04 May 2012

"Solutions for peace are never political, philosophical, or militaristic. The fate of the world, begins and ends with individual behavior." 

This quote from Yehuda Berg in right in line with my own philosophy:

Peace is about PEOPLE. We have so much in common with our fellow souls, but tend to focus instead on the areas where we differ. This focus leads to misunderstanding and Ego taking over. Ego taking over leads to conflict. Conflict leads to War and destruction. We, as stewards of this magnificent planet, owe it to ourselves to protect it, and all of the creatures residing on it. Even if that sometimes means stepping out of our comfort zone and looking in from another perspective.


I wonder sometimes if we will ever be able to step beyond our own preconceived notions and into the greater picture the Universe is trying to present us.  I hope so.

21 February 2012

Another Goodbye

So, when the news broke that Whitney Houston had passed away Saturday afternoon, on the eve of the Grammy Awards, it literally knocked the wind out of me.  With her, goes a piece of my childhood.  Whitney and Madonna gave a young, scared and lonely gay boy a sense of hope for the future.  Sadly, it was a sense that she couldn't seem to hold on to in the glare of the spotlight.  The pressures of her life must have seemed unbearable.  Such beautiful, pure talent.  Such a glowing soul.

Gone far too soon.

29 January 2012

Film Premiere with the Queen of Pop

So, I was lucky enough to be invited to a screening of the Madonna-directed W/E at the Ziegfeld Theater in midtown Manhattan last Monday.   Needless to say, the prospect of attending an official red carpet, NYC film premiere was a BIG deal to me.  Add to that the prospect of being in the same room as the Queen of Pop herself, and I was a ball of excited nerves!  My best friend Jesus and I  brushed elbows with some amazingly talented people that evening: Ewan McGregor, Julia Stiles, Lady Bunny and more were in attendance.  When Madonna was introduced, and came to the front of the theater to speak, I was excited beyond comprehension.  Not that it was my first time at an event with her, but any chance to see M is exciting for me.   The Marchesa gown she was wearing was flawless, and her speech was both heartfelt and personal.  Madonna discussed her inspiration to make this film, and even paused to thank her long deceased mother in a tearful moment.  After the 14 minute speech and introduction from M, the film rolled.

If I had gone in with low expectations for Madonna's directorial debut, I would have been selling her short.   Madonna and her supremely talented cast not only delivered, they exceeded expectations at every turn.  Humanizing one of the best known historical romances of all time in and of itself would have been a challenge; intermingling it with a contemporary one turned the film into a director's nightmare which by all rights should have been a disaster.  Instead, Madonna and company presented us with a masterpiece.  The two stories wove seamlessly into each other, and the inspiration Wally took from Wallis as she learned more and more about the truth about her life was generously shared with the audience.  Also not lost was the message that love comes with a price.  In the case of Wallis Simpson, the loss of her privacy, her popularity, and the ability for her to ever return to England (she and Edward VIII were never again allowed in the country after the abdication, save when she attended his funeral.)  In the case of Wally, it was the materially comfortable life she had shared with her very well off socialite husband.  The story in the film is not lost on us, and the fresh perspective with which it looks at a well known historical romance is both refreshing, and, at times, shocking. We often forget Wallis Simpson and Henry VIII were simply 2 people in love, and that love can make us do unexpected things.  We tend to focus on what he gave up to be with her, and forget the price she paid to live this fairy tale.  This film gives us the contrary viewpoint, and does so in a vivid and touching way.

As the film ended, I looked around me to see the likes of Gayle King and Martha Stewart on their feet applauding this film, which just confirmed what I already knew: Madonna had done something special with this film.  I highly suggest you go see what I mean.

Sometimes, in order to get where we are headed, we have to pause where we are and take an inventory.   Sometimes that inventory will reaffirm what we thought we knew about our journey through life.  More often, however, it will show us a need for a slight course correction and a new destination.   

12 January 2012

Push Away

So, I was involved in a conversation this evening with my Uncle's girlfriend.  She was ranting and raving about him (as usual) and when I had the gall to agree with her therapist on the fact that there can be more than one kind of abuse and my uncle overheard it, he started recording from the next room, as unbeknownst to me, I was on speaker phone.  Not to say that there was anything said in that conversation I do not stand behind 100%.  The man is a 55 year old child, selfish, on drugs, and doesn't fool ANYONE with his whole "divide and conquer" manipulation mentality.

Don't get me wrong: I love my uncle.  I just don't like him. 


