Friday, December 5, 2014

Freelance Article: The G-List Society "When Gay Men Decides To Change His Role In Dating & Relationships”


“After playing the field for so long, metaphorically speaking, just to have hearts broken by the same type of dominance in the romantic sense, there comes a time when a submissive man is tired of playing that role, and is ready to change his ways for future romantic partnerships…..”

This is only a preview of what is written in my new freelance article that is officially online for everyone to see. This new article is titled “When A Gay Man Decides To Change His Role In Dating & Relationships.This is a social commentary piece regarding gay men and how things have changed for some of them in regards to how they view relationships nowadays. Based on my observation, it looks like cupid might have to literally scratch some men off his list, and find new targets for the men who are changing their ways.

Some are not “bending over” anymore.

Click the link below to read the rest and enjoy the ride. Big thanks Waddie Grant, creator of The G-List Society for publishing this piece. It feels wonderful to be featured on another mainstream online media that all our peers now.

Don’t forget. Be sure to comment, share, and subscribe to The G-List Society. Like Wendy Williams say, “Everyone have an opinion.” Don’t be afraid to share yours. Your voice matters, no matter how ridiculous your opinion might be.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

The Awkward Transition From Weekly To Monthly Metrocards


I, for one, didn't ever think I would now be using monthly metrocards. Then my transition happened by total accident.

I woke up at 6:50a.m. to begin another day in college. Wanting to catch trains before the morning traffic arrived, I quickly got dressed, ate breakfast, and left by 7 in order to catch the 7:15 train. I don't know why many people spend a large amount of time to get ready. It only takes me ten minutes to get ready as long as I have my clothes prepared for the day before.

I got to the machine, ready to process my new metrocard for the new week. I was pressing one button after the next like I had the whole procedure memorize from start to finish. My internal thoughts were thinking that I wasn't going to make a mistake because I've been following the same steps since the day I started processing metrocards from the machine.

All of a sudden, my mind came back to reality and I saw the machine read "You will be charged $112. Ok."

My heart instantly fell. I accidentally pressed the monthly metrocard instead of the weekly. I had my card processed into the machine and everything. There was no going back. My only choice was to press Ok. So I did.

Out came a new monthly metrocard and so began my new collection of monthly metrocards. Isn't that something?

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Technology Dependency


Technology has become a central part of our lives. It has come a long way from the time when we used to think it was a hobby. Now it is more advanced and a part of or lives more than how we expected it to be. We wont be able to last a day without technology. It's an addiction that's optional for rehab if we want it.

I began to realize during my own self experience. I woke up at a friend's place after a crazy night of partying. I was totally intoxicated the night before and I knew I couldn't make it back to my apartment. So my friend was good enough his door for me.

By the time I woke up and realized I had to go to work, I was totally aware that I wasn't going to be able to get my laptop and arrive to work on time. I left it at home and just came to work. Within the first two hours sitting in my chair, I found myself freaking out and ready to lose it. All of my work and personal things were on that computer. With the exception of my phone, I had no technology around me.

The fact that I couldn't last two hours without technology made me realize how dependent I was on technology. I was lucky to get everything done on my phone, but I had a visual statistic on how we as human beings are dependent on technology.

Do you feel the same way?

"Singled OUT!" with Roque Caston on JuanandGee.com


I got a email from a guy named Gee Session-Smalls, who runs a very popular website with his husband titled JuanandGee.com. He said he read my feature Coping With Being The Third Wheel When All My Friends Are Coupled Up on MUSED magazine, and ask me if I would contribute a piece to his popular "Singled OUT!" column.

Singled OUT!”is a popular column on the LoveWorks section of Juan&Gee.com that features the perspective of guest writers who are single, dating and OUT!  The purpose of the column is to acknowledge the voices of single supporters and to begin to understand love & relationships through the lens of people's reality.

I was happy to share my perspective on the single life. My piece is titled "There's Nothing Wrong With High Standards."

Click here and enjoy the article. Thank you to Gee-Session Smalls and Juan Session-Smalls for letting me be featured in your popular column series.

Monday, July 28, 2014

The Trip To Massachusetts To Get My Prize Part 3


I began my temporary journey in Massachusetts as soon as the bus left the area. I had no time to waste. I needed to be at the resort in less than an hour.

The first thing that caught my attention was that the location of the bus stop was on top of a hill. That meant I had to walk back down the hill and make a turn to the open road area. I knew instantly that this was going to be a difficult travel.

First off, I was wearing slim fit black pants and the second thing is that it's scorching hot outside. As I kept walking down the hill, I can feel my pants taking in all of the heat from the sun's rays. So for every single step, I can feel my boxers engulfing my body below the belt with a tsunami of heat and sweat.

I finally made it down the hill and began my way down the road. I've lived 20 and a half years of my life in the South, but I have never seen a open field the way I saw it in Lee, Massachusetts. There were open fields full of mountains, grass, and only a few houses. Some were even abandoned and easy to walk towards if you were risky. The area was so quiet, you can only hear the birds chirping from a distance. Only two or three cars would by pass me every five minutes.

After living in New York City for two years, this was my first time in a long time walking across a field like this. In a way, it felt like returning to familiar lands, even though it wasn't New Orleans.

In the beginning, I was scared to your skin that I wasn't going to be able to find the resort. So I felt extremely grateful that I am living in a generation where my cell phone has it's own GPS system. That way, I could never get lost.

After an hour and a half of power walking and a slight jogging, I finally made it to the resort. I told the people who I was. They asked me to wait in the lobby and welcomed me to coffee and snacks. Everyone knows I am a heavy coffee drinker and I was hungry after the entire walk. You better believe that I took advantage of the snacks in front of me.

I sat down for thirty minutes and I was eventually called to be one of the representatives from the resort.

TO BE CONTINUED 


Wednesday, July 23, 2014

I'm Looking For Cocktail Napkins


Every once in a while, you get an assignment that sends you all over the city. It's your own mini episode of The Devil Wears Prada.

