An Engaging Story

 

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This story starts in May of 2017. My girlfriend was set to go to Denver for a conference and I knew that I had a limited window in order to buy a ring. This was during a time where graduation has just happened at Barnard College and I was contemplating my life. I had goals that I wanted to achieve both inside and outside my job and, to be honest, I’m not getting any younger. So the question in my head was, “what am I really doing?”

I ended up texting her sister with one sentence, “You and I need to go shopping”

Her response, “Woohoo that means you’re buying a ring” (she acts like she knows me)

I guess her sister knew, just like I did, that perhaps it was time.  I never thought that perhaps I waited too long or that it would never happen, for me it was about universal timing. Without sounding too existential, I was waiting for that moment when the universe would tell me that it was time to do this. At this time, I was going through several personal and familial issues that made it difficult for me to focus on my life. Alas, the time had come and I knew what I needed to do.

The funny thing about the Diamond District in midtown Manhattan is that the hours are not what you would normally expect. I just wanted to look for rings after work hours as if I was shopping normally.  Turns out, most shops close at 5pm on week days. Sure, I could have gone a on weekend but she wasn’t gone that long and since we’re living together, I didn’t want to make it obvious that I was up to something. Needless to say, the first time I went to look for a ring, all the stores had just closed and I needed to find another time.

I would have to wait 6 months later before I had another chance (thank God for another conference). This time, I was prepared. There were two important things that I knew and I would tell anyone that needs to know: the type of ring and the ring size. Now, full disclosure, over the years she has sent me types of rings that she wanted. I had bookmarked these pages thinking that I may need these in the future. I had to school myself in diamond cuts and grades. When November came around, I had a different plan. Instead of buying a ring that looked like what she wanted, I went to the source. I went to the a ring distributor of one of the rings she picked (right off of 5th Ave). All I had to do was design the diamond. Yeah, it was expensive but I saved up for it so I wasn’t about to cut corners.

Long story short, I told the guy I would pick up the ring on the first week of December because I didn’t need it hanging around in my apt. I know her well enough to know that she would find it through my negligence. I didn’t even want the receipt. I specifically asked that it be emailed to me. In fact, all our correspondence had to be over email. At this point, once I ordered and paid for the ring, I started telling everyone. Of course, I had to do that thing where I had to ask her parents and they both looked at me like… aren’t you part of the family already? I told my parents, family, and friends. Almost everyone knew, except her.

I picked up the ring on the first Monday of December. It was a typical day in NYC and I knew that I had to be casual about all this. I didn’t let on to her that this was going to be a slightly different day because I never ever go to Midtown…especially on the East Side. Yet, here I was for the second time in two months looking at a purely gorgeous ring. But there was a problem. The Box was too big to hide. Actually, the box for box was enormous. I can’t put this in my pants and I can barely hide in my jacket. Plus, I have to ride on a train back up to Barnard with this thing? I had to think of something fast. So, I went to Midtown Comics (lol) where I bought a graphic novel (Bitch Planet – Book Two, which is a must read) and I put the ring in the bag.

After that, I hid the ring in my office for three weeks. Everyday I slowly counted down in my head what I was going to do. The thing is that I knew I was going to Florida to visit my dad. Back in August, with the help of my step mother, I booked a room at their timeshare at the Wyndham Bonnet Creek Resort for the last week in December. The plan was that we would fly in on 12/27 and I had until that Saturday to pop the question. I didn’t want to settle on a day because anything can happen, right?

So we get to the resort and my dad and stepmom meet us there. They show us around and we have a drink. It was beautiful day in Orlando but we were tired from an early flight and we wanted to nap. Before they leave, my step mom is like, “there is champagne in the fridge…” Thankfully, Zulay thought it was all about celebrating the new year. They leave and we knock out on the bed…

…I wake up and she’s next to me with her iPad playing some show. I get up to use the bathroom and something told me to check my bag that had the ring in it. That is when I noticed that she went through it looking for a charger… gulp

The ring is still there but that doesn’t mean she didn’t see it because, as you know, the box for the box that holds the ring is fucking huge. So, I had to ask the question while playing it off, “Hon, did you go through my bag?”

