Saturday, July 30, 2005

Beware of Reincarnation

Though one should conquer a thousand times a thousand men in battle, he who conquers his own self, is the greatest of all conquerors!

~ Gautama Buddha



8/22/05

"Whatever you do, you need courage.
Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you you are wrong.
There are always difficulties arising which tempt you to believe that your critics are right.
To map out a course of action and follow it to the end,
requires some of the same courage which a soldier needs.
Peace has its victories, but it takes brave men to win them."
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson


9/14/05

Beware of Reincarnation II

There is no failure for the man who realizes his power, who never knows when he is beaten; there is no failure for the determined endeavor; the unconquerable will. There is no failure for the man who gets up every time he falls, who rebounds like a rubber ball, who persists when everyone else gives up, who pushes on when everyone else turns back.
~Orison Swett Marden

9/12/05

I AM RASHAWN BRAZELL

From the estate of SmilingontheDL (lost documents found after his death):

Last summer, I was a Luke and Leroy’s groupie.

Keith Boykin’s website announced that his partner was switching a professional after-work gathering from Bardos to Lukes. I attended the Launch Party and found myself on Seventh Ave for the next eight weeks in a row. (YES, a true groupie. I even had Keith sign my copy of One More River to Cross. I’m such a dork.)

I later noticed that a closed friend of mine, X boyfriend was also a frequent attendee. (He was there when my friend took me to my first G-Life Club. Y’all remember Brooklyn Cafe. I almost fainted. LOL). Every Thursday, for at least a half hour, the X and I would cut a rug on the second floor. One day in June, we were wildin out and this young boy came between us and started freaking us both. I thought to myself, “Why is this little boy at Lukes?” After that occasion, I began to see the young man’s friends more often.

Fast Forward.

In March 2005, when I saw his photo on Steven’s Blog, I couldn’t remember where I knew him. After seeing the picture on e-mails and blogs multiple times, I suddenly felt sick because I remembered this young man’s smile when we were dancing last summer.

I was frustrated! I was sad! I was confused! I was mad! I was GUILITY! The brutal murder and dismemberment of this 19-year old black man was and still is APPALLING.

The Post from Larry and Troy inspired me to get my eyes off of the computer screen and assist physically with the Rashawn Brazell Collective. I don’t think I was ready for the meeting. Up until then, I never had been in a room of Black G-Life men outside the club. So, I traveled to the POCC office. Luckily, the first person I saw was Frank and he gave me a surprised and welcoming smile. I also noticed Larry and Merv.

The meeting was serious! Lots of arguing and folks going on and on! However, that initial meeting was filled with an unbelievable amount of passion. I honestly wanted to cry from the sight of being around a group of successful black SGL men, who came together for Rashawn Brazell.

After attending a sub-committee meeting, I found out I wasn’t ready to take on this fight publicly. I even wrote a long post about it, but didn’t post because I felt most of my readers wouldn’t understand the agony I was putting myself through. I believe I’ve assisted with the Collective’s endeavors by coordinating a series of Stop the Violence events in my local community.

The Rashawn Brazell Collective fight continues.

It continues with all of us. We know his story. We must continue to share it with our peers, with the effort to eradicate violence and social injustices. On Sunday, August 28 at Luke and Leroy’s, the Rashawn Brazell Memorial Scholarship is hosting its official Launch Party. Please come out and support. Today is a Bright Day! The love we have for our dearly departed Brother will be filled all over Luke and Leroy’s. If you have more than $10, give some more. This scholarship will help another G-Life member become an advocate for you and I.

I AM Rashawn Brazell! Well, I could have been and so could you!

Because of who You are

Because of who You are, I give you glory
Because of who You are, I give you praise
Because of who You are, I will lift my voice and say
Lord I worship You, because of who you are
Lord I worship You, because of who you are

Jehovah Jireh, my Provider
Jehovah Nissi, Lord you reign in victory
Jehovah Shalom, my Prince of Peace
And I worship You, because of who You are

From... The Upside of Anger

Anger and Resentment
Can stop you in your tracks
That's what I know, now
It needs, nothing to burn,
But the Air & the Life
That it swallows and smothers

It's real, though
The fury,
even when it isn't.
It can change you..
Turn you...
Mold you & shape you into someone you're not.

The only Upside to Anger, then
Is the person you become...
Hopefully, someone that wakes up one day
And realizes they're not afraid of its journey.

Someone that knows that the truth is, at best,
A partically told story.
That Anger, like growth,
Comes in sports & fits
And in its wake,
Leaves a new chance at acceptance
And the promise of calm

Then again what do I know

I'm coming back soon! EMO BRO, I'm not teasing!
9/30/05

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Black Gays & Church Leaders Unite to End Violence

I know this is going to be an AWESOME EVENT. If you have some time and in the area come out and support!


What: REVIVAL!: Victory Over Spiritual Violence Through Grace

When: Sunday, July 31, 2005 – 4:00pm-7:00pm


Where: Riverside Church, 490 Riverside Drive (bet 120th & 122nd Sts), Harlem, NY 10027

Who: Guest Speakers include: Manhattan Borough President C. Virginia Fields, Arun Gandhi, M.K. Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence; Krishna Stone, GMHC; Robert Miller, SUNY Albany; Reverend Valerie Holly, Unity Fellowship Church; Bishop Carlton Pearson, Higher Dimensions Family Church; Reverend Cari Jackson, The Center of Spiritual Light; Elder Joseph Tolton, Christ Conscious Ministries; and Reverend Sylvia Rhue, National Black Justice Coalition. Music by Lavender Light Choir and Da’rrell Belton.

Why: To challenge Black ministers to end homophobic rhetoric and join the fight to end violence.

New York, NY – After four murders of Black gay men and the attack on Dwan Prince which left him in a coma, Black gay community leaders hold a REVIVAL! to denounce homophobia from Black ministers, and challenge them to become more proactive in ending violence against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender people in the Black community.

“The Black gay community is in a state of emergency. We need our ministers to stand with us to end the violence,” says Tokes Osubu, Executive Director of Gay Men of African Descent, one of the event’s sponsors. “Ministers should know that when they preach hate against gays on Sunday, someone will be bashed or murdered on Monday.”

