Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Unexpected Heights

While browsing a local gay adult site, I was perusing profiles of various members. I came across one member who looked strangely familiar to me. It wasn't so much seeing the familiar face that shocked me. I've seen enough familiar faces from time to time on the site. It was the particular face that threw me briefly for a loop.

Shocked isn't even a good word. Let's just say it was unexpected. The profile in question belonged to a former boss's boss at my current job. Fobobo actually was one of the guys that interviewed me way back when. Since he was highest on the food chain, I had a feeling that I would really have to impress him in order to be considered. Then again former co-worker/friend Stan would argue that I was kissing butt regardless.

Nonetheless since Sally told me when I first came out to her that "everybody knows" about me, a part of me couldn't help wondering in light of my discovery, whether Fobobo had an inkling about me. If he did, I wonder if it played a role in my being hired (aside from kissing everyone's butt extra hard...and actually having the skill sets required...*LOL*) I mean way back when I was in deep denial and never did anything to fuel those latent fires.

In the last year or so, I've run into Fobobo on and off while walking around the office and we're always cordial (though not conversational) to each other. So that's cool. I wonder if he knows about me now if he didn't back then. Regardless of that fact, though, it's safe to say our secrets are safe with each other. For now.

Speaking of work, I'm so not feeling it anymore. But I'm pressing on. No need to complain right now.

Let's move on to happier topics...

In TV news, I don't know if anyone that reads my blog watches Heroes, but this past Monday's episode titled "The Company Man" rocked hard. This was the one where a lot of questions were answered about HRG and whether he really cared for poor cheerleader Claire or not. The whole episode was so smooth and seamless and I nearly cried at the end when HRG "sacrificed" himself to keep Claire from being captured by his organization. And the previews for next week....SIMONE is alive! Well maybe. Some argue it could be a figment of Peter's imagination. Regardless of if it is or not, I'm so there next week.

As for I Love New York, they're down to the final five. It's no surprise to me that Chance is still in the running for New York's affections. Luckily the poor man's Nick Lachey (12-Pack) and Tango are still in the running since they're pretty much my eye candy for the season. But I have a feeling based on the previews that 12-Pack's time is about to be up. Next monday episode is the one where the old girlfriends of the guys are bought in and 12-Pack's ex-gf tells New York that 12-Pack worked in a gay bar. So of course you know that won't go well with New York. I can't wait to catch it.

I've been catching up with Taye Diggs' dead series DayBreak on-line. Unfortunately the bastards at ABC have been holding the series finale hostage. If it weren't for Desperate Housewives (which is marginally better this season) Lost, and this new show on ABC Family that I'm totally digging called Lincoln Heights, I would dump ABC in a heartbeat.

Desperate Housewives, Lost, yeah do a google. But Lincoln Heights, which is about a black middle class family that moves back to a police officer's old neighborhood has proven itself to be quite the hit. It's a bit contrived at times (then again what show isn't) but the acting within the family overall is phenomenal. It's nice seeing a black couple working through their issues and being in a long term marriage. Plus it's always a treat seeing Russell Hornsby shirtless. And any show who employs James Black for an episode is tops in my book. I really hope it's doing good in the ratings department so it comes back next season.

Hemingway I need to eat dinner and get ready for the gym. Till next post.

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Monday, February 19, 2007

Still Breathing II

I was gonna call it still breathing but realized I had that same title last year.

Hemingway Rock and I recently celebrated our three month anniversary. In gay terms, that's like being together for almost two years. *LOL*

This past Friday the two of us had dinner at Grand Lux Cafe. I needed the dinner considering the day I had earlier (I'll have to blog about that another time but let's just say it involves another speeding ticket...*LOL*.). Actually it took a bit of convincing on my part to get Rock to go. Rock has a thing about riding the "L", which was how I was proposing getting there. He hasn't ridden it in over 20 years and had safety concerns. But he put all that to rest and went with it because it was something that I really wanted to do. As it turned out, he didn't find the train ride nearly as bad as feared.