Her response was what I hoped for, a nonchalant reply about how she left her iPad charger at home and found mine. What she didn’t ask was, why was I asking. She sometimes does that so I guess my question seemed innocent enough. It was at that point I decided I had to do it that night. Who knows how long before some other incident happens?

We get ready to go eat and I remember looking at this huge box for the box. Even if I just use the ring holder box it was still be obvious since I am wearing shorts. I mean, do I really want something sticking our from my shorts? So I took the ring out and put in my pocket where I felt it burning a hole in pocket all through dinner. At one point I almost just gave it to her at dinner. But, I played it cool. She is not one that likes all the attention.

The resort consists of several building and a living areas (including the main hotel) surrounding a lake that had ducks and swans. There were signs about gators which was not cool, but sure. The sun was setting and we decided after dinner to walk the parameter of the lake to see if we can get a better view of the sunset. That proved fruitless, but we did end up sitting on a porch swing underneath a gazebo that overlooked the lake.

We had conversation and all the while I am waiting for the right moment. Underneath this gazebo was another porch swing which was occupied. Once they left I was getting ready. Then some kids and their mom roll up. Fuck, they want to take pictures too? It was getting dark and I was losing light. They finally left and I was like… it is now or never.

She wanted to go to some other swings and was about to get up when I was like, “How long have we been together?”

She paused as if she was thinking how strange that question was but she answered the question and got up to go the swings. Then in my infinite wisdom I say to her… “Hold up, I need to tie my shoe.”

Her back is to me so she had no idea I am on my knee. I take out the ring and I kinda wait.

She still has has her back to me.

“Hey!” I say, but not alarmingly loud.

She turns around and sees me. Her eyes widen and she sees me with ring. “What is happening?” She remarks.

“Will you marry me?” I ask.

“Yes. I will”

I put the ring on her hand and we embrace.

 

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I am a Podcaster now! #BlackComicsChat

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Before we all die I just want to say…

Yo, I have updates on this dusty ass blog and I know it’s been awhile. I kinda gave up on trying to write about current events in this world because I simply don’t have time to talk about all the bullshit. So, I will just say one thing before I move on to what I want to say: Men are Trash.

Now that I’ve said this, let’s get to the main topic. I am now a podcaster!

I’ve joined the team at Black Comics Chat and we officially form like Voltron (I’m the Red Lion). So what does this mean for me? What does this mean for this blog?

Well, I would like to think that I will post more. I want to make a subtle shift to more nerdier content and yet stay relevant. I’m still writing but I’m taking my time with book three. I don’t feel the need to rush something that I’ve created. With that being said, they’re are some big things coming and I am excited about all of it.

I hope to get more involved within comics than just interviewing creators. I would like to make a mark on this industry by pointing out things like the lack of representation of Latinos within comics. I would also like to announce that I am currently writing a script for a comic book. It is mad early and developmental (coded language for “I have no idea what the fuck I’m doing).

If you didn’t know, I was at this year’s New York Comic Con last month in a panel discussion that was all about representation and the lack their of. It was called The Invisible Latinx. You can check the #InvisibleLatinx hashtag on twitter to get a peak at that. All thanks and love go out to LatinxGeeks for putting that together.

DLlfJRoWAAAyN8A

 

Below is the my first hosting appearance of Black Comics Chat. Enjoy and there is more to come.

I Made a Promise to be Vague

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Is this thing on?

I have to be vague and still convey what I need to. The difficulty is because I want to just blurt out everything without caring for other people’s feelings. But, that’s the thing isn’t it? I care for people. I care for those who I love and those who love me and I even care for those I kinda hate and those that kinda hate me. Why? Because deep down I know we are all connected intrinsically, cosmically.