A recent report issued by The Anti-Violence Project shows that violent attacks against the LGBT community increased 25% over the last two years. This year, four gruesome murders of members of Black gay men have occurred including Rashawn Brazell, Marvin Paige, Kenmoore Thomas, and Jamal James.

“Historically the deciding factor in social justice movements is the spiritual energy that fuels them,” says Elder Joseph W. Tolton of Christian Conscious Ministries, and the event’s keynote speaker. “This revival meeting which is stirring in the hearts of our lay people is a decisive indicator that the civil rights struggle for gays and lesbians is evolving into a movement rooted in Christian principles that will guide us toward the realization of Dr. King’s Beloved Community.”

REVIVAL! is the first event in a campaign targeted to end violence against gays in the Black Community.

CONTACT: Kenyon Farrow, New York State Black Gay Network, 917.627.0853

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

The Trent Jackson Exclusive

Some bloggers will always hate TRENT JACKSON. Some bloggers will always love TRENT JACKSON. But, most bloggers/readers will never know the REAL TRENT JACKSON.

When he first appeared on the scene, I wondered who was this secure big boy who posted so many pictures of himself. At the age 22, this young black brotha published his first novel. He challenged many people to think with post on mentorship or telling the story of the fat boy blues. He blogged about his strength and his goals for unity amongst us.

But, Trent always seems to know how to push the right buttons. Calling people out... left and right.. (but, y'all are scared to comment back on his page, unlike Frank) You really can't hate on this brother because he is secure enough to speak his mind. Although, I may disagree with the way he does some things, he has a true unlimited potential to becoming one of our beloved figures in the Black community. Once Trent learns some more life long lessons he will be unstoppable. He's young, fun and dumb filled with cum. He's TRENT JACKSON!


Smiling: Earlier I dubbed for you, the black gay Wendy Williams... How do you feel about that?

Trent: It is what it is. Part of me loves it and part of that name doesn't describe who I am at all

Smiling: What part of the name doesn't describe you?

Trent: Well by nature I am not a messy person. I love people and I am really quiet and reserved...And I'm very friendly...but I like it because I always like to follow the model of anyone who is successful. The Trent Jackson persona is all that it really is...a persona

Smiling : Why do you have a need to give yourself a persona?

Trent: I don't. It just makes the package more attractive. I can be myself and command the attention of a room-but Trent Jackson just adds edge to who I am. And people love edge. I love edge. I love being Trent Jackson. And it's also shields who I am.

Smiling: Is the Trent Jackson persona only for your blog?

Trent: No...Trent Jackson is a full fledged image that you guys don't know about yet. I created him in college when I wrote my column for the paper at school and when I had a TV/Radio show...But you guys will get the full effect in a few months

Smiling : So, Trent Jackson isn't your name

Trent: no it isn't

Smiling: Wow, i didn't know that

Trent: I mentioned that on my blog....no one picked it up

Smiling: I don't think people believed you. Your constantly talking about keeping it real, who is the real you?

Trent: I don't think it's relevant for me to say my real name again. And I do keep it real. Trent Jackson is real! LOL...I am quiet, I am thoughtful, I like to give advice...I am the guy that is in club with a hat on in the corner watching everything go on...I am not the social person that you all get, unless I am at an event appearing as "Trent Jackson" I am really refined...I like me time. I am a lover...I am a lot of things... Mellow too...

Smiling: So, why does Trent Jackson have a blog, instead of ********?

Trent: Because the real me is on reserve for people who get to know the real me and my family, my close friends....it's confusing. Trent is me too...but there is a side that people don't see, that's private

Smiling: I haven't read your book yet. Tell me about it! Does calling it nonfiction give it justification?

Trent: My book is the story of so many people in the world. There is no classification of my book.... It's my life-period, but of course events and names have been changed to protect those who may sue me

Smiling: You often write about all the good feed back you get on your book - are all your reviews positive?

Trent: It talks about-what it's like to be gay, black, overweight- to not be on the DL...and to live your life against what everyone else wants you to be...and I've just started getting negative feedback which is interesting to me.

Smiling: Have you always been a big boy?

Trent: No, I started gaining weight around the 6th grade, which is around the time I started to hit puberty...and plus I was internally dealing with being molested. So, I guess that's a yes! I've been overweight all my teenage and adult life

Smiling: Are you still dealing with issues involving being molested?

Trent: No, I got over that a few years ago...

Smiling: Is the molester still involved in your life?

Trent: No, he's been out of my life since I was 14

Smiling: I really enjoy your interviews - which interview did you enjoy the most?

Trent: It's hard. I enjoyed the second interview with No4real...and I enjoyed the interview with ShawnQT

Smiling: You follow these peoples blog, did anyone come at you with something that you never would have thought?

Trent: No, I always stay prepared and ahead of the game and plus stuff they talk about I been there, done that, and got a T-shirt

Smiling: You really bring the heat. It seemed like your comments are always in the double digits. Recently, there has been a recent decrease in comments... What do you feel has contributed to this because I know people are still reading you blog?

Trent: Um...I really don't know. I care to know what people are thinking...but I get a lot of side emails from people that read my blog that make up for the public comments...and silent readers are kinda scary because they pop up out of no where sometimes...and my blog its a lot to take in-and then some of the stuff I say doesn't always warrant comments.

Smiling: On your blog, you constantly thank those who comment as well as people in your life and blog friends. That is great! But, you also will blast someone that disagrees with you after promoting unity. Isn't that a contradiction?

Trent: No, I am not a contradiction...who are you referring to?

Smiling: Well you recently exposed someone you don't like. Explain the situation, (I rather not use names)

Trent: Thank you for being patient...he is a wonderful guy-he's nice! I'm just concerned about his behavior (sexually) and his HIV status...and if people that were around him that were truly concerned about him, they would try and talk to him about his behavior...
I have a problem with people who sit back and watch other deteriorate

Smiling: But, why did this have to be displayed on your blog, rather than e-mail or an aim conversation?

Trent: Well, I think it is an issue that needs to be addressed as a whole

Smiling: Hmmm... wouldn't you take offense if someone tried to tell you want to do?

Trent: No....I would want to know why they did it. I like to debate... but let me clean it up a little. I wrote him a letter expressing my concern for him and he didn't respond....