The restaurant is located on the intersection of Michigan Avenue and Ontario. The atmosphere was really nice, though the decor reminded me of Cheesecake Factory. Cheesecake Factory does do some of their desserts so I'm assuming it's owned by the same chain.

We were able to get a window seat overlooking Michigan Avenue upon request. It was cool sitting there looking down at Friday afternoon traffic and general chaos. It's amazing how much goes on at any given time. Folks hurrying up to destinations unknown.

The evening was going really nice and continued that way for a while. It wasn't long before things started to derail before my eyes.

It's the age old issue of miscommunication. One of the things I'm trying to do is be more vocal about doing things I want to do. I have the tendency to go with the flow, which is fine most of the time, but can eventually cause issues. Rock has the tendency to take reins of the plan making and even though he asks for my input, he winds up doing what he wants to do.

It was really important that Rock went with my plans tonight. Rock is good at getting me to change little things about my plans and that's fine most of the time. But it makes me feel like nothing I suggest is worthy of his time.

After dinner, my original plan was to catch a movie inside the Loews located inside the same building as Grand Lux Cafe. Rock immediately was concerned that the theatre would be too ghetto (the one he thought was ghetto was the AMC on Illinois Ave). He requested that we catch a movie in the burbs instead.

Then after the movie I suggested we go to Gentry's. I knew of the place from a date I had with a jerk but nonetheless I thought the place was decent. But Rock objected to the place because there were too many what he termed 'faggoty white men'.

I thought about it a bit and during dinner I decided that catching the movie in the burbs wouldn't be such a bad idea. There was a chance of more snow coming in late Friday/Saturday morning plus there wasn't really anything showing that Rock and I could even agree on seeing(another issue...*LOL*).

So Rock and I took the CTA back to the burbs. I was driving towards my home turf theatre when Rock made the suggestion to stop for some liquor. I thought it was a cool idea for after the movie. Rock got pissy and said that I couldn't do both. It was one or the other. I had assumed both (and we probably could've done both had we stuck to the original plan...but that was neither here or there). So I told him that I was still planning on us seeing a movie (mind you we still hadn't agreed to what we would see). We started debating on what to see and he said that I should pick since it was supposed to be my plans. I drove to a nearby theatre and unfortunately the movie I wanted to see wasn't playing for another hour and a half.

I was resigned to just going home when Rock suggested getting a drink at TGIF's. That would've solved the drink and movie plan but I poopooed the idea. We then started arguing. The gist of the argument was that I was being wishy washy about the plans and I thought he was pushy whenever I tried planning things.

I drove up to another theatre because I knew I didn't want to go back to my place with the tension. I wound up buying two tickets to Ghost Rider (which Rock didn't want to see...and I knew it) and we both went to the theatre with attitudes.

Rock became a bigger baby when I asked him for input as far as where to sit. I had forgotten that this was opening weekend for Ghost Rider (and I hate going to see movies on opening weekend) and we arrived about ten minutes before the show and practically all the good seats were taken. Rock was all 'I'm not suggesting anything. It's on you.' So I rolled my eyes and we wound up having to sit near the front.

We got through the movie and I looked at Rock a couple times (he started off dozing but surprisingly he seemed to perk up mid-movie) to see his reaction. I had no real expectations for the movie but it wasn't half bad (even though.... please Nicholas Cage may have a nice body but it's not that nice...I think he used a body double for his mirror scenes.)

Rock and I argued some more after the movie. He felt that I didn't appreciate that he went out of his way to get off work early so he could spend the afternoon going to a restaurant he really didn't want to go to but did because I really wanted to. Then he came back to that issue of how I'm never happy with what we do (which is soo not true) and how it comes back to bite him weeks later.

This came up because I made a point about how I'm always going along with his program. I tried telling him I don't mind what we've done and I was just wishing he wouldn't object totally to what I want to do. For once. His point was that he came so he wasn't objecting (aside from making little suggestions here and there....which I never do...but that's me...*LOL*). So then that led to him telling me that I need to speak up then and there and not bring it up two weeks later. Which led to me saying 'but I didn't have an issue with what we were doing'. It was a vicious cycle.