When I turned 40 I shouted, “life begins at 40!” I believe that. I think that I’ve reached this magical age of near enlightenment where I can apply all the lessons of the past to try to be a truly good person. I recognize mistakes were made along the way. I know that I’m not perfect, but I try my best to be a better person. Yet, while my life “began at 40”, I’m not sure who’s going to be around to see me at 50.

It’s painful to admit that the older people in my life are getting older and more susceptible to things that may cause them to leave this existence. In the past four years, I’ve lost two aunts so I understand how this works. I understand that the curse of being one of the youngest in the family means you see everyone fade.

Within the wake of all of this comes regret. I could’ve been a better nephew, cousin, or son. Maybe I could’ve worked harder to spend more time. Maybe I could have gone that extra mile to do things the right way. Maybe, I should’ve worked harder to have children at a younger age. All this sounds crazy but when your heart cries your head makes excuses.

Family is important… even if they’re assholes. That doesn’t mean I have to trust them. It doesn’t mean I have to lend them money. What it does mean is that they are a part of me in ways that I may not like or admit. I watch and observe the incredibly stupid behavior of certain people and know that had people spent less time in their feelings and more time actually talking about problems… then I wouldn’t have to be so vague about any of this.

This is not a game anymore. I will not play this social media game where I try to out do the next person in life achievements and then fabricate happiness. Facebook is a farce; a real life version of The Sims. I’m surprised that Zuck hasn’t tried to sell us expansion packs that feature new looks and outfits to cover our shitty little lives, or maybe he has. I can only say that I know who my real friends are. I know who I’m cool with. I’m done pretending that everything is going to be okay because it may not be.

I made a promise. I swore to be vague about something because, “people are fake.” I get that. People hold grudges or say some rude shit one day and then send you a Facebook invite the next day. These same people will talk mad shit but then cry at the funeral. These same people will pretend to be your friend but never visits you in the hospital (I’m not bitter at all).

There’s a lack of understanding that looms over like a cloud where some people only see things from one point of view without considering that perhaps… they might be wrong. One person sees a number and declares it a 9 and no one can tell this person anything. Another person sees that exact same number from a different angle and calls it a 6 and you can’t tell that person any differently. This describes the world we live in. This describes my family.

I made a promise to be vague and I will keep that.

43

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Before we all die I just want to say…

Normally, I would write this long blog post about how another year has passed and how I need to focus on goals and all this other crap. Eff that. When did I become this serious goal monster that needs to keep pushing the envelope? I ask this question to myself because I begin to wonder if I’ve stopped to enjoy life in this incredibly fucked up world.

I’m leaning toward no.

Sure, I live in one of the greatest cities in the world which gives me access to do just about anything I want to do and yet, I shy away from doing what everybody else does. Some of that is because I’m a homebody. There are times I would rather just be home and catch up on shows, or read, or write. Another reason is because I’m not a fucking follower (as I’ve been recently accused of — yes, I’m bitter). Other reasons for not going out is that I don’t want to spend the money. I want to be clear, I do not consider myself cheap but I do question the value of things and if my time and money can be spent somewhere else.

Look, I will be honest, my life is not a grand spectacle and I don’t try to pretend that it is on social media. I work a lot and I am really good at what I do. Outside of work though… I feel everyone (mostly family) wants or needs me for something and like a pendejo (look it up) I tend to not say no. Inherently, this is not a bad thing because I’m a decent human being and there was a point in my life where I didn’t want to be near family. But, now I’m older and more responsible and I feel that family is important… especially if I happen to have kids (pause).

Yet, I can’t help but think that I should be doing more for myself. I’m dying to go to Cuba and to be honest, this is where I begin to evaluate my life and I begin to question everything. Let’s push aside what 45 has done to limit travel and focus on when it was easier to go. The question I ask myself is why didn’t I go to Cuba when I had the chance? What was I waiting for? Here is my answer, I take my current (and now past) responsibilities so seriously when it comes to family that I push my own shit back. So I watched when family and friends (…did my friends go or was it Facebook ‘friends’…? shrug) post pics and think.. that could’ve me but I was fucking around.