One Tuesday afternoon, my boss was having another one of his annual monthly mixers being held in the conference room. It's a chance for all entrepreneurs to come together and find amazing networking opportunities for their businesses. He told me that he particularly needed cocktail napkins for the food & beverages.

I will admit. I was distracted by so many things, I completely forgot what cocktail napkins were in that moment. I quickly Google "cocktail napkins" on my computer and instantly remembered what it was. This truly is the generation where you can stop saying "I Don't Know."

Google hasn't gotten me out of a lot of embarrassing situations, but that is another story.

I was first sent to Duane Reade to find the napkins. The one across the street from the building weren't selling any. Because I knew that there was another one two blocks away, I decided to stop by that one to see if they sold it there. I looked through the isle for ten minutes and it still got me nowhere. It turns out Duane Reade doesn't even sell cocktail napkins. Or at least not the two in Times Square.

I was tired, sweaty, and getting very irritated. Disappointment was all over my face, for I felt I was going to walk back into the office with nothing to give back to my boss. Apparently, someone must've felt the essence of my internal stress.

A lady who worked there asked me to go a grocery store called The Food Emporium. I was told they sold cocktail napkins there and I should try out over there. I never been to this popular for. So it was good chance to introduce to another grocery spot.

I ran four blocks and a wide avenue to get there. Any person that lives in New York City knows that walking, or even running, to the next avenue is no joke. It will wear you out in a split second.


I made it to The Food Emporium and finally found the cocktail napkins I was looking for. They were at low price. So I bought two using my bosses money. I made it back to the office forty minutes after leaving, and told my boss what happened and why it took so long.

He appreciated my efforts to finish the job and I placed the napkins next the alcohol bottles while the meeting was still going on. You bet your butt that I had one....maybe two cups of Pinot Grigio. Hard work deserves a drink all the time.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

MUSED Magazine| Coping With Being The Third Wheel When All My Friends Are Coupled Up


My new article for MUSED Magazine has been published. I'm always excited to see a new piece. They're like family to me over there. Seeing what MUSED has become for almost 3 years now is such a beautiful thing that I am honored to be a part of.

In this piece Coping With Being The Third Wheel When All My Friends Are Coupled Up, I give a perspective on what's it like living the single life while all of my friends are married or in a relationship. This is a careful observational piece and I give my admiration to everyone. Whether you're single or not, everyone deserves happiness in their lives. 

Click here to read the piece.

Monday, July 21, 2014

The Trip To Massachusetts To Get My Prize Part 2


The morning finally arrived and I made it to the bus station. I skipped a day of school in order to do this trip. I was anxious the whole time. After all, I haven't ventures outside of the city since I went with that lesbian couple and friends to their summer house in the Hamptons. Even so, I was being driven in the backseat of a crampy car.

This was going to be my first time riding a bus from one state to another by myself.

I got on the bus as soon as it arrived. I felt good that there weren't a lot of people on the bus. I don't know why, but a large population of people on the bus will trigger my claustrophobia. I need my space. I calmed down thanks to a little music, and then I let my mind drift off by watching the second season of Revenge on DVD.


The bus eventually took of. I got a chance to look at some sections of New York before we got on the bridge. The views were spectacular. From the restaurants to the parks and the architecture, I was amazed by everything that I saw out my window. I told myself that when I come back to New York, I am going to visit these areas.

Eventually, the bus made it up the bridge and we were on the road. I expected myself to be anxious and nervous to be leaving the state by myself. Yet, I was calm as a bird. I was relaxed and enjoying the scandalous episodes of Revenge. I grew up watching soap operas at a particular time during my teenage years.

I realized at that because I rode a Greyhound bus from New Orleans to move to New York, I grew fearful of traveling. I concurred that due to my organized planing and acceptance on wanting to change my life. That alone has made me fearful of the anxiety I originally faced when I started traveling.

I guess it was a lesson for me. When you overcome the worst the first time, the second time will make you less fearful and immune.

Two hours and a lunch that I made at home later, I finally arrived in Lee, Massachusetts. The bus parked behind a local marketplace on top of a hill. I got off and took site of what was around me. It wasn't New Orleans, but it certainly gave me a Southern vibe due to the quiet community, open land, strong wind accuracy, and hot temperature.

TO BE CONTINUED

Monday, July 14, 2014

The Trip To Massachusetts To Get My Prize Part 1


When was the last time life actually gave you a moment when you told yourself "I won a prize?"

That one sentence sounds nonexistent nowadays because let's be honest. Hardly any of us actually one something in our lives. You look at television or read in the newspaper about someone winning the lottery. Thousands or millions of dollars have now been officially added to their bank account. Of course, they have to deal with taxes and all that stuff afterwards.

But still, they won something. Has there ever been a time when you actually had the opportunity to tell yourself that you've won a prize?

Apparently, my moment came a few months ago.

I went to the 2014 GLBT Expo, representing the travel guide company FunMaps. The Expo was just like you're everyday convention. You go from booth to booth and see the excellent resources, discounts, and a chance to win prizes that are available to you. I was too busy focusing on promoting FunMaps that I didn't worry about where I was submitting my name to. So I submitted my name to a a different travel company for a chance to win money and a week long stay on a cruise line.

Two months later, I received a phone call from the travel company, saying I've won the prize. My mouth dropped at the feeling that I've won something for the first time. I told them I was available any time to come and pick up prize.

Two weeks later, I got the phone call saying that I was confirmed to be the prize winner to come pick up the prize. However, here was the catch. I had to go to their headquarters myself and go pick up the prize.

Their headquarters was in Lee, Massachusetts.

As soon as I heard, my immediate thought was to cancel my appearance and give my prize to someone else. I haven't traveled outside of the city by myself. I was nervous about traveling. But according to the company, I couldn't turn it down after saying "Yes." Thousands of dollars were already spent on the anticipation of my arrival. Me not coming at that point would be a major disappointment.