Smiling: Isn't that his business? You didn't explain the situation, you just linked his blog

Trent: I did that to make him come and ask me what the problem was... and further more it's his business but he puts it publicly on his blog so now everyone is included.

Smiling: Moving on, Introducing Alexander found out that I was interviewing you and e-mailed me. Tell us the deal with him?

Trent: What… lol…no he didn't.

Smiling: Yes, he did.

Trent: shut up, lol… You're starting shit.

Smiling: I was quite surprised?

Trent: What did he say?

Smiling: He said you made him post comments on your blog.

Trent: Lol, isn't true

Smiling: I'm just kidding... He didn't e-mail me, It has been speculated that you made him up to create a buzz.

Trent: Never… Not true… It would have been clever of me...but it's not true.

Smiling: How can I know for sure?

Trent: I don't know would you like his number?

Smiling: Yes!

Trent: Like I'm really gonna give it to you?

Smiling: Hey, you offered.

Trent: lol. I'm pretty sure people have come to their conclusions about that...but if you are going to be in ATL he's gonna be with me so that will end that rumor... I've gotten close with a few bloggers.

Smiling: Clutch the pearls (thanks clay), Alexander is coming to ATL… let me find out.

Trent: Well he will be there.

Smiling: Besides Fred Smith do you have any other blogger friends that you know
personally?

Trent: No, the others are on the east coast. So when I visit I will be making my first meet with a few people.

Smiling: So are they gonna meet Trent Jackson or the real you?

Trent: No, I talk to most of them by phone so they can distinguish the difference between the two. Would like to speak with me on the phone?

So, I ended up speaking with Trent for nearly two hours. I wasn’t expecting his calm behavior on the phone nor his willingness to seek suggestions on life. After our conversation, I knew he would be a friend until he fucks the shyt up. His impression of me must have been stellar because after our conversation he posted that I was his “Boyfriend in my head.” But I still had more questions …

Smiling: Where do you see yourself five years from now?
Trent: I'll be at the 30 mark...the 10 year reunion has come and gone...I'll definitely have made my mark in some arena of entertainment. I want to be retired (maybe) with a spouse and maybe a teenage child or children. I want to be teaching high school and settled, mentally and spiritually. Have the support and love from my family-and have a talk show under my belt...if not holding down the number one spot on prime time talk...and of course doing power lunches and maintaining my blog.

Smiling: What is your solution to bring forth unity in the G-Life Community?

Trent: My solution for unity is honest dialogue. Without honest communication you can't achieve anything else...so let’s start there.

Smiling: Where are you at Spiritually?


Trent: Hmm...I don't think I am anywhere spiritually. I've always been a person to have belief in God, and all of that. I am not one of these hyper-spiritual people. Not to say that is a good or bad thing...but I have a relationship with God and just like any relationship it could be better.

Smiling: From reading your blog, it seems as though you have a close relationship with your mother.

Trent: LOL, I never said that! That broad gets on my reserve nerve! We have a relationship. It could be a hell of a lot better. And the reality show that I am working on will expose so much...but she and I have been at battle for a grip-she like everyone else has issues that they need to deal with. Unfortunately she displaces her anger towards her children, and that can be a problem when I am your child if you get what I am saying. But as no4real said, "She's still yo momma"

Smiling: Do you feel that bloggers are justified to express concern with being
“called out” in Franks “I think your positive” post?

Trent: I think it's fair to say that we (meaning me, you, no4real, Valentino, divo, etc) didn't really feel called out. If you're intelligent enough to understand that Frank asked a question of us, you wouldn't have felt or gotten offended. It was those that were insecure or made the post personal that made the most fuss about it. Frank knows my opinion of that matter and I've said what I had to say about it, it's a wrap. The kids are messy and some of them just wast their time unnecessarily responding to what other people say, it wasn't that big of a deal and they should just brush it off like they do everything else. Not to say they shouldn't deal with the issue at hand.

Smiling: Is there a celebrity that you idolize, if so who?

Trent: I am a fag...lol. I idolize Janet. Her style, her longevity, her connection with her fans, her ability to not break under adversity, her support for the gay community, her support for her family...she loves hard and she's so real to me. She's the epitome of a Star...

I wonder if he knows he's being shaped into a Star!

A Smiling Production

Beautiful Surprise

I want to give Trent some more shine on my blog! So, I changed the time of this post. Its Wednesday, July 27th

Anyhow (hehehe inside joke)

Last Wednesday, I posted about how I renewed a lease on life. So many things are coming into place.

I swear to goodness, when your not "really" looking things start to come your way. Thank Ya!
Life is so crazy. I'm not going to go into it now, because I have a lot of work to do. (they are trying to kill me) But, I feel GREAT!

The first time I listened to Voyage to India (the last India.Arie album) I completely feel in love with most of the songs. One particular song stood out among the rest because it caught a moment that I only felt in my dream. Beautiful Surpise - WHOA! SERIOUS WORDS THAT I FEEL INSIDE MY SOUL!

It's like yesterday
I didn't even know your name
Now today You're always on my mind
I never could have predicted that I feel this way
You're beautiful surprise

Intoxicated every time I hear your voice
You've got me on a natural high
It's almost like I didn't even have a choice
You're beautiful surprise

Whatever it is you came to teach me
I am here to learn it cause
I believe that we're written in the stars
I don't know the future hopes
But I'm living in the moment
And I'm thankful for the man that you are, you are, you are
You are everything I ask for in my prayers
So I know my angels brought you to my life
Your energy is healing to my soul
You're beautiful surprise
You're inspiration to my life
You're the reason why I smile
You're beautiful surprise

DAMN DAMN DAMN DAMN
I'm floating on that Cloud.. John Legend told us about.. (Who know about that?)

Monday, July 25, 2005

072505

I wonder

Who would I be
If I could be just me

First, holding onto so much fear
Because my vision was unclear

Then, Looking at life with new eyes
Having to ask myself why

Why this
Why that
Where I’m at

Putting myself through the third degree
Breaking off self-inflicted shackles to be free

Only to discover my third eye
And it sees the obvious

I am me

Thursday, July 21, 2005

I think your Postive

Inspired by Frank's post:

I don't recall when... but I remember reading in Vibe Magazine, they published an article about the CDC announcement, that one out of three black SGM were HIV positive. It also informed me that 33% don't even know that they are positive. This news was extremely alarming to me.