There was a cute moment in all the arguing where he still showed how much he cared for me by telling me that he didn't want me freezing my hands while getting gas (it was a little after 11PM). I told him that I'd just get back in the car. Then after I finished pumping gas and the station turned off their lights and I asked Rock in amazement if they were closing and he told me calmly that yes they were.

We were silent by the time we drove back to my place. We both went inside and as we both went to the living room, I noticed Rock stopped and was staring at his nightbags. I stopped what I was doing and was staring at him. He turned his head for a second to look at me and then stared back at his bags. We stood in our spots for several minutes before Rock finally said that he thought it best if he went to spend the night at his mother's place.

I looked up at the ceiling as I felt tears falling down my eyes. I heard Rock say not to cry as he came up and hugged me. He told me that he wasn't going to leave and I tearfully told him how much I cared about him and appreciated him taking a half day even though he had lots of work going on. He suggested we sit down and talk. It was sappy I know...but it was needed.

We worked through our present issues and after watching a couple episodes of In Living Color reruns, went to bed.

The next morning we went to breakfast at I-Hop and after hanging out a bit, he took of for his mother's and other plans.

Things are okay between us for now. Just another blip on the road to understanding each other.


Friday, February 09, 2007

Cruising Through Life

I still can't believe I was being cruised last week. Okay....I guess I was since everyone here unanimously thought that was the case. I guess I was looking kinda fly that night. Plus I may have given the white mall security guy a lil side eye with a hint of smirk when I first passed him. Maybe that's the universal signal meaning 'follow me everywhere I go'. *LOL*

Hemingway besides that, it's been an interesting month so far. My garage decided to breakdown on me late last week. I was all set to go to work Monday morning when the mechanism that connects the door to the bar & chain decides to break. So I can only manually open the door. That would be fine but when I manually open it, the door doesn't seem to catch. As a result, the door wants to shut back when I'm not holding it. I wound up having to put a step ladder to hold it open so I could get my car out. I've found a couple of potential garage places but I haven't called them yet. So my car's been outside for almost two weeks.

Of course these last two weeks we've had quite the sub-zero temperatures in Chicago. It forces me to question once again why I'm still here. My locks on the car have been acting up for the last several days as well. It's so irritating.

Tuesday morning we had a bit of a snowstorm in the area. Making my way to work that day was wild. I even found myself spinning out on the freeway when I was forced to break suddenly. The car ended up facing the wrong side of the expressway. Luckily there wasn't much traffic behind me and I was able to manuever my way to the median. I was horrified, though, fearing I would be the cause of a 40 car pile up. I was really shook up for the rest of the day and didn't go out for lunch that day. The situation's made me thankful for being alive. God was really watching out for me that morning.

And get this. I was hit on again in the most unlikely of places (for me). I went to Bally's Thursday evening for a workout session. An older mid-40ish in shape white guy came up to me and started conversing with me. I admit I saw a profile of his back while he was working out on one of the back machines. It was nice but his face didn't do anything for me and I'm a face man. I had my music on minding my own beeswax when he started this trite conversation about the weather. I took off one ear piece to engage in conversation. He then did the whole you only work out here, how often do you work out, does your wife cook dinner for you jazz. Yeah he was fishing for info. I answered his requests with the most basic of answers. Then after some chatting about some friend getting early retirement from Motorola, he gave me a pound and went about his business.

First mall security dude and now this. It must be something in the air. I told Rock about the incident and aside from joking about needing to kill him told me that it's Murphy's Law. Basically since Rock and I are seeing each other, it's during those times that other guys seem to come out of the woodwork. I swear that shit like this never happens to me when I'm single. Then again one could argue that I may be more observant of such things now that I am in a relationship.

Hemingway speaking of Rock, he and I are supposed to be heading to the Auto Show tomorrow morning with a couple of his friends. I've never met these friends before but I've spoken briefly to both over the phone in the past and they're dying to meet me. The plan is to hit the Auto Show early enough before the big crowds and then once we look at particular models, head out to lunch.