I took a deep breath, called a friend, received a loan, and booked my a round trip ticket to Massachusetts that same night. I had to go the next day. I had no choice.

TO BE CONTINUED

Monday, June 30, 2014

Friday, June 27, 2014

I Want To Be Known For My Brain And Not My Body


Since puberty, I've been receiving tons of compliments about the way I look. Most people appear to be attracted to the way I look nowadays. Because of it, I've received tons of questions about my appearance.

Why are my glasses hiding these beautiful eyes of mine?

Your body is toned, but why don't you get more muscles?

I need to get out more. Why am I always inside and not acting like this other person?

Why do I act more smart and not seductive?

All of this is in regards to my body and how I treat myself around people. My response to that. Because I'm counting on my brain and not my body to succeed in life.

Growing up, I never had these so called good looks that everyone says I have now. All I had was my brain and my books. I've had to look deep inside myself and find out what makes me happy. So when people look at me on the outside, of course it can be puzzling why I didn't go into the other direction and depend on my looks for success.

I've been rocking glasses since I was little kid. I've become used to it and I have no intentions on wearing contacts. I dress casually and not seductively because I don't count on my looks for attention. I like casual clothes more than stand out fashion. I read literature more than magazines because I'm feeding my brain.

Don't get me wrong. I do have moments when I want to go the gym and work out. There are times when I want to walk outside with nothing on but my boxers and a wife beater. Topics revolving around sex will pop in casual conversations with me every now and then. But those are just moments. It doesn't define who I am. As much as I want success, I don't want to someday walk into a room, and a random person that doesn't know me, comes right next to me, and the only thing I could present is a Proactiv covered face with teeth that were just whitened from the dentist's office two hours ago.

I knew a long time ago that I was going to be counting on my brain more than my body. After all, I had a brain before I had good looks. I appreciate everyone who thinks I should be this other person. However, I'm comfortable dressing casually, sometimes geeky, and expressing to people what's going on in my head. I acknowledge my smartness and my sexiness, but I found the balance and they are not going to overshadow each other.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Escape The Collaborator!


One of the ways you know that you've been working anywhere for too long is when you've unconsciously studied your coworker's habits. You can tell when they're having a good day. You can tell when they're having a bad day. If you've figured that out, it might help you out during circumstances like this.

But I'm sure it's not as dramatic as how I handled it.

I arrived at work on a sunny day. You can feel in the room that something is going on. Everyone was so tense. Stress was all over their faces. The tension was so deep you can cut it with a knife. I originally let it go. I just wanted to go to my desk and remain the happy-go-lucky person that I am.

An hour later, I finished doing a couple of assignments and gave it to my collaborator for editing. Now, I've accepted my collaborator is a critical person with a critical eye on assignments, but for some reason, he was extra opinionated on the work. He went from my collaborator to Miranda Preisley in record breaking time.

"This looks ugly," he said one time. "I don't like this. Please change this. You know better than this. What the hell is wrong with you today?"

It was in that moment that I knew my collaborator was having a bad day, and I needed to get the hell out of my office fast before I blew up or something. Humans could only take so much. I saw an opportunity when him and another collaborator left to go on a smoke break. I packed my things fifteen minutes after they left and quickly walked over to the door.

Due to the fear of running into them, I literally ducked from one cubicle to the next. I looked like a bunny rabbit that no one saw hopping around in the office. I made it to the elevator and heard the door ring. I quickly ran into the men's restroom, hoping not to run into my co-worker again. I heard a door close and went straight to the elevator.

I got into the elevator and took a breath of fresh air as it was going down to the main floor. Five seconds later, I held my breath realizing that I can still bump into my collaborators downstairs. As soon as I arrived downstairs, I placed my cell phone in my ear and pretended I was on the phone until I was outside the building.

There were nowhere in site and I made it home in less than an hour. What a way to escape your collaborators! Lol!

Friday, June 20, 2014

Web Series - The Boys Who Brunch Episode 205


Once again, I'm excited to know that episode 205 of "The Boys Who Brunch." I have to say that I am very excited on how the season has progressed. I am also impressed by each and every scene in the background.

Here is another reason why I admire this show. The background settings are so decorative and beautiful. It always reminds me of the way a Nancy Meyers movie is created. When a Nancy Meyers comes out that she was directed, written, and produced, you not only can't wait for the storyline, but also can't wait to see how well the set is decorated.

Even the exterior shots are drop dead gorgeous to me when I watch "The Boys Who Brunch." The cast and crew definitely choose the right locations to film. Everything is florescent in it's own way.

Last time, we saw the boys dealing with different situations going on with their lives. Now we see each of them accepting the challenge, and moving on with their lives the best way they can. With humor, style, and grace, another one episode is presented to you below. Have a nice watch!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Whole Foods Equals Claustrophobia


I am not afraid to admit that I am claustrophobic. It's very minor, but it occurs every once in a while.

One day, while leaving work, I decided to do some extra grocery shopping by going to the Whole Foods to Columbus Circle. I've never been in that one, but I always found myself walking past it. I was always intrigued by what was going on down there. When the time came on Friday, I finally got on the escalator and walked inside of Whole Foods.

I grabbed a shopping bag and began browsing around the produce section. I love fruit. No matter where I go, the only think that will catch is a aisle full of fruit. I began searching around for some good apples, but I found myself having to walk left and right because people were coming back and forth. There was a time I thought there wasn't enough space for my feet to move.

It finally occurred to me that it was Friday, and everyone knows what that mean in New York City. Crowds.

Fifteen minutes in the grocery ended up triggering my claustrophobia. I felt trapped because it was hard for me to move. There were too many people talking around. I felt suffocated. I had to get out of that store.

Ever since then I have never entered Whole Foods on that Friday. Too many people!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

The Consequences For Cheating On My Barber


I pray to God that my barber doesn't know I have a blog. If he does, then I am totally screwed the next month when I see him for a hair appointment.