On August 27, 2005, will mark my second year from abstaining from penetrated sex. Although, I have an high sex drive the news that I just mentioned cautioned me greatly. I'm not going to lie, I have engaged myself with low risk activity with multiple people since then, but the thought of contracting HIV/AIDS in a matter of simple pleasure drives me INSANE. Yes, there have been many moments that things was just about to happen without protection, fortunately it never occured.

As a conscious brother last year was my first time getting tested. YES! After messing around from 1995 to 2004, I never got tested. First of all, I didn't think there was a need to because I was using proctection. Secondly, I didn't want to know because the fear of living my entire life knowing I was going to die form AIDS. The last two months I've been procratinating about getting tested. Although, I dont' do much, there is still risk involved. And quite frankly, I will always be scared each time I am tested.

I have many friends that after a week or two of being sexually involved with someone and maybe even taking a STD test would end up having unprotected sex. As the disease continues to plague our community, it is still preventable. It pisses me off that the CDC announce that 46% of black “gay” men in New York City, Baltimore, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Miami are HIV positive. With all the problems that going on in our community, I believe its the most preventable. Wrap your shyt up!

We have no self-worth or apprear to be stupid! After so much talk about HIV/AIDS we still partake in HIGH RISK ACTIVITY. Even people who have posted on Franks blog will continue to do what they want to do. They still won't get tested. They still won't try to urge their friends. And some are HIV Positive and won't even disclose this information to their sexual partners.

What's really good? Frank pointed out what Brother West preached about... Nihilism. Nihilism is concept meant to describe "Life without meaning, hope, and love [which] breeds a coldhearted, mean-spirited outlook that destroys both the individual and others." The people in our community have injected far too much Nihilism into their spirits.

I'm getting tested next week and going to try to get three friends to go with me. My brothers and sisters they aren't going to help us end this epidemic, we must step up to the plate and SAVE Our Selves (SOS)!

Spread the word!

Your brother in the struggle,

Smiling

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Top Ten Wednesday and stuff

For some strange reason, I feel that I just renewed a lease on life. The last couple of days, I’ve participated in a couple of successful meetings. My short-term and long-term vision is manifesting. Reality is setting forth, there will always be down moments every damn day, but stay positive.

I wanna give a shout-outs to everyone that was at the LOBBY on Friday. Man, it was so much love in that place amongst the bloggers. I swear it was a NYC bloggers party that was not planned. Sucks to be in ATL, DC, LA, MD, MS and Chi-town, LOL! I had a heck of a time!

Fortunately, I’m off the next two days and have some enjoyable things planned. Going to brunch with Stedman. I’m having dinner with texas-sized drinks with my best friends. Finally going to see my sister Fantasia at Good Morning America (I’ll be the black boy cheesing hard, yelling out “B.A.B.Y.” lol). Tryna hit up 106 & Park with Redd. Hopefully, going to a museum with Bed-Stuy… Go see The Island (Michael Bay movies are da shyt.) Buying some discounted books at the infamous Harlem Book Fair. Brother Briggs Discussion and Omar Tyree Open Mic Night and hitting up Studio 7. Oh yeah, you know a brotha will be up in Church.

Well, today is Top Ten Wednesday… So

Top Ten Things Smiling Says Everyday…

Oh my goodness. When I see folks from my past they always remind me how much I use to say OMG (It’s not as bad now.). When someone crash, OMG. I bought a chicken salad, OMG. I just farted, OMG. It was bad, LOLOL. Oh yeah, I never say oh my G-D, using the Lord’s name in vain is a no, no.

Stop Lying. When someone tells me some juice (I refer to a story or gossip as juice) ((SHUT-UP)) I keep on saying Stop Lying. People that don’t know me take offence when I say this because they don’t know I’m playing.

For real For real. Yes, people do really say this. Even more since we have the celebrity No4real4real in the blog world. If I say something unbelievable, I’ll say for real, for real. It’s funny.

HAWT (hot) Mess. This started in college, every black person on campus started staying hot mess and its still with me today. When you see someone or something that just don’t look right…. That’s a Hawt Mess.

You better get it! It’s equivalent to Martin’s You Go Boy! Enough Said!

*****************************************************************
Special Announcement

You remember Barbara and Whitney "Crack is wack" interview. I know you remember Oprah and MJ rendezvous. This is nothing like it, LOL. This is a chat you don't want to miss!

Trent Jackson's PRIMETIME CHAT with Smiling has been recorded.

The Other Side of Trent Jackson will be release on Friday, July 22, 2005 (time has not been announced.)

COMING SOON IN FRONT OF YOUR FACE!
****************************************************************

Youdon’tknowhowtoact. (said like one word) I say this when someone does something out of the ordinary, something constant or doing the damn thing. For example, I would say to Stone in person, “youdon’tknowhowtoact.” (See his “Messed Up” poem) I know y’all will feel me.

Love ya. I talk to my mother several times a day. It gets sickening! She doesn’tknowhowtoact when she changed providers to sprint. She calls me throughout the day. At the end of the conversation I always say, “Bye Ma, I love ya.”

I’m so excited. It takes nothing for me to get excited (Get y’all mind out the gutter, I’m not even taking it there, lol). I really emphasis So! Kinda like the pointers Sisters, “I’m So excited.” It has a lot of heart behind it.

A Salama Lake Im. Whenever I end a deep conversation I always use this phrase. Although I’m not Muslim, I think it has so much meaning.

Jesus. Look at your neighbor and say, "There is nothing like the name Jesus." In my times of distress, which are often, I call out his name. This name gives me strength when the pockets are empty, when I almost get into a car accident, when there is no one to call, and when I'm on the toilet and I can't get it out! LOL (sike nah on da last one) Thank ya!

Well, there are a few of the words I recite every single day.

What are some of y'all's?

Monday, July 18, 2005

Finding Neverland

I'm sure everyone remembers Peter Pan saying, "I won't grow up," but, have we really thought about the symbolism that line has on our lives? As we grow, we see the world with larger eyes. We see the bad and the ugly, which many times fit into the equation on what we will do in our lives. Whereas, when we were younger, when we wanted to do something, we did it because we believed we could and didn't care about any obstacle that may come our way.

