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My Anxiety is Real (3/29/2020)

I will be honest and say that I wasn’t really sure if I was ever going to post another blog on this platform. It has been such a long time and a part of me felt that the history of this blog and everything that I wrote about just came to its natural conclusion in 2018. But now we are here in the midst of a Global Pandemic and the only thing I can do is write.

This isn’t a Random Thoughts Thursday post that I do on Facebook.  I just need to get my thoughts together because I am scared. I don’t want to get sick and I don’t want anyone I know to get sick. While I am extremely lucky not to be living in New York City anymore, living in New Jersey only postpones the type of things we are seeing on television. Don’t get me wrong, I am staying at home and I am doing the social distancing thing but what I cannot stop doing is feeding my anxiety.

There was a period of about 8 or 9 days in which I never left the apartment at all. I worked from home, I did some podcasts, binged shows, played with my cats, did Zoom calls, and spent a lot of a great time with my fiancée. All this time, still washing my hands and watching the numbers on the news go up and up. Every morning I get up and thank God that I do not have any symptoms.

When I have gone outside, I have been super careful. We did a run last Thursday because I have to be honest, she is baking all the time and I need to run all this chocolate off. We made sure to pick a route where no one else used. We live in Harrison, New Jersey,  which is a small township right outside of Newark so it seemed easy to avoid people.  Of course, there weren’t that many people outside so it was fine. The following day was so beautiful that we decided to walk to the liquor store (it’s an essential business). I bought a case fo Stella and that was my working out on Friday. The next day we ordered take out from a local place because we have to help the community during this rough time. It rained all day so there was really no one around. It was easy to grab the food and go. Today, I had to throw out the garbage and recycling and my angst kicked in so much. A fourth straight day out of the apartment and while I can say it was no more than 15 minutes. I thought to myself, I really trust no one. I passed by a guy in the hall and I thought about him being asymptomatic and now I got the Rona.

Let me just back up for a second. I am 45 years old that suffers from migraines if I do not hydrate enough. We have a Peloton bike to keep us fit. I am more of a runner so while the bike is great, I would rather be running. Here is the thing, I have been so busy at work even before the stay at home order that I wasn’t exercising as much as I should be. So now, I try my best to do that on the bike. Why am I telling you this? Because I am sore all the time now which is funny because my mind automatically thinks that perhaps I am fatigued so I must have the Rona.

Furthermore, when we come in from the outside we go into full decontamination mode. Hands are washed. Phones, keys, and credit cards that were used are all wiped down with Clorox wipes. Clothes are thrown into the hamper for laundry that was done today. Always. Washing. Hands.

So why am I so fucking shook? I am not one of these heroes in the hospitals that are seeing this up close. I am not a doctor, nurse, or paramedic who charges into this pandemic because they have to. I am just a guy who does not want to get sick then passes it on to the love of life who has asthma because some jerk is out here not taking any of this shit seriously.

This is our reality and just hope that once again tomorrow morning I will wake up thanking God because I may not have the Rona i.e. COVID-19 (the coronavirus).

An Engaging Story (1/9/2018)



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.


Things I Can’t Get Enough Of… 12/4/17 (12/4/2017)

Avengers: Infinity War

Yo. YO! You know how long I’ve been waiting for this trailer to drop? It’s crazy because I remember the grainy cell phone trailer that was leaked from the San Diego Comic Con and all I wanted was to see this shit for real.

Now it’s out and I am obsessed. Just about everyone is in it and I cannot get enough of this.  I am so ready for Black Panther in February and Avengers: Infinity War in May. As a comic book fan, this is everything I wanted and now we’ll see who will survive this. There is a lot going on here but I will say that the outcome of post credit scene in Thor: Ragnarok is very apparent. Damn that Loki!

Star Wars: Battlefront 2

Early this year I read a book from one of my favorite authors, Christie Golden, called Inferno Squad and it was absolutely terrific. This book introduces an elite special forces team of storm troopers lead by Iden Versio.