I love my barber to death. I really do. But there came a month when I couldn't afford my next month's cut. The plan was to wait another month, but I knew that wasn't going to happen. My hair is thick and wild. Even the slightest irritation in my head will cause me to scratch myself surreptitiously. Getting a haircut once a month is a necessity.

At least, it might be extended to twice a month.

On this one month, I decided to save money by taking advantage of this voucher I get from this old company that I still collaborate with. One of the benefits of working with this company is getting free barbershop vouchers. Depending on your age, you are sent to a particular barbershop where they accept their vouchers. My collaborators are all in their early 30s. They have access to this exclusive barbershop that is in collaboration with their company. In exchange for $50,000 a month including tips and royalties for the company, the company's employees get free haircuts.

Because I was the youngest person in the room like always, my only option was the American Barber Institute. No judgement!

I walked in there with the voucher, still feeling guilty that I was going behind my barber's back. I gave them by voucher and found sitting in a chair, waiting for close to an hour. The reason for that is because the majority of the barber students didn't come to work on that Friday, leaving only a few to deal with dozens of clients. Then to make it more depressing, the customers with vouchers had to wait in line because the clients who actually paid for their haircut had to go first.

Long story short, I finally got my turn. It was with a Latin male who didn't know English. Need I say more about how my haircut turned out.

That is what I get for cheating on my barber. Never again!

Monday, June 16, 2014

The Awkward Transition From Weekly To Monthly Metrocards


I, for one, didn't ever think I would now be using monthly metrocards. Then my transition happened by total accident.

I woke up at 6:50a.m. to begin another day in college. Wanting to catch trains before the morning traffic arrived, I quickly got dressed, ate breakfast, and left by 7 in order to catch the 7:15 train. I don't know why many people spend a large amount of time to get ready. It only takes me ten minutes to get ready as long as I have my clothes prepared for the day before.

I got to the machine, ready to process my new metrocard for the new week. I was pressing one button after the next like I had the whole procedure memorize from start to finish. My internal thoughts were thinking that I wasn't going to make a mistake because I've been following the same steps since the day I started processing metrocards from the machine.

All of a sudden, my mind came back to reality and I saw the machine read "You will be charged $112. Ok."

My heart instantly fell. I accidentally pressed the monthly metrocard instead of the weekly. I had my card processed into the machine and everything. There was no going back. My only choice was to press Ok. So I did.

Out came a new monthly metrocard and so began my new collection of monthly metrocards. Isn't that something?

Monday, June 9, 2014

How To Lose $50 In Five Minutes

If you don't want to lose $50, don't do what I did.

One day, I got a call to do a survey for a friend of mine. In exchange for doing the survey, I'd get $50. It took one hour and I walked out with my money. On the way out, I put the cash in my back pocket, mostly thinking about how I was going to get to the exit.

My friend's office was on the 12th floor. Once I got to the first floor, I happened to feel no cash in my back pocket anymore. I lost in money in the course of five minutes. I didn't want to be a drama queen and go upstairs to ask for the money. Instead, I walked outside and let it go.

So if you don't want to lose $50 in five minute, don't put the cash in your back pocket. I learned my lesson.


Friday, June 6, 2014

Stitch My Head Up! Part II


Previously on the blog post, I was telling you guys the story about how I accidentally created a hole in my scalp, and was immediately escorted to the hospital thanks to the overprotective nature of my parents.

Within 15 minutes of driving, we arrived at the hospital. I was immediately checked in and waited in the room for only 30 minutes. There were five elder people ahead of me, who have been waiting in the room for almost an hour. I skimmed past all of them due to the doctors worrying more about the child's health than the elder's help. The elders talked about having broken legs or having a bad back. I was a little kid with an open wound in my head that expand at any given time.

Who would you pick first?

They escorted me to an open hospital space. They didn't waste no time telling me the good news and bad news about the operation. The doctors had to sow my head shut using a needle and stitches in order to close the wound. I wasn't going to be put on anesthesia or laughing gas in order to not feel pain. I was going to feel 100% of the operation pain.

Recommended by the doctors in order to insure that I wasn't going to move around during the operation, my mother placed her body on top of mines. Instantly, the operation began.

I felt the needle come in and out repeatedly in my head. There were also moments when the doctor used her hands to close the wound in my head slightly while still going away with her sowing. I cried like a little girl during the whole operation. It was painful and conflicting. The one thing that surprised me about the whole operation was that I didn't move a muscle. I took that needle like a man in a child's and didn't move at all.

The operation ended in 25 minutes. My reward is a permanent scar on my head that people can visually see when I get a skim fade hairstyle.


Thursday, June 5, 2014

I'm On A Instagram Variety Show


In the beginning of my college classes, I found myself religiously going to the library every single day. When you're starting class for the first time you don't get acquainted with your classmates at first. Everyone is a stranger to you.Until we got acquainted with each other, my regime was always about going to the library after leaving class.

I am fascinated with the library. I'm a writer for God's sake. No matter what part of the world I'm at, I would always wonder what the library looks like. Big city or small city.

One day, I was sitting at the library, using one of their cubicle spaces for work. It's a wide open area. You can disappear into your own space. While sitting back, waiting on the computer to load, a male individual began poking his head up. Then lowering it back into his cubicle. In the beginning, I thought it was an unexpected moment. Until eventually, it turned stalkish once he raised his head up for the fourth time.

Eventually, I caved in and asked him what the hell he was doing. He pointed to a cubicle behind me. I turned around and there was a camera filming our every moment. That was when he told me that I was on a Instagram variety show that he created. With this show, he films unexpected things he does to his classmates. We ended up laughing.

However, he didn't go ahead with the clips due to lighting problems. Ain't that a random moment!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Stitch My Head Up! Part I


When I was little kid sometime before six years old, I was sent to the hospital after accidentally opening my hole at the top of my head.