Y'all know, I'm constantly thinking about stuff! As I continue to read my Purpose Driven Life, a couple things have been pointed out to me. Lately, I have been doing some of the things I wanted to do, yet discovering even more things that I haven't begun to do because of my lack of belief in myself.

It's so funny how many times I'm on an all-time high on life. Feeling as though I'm unstoppable and what some G-Life members would say "Fierce." Then there are the very few moments when doubt develops on top of life's goals and relationships. Kinda like a pizza with way too much garlic. You know the pizza underneath the garlic is great, but because of the overwhelming amount of garlic you don't want any of piece of it. You could simply, gently wipe some of the garlic off, but you don't feel like it(laziness). So, you continue to go on hungry or order another slice. At this point in my life, I've thrown many slices in the garbage and I'm hungry.

Last night, I reread my Mis-Educated post. I wrote:

I tell my youth group all of the time, "the blood that runs through your veins is strong. Our ancestors were the strong ones that survive being captured from Africa and brought over to America under harsh measures. They over came slavery and fought during the civil rights movement. We must continue their legacy."

Black people are beautiful. Many of us have persevered through life's shortcomings. We have black millionaires who grew up on welfare and even a multi-platinum selling former drug dealer shot 9 times. LOL. Every single time, I see the Oprah Winfrey Show or just see an photograph of Sista Winfrey, a sharp object is pierced on my backside, urging me to conquer my struggles. Sista Winfrey's story, personifies what hard work and determination can get you.

But I wonder, whatever happened to the sky being the limit? How many times have you heard or read, "If you work hard enough, you can do anything?" In fact, how many times have you ever believed that you really could do anything? For me, there have been many times. When it comes time to actually go forward, most of us are besieged with the fear of discouragement, uncertainty and failure.

At these hard times, hope has disappeared. "But, what do you do when you've done all you can and it seems like you can't make it through? You just stand!" Well, I have been 'standing' in the need of prayer, seeking strength and guidance. Life on earth is too short. We must make the best of it! I think knowing yourself is the element of believing.

As I searched for my purpose, I drove to a place talking with this older man. He looked very familiar. I was amazed with his life story and the inner/outer beauty that he possessed. This brotha lived a great life that served as an inspiration to people all over the world. He informed me on discovering the love of his life and how their kids achieved beyond their successes. He testified about some of the hardest periods of his life. I told him, "I know I couldn't make it through his storms." He put his hand on his face like he was Macaulay Culkin in Home Alone and with huge smile, he said, "I am you at the end of the road."

So, lets not anticipate life's battles. They are going to come whether you are a couch potato or a busy bee.

I don't know about y'all, but I want to believe. Peter said, "If you really believe, clap your hands and you will fly." I'm clapping loud and fast. Can you see me? I'm up in the sky!

Thursday, July 14, 2005

So Anxious...

Something that has been plaguing me for a while is being single. I told myself I wouldn't go forth with a summer of seeking a relationship. In all actuality, I really haven't been. I've been filling some of my time with three guys. There has been Established (we are just friends now), Stedman and Bed-Stuy.

I have a problem with not going with the flow when it comes to a relationship.I have a strong tendency of wanting things my way. Well, not really my way. I want to rush things, like it’s a two-hour TV movie. I'm not trying to rush with everyone, but with men such as Stedman and Bed-Stuy, I truly think something nice can evolve from being in a relationship with either.

I have a huge fear of becoming friends and nothing more, mostly because this arrangement has never worked. In some cases, they would end up being interested in me and I would just want to remain friend, and vice versa. To me, it is extremely important to get to know someone well before entering a relationship. So, I would rather just start to go out on dates and do that... and let it be known that we are both trying to see what's really good with each other. (This was the main disagreement I had with Potential.)

When stuff wasn't going the way I wanted it to with Potential, a good friend of mine said I was being "selfish," cause I didn't want to go with the flow. I played it off like I really didn't mind him saying that. But, in all honesty, I was kinda hurt that he said it, but it was true. And me being stupid and stubborn, I went to the point of dismissing it with, "OH WELL." And you know what happened. It seems as if my selfish attitude on what I wanted wasn’t the natural progression that is needed in a successful relationship.

Well, I've been doing a lot of activities alone but within the last couple of weeks, I've been chillin with friends that I've neglected and definitely, getting to know Bed-Stuy and Stedman better. What's kinda weird is that I'm trying to get to know two guys as friends with the hope of one of the friendships evolving into a relationship. I'm suddenly pondering if I'm wrong for trying to get to know two guys simultaneously and if I should stop the hope with one, and pursue the other. Both have been listening to John Legend's "Take It Slow" (far too much) this has pushed me into the place of where I need to go(patiently going with the flow). This concept is new to me.

I'm soo damn anxious. Like the Kindred song, "I wanna go to a place where lovers go. Do the things that lover do. No Stress. A sweet caress from me to you." And I see it! I can touch it! I can feel it! I can smell it! I can dream about it! BUT, HEY, I HAVE TO WAIT! I see these brothas as silhouettes of the man I desire.

So, yeah I have my hands up and have surrendered myself to simply get to know these men (Well, I'm working on it). On top of this, last night at bible study, Pastor preached "accept your status." He talked about how we must accept being single, divorced or married. It is hard to fully accept being single. Pastor went on to say, "Learn how to be content. If it's God's will for you to be single, then be single." Uh oh! "Being single is not forever.... It's astonshing on how two people can come together as one and you know it's by divine providence.... People are putting their selves together when it should be God."


He was preaching to me last night more so on the thoughts that it's ok to be single, probably God's plan. (Did I just say that? LOL) It's going to take some time to really follow through with this acceptance.


After feeling kind of restless and lonely on Friday morning, Bed-Stuy sent me a text message: "don't feel weary about anything. be patient and focus on urself. ur a great guy dammit! ur desires will be met!" Yeah, they will... but dang, when? LOL! That's the trillion dollar question!




The answer may be “soon”. It's like I'm Harlem shaking all over cause I feel like my time is coming… like I’m on the verge of something big. I'm losing control. But, is it a good thing or bad? All I know is, I’m ready for whatever it is. Ready to go with the flow. Ready to let nature run the show. Ready to be... you know!

Peace Out East LGBT Hip Hop Festival

This should be tight! Something different in the community. check out the website. I'm a fan of Buttaflysoul, his poetry is hilarious!