So what does 43 mean to me? It means that I may need to pull back and think more about me (and her too). I need to start being more me-centric. I hate the word selfish because it gives the assumption that I don’t care about anyone else. I do want to focus more on myself and not just travel and vacations. I look at the calendar and I realized I have not seen a doctor in years. That fact scares me because I don’t want to be that dude that never sees the doctor considering I’m at that age range where tubes and needles go into places that I’m not prepared for them to go.

I’m comforted that I do have people in my life that do love and care about me and (for as long as we are alive before the world ends) I will have their back just as much as they have mine. Right now, it’s time for me to stop talking about shit and just doing it.

90 Minutes

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Before we all die I just want to say…

There always comes a point where I have to self reflect on what I’m doing. My last post was about my professional career and how I’m willing to do I need to do in order to be successful. Yet, I struggle with my creative world… or rather,  I feel like I’m struggling.

I’m willing to admit that most of what’s happening is in my head. Perhaps I have higher expectations of what I can actually commit my time to. Why shouldn’t I expect to have a certain amount of success? Yet, I cannot define what that actually means and if I cannot get a definition then what the fuck am I doing? Why am I doing any of this?

I do it for me. But is that enough?

Everyday I follow my calendar. I have meetings upon meetings. I take notes and fulfill tasks based on those meetings and notes. Then I work events and if I’m lucky I get to have a meal at some point. I don’t complain because I love what I do and I follow the script that I set out for myself every day when I’m at work. But what happens when I get home?

Since I live with my mother (until such time as when the house is sold), it turns out that I don’t do nearly as much as I should be doing for me. Sure, I will get home, eat dinner, do chores, and then watch television. My television viewing habits mostly consist of political shows that depict how fucked we are right now. Of course, it’s April now so I can spread out that time watching baseball. So for the most part, my nights are unconstructed space.

Why is this important? Why is this the problem?

Unconstructed space is dangerous for me. As I’ve gotten older, I know that if I plan out my day at work, I will simply get more done. So is there no wonder that I feel like I’m in a perpetual state of nothingness when it comes to writing? I need to start planning out my time when I’m outside of work as much as I do when I’m at work. The reason I didn’t want to do this before is because it seems so tiring. What if I don’t want to do a damn thing? Sometime times I would rather spend my god given, American rite (for now) of doing absolutely nothing when I get home from work.

I can’t afford to do that. Not anymore.

It’s not just about the lack of writing. Sure, I could benefit from writing more blog entries because it fits the need to write everyday. Sure, I could benefit from adding to a third book that I’m supposed to be writing. It also has a lot to do with my volunteer life as a member of ACUI. There are things I need to do for that. I also need to think about ways to be better at marketing myself. So, no, it’s not just entirely about the writing but the majority of it is. Which leads me to the main question, what do I do about this?

90 minutes of writing, 6 days a week.

This is something that I needed to schedule a long time ago. A part of me has let my after work laziness get to me. I made excuses of not living in Harlem any more as a reason for why I stopped writing so much or running as much. The best way for me to get on track with my life is to follow my calendar. This isn’t a declaration that everyone has to do this. As a matter of fact, I wouldn’t have thought that this was a very good a idea for me 2 years ago.

The point is that every so often I change and evolve; and thus I need to adjust my habits. Now if I ever question my decision on whether this will work for me, I will just look at this particular blog post since I wrote 706 words in less than 30 minutes of my 90 minute time.

Time for me to write something else before my time is up.

Focused

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Before we all die I just want to say…

I’ve been working a lot. There’s no other way I can put it. I’ve had to scale back on social media because I need to curb the distractions. This does not mean that I’m less fun, but it does mean I’m focused.

Laser focused on my career.

I have some goals that I need to beat up and when that happens, sacrifices need to made. Of course, this is April and this has always been the busiest of all months. I would know because I’ve been in Higher Education for more than 15 years and it has never gotten dull.