My parents had a habit of hiding sweets. You know the drill. Your parents notice that you are eating too much sweets. So they tried to keep it from your short self by hiding it in the top shelf of the cabinet. That's what their intent until my parents later on knew that I was getting better at climbing each passing day.

I was getting better at climbing. I was just fascinated at climbing things. I guess when you grow up a short person, you do your best to excel in a lot of things. That way, when you get to a particular age, you prove you can be as better as the tall people.

One night, I decided to get some cookies by climbing the sink, which was right below the kitchen cabinet that contained the sweets. I looked at it as a very simple task. I climb to the top of the cabinet. I find the sweets. I grab a few. Then I run for the hills before my mom takes a break talking to her sisters in the front.

I climbed the sink and reached the cabinet. Before I could reach in after it was opened, my foot slipped on the wet metal sink. I quickly caught my balance before I was seconds away from falling down. As I swiftly began to stand up, I completely forgot in the moment that the tip of the cabinet door was literally on top of me. So once my head rose up, the tip of the cabinet pierced my head, opening a large hole on the inside.

I landed on my back when I reached the floor. I didn't feel any pain, but every time I touched my head, I did feel the large gap in my head. I got up, ran up to the bathroom and there in the mirror was the physical showing of what happens when you tried to climb a kitchen cabinet.

My parents came into the room and immediately freaked out. They grabbed their stuff, put me in the car, and immediately took me to the hospital. They gave me my Flintstones imprinted wash cloth to cover my head. There was still no pain and not a lot of blood. The blood stayed in my head like the water in a well. It wasn't going anywhere.

I wasn't scared. My parents were the ones worried. I just wondering how interesting it was to walk around with a open wound in my head. It now reminds of an old Family Guy episode.

TO BE CONTINUED...

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

They Ratted Us Out To The Waitress




Two months ago, I was introduced to this bar called Art Bar, a few blocks away close to 14th St. It was me, Michael, and Daniel. It was dark into the night. We were I coming from Michael’s exhibition at an art gallery. The art gallery was the first place seeing other and we hit off instantly after a nearly two hour conversation inside of the gallery.

We got to the bar and we sat down on this couch that was ten feet away from the fireplace. We were sitting next to a chair near the fireplace, but I wasn’t chancing it. Even though it was winter season, wearing winter clothes near a fireplace would make you sweat your clothes off. I wasn’t in the mood for sweat any time soon.

We ordered chicken fajitas and nachos with cranberry vodka. The difference is that it wasn’t cranberry vodka from the restaurant. The guys ordered three cups of cranberry juice while Daniel secretly mixed it up with vodka he got from a nearby liquor store. Now I’m new to stuff like this. I didn’t know it was against the law to bring drinks inside of a bar or restaurant without it being sold from their counter. So I was oblivious to the fact that Daniel was hiding it in his bag.

I didn’t have a problem with that. According to them, this happens at places like Art Bar all the time. Stuff like this slides. So we thought!

Nearly an hour after eating, drinking, and laughing, the waitress that was serving us came back to the table. She informed us that the people that were sitting near the fireplace, who left ten minutes ago, told on us that we were spiking our drinks. Due to that, she gave us the bill and asked us to leave the building immediately. I was in complete shock. For the first time in my life, I was told to leave a bar. Also, the first time I was ever ratted out over something simple as putting alcohol in my drink.

Isn’t this what people do all the time at quiet places like Art Bar? And don’t fellow peers who dines at places like this lets it slide all the time? Let me put myself in their shoes. If I was sitting with some friends, and I saw some people spiking their drinks, because I’m so used to seeing it when it comes to the small community of people who hangs out at places like this, I would let it slide and tell them to enjoy themselves.

That wasn’t the case. We were reported to the waiter by some people that left ten minutes ago, and were told to leave. We left, but we didn’t tip the waitress.

What a way to be introduced to a new spot for the first time!

Monday, June 2, 2014

Always Have Gum, Coffee Drinkers!


I confess that I am an incredibly heavy coffee drinker. What used to be a tiny little habit I do in the morning has now turned into an obsession. I have turned into one of those college students that needs coffee every single morning.

I wake up at 6 am. Then I travel by train from my Bronx apartment to the TriBeCa area of Manhattan, where my classes are being held at. I do my best to be on time at 8:30 in the morning. I need something to give me the boost I need, especially when I'm not eating breakfast. That's how coffee came into the picture. That's not where my obsession with coffee originated. It just accepted a new role in my life now that I'm in college.

Plus, I've always wanted to fulfill this dream of mine when it came to coffee. I used to be jealous of random peoplewho would walk past me with a cup of coffee in their hands. When they're on the way to work, they would always have coffee in their hands.

When I see that, I'm thinking of the scene and dialogue from a random romantic comedy film:

"Oh my gosh! What a day! On the way to work. Good thing I have coffee. Makes me feel confident and important."

Not in a cocky way. In a comedic way.

One of the things I've learned from drinking coffee on a daily basis is the after effects of drinking two to four on a daily basis. Coffee breath. It comes out of nowhere at unexpected times after the first cup of coffee. You might be able to catch it yourself, but often times, people will have to tell you about your breath, which is embarrassing itself.

In order to make sure that something like this ever happens again, always have a stick of gum or mint with you. Have a small pack at all times. You never know when it is time to purify from a heavenly good cup of coffee. Too much of a good thing is never good. Even if it is coffee.

I always have a pack of gum on me. It has truly help during desperate times in class.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Roque's Reality Newsletter #6 Is Out Now


Days prior to the release of the new material, I managed to put together the sixth issue of my blog's  newsletter. I myself am counting down the days till the release of the new material. They are coming together nicely. Each post is better than the next in my opinion.

Also, I will be announcing some of the new additions that will be added to the blog as well. There will be new topics that I was scared to cover years ago. Now I'm ready to let loose entirely.