Peace Out East LGBT Hip Hop Festival this weekend! Please come support
our community!

Interviews and photos available upon request: Erica, Media Director
media@peaceouteast.com
Check out http://www.peaceouteast.com and forward this to anyone
interested.
Peace Out East LGBT Hip Hop Festival represents a thriving Homo Hop
community, whose presence challenges the notion of hip hop as anti-gay.
Paradigm, co-producer of Peace OUT East "Music can be used to build or
destroy. Some use hip-hop to be homophobic. We use it to build up our
people."

Friday, July 15, 2005 10pm
WORD/LIFE: Emcees and Poets in the Life
Bowery Poetry Club, 308 Bowery @ Bleecker
Live music & spoken word featuring BARON, BUTTAFLYSOUL, TIM'M, CLAUDIA
ALICK

Saturday, July 16, 2005 1pm
Screening: "The Straight Black Folks' Guide to Gay Black Folks" and
"Incursions in Chunk"
International Action Center, 39 W. 14th St. #206

Saturday, July 16, 2005 10pm
Homo Hop Massive
Galapagos Art Space
70 N. 6th St. @ Wythe Ave.
Live performances by SOCE, EL-DON, DA LYRICAL, LYRIC, SHAYVONNA, PINO

Sunday, July 17, 2005 9pm
Peace Out East Final Concert
Nuyorican Poets Café
236 E. 3rd St. @ Ave B
Featuring BQE, SHORTY ROC, RICOSHADE, KIN, JB RAP, BRICK CITIZENZ,
GOD-DES.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Wednesday's Top Ten

My body is aching from the two hour, power hour yesterday at the Tennis Courts. I had soo much fun! I can't play well at all! My boy is better than me, but not that much. It was just nice to be outside on a weekday enjoying the weather.

I think this must be Shout Out Week. This week Top Ten will give a quick Hot 97 shout out to the New Bloggers on the Block (well the one's I recently discovered.) The Fam is getting larger and larger. This is the new ADAM and BP! LMAO!

Top Ten New Bloggers on the Block (thanks Trent, for da name, LOL)

Jai I just started reading this brothas poems and spoken word pieces. Brother is truly gifted. I wish I could write him.

Stone is another slamming writer. Every time I read his post, I just sit back as he put me in a different place. He is an extremely special person!

Derrick, with his Books are Sexy Campaign going on, brotha is sexy as can be! Whoa! Hot diggity Damn! Gee Golly! Oh yeah, he blog is personal and I'm loving it! I've seen brother around for a while and didn't know he was a colorful as his blog has revealed.

Tim has been blogging for a minute, but I just started tuning in. He updates his blog daily, (YES DAILY)

PISTACHIO JOE, I was amazed that we wrote about the Purpose Driven Life on the same day. Great minds think alike! He is moving to the nyc from Chi-town this fall for grad school. So stay tuned as he begins his adventure.

******************************************************************
WE INTRUPT THIS POST TO GIVE YOU A SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT

The blogger that some of y'all love. The blogger that many of y'all hate. The blogger that a couple of people fear. Yeah, you know who I'm talking about. Trent Jackson has agreed to a PRIMETIME CHAT with Smiling.

Coming soon to a screen IN FRONT OF YOUR FACE!
******************************************************************

Dirk, brotha is on da low! And has started to do some dirky things. I suggest you start reading from the beginning because it gets juicy!

Jimmy Woo, this handsome brotha has the most random post! But, it just something about him that has me waiting for what he writes almost every day.

Quaheem, he is my brother from a different mother and father. Brother is socially conscious, compassionate, intelligent, a poet, and destine for greatness. Y'all better holla at him, before he is taken.

Fratman1906. He's a kewl brotha, with a lot of knowledge that is still evolving. I must say, I love my men in black and gold, especially the bloggers.

LJ is a young brother doing his thing with Boo Boo down in MS. Brotha is definitely positive and in touch with himself.

Just in via Trent

IQ, I want to keep him for myself, LOL! Just check him out! I swear to goodness, I love my socially conscious brothas who so happen to be phine, LOL! I'm shaking it off! Oooo, help me! "I got the feeling." Let me stop, LMAO! (I am histarical right now)

It soo hard to keep up with everyone!

Don't forget the Hoe Factor post will be up this Friday! Thank you all who completed the survey.

Are there any other new blogger that I haven't mention?

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Mis-Educated/Black August

"History shows that it does not matter who is in power... those who have not learned to do for themselves and have to depend soley on others never obtain any more rights or privileges in the end than they did in the beginning." ~ Dr. Carter G. Woodson

As I continue to read the Mis-Education of the Negro, I am weighed down with the thought on how much history has been plagiarized and held back from us. As much as I speak on permanent issues that face us today... there is a lot about our past as a people that I still don't know. There is a horrific need for a national curriculum of inclusion. If we don't know who we are, our community will continue on rolling down hill. I tell my youth group all of the time, "the blood that runs through your veins is strong. Our ancestors were the strong ones that survive being captured from Africa and brought over to America under harsh measures. They over came slavery and fought during the civil rights movement. We must continue their legacy."

I have to take this book in waves. This book could have been published yesterday, instead of 1933. We are still Mis-Educated! Well.. at least I am.

I wanted to share with y'all some news that was just announce, the 8th Annual Black August Benefit Concert will be held on August 7th at the BB Kings Night Club Mos Def, Smif-n-wesson, DJ Evil Dee are donating their talents to promote HIV/AIDS prevention awareness. I know it's during prideinthecity, but if you want something different to do.. check this out. I'll be there!

Black August is a political project of The Malcolm X Grassroots Movement that celebrates Hip-Hop culture and pays tribute to black freedom fighters.

*****************************************************
RESISTANCE: THE ORIGIN OF BLACK AUGUST

Black August originated in the California penal system to honor fallen Freedom Fighters, Jonathan Jackson, George Jackson, William Christmas, James McClain and Khatari Gaulden. Jonathan Jackson was gunned down outside the Marin County California courthouse on August 7, 1970 as he attempted to liberate three imprisoned Black Liberation Fighters: James McClain, William Christmas and Ruchell Magee. Ruchell Magee is the sole survivor of that armed liberation attempt. He is the former co-defendant of Angela Davis and has been locked down for 40 years, most of it in solitary confinement. George Jackson was assassinated by prison guards during a Black prison rebellion at San Quentin on August 21, 1971. Three prison guards were also killed during that rebellion and prison officials charged six Black and Latino prisoners with the death of those guards. These six brothers became known as the San Quentin Six.