At the moment, I barely look at my Facebook. I’ve gotten a little tired of the same shit and if you know me, I don’t do monotony well. I get bored so easy that I annoy myself. So all the same talk about the same shit has left me wondering why I should even distract myself with this. Although, I cannot say the same for Twitter because… well, Twitter is lit. To be honest, since I’ve gotten that little blue check I’ve felt the need to continue tweeting even if it just a few times a day. After all, I do have books to sell. <— I laugh at this because no one is buying them. lol

Look, what remains is that I don’t take myself too seriously but I take my goals pretty seriously. I feel like things have opened up in my mind and I finally know what I want to do in my professional career. Writing will always be there and I will not stop and I’m not suggesting I will. I believe I can do both as well as I have been, but I’m also realistic.

The self pub thing is a grind. It is an island with a dormant volcano that may or may not erupt. Doing this alone is hard. Doing this with 4-5 people helping is hard. The end result is something that I will always have to justify. Do I take the satisfaction of  writing my own shit in my own way and be told that I’m a great writer but only to see a small amount of financial support? Yes. I am okay with that.

However, I’m not about to be that same way at my day job. My career means a lot because helping student is the prime goal. I think it’s time for me to dive into the deep end of the pool and start challenging myself and my role as a student affairs administrator.

Get Out – The mad late review.

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Before we all die I just want to say…

I saw Get Out the weekend it came out. I posted my review on Facebook and I figured I should put my reaction to this movie on here with a few additional remarks. I think it’s amazing that this movie is doing so well at the box office and while it’s not a perfect movie (very few movies are), it perfectly illustrates a feeling that many people of color have when navigating white spaces.

Light spoilers ahead.

Racism is scary. Bottom line, I learned early in my career I needed to be careful of who I can trust. I remember being at work receptions at Syracuse University where it was me and a few brown folk and we would look relieved to see each other.

Sure it wasn’t a look of… “did they get you yet?” but more of, “you still here?”

There’s a certain familiarity I took from this movie, particularly the way Chris was able to call his friend which allowed him code switch from one reality to another. This allowed him to stay true to himself and it quite possibly saved his life. Which leads me to think about my friends or lack there of. I may need to friend someone who works for TSA. That’s not awkward right? To ask a someone to hang out after they patted you down at the airport? lol

When someone asked me why I felt the need to become a Latino representative at SU,  it was because I didn’t want to lose myself. I didn’t want to fall down that rabbit hole (see what I did there?) of not remembering where I came from. As a young person of color working at PWI, there were so many things going on that it was hard to maintain myself worth and my self identity. Sure, I had self esteem issues, but who doesn’t? The point is that my identity became real important really quickly and that is what lead me to connect with so many students.

I often relate these experience to my time in Syracuse because New York City is different. The racism is still there but it gets hidden in the lights. To be honest, most of us are so busy just trying to pay rent that searching out passive racism is not the top of our lists. However, NYPD choking out a black man on the street for selling loose cigarettes will remind us the type of world we live in.

Syracuse snuggly fits right into Central New York and if you ever take a trip there you wouldn’t notice much is out of place. But, travel to near by Cooperstown (as I did last year) by way of the small roads you will see that America Trump is talking to. Yet, Get Out represents the progressive, almost color-blind, liberals who say they want to create change but want to be in the front of that line when change happens. They are the ones ordering $6 coffees and $8 chopped cheese sandwiches.

This isn’t just a movie about how scary passive racism is, this is about losing our identity to American assimilation of black and brown bodies and gentrification of our cultures and spirits.

Trust me I feel more comfortable in the South Bronx than I do in Skaneateles, NY.

So when someone asks if I will ever move back there…

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The Definition of Lying

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Before we all die I just want to say…

I thought about all the craziness going on in the government and how everything these days is being called “fake news” by President Trump. I thought it would be fitting to list the all the definitions of the word, lie.