Until then, enjoy the sixth installment of my newsletters by clicking on the link below.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Web Series - The Boys Who Brunch Episode 203


The third episode of my favorite web series The Boys Who Brunch" has premiered it's third episode online. I'm truly astonished at how it's getting better and better every episode. I am always impressed by everything that goes on in each episode. Each of the actors deliver fantastic performances. I love the wide range in personalities displayed in each scene. The writing is funny and original. The settings that they've chosen makes you are truly walking the streets of New York City with them.

I said it once and I'll say it again. The Boys Who Brunch is the perfect embodiment of a funny, original romantic comedy series. Don't believe me? Watch episode three below.

Roque's Reality Newsletter #5 Is Out Now


Just because I put the blog on hiatus until the summer doesn't mean I've stopped releasing monthly newsletters to all of my fellow readers. I told myself that as long as I'm out and about, and giving my life monthly reflections, I will continue to release monthly newsletters to my fellow readers.

In this issue, I discuss me finally learning to embrace and acknowledge my Southern heritage. Ever since I moved to New York City, or even sometime before that, I didn't fully embrace myself as a Southern man. But after recent experiences, I have slowly but surely began to live and embrace my cultural upbringing.

Click on the link below and have a good read.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Roque's Reality Newsletter #4 Is Out Now


The fourth newsletter of Roque's Reality is out now. In this issue, I explain the unexpected announcement I made on all of my social media outlets why I decided to put the blog on hiatus until summer. Everything is explained in good details while at the same time, being another excellent read.

Click on the link below and have a good read.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Sick Train Passenger Made Me Late For Class

This is the first time I have ever experienced something like this. I have heard about it through numerous New Yorkers, but I have so never so experienced this ever in my life. And yet, there I was in the middle of it.

I woke up this morning ready to go to another day of class. I follow my same regime. Take the D train and then transfer to A to get all the way to campus. That's my everyday regime and I have no intention on changing it whatsoever.

Once I got on the A train and we arrived on 125th St, we have been notified through the speakers that we had a sick passenger riding the train. Due to that, the train had to remain at the station and all trains had to change their routes in order to navigate around this sick passenger. Express trains had to make local stops. All because someone on this one train decided to get sick.

Because of this, I had to ride a C train all the way to the TriBeCa area, which was an extra 30 minutes since it was making local stops. I was already late for class at that point. But I did manage to catch up on some sleep.

I have never experienced anything like this. Now I understand why people get pissed when you find out that someone got sit on the train. Once that happens, everything changes.

Monday, March 3, 2014

New York City At Night: The Beauty of Walking


One day as I walking off campus, I didn't feel like going home. It was almost six at night. The sun went down. Night time had visually shown itself in the sky. For the everyday college student, you should be exhausted from class and just want to go home. Yet, for some reason, I didn't want to go home.

Instead, I wanted to go for a walk.

I stopped by a nearby McDonald's and ordered a double cheeseburger to chow on. I stopped by a nearby Duane Reade and bought a black coffee with sugar and cream in order to stay warm during that cold night. Once I got everything I needed, I began my walk across New York City and it's streets.

I walked from TriBeCa to Soho before finally getting on a train to head home. What I loved about the walk was that it calmed my mind and caused me to think deeply about life. I had time to reflect on the things I've done for the month, and be grateful for it. I had a moment of weakness, but quickly went away by the end of the walk.

I just wonder what would've happened if I stopped by Tiffany's carrying a donut? Maybe that's a future Instagram picture. You just never know.

By the end of the walk, I felt like my feet were on the ground. There was no pressure in my system. There was no longer any stress inside of me. Any doubts left my system. It was just a carefree, silent, yet spiritual moment.

That's the beauty of walking in New York City, especially at night. You can get some time for yourself. View your surroundings and see the beauty of each building you walk past. Once you you're at the end of the road, you feel like you just accomplished something amazing, and your walk ended up spiritually refreshing.

That's the beauty of walking New York City's streets at night.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Roque's Reality Newsletter #3 Is Out Now


The third Roque's Reality newsletter is finally out. With each issue, I am going up another level with this issue. As I begin to learn more about writing and digital media, my experiences are reflected in my work. I'm not going to constantly say that this is my best issue to date. All I'm saying is that I'm so happy on how each issue reaches a new level of digital growth.

Click on the link below and have a good read.

Monday, February 17, 2014

A Bubble Bath Mixer With Hardly Any Bubbles

 

This is what I truly call bad advertising or a sad excuse for a product.

Ever since November 2013, I can't remember the last time I've taken a shower. Due to traveling, college classes, and work obligations, baths are now a necessary husband for me. Besides, I love baths. I've always laid in tubs. Even in my hometown, I washed all the sweat I got by riding my bike by marinating in relaxing hot water.

But when it comes to bath tubs, bubble bath mixers are a necessary accessory. Letting the bubbles rise on top of water is the cherry that you must always add on top of the whip cream. A bath with plain hot water is just plain crazy. Even the steam coming out of the water will think you're crazy.

Apparently, some companies don't understand it.

I walked into Family Dollar near my apartment. The original idea was to get soap and detergent for the bathroom. Then as I walked towards the end of isle 4, I looked down past my favorite Axe body wash and found bubble bath brands below. When I looked below the name, I couldn't help but notice that the price tag on some of the body wash read $1.15.

My eyes were wider than ever before. I have never seen a brand of bubble bath that cost so low. I took the chance and bought a brand of it home for me.

Now I know why it's so damn cheap.

First off, the bath is more liquid than oily. Once you pour it in the bathtub, it would take half of the large container in order to create a large pool of bubbles. Then once the bubbles are created, their not big at all. They look like mini pebbles ready to pop at any second. Finally, they evaporate within in the next fifteen.