The brothers who participated in the collective founding of Black August wore black armbands on their left arm and studied revolutionary works, focusing on the works of George Jackson. The brothers did not listen to the radio or watch television in August. Additionally, they didn't eat or drink anything from sun-up to sundown; and loud and boastful behavior was not allowed. The brothers did not support the prison's canteen. The use of drugs and alcoholic beverages was prohibited and the brothers held daily exercises, because during Black August, emphasis is placed on sacrifice, fortitude and discipline. Black August is a time to embrace the principles of unity, self-sacrifice, political education, physical training and resistance.

Feed your mind and check out the site. www.blackaugust.com

Peace

Random stuff

Random stuff

1. Keyshia Coles album. I must have heard the entire album four times yesterday. And I'm feeling it! Don't sleep.

2. I want to do take a sleep study. I think I may have sleep apnea. I'm constantly tired. Last night, I was in bed by 8:30 and didn't wake up until 7:15 and I'm still sleepy.

3. I have a sudden urge to watch A Color Purple for the billionth time.

4. Purpose Driven Life is still BANGIN! It gives it to me every day.

5. I can't wait for my boss to come back from sick leave.

6. I know there are many new bloggers out there. I want to put y'all on to something that may assist you to keep up with all of your favorite bloggers, Bloglines. With Bloglines you can enter all of you favorite blogs and they will list them and tell you when folks have updated their blogs. I have 55 blogs on my list and without it, I would go crazy! It's free, subscribe, it can save your life. (y'all addicted folks, hehehe)

7. After work, my boy and I are going to play tennis. I founded my racquet in back of my closet, LOL! This is going to be funny, cause I can't play that well and I try to play like I'm one of the Williams sistas (even with the noises, LOL). (Did y'all see Venus fight off Lindsey at the Wimbledon Finals?)

8. Leon, where is the auditions for the Blogger Road Rules?

9. I am soo mad that No4Real4Real didn't post part 2 today. He play'd us!

10. A couple of my boys asked me to live with them in September. They want to rent a one-family house. I already know that I am moving somewhere else in September, but this opportunity has approach me and I'm really considering moving in with them. The only thing they are all assumely str8 and don't know about me. HMMMM, I don't know!

11. Does anyone know the best man quote that Harold P. says to the Stripper Candy after her performance? (bernie, this is your man, you should know it, lol)

12. Don't laugh, but I have a favorite new show. It's a Rockport Nautical Mile boat shoe. I only bought it in blue/white and have been wearing them everyday since saturday. I don't match today because I love the shoe soo damn much, LOL! The shoe is extremely dorky but so comfortable. They were on sale at Macy's for $27.99. Go me, LOL!

Monday, July 11, 2005

Lights, Camera, Action!

I had a pretty good weekend. Completely sober! Friday, I stayed home and watched dvds because my barber left early and I wasn't about to go out looking scruffy. Spent Saturday at the Philly Greek Fest. The step show was surprisingly great! It was kinda weird that almost all of the fraternities had a G-Life component in their show. Mocking other frats, when we all know that there are many in each frat that get down and dirty. It felt like a reunion seeing many familiar faces. It was also nice getting out of the New York area for the day.

I ended up arriving home around 6:15am on Sunday and was at church by 9:45. A brotha was tired, but pastor and the choir RIPPED IT. Afterwards, I was filled with energy and ended up going out to lunch with one of my boys and enjoyed a peaceful walk in the park while talking to a friend via cell phone, LOL. Y'all know a brother is NOW tired at work!

Here are some bloggers that are doing it up with their most recent post...

Light, Cameras, Action...

ShawnQT saves the day! Brotha, fought off a terrorist attack in New York this weekend!

Talking about Giving Y'all The Bizness, No4Real4Real finally answers the questions. Expect some talk about spirituality, insecurities and handsome bloggers. I'm eagerly anticipating part 2.


Brotha Quaheem hits us hard with some random political thoughts!

I keep on falling in love.... with you. That Brooklyn Baller speaks about falling for Great... it continues to get juicy!

Clay Clay tells his tale of living in the district and possibility of him moving. We should lobby him to bring his magic to New York!

A lesson we all must learn by Tim. I know I've had the hard way.

A lesson we all must learn by Rashid talks about life in the fast lane. I'm sure we all can relate to him. Let's show him some love. Dang, I need his book.

I'm working on a post entitled, "The Hoe Factor" for Friday. A couple of y'all that have aim or e-mail, I have some questions to ask y'all so hit me up!

*********************************************************

Oh yeah, I finally picked up my Keyshia Coles album from my boy and it's surprisingly GOOD!

Friday, July 08, 2005

Mistaken Identity...

He did the right thing, stopping at the crosswalk, even though he could have beaten the red light by accelerating through the intersection.

The tailgating woman hit the roof, and the horn, screaming in frustration as she missed her chance to get through the intersection. As she was still in mid-rant, she heard a tap on her window and looked up into the face of a very serious police officer. The officer ordered her to exit her car with her hands up. He took her to the police station where she was searched, finger printed, photographed, and placed in a holding cell.

After a couple of hours, a policeman approached the cell and opened the door. She was escorted back to the booking desk where the arresting officer was waiting with her personal effects.

He said, "I'm very sorry for this mistake. You see, I pulled up behind your car while you were blowing your horn, flipping off the guy in front of you, and cussing a blue streak at him. "I noticed the 'Choose Life' license plate holder, the 'What Would Jesus Do' bumper sticker, the 'Follow Me to Sunday-School' bumper sticker, and the chrome-plated Christian fish emblem on the trunk.

Naturally, I assumed you had stolen the car."

~a forward

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Purpose Driven Life

Last Friday, I took off work and decided to do some shopping and go see a movie. On my way to the mall, I decided to go to my favorite Christian Store. I didn't know what I was going to buy, but I wanted something inspirational. Fasting had me a little light headed. For some strange reason, I decided to call Potential (who I haven't spoken to in a month) and asked for a book suggestion. I've been reading the MisEducation of the Negro by Carter G. Woodson and it's a deep book that can bring a brother down with reality. So, I wanted something to read, like an inspirational Christian story.