I was a bit bummed that Rock wasn't able to meet No_The_Game and Sally (who themselves met each other for the first time) last weekend when we went to House of Noodles and Sushi. It was really cold that day and he had made prior plans. But that's neither here or now I guess. There will be other times no doubt. As for my outing, other than the sucky wait time and the sub-zero weather (tip...definitely plan on getting there before 5:15PM), we had an excellent time.

At least now the weather's better. We're finally in the low 20s. Woo hoo!

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Friday, February 02, 2007

Cruised or Profiled?

Check this out.

Last night I went to AMC located inside a local surburban mall to meet Sally to catch Stomp The Yard. The movie personally wouldn't be my first choice. But Sally wanted to see it for the eye candy factor. So that's what we agreed to see. The movie was cute and I admit I was pleasantly surprised seeing the lovely Valarie Pettiford in a decent role. It was cool seeing her get work since she's underutilized by Hollywood. I also saw this hottie Laz Alonzo playing a frat guy. Even the thuggish main character who I'm normally not attracted to won me over when he went shirtless. It was cute. Contrived but cute.

But what happened before the movie is the reason for this entry.

Sally and I planned to meet there at 6:30 PM after work. She was running late because she went to work out and wouldn't get there until 7:15. So that gave me a full 45 minutes to kill. After purchasing my movie ticket, I went to Macy's to do some window shopping. I didn't see anything interesting except for some socks. I went to pay for them and was served by this jolly gay white man who was fakingly grinning. I wanted to tell him that I wasn't that pressed for a smile so don't waste his energy. But I didn't.

So I left Macy's and was walking around the mall. I needed to find a restroom and didn't want to go inside the theatre until Sally got there. I walked around looking for a restroom and as I'm walking, I see a white guy dressed like mall security walking down some nearby stairs. I walked past the stairs as he was making his way down, continuing my journey to the restroom. I go inside the restroom and during mid-piss (sorry...*LOL*), I noticed that he's walking in the restroom as well.

I didn't think much of him until I started washing my hands. He went over to a sink further away from me and divided by a wall. I purposely slowed down a bit when drying my hands to see if he would eventually walk away. He didn't. I sort of shook my head in disgust and walked out of the bathroom. I purposely stood in front of a mall directory display for five minutes waiting to see if he'd walk by. He didn't. I briefly turned around and saw him standing a yard or so away from me pretending to be looking elsewhere.

I started walking and saw from the back of my eye that he started walking too. I immediately dug for my cell phone and dialed Sally. I parked my ass on a plush chair between a couple of stores and bitched about my situation. I immediately was under the assumption that mall security was targeting me because I was shopping while black.

While chatting with Sally, I turned my head and as if to confirm my suspicions, I saw him walking not far from me. He then crossed over and strategically stood several feet in front of me, again pretending to look everywhere else but at me. I was livid but at the same time nonconfrontational. I sat there for another ten minutes before he eventually walked away.

What was that all about? Was I being followed because I was black? There weren't any other black folks within my vicinity so it made me wonder. Plus I've had past experiences where it was made obvious that I was being watched.

I went to the mall's website last night after getting back from my movie and was all set to email a complaint to the main site. Unfortunately the stupid site had a form set up so they didn't show their actual email address. I spoke to Rock about it and he thought I should wait until morning to send it in case I thought of anything else.

I spoke to Eugene this morning and based on the information I gave him, he concluded that I was being cruised by the guy. He said that since I first saw the guy half way across the mall coming the opposite direction of Macy's that it wasn't Macy's related. I didn't think it was either. At least I didn't notice anyone following me outside of Macy's. Eugene then said that the reason he followed me into the bathroom was to see if I would initiate conversation with him. The guy he said wouldn't risk his job going after me without any proof of wrongdoing. He then said that I was sending the guy mixed signals. When I gave him a semi-dirty look, he thought I wasn't interested. But then when I stopped by the directory sign and didn't move for five minutes, he wondered if I was interested. But he would have more to lose by risking it so he just followed hoping I would make a move towards him. Then when I sat down he thought I might be interested again until I talked on the cell phone. Then he just gave up.

So what do you guys think? Was I being cruised or profiled?

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