I have now learned. Don't ever buy bubble bath that are very cheap. They are “cheap” for a reason.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Armani & Me: An Interview About "Harlem Boyz"

 
Harlem Boyz is without a doubt one of the most buzzed LGBT books this year. Through word of mouth and print/digital publications, people are highly raving about this book. Who is this author that wrote this book that everyone keeps talking about.

I recently reached out to Armani Williams just to have a little chit chat on this new book and new recognition.

So here you are with your second book. Did you have any fear that you were going to be a one book wonder, and not write a second book after Scandalicious?

I would say before publishing Scandalicious I thought that. By the time I’d published Scandalicious, I’d finished writing Harlem Boyz. But there was a five year gap between writing them both so the fear of not being able to write another book was definitely there at first. I’m grateful that my love of writing has allowed me to write more than one book. I think that’s the difference between writers and someone who has a story to tell. There are several stories I have to tell so I’m excited about it.

What made you decide to write a novel like Harlem Boyz?

I wanted to show a different side of black gay men that doesn’t often get shown. I think there are still many misconceptions about who we are. For one, we don’t all dress in drag, we don’t all idolize and aspire to be women, we’re not all catty, mean and cutthroat. Some of us act like men, conduct ourselves as men, work, and have real lives. That was the most important thing to me. No disrespect to the ones who dress in drag, enjoy the ballroom scene, and the like. Whatever floats your boat but the thing is they are represented very well. The rest of us aren’t. You’d be surprised how many people I encounter who tell me, “Wow I’ve never met a gay man like you. You’re so…normal.” I don’t take it offensively, I’m proud to represent a different kind of gay man. And my gay male friends are a lot like me. I wanted to create something that represented us. Pretty much saying, “Hey we exist over here too.” And there is something dynamic about us here in the NYC metro area. And I figured Harlem would be the perfect place to capture it because it’s such a great place. I love Harlem. It’s my favorite place in New York.

You once wrote on your Facebook page that this book was quite an emotional journey for you. Describe that to me?

Wow. Well I went through a lot in my personal life. In between the releases of Scandalicious and Harlem Boyz, I went through about five years’ worth of stuff in about two years. A lot of dark moments that aren’t the easiest to talk about but I will say that it all made me stronger. And the big pay- off is the success of Harlem Boyz, which allows me the opportunity to talk to great folks like you. The only thing I can say is when you are met with great challenges, you truly find out what you’re made of, you find out who you are, and who is really in your corner.

How is a guy who lives in New Jersey able to depict New York City, especially Harlem, the way you did so beautifully?

Thank you. I lived in Harlem briefly so I got to know all of its splendor. The funny thing is I had written the book prior to living there. But after living there I was able to give the book more details and change a few things. I did a lot of walking around while living there. So I learned where things were and was able to mix things up with my imagination and real places. I wanted the book to feel like a film that was shot on location. So far, that has won over many of my readers. They felt like they were in New York which is exactly the picture I wanted to paint.

Which character was more interesting to write and which character was the most difficult to write?

Writing this book was very organic. The characters were just there and the dialogue came naturally. They were so much fun to write about. Especially the scenes where they were all together and just talking. Sharing themselves with one another. I must tell you, I think one of the most refreshing things about this book is that they actually talk. While there are some phone and text conversations, it doesn’t dominate the book. With the advancement of social media, smart phones, and all these different devices, conversation is such a lost art these days. So the fact that they actually talked to each other mattered a great deal to me. I don’t think any one character was particularly difficult to write about, in as much as some of the darker scenes were difficult to read over and over again. The violent scenes and the discussions of painful memories were kind of hard to go back through. But in writing them the first time, it wasn’t too hard. Just reading back through it was kind of hard after I’d written it.

When you are writing these characters, did Armani Williams, by any chance, put pieces of himself into any of the four main men or supporting characters?

(Laughs) Believe it or not, all four of them are extensions of me. I relate to Shawn’s sensitivity and his soft heart. There was a time in my life where I was very fearful like Kevin. Damon is who I would like to be when I grow up (minus the neurotic behavior, lol), and Malcolm is the guy I’ve always wanted to be. I think I’m pretty cool but Malcolm’s swag is always at 1000. I mean he walks into a room and a breeze begins to blow, that’s how cool he is. But underneath his tough exterior, he’s a teddy bear. Just don’t get on his bad side because he will knock you the fuck out. (Laughs) But on a more serious note, Mama Nzingha is a lot like my own mother. My mother read about her and said, “Wait. Is she supposed to be me?” I said “Yeah kind of.” Like Malcolm, I lost my father at a young age and had a similar conversation with his grave. I just wish he’d lived to see me grow into the man I’ve become. I wanted my father around the same way Malcolm wanted his father around. Just to be there. The conversations Damon had with his father are also the conversations I wish I’d gotten a chance to have with mine. And the fact that I wanted to live in Harlem was another reason they live there.

What is currently on your reading list?

Right now I’m reading To Paris with Love by Carl Weber.

What is next for Armani Williams? Any short term, long term goals?

Well, promotion for Harlem Boyz is underway. I have a few appearances coming up and I’m trying to figure which festivals and book fairs I want to attend. I’m midway through writing my third book, Jersey Lovers which I’m particularly happy about because my characters in this book are straight and one of them is from my hometown of East Orange, NJ. I don’t want to be pigeonholed into just one thing. But not to worry, the sequel to Harlem Boyz is coming. I just ask that everyone be patient and give me the time to cook up something even tastier the second time around. My competitive nature only exists in my own mind with myself. I compete against my last project in terms of doing my best to improve. I know the expectations will be high for the sequel so I want to make sure it’s as good as it can be before it drops. And after Harlem Boyz II, I am turning a stage play I wrote into a novel and I’ve got ideas for another book after that. So I’ll be busy writing and publishing for the next few years. My long term goal is simply to grow as a writer and keep bringing people the best books in urban chic fiction. That is the tagline for my company, Jerzee Boy Publications and I aim to create the best books out there.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Drink To Enjoy, Not Destroy


Demons can come in many versions of life, but drinking can sometimes be the visual accessory to the demon. That's the case when some people decide that they decide to use alcoholic beverages as an excuse to let their feelings come out like yesterday's movie theater. I know it's obvious to say that all of our inappropriate actions can be blamed on the alcohol, but you should have thought of that before you grabbed that first glass in the first place.