I think it’s important to point out that we all know he’s a liar. This is not a false statement. He has told untruths while weaving a web of campaign promises that he has consistently tried to uphold. What makes me laugh/cringe is that even his followers never thought he would do half the things he promised…why? Because he is a liar.

So with that said, you are entitled your opinion but not your own facts.

Lie
noun
1. a false statement made with deliberate intent to deceive; an intentional untruth; a falsehood.
2. something intended or serving to convey a false impression;imposture:
3. an inaccurate or false statement; a falsehood.
4. the charge or accusation of telling a lie:

verb (used without object), lied, lying.
5. to speak falsely or utter untruth knowingly, as with intent to deceive.
6. to express what is false; convey a false impression.

verb (used with object), lied, lying.

7. to bring about or affect by lying (often used reflexively):

Idioms

8. give the lie to,

  1. to accuse of lying; contradict.
  2. to prove or imply the falsity of; belie:
    His poor work gives the lie to his claims of experience.
9. lie in one’s throat /teeth, to lie grossly or maliciously

Various Synonyms

aspersion•calumniation•calumny•deceit•deception•defamation•detraction•dishonesty•
disinformation•distortion•duplicity•evasion•fable•fabrication•falsehood•fib•fiction•
forgery•fraudulence•guile•hyperbole•inaccuracy•invention•libel•mendacity•
misrepresentation•misstatement•myth•obloquy•perjury•prevarication•revilement•
slander•subterfuge•tale•treachery•treason•untruth•vilification•whopper•

lie. (n.d.). Dictionary.com Unabridged. Retrieved February 27, 2017 from Dictionary.com website http://www.dictionary.com/browse/lie

Staying on Track

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                                    New Bio on HuffPo

Before we all die I just want to say…

I like to give background information on some of things that I’m doing. It puts me a space where I can share my thoughts while keeping myself on task. I’m taking my renewed interest in posting for The Huffington Post seriously. I truly believe we all have a role to play in all this. My article last week came from a place of deep contemplation.

I wanted to make sure that my return to that platform was, at the very least, interesting. I know that there tons of people blogging and writing about the exact same things that I want to so I have to put in more work on my posts then I commonly do for this blog. There is always the chance that anything written on the HuffPo can become viral and I want to make sure that my best writing is on display.

When I finally hit submit on my last post I realized that 2016 went by and I didn’t write anything for the Huffington Post. Before this I had a feeling it had been awhile I just didn’t think it was THAT long. Perhaps I silenced myself thinking that my voice was as important anymore or maybe I just simply got lazy. Whatever it was I was smoking in 2016 (in terms of this excuse), I was delusional.

I’m now at a point where I will write how I feel about 45. My goal is not to try to convince his supports (because I don’t give a shit about them), it’s more about pointing out shit that is so amazingly clear to me but perhaps not so much clear to others. This will be my continuing contribution to the resistance.

Now is the time to Write

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Before we all die I just want to say…

It’s a snow day! Time to write!

I’m slowly getting back into the groove for this next book. I finally finished Chapter One and it was tough. I still want to tell an interesting story. I want to end this novel in a very satisfying way. In order to do that, I will have to take my time and really concentrate on what it is I want to get out of all this.

I have also made a decision to take another stab at applying to the VONA writing workshops. I believe in professional development. In my time working in Student Affairs I’ve come to recognize that, though attending conferences, my value as increased from the input of others. If I want to continue doing this writing thing, then I should attempt to do professional development. So applying to this is something I feel I should do. Of course, I should also investigate other workshops.

Since we are talking about writing, I’m also in the process of updating my Huffington Post page. I need to get back in that realm. I just looked and my last article was in 2015. That is unacceptable to me, so it is time to update everything and start writing.

What does all this mean? I think that there are different forms of resistance. While I cannot march all the time, I can write and express my opinions. I think that we’ve had 8 years to be comfortable and now the world is changing. Despite how bad these times can be, it is opportune time to be an artist of any kind.

So, right now I’m gearing up to a lot of writing and I hope it all works out.