So, at TWO IN THE MORNING, my big bad uncle decided he had to call his little brother and stir the pot, wake him up in the middle of the night, and cause a shitstorm.  Do I discount that I played a part in this?  No.  Did a third party need to be involved in something that had NOTHING to do with them? Absolutely not.  I am far from an innocent bystander, and I will readily admit that I have a lot of vitriol where my Uncle is concerned.  So much so that I deleted and blocked him from FB after getting a call from my very upset younger Uncle asking me what I was doing talking to this lady.  I was doing exactly that: talking.  I was comisserating in her misery, and trying to offer her a release valve, and a calm voice, though I was unsuccessful in my desire to be calm and reasonable.  Where this particular Uncle (or my Mother, for that matter) is concerned, the wonds are too deep, the scars too ugly to try to heal anymore.

I have tried therapy, I have written about it, I have taken anti depressants since I was ten, and still, the pain that this particular part of my family causes with there mere existence can sometimes be more than I can reasonably be expected to bear.  So I become angry, I lash out, I push them away.

I think it is time to push away a little harder.

10 December 2011

Random Occurrences

So, when you run into your ex fiancĂ©e at a club, and he is there dancing with his new plaything, go over and say hi to them politely, and then go about your own evening, is it a BAD thing to enjoy that he spends the rest of the night staring at you while you dance with someone else?

09 December 2011

Miami-Dade (laugh) Transit

So, a few years back, I was really excited that my hometown of Miami was going to be expanding Public Transit in what seemed like an intelligent and a meaningful way.  The planned expansions of the MetroRail were (seemingly) well thought out, and would serve some of Miami's most deserving communities.  For those who know Miami well, imagine being able to go from Dadeland to Joe Robbie Stadium (I will always call it that) on the same train without having to drive or pay to park in an open dirt lot.  Imagine being able to drink at the Dolphin game and not worry about driving home.  That would have been just a few of the possibilities with the proposed expansion (I hate football, but not as much as I hate Drunk Drivers!)  Not to mention that it would have brought reliable transit into the North Miami/Liberty City/Opa Locka areas, providing vital connections to services like Jackson Hospital and Miami-Dade College, the employment opportunities in Downtown, and eventually (with the completion of the planned Phase 2) Florida International University in western Miami-Dade County.  Needless to say, if Miami is truly going to be a city of the New Milennium, Public Transit needs to improve.  Sadly, Miami does not seem to grasp this fact.  Despite asking voters to approve a tax increase to support the promised expansions (voters passed it in 2002,) with the promise of expanded, reliable rail service, the plans have now been scrapped for both phases of "orange line" construction.

In the 13 years since I moved to New York, the air in Miami has become visibly clogged with pollution from carbon-spewing automobiles and planes.  The city I grew up in has become the Los Angeles of the east coast with regards to traffic, and wider highways and massive spending on roads is not going to improve the situation.  You may ask what set me off on my little tirade-well, let me tell you.  I was perusing the website that discusses improvements to the system via www.miamidade.gov and saw that the MetroRail now has free WiFi in all cars.  Okay, that's kinda cool, especially since even NYC doesn't offer that perk.  Here's my issue-most commuters on MetroRail ride approximately 20-25 minutes to their destination, whereas many bus passengers spend over an hour on the bus before even connecting to MetroRail.  So, if you are going to invest in WiFi, you would think that those who have the longest commute would benefit the most from access, right?  Just another example of backwards thinking by a government agency (I wonder which Miami-Dade County employee wanted to use their laptop or iPad on the train and got this done with no regard to the many thousands of bus riders who could really use it?)   Again, I am not knocking the idea of it, just the lack of system-wide implementation.  MetroRail has suffered for 30 years from poor planning, has never been able to cover its own operating or even construction costs, and is commonly referred to as "MetroFAIL" by riders, who find it to be plagued with problems and unreliable service.  When I used to ride it to work, I was frequently late, and even 'coached' that I should take the earlier option, which would leave me at my job a full hour ahead of my start time in order to avoid being late.  I started driving to work immediately, despite my desire to be environmentally aware (this was before hybrid cars were domestically available.)

So, can someone please explain to me the logic in scrapping a project what would INCREASE ridership and revenue, REDUCE carbon emissions and DUI's, and (possibly most importantly in this economy) CREATE jobs?   If you can, please feel free to, because I am at a loss here...

31 October 2011

When do you finally let it sink in that you are better? When a song that used to make you cry makes you smile instead.