Many of us likes to drink and dine with our fellow colleagues. Whether it's celebrating another week of work or just looking for an excuse after having a long stressful day. Through some people's eyes, drinking is the best friend, not the devil. But of course, we have to treat them like pop-up friends. Just like there are some friends that are meant to be distant because you're afraid of possibly killing each other due to arguing a lot, that's how we treat drinking.

The rare occasion to come out of the cabinet.

But there are some people that are abusing the liquor, and taking away all of the fun out of it. It's true the alcohol that brings the truth out of a person, but what if it was on purpose? What if the person really wanted to let the truth come out? Do they like to make scenes? Was it a true motive, knowing that 50% of the blame would be on the alcohol?

For many of us that drink to enjoy, we would prefer not to hang out with those that are meant to destroy. If you want to have a melodramatic episode, take it outside. There are gentlemen in the club who are actually trying to have some fun at the table.

Monday, February 10, 2014

True Fashionista Now Article - The Yuna Yang Fall/Winter14 Collection



Never in my life did I picture myself attending New York Fashion Week. I know that's kind of crazy to say. I live in New York City. It was bound to happen at some point. But it's true. When it comes to life, there are just some things in life that you just never pictured yourself in.

I never pictured myself sitting down in the front row, watching fashion models walk down the runaway. Or even seeing designers chat with each other, talking about the line. I only knew a snippet of New York Fashion Week just by watching Sex & the City, The Devil Wears Prada, and The September Issue

So the fact that True Fashionista Now gave me the opportunity to attend these amazing number of iconic events was breathtaking. This is the first show I covered. It was the first of many that I attended. Enjoy!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Get Yourself A Party Wallet!


I have learned quite a few things when it comes to being a regular on the social scene. I have RSVP to five events in this month alone. Each event is happening back to back. Then there is of course the unexpected events that pop in your inbox and you can't help but to add it to your calendar.

One of the things I've learned about being a part of the social scene is that it sucks when you are the broke person in the club. We all have a story like that. It sucks when you are the only person sitting in a chair at a nightclub without a drink in your hands. While everyone else is toasting to champagne, whiskey, or vodka, you are the only one left out in the mix because you don't have any money. That's embarrassing.

I, too, have similar experiences when it comes to those kinds of situations. That's why I have came up with a solution for all of us. If you know that you are going to be going to nightclubs, events, and fundraisers on a regular basis, then it's time to get yourself something that I like to call “A Party Wallet.”

“A Party Wallet” is a special wallet for anyone on the go when it comes to parties and events. This wallet is only used for occasions like that. Don't use it until the day the party begins. If a party isn't happening, that wallet better be placed on top of the dresser.

Here's how it works. When you get your next paycheck, deposit all of the money. Then take out any amount from $20-$100. I don't know what goes on in each person's wallet. That's why I'm giving you the estimate. You put in money in your party wallet, and leave it on top of the dresser.

In the meantime, your own personal wallet goes through the ups and downs of finances: bills, taxes, groceries, barbershops, salons, dinner at restaurants, giving out loans for friends, etc. You really don't know how much you got left in your wallet unless you planned this out by writing a budget down on a yellow legal pad.

Once the night has arrived and you are ready to go out to a special event, the cash in your party wallet has remained untouched. The money is ready to be spent and you have no worries whatsoever. Everything is covered on your end. You go inside and there's no worries when it comes to not being able to buy a drink or order special food from the menu. Because you have saved more than enough money for special occasions like this.

That's the beauty of a party wallet. It's a excellent resource and it will never give you financial and emotional stress. Get yourself one. It will make things a whole lot better for you.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Book Review - "Harlem Boyz" by Armani Williams



I've spoken to Armani Williams many months in advance when he began telling me about his second book. He told me about how it was a complete difference from his first novel Scandalicious. He told me how he was putting his heart into this second book. Now I had the opportunity to read the new book called Harlem Boyz.

Harlem Boyz is a urban novel set in New York City, most specifically Harlem. It's tells the story of four friends named Shawn, Damon, Kevin, and Malcolm as they journey on their quest for love in the city. They are attractive, intelligent, and established men who share all their secrets with each other.  Throughout the course of the book, they each go through own struggle, be it the pains of infidelity, physical abuse at the hands of a lover, or burning for another woman's husband with a passion and intensity that refuses to be doused.

The book incorporates themes such as friendships, relationships, sex, abuse, self-esteem, insecurities, fear of change, etc. 

I will admit. I was very skeptic, for I am personally not a fan of urban literature. I haven't read this genre in nearly five years.

I don't know how, but Armani Williams had me spellbound to the book during the three weeks I was reading it. I read most of the book on the train while on my way to college classes. Every time I walked in and sat in my chair, I took the book out of my bag, hoping to read the next chapter before my stop came.

There was one character in particular that caught most of my attention. Mostly because the character reminded me so much of myself. I almost assumed that Armani was secretly writing about me due to our interactions with each other, but decided to make the character older.

Once I finished it, I told myself "Why doesn't our community know about this book yet. This is the book of the year for all of us." 

Harlem Boyz truly incorporate 21st century themes on love and friendships. I often thought this book was the gay best friend to Terry McMillan's novel Waiting To Exhale For a Jersey man, Armani was also able to successfully tell a Harlem story. I was also intrigued by the real life figures and events that were incorporated such as the pride events and publications like DBQ magazine.

In the end, Harlem Boyz is a must read for everyone when it comes to gay literature. With a successful support system in readership and a huge media press coverage over this novel, Harlem Boyz could well on it's way be the book of 2014 for the LGBT community.