Star Wars: Battlefront 2 continues the journey of this group but ramps it up a few 1000 levels as we bare witness to the destruction of the Empire from the Battle of Endor to the Battle of Jakku. Further more… it even take us to a journey right until the beginning of Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

I’m a huge fan of the first Battlefront so by adding a protagonist (along with the ability to play all 3 eras and Darth Maul) this game is my new obsession that will keep me entertained for quite awhile. The fact that Iden Versio is a woman of color for me adds to the playing value. Janina Gavankar is the actress Iden is modeled after. She also voices the character in both the game and audio book.


Catalyst Prime

I’ve made it clear on several occasions that the only comic books I’m buying currently is Lion Forge’s Catalyst Prime series. These are a series of books that have been eye opening in story telling and illustrations. Lead by Joseph Illidge, this is a universe that is starting from the ground up with diverse characters that will knock you out of your chair.

There are currently six titles under the Catalyst Prime Universe (with a seventh on it’s way) that feature heavy hitters in the industry. Each book is incredibly well written and displays the kind of pencils you expect to see from the big two.


My favorite books? Noble is the title that is leading the way with Superb being the book that we should all be reading. In fact, we just had and show on #BlackComicsChat featuring Ray Anthony Height that is one of artists from Superb. Check it out!

Attack on Titan Season 2

Man listen, everything about this show is so crazy that my girlfriend’s look is always priceless every time she walks by the television that blares the grotesque awesomeness of it all. I admit that I’m probably late to share my excitement on this one but that doesn’t mean I’m wrong.

You can find both seasons on Hulu and to my amazement, they have both sub titled and dubbed versions of season 1. This made me go back and watch all the craziness from the beginning. Season 2 is (for the moment) all sub titled but something like that would never stop me from enjoying this show more that once. My only issue is that season 2 has less episodes and now I have to wait to see what happens next unless…


…I decide to pick up the comics. I haven’t decide what I will do but I think I have other things to distract me in the mean time. Season 3 will pop up some time in 2018.

Voltron: Legendary Defender

“From days of long ago, from uncharted regions of the universe, comes a legend… the legend of Voltron..”


For starters, this is not the Voltron of my youth. This version (which is on Netflix) is a fresher and more modern take on the group of paladins that make up Voltron. The reason I am so hooked is because this show does such a great job at character development that combines pure action with comedy and science fiction.

While it does stray away from the original series (which one of my co-hosts, Leo, deems it unwatchable now), it does provide a small sense of nostalgia when it comes to the reimagining of characters we once knew. I personally love how the lions have their only personalities that make them more like a familiar* rather than an avatar.


My only gripe is about the length of season 4. Look, this show gets really effing good. Season 1 & 2 both have more that 10 episodes. Then, all of a sudden season 3 has 7. I get that Dreamworks knows that they have a slamming product and wants to keep their viewership on it’s toes but damn! There is no reason why this season is 6 episodes long! Ugh!

* a familiar is animal you bond with typically found in role playing games

The Exorcist – Season 2

Let me just share a little context here. The Exorcist (1973) movie scared the shit out of me as child and it scared the shit out of me as an adult (The Exorcist: The Version You’ve Never Seen – 2000). So, the real question you should be asking me is, why in the world would I watch the show that takes place in the same universe as the original motion picture? The reality is, I needed to conquer my fear and believe it or nor, the first season provided a certain amount of closure for me (it was that good, folks).

The reason I can’t get enough of season two? The story of these (battle) priests has me on the edge of my seat. Also, John Cho is a main character in this season and he has a very interesting secret he’s dealing with. It has been an amazing battle between good and evil that is, quite frankly, spellbinding.


To be honest, this is the kind of storytelling I expected to see from Constantine when the show aired on NBC a few years ago but it clearly fell short of expectations. With that said, I liked Constantine, I just think that putting that show on Friday evening was it’s death knell. I thought the same for season one of The Exorcist but fan support carries the show to continued existence.

Next Week, I will talk about more things I can’t get enough of so until then stay way from Thanos…


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