He suggested to buy, The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren. At first I was a little taken aback from the title. I thought about how I have goals and a purpose. And Potential after getting to know me, should already know this! After finding the book, I wanted to read the first couple of lines.

It reads:




It's not about you.
The purpose of your life is far greater than your own personal fulfillment, your peace of mind, or even your happiness. It's far greater than your family, your career, or even your wildest dreams and ambitions. If you want to know why you were placed on this planet, you must begin with God. You were born by his purpose and for his purpose.


Whoa, Can I get an Amen? Amen. So yes, I bought the book and the journal. Before entering the mall, I sat in my car (it was hot out!) and read the introduction and the first chapter. I was brought to tears because at that very moment, I just entered a New Level of MY SPIRITUALITY! It is not a self-help book. Purpose Driven Life "is a guide to a 40-day spiritual journey that will enable you to discover the answer to life's most important question: What on earth am I here for?"


It seems as if for a long time I was singing the Mya f/Sisco song, "It's all about me." Thinking... It's all about what I want to do, about what I want to be, about where I wanna go. But, in all actuality it's not all about me.




On day three, the lines that struck me like a strip of lightning 26 times (Like in War of the Worlds) was:


Without a clear purpose you have no foundation on which you base decisions, allocate your time , and use your resources. You will tend to make choices based on circumstances, pressures, and your mood at that moment. People who don't know their purpose try to do too much-- and that causes stress, fatigue and conflict.
It is impossible to do everything people want you to do. You have just enough time to do God's will. If you can't get it all done., it means you're trying to do more than God intended for you to do ( or, possibly, that you're watching too much television.)/span>


That's it, I watch too much television, LOL. I've been acting like I'm some kind of Super Smiling. But, I'm not... I'm just a young black man in search of what purpose God has for him. So, I'll have my purpose driven life.
The 7-day fast was tough, but it brought forth some clarity. The first couple of days, I was in deep thought and emotional from analyzing my entire being. On Sunday, I was blessed with a scripture that I needed. "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." (Jeremiah 29:11). From the 7-day fast to purchasing the book, then from hearing the scripture on the radio as I ironed my clothes for church to pastor preaching about the same scripture.... All I could hear was Margaret Avery singing from the Color Purple, "Gods Tryna Tell You Something." And right now, I'm listening!

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Wednesday's Top Ten... well Top Five Today

It's my last day of fasting. It has brought forth so much clarity (although on the fourth of July, I had to eat by 3pm, lol). I'm still overwhelmed at work. With the help of Redd, I decided that this Wednesday will be my Top Five Musicals. Yes, I know, so G-Life of me to really enjoy the theatre. Oh well, can't fake the phunk!

Top Five Musicals

Gypsy - My second all time favorite musical. Remember, "Let me entertain you." Or at the end when Mama Rose bangs out, "Everything Coming Up Roses for me and for you." I swear to goodness, I love this story! I wish I could have seen Angela Lansbury on Broadway playing Mama Rose. But, Bernadette Peters did her thing in 2003 (ripped it), although, Bette Midler was my favorite Rose. Favorite song is "Together Wherever We Go."

Dream Girls - I wish I were there for the orginal production with Sarah Lee Ralph, Jennifer Holiday and Loretta Devine. The film better be GREAT! I know y'all know why I love this musical... ("I am changing," is playing in my head right now.)

Aida - This is the first musical I treated my family. It was during Christmas Break from freshman year in college and we all dressed up and my Moms took us to the Tavern on the Green. (Memories like a corner in my eye, LOL). I really didn't know the meaning of Fierce until I heard Heather Headley perform in this musical. Sista is BAD To The BONE. (unfortunately she has jungle fever, sike nah, lol.) This African story is brilliant! With the touch of Elton John and Tim Rice, they brought it alive. I was mad that they had Michelle from DC do an extended stay. But, I'm sure Toni, Simone and Deborah worked it out!

The Life - While a freshman in HS (1996), one of my friends invited me to see The Life with his family. This is a musical about pimps and prostitutes in 1980s Time Square. Battling issues of love, sex, greed and betrayal. It was a short-lived Broadway production that ended up winning Tonys for Best Actress and Actor. (I think the opened up the 1997 Tonys) Cy Coleman hooked the music up! The cast belted their azzes off!

RAGTIME - My Goodness! While I was in college, the musical theatre department didn't have a lot of black folks, so they had an open audition for brown students. I had a couple of friends in the MT Dept and asked my best friend and I to audition. I was extremely nervous because the MT Dept is one of the best in the country. My best friend sung, "Cry me a river." (As in the Justin Timberlake song) It was hilarious! She sung the end of the song, when the choir comes in and sings, Cry me a river, oh. FUNNY! I ended up singing O' Holy Night, which I must say was the best damn time I ever performed that song. I shocked the mess out of me, when I hit the Fall on your knees part. So, they wanted me to sing another song, I was kinda pissed cause they didn't ask my best friend for a second song. So, I sang, "Together, Wherever We Go" (a la Gypsy. And guess what? We both made it! The first time we performed in Costume on the set, I was in tears because of the impact this musical will have on the audience. We had ten awesome performances. I never had a high like opening night.

Aiight enought of me.

Synopsis: This musical is a tapestry of New York area life in the first decades of the 20th century. People from radically different walks of life -- an African-American family, a Jewish immigrant family and a wealthy suburban WASP family -- see their lives intersect in the aftermath of a crime, with unexpectedly emotional results. .

Someday, I would love to play Coalhouse Walker! I was trying to surprise shawty from Bed-Stuy and take him to Jersey to see the play over the weekend. But, y'all know how bruthas are, LOL! PUNK!

Honorable Mentions: Guys and Dolls (Luck Be A Lady, my joint), Miss Siagon (I was at the second to last Broadway Show, I think in 2000), and King and I (with Lou Diamond Phillips, set design was outstanding.) The Color Purple (haven't seen it yet, but hopefully this fall with Brotha Clay.)

Dang, I just relived some memories. I need to audition and see a show! LMAO!

So, what are your all-time favorite musicals? (and don't just list every musical you ever saw)

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