old son. The film tells the story of a former, Mexican day-laborer in Los Angeles who is hired by another Mexican who built a gardening business from scratch. When the employer decides to retire and move back to Mexico, he ofters to sell his business to the former day-laborer. After that, all chaos ensues. While I sat in the movie, all I could think about was my father. How he worked like a dog to make a better life for my siblings and me. And I thought about myself. How my immaturity prohibited me from seeing how incredible my father was at the time. The teenaged boy in this film was equally as immature as I was. 'Cept, back then, I would never have spoken to my father like the kid oftentimes did. And I would never have thought to cut school. Anyway, by the film's end, my heart was broken into a million, little pieces. I understand why this country has to be strict about immigrant migration, but geez, the father in this film was sooooo kind and hardworking. And what an incredible moral fiber he possessed. He did the right thing even when doing the right thing wasn't to his benefit. That takes a REAL man to live such a life. And my father was INDEED a REAL MAN!!! The REAL(est)!!! :) --- I hope this film makes its money back. 'Cause it's a terrific story. And those in this country who don't truly see the Mexicans here, would learn a lot from this film. I sincerely hope they see it!!!
Thursday, July 7, 2011
My blog rarely makes mention of politics. Almost NEVER, actually. And the reason is because politics bore me. And oftentimes make me fantasize about doing bodily harm to its participants. I don't like harboring those kinds of fantasies. I'd rather my fantasies leave me with a strong desire to wash myself after thinking about them. Not with a strong desire to inflict physical damage to another human being. So, no politics for me and my blog. I just wouldn't feel right afterward.
A couple nights ago, during one of my usual, late-night strolls to Universal Studios, I ran into a fella I originally met seven-nine years ago. Back then he was one of the "young & beautiful" people in Hollywood. Always surrounded by a posse of other young & beautiful people. The belle of the ball, so-to-speak. Fast-forward to today and his life has come full circle. To the outside world looking in, his life is probably a letdown. To him, though, it's a revelation! You see, back when he was living the "high" life (figuratively & literally) he was drinking & drugging to excess. In fact, seven years ago, he was driving drunk and flipped his car upside down into a ditch off the freeway. He had a passenger riding with him who was already knocked out before the accident. When the dust settled, both were still alive, but the passenger later sued him and won a $6000 judgment. The guy I know, through the grace of God, walked away from the accident with his life. Of course his driving privileges were taken away from him. And shortly thereafter, all the "beautiful people" he thought were his friends walked out of his life, too. They laughed at him behind his back. His spirit was broken into a million, little pieces. --- When I saw him the other night, we discussed what he's learned about all the craziness he once invited into his life. And, from what he told me, he's learned a lot. He's learned that he's MORE THAN a beautiful face & body. And more than being seen at the "best" parties and knowing the "best" people. He's learned that very few people truly have his best interests at heart. Well, I wish the best for him. As I wish the best for everybody. I gave him a huge hug and told him that now that he seems to love himself, he'll no longer tolerate the kind of "friends" he once had. And he'll no longer participate in self-destructive behavior. If we live long enough, we certainly learn what works for us and what doesn't. The key is making the necessary adjustments so that what works for us is what we experience most. And, truth be told, the choice is solely OURS for the making!!!
Tuesday, July 5, 2011
In order to make sure I devote my time toward procuring work that truly interests me, I've told myself that I won't get onto Facebook or check unimportant e-mail accounts until I've accomplished my goal. If I want to see positive change in my present, day-to-day life, I MUST stick to my word. After all, truth be told, my word is all I've got. I can tell sticking to it won't be easy. But what I know for sure is that it'll be worth it.
Over this past, Fourth of July Weekend, I oftentimes found myself thinking about how I would attack this week, determined to get myself gainful employment doing something I love! Saturday night, as I sat in the comfy home of a beautiful young lady named, Amanda, I thought about it. Sunday, as I stood in The Abbey amongst a horde of folks, I thought about it. Monday, when I sat in a restaurant with a friend and his friends, I thought about it. Every time I make a move these days, I think about the day I will be able to live as freely as I used to. When I had a regular paycheck. When I had no need for a roommate. When I had no need for a car. When I could walk into a travel agency and purchase a plane ticket without worry. A part of me doesn't feel as powerful and confident as I usually am; because I don't have the finances to live as I want. I have run, kicking & screaming, from a 9-to-5 job for dang near 15 years. That's not the life for me and I know it. I'm supposed to be working 15-hour days, doing what I love: talking. As myself!! And, then, it won't be work. It'll just be me being me. Today I did indeed take a huge foot forward toward booking work as a host/moderator. So, yes, I truly believe I'll again see the sun. Might take time, might take time, but I'll see it. When I'm Back On My Feet Again!!!!!!!!!
Monday, July 4, 2011
This Fourth Of July weekend has been a good time. I spent Saturday at a terrific barbeque, hosted by a friend of a friend. The hostess was a knockout! And her pitbull, Otis, was awesome, too!!! --- Last night, I went to my fave haunt, THE ABBEY. The place was packed! Okay---jam-packed! I could see the younger crowd, having the time of their lives. Reminded me of when I was there age, walking into a bar & thinking I owned the world! I still wish black, gay guys were kinder to each other. But, as they mature, perhaps they'll feel what I feel. Anyway, one guy I know was there with another dude who wound up getting into a fight outside the establishment. I am soooo thankful it was outside the place, but I wish it hadn't happened at all. Despite the fact that those fighting truly only represent themselves, I know--to "others"--that they represent all black & latino guys. I'm not sure why some people can't manage avoid physical confrontations at all cost, but I am sure that that kind of behavior is NOT wanted at THE ABBEY. Not by the bar's owners, employees NOR customers!! --- It is 6:27 PM and I am in for the night. I'll step outside to water some plants and possibly go to the grocery store for yogurt or something, but not goin' out to party. No, sirree, Bob! --- To this entire nation, though, I say, HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY!
Sunday, July 3, 2011
Saturday, July 2, 2011
Every day I see more and more that people are hurting. Financially. Emotionally. Professionally. Just sorrow everywhere I turn. And I have to ask myself...why? With all the resources on this planet, why are people going without? Without self-esteem. Without food. Without shelter. Simply without. I suspect the reason is that helping our fellow man isn't as important to most as acquiring material possessions. If I were currently living my professional dream, I wonder what I'd think of all the despair I see around me. Could I be so tuned in to the hurt and pain I see because I'm feeling some myself? Perhaps. But, either way, I see what I see and want to do what I can to ease some of the misery people believe they're enduring. I hope & pray the volunteer work I do at the assisted-living residence affects some of the residents and staff in a positive way. Surely my work there isn't in vain. I hope & pray that, although professional success hasn't embraced me yet, that it's on the way. Surely my journey toward it isn't in vain. I hope that all the young & "older" brothers and sisters I know who are striving to earn a living as actors/writers/directors, etc., aren't striving in vain. No adult wants to move back in with his/her parents because they can't make it out here on their own. Positive self-esteem is NOT born that way. --- Whatever the future brings, I fully intend to keep living and loving as freely and openly and compassionately as I currently do. And, whether I have two dollars in my pocket or two million, I intend to continue extending a helping hand to those I deem worthy of receiving one. Yes, I have to make that judgement call. I am a SURVIVOR. For that, I am thankful. It's high time I transition into being a THRIVER! 'Cause living my BEST life is lonnnnnng overdue!!!!