November 30, 2010

THE Burger

There is an urban legend that tells of a monstrous burger. A sandwich so deliciously irresponsible, any sane doctor would highly recommend that you not even enter the same room as it, for fear that your arteries might tighten and close from just a wiff of its sizzling glory. For the past few years, since its original inception, I've been on a mission to grab a hold of this burger. Alas, time, distance, and lack of monatery funds have kept me from purposely sending me body into food induced shock by consuming this burger.

The burger is not encase in bread, but rather a toasted donut....yes, a donut. 2 slices of cheese on each 5oz slab of prime ground beef, brought together by chocolate covered bacon...yes bacon...dipped in chocolate (see above diagram). You're drooling aren't you? Its ok. This burger just premiered at my favorite Philly burger joint, PYT, and I can't wait to take a trip to get one this weekend. Happy Holidays!

Gay Money

I read an article recently on Yahoo's music blog, The Amplifier, about Lady GaGa weeping at her concert in Poland. Apparently she's been disappointed with other female artists waving their "freak flags" after she's made her career on being the biggest kook of all time. She calls out Pink, Nicki Minaj, Katy Perry and Ke$ha on cashing in on the plight of "freaks" everywhere, especially the gay community. Ironically, I was just talking to a sorority sister about the exploitation of the gay/freak/fringe fan base not too long ago, and we both agreed that them screaming: "this music is for you, buy my album!" is tactless and off-putting.

Its no secret that the music industry is suffering. Its been about a decade since P2P file sharing, and downloading music has nearly replaced buying an actual CD. Labels and artists are loosing out big time on the CD dollar, and are scrambling to fill the void using other avenues. A clever way to do this is to push out a crop of similar artist, and have them cater to a fan base that's center stage in the media. At this point, that niche would be the gays community. Lady GaGa was made at the drag and caberet shows of Manhattan, and she's even come out as bisexual. I personally don't believe GaGa is exploiting the audience that made her, and I kind of agree with her outrage.

It took her years of having people slam the door in her face, writing her off as a club/novelty act and mocking her persona (albeit a kooky one). Yet she's always stayed true to her freakdom, even evolving into a Queen Freak over the years. Fly-by-night artist Ke$ha, and rap chick Nicki Minaj haven't been so convincing with the waving of their freak flags. Ke$ha is just weird and comes off as a GaGa/Katy Perry mash-up with meaningless lyrics. Minaj, playing off her built in gay male Hip Hop fan base, alludes to possible encounters with females but doesn't confirm anything. Personally, Pink has always been the rocker/punk/R&B influenced freak, but with her fan base getting older she's been trying to find ways to reach out to fresh faces by using the oldest trick in the book: "my best friend is gay!"

Its really bothersome to think that people would look to make money off of the struggle of another group of people. Yes, Pink and Katy Perry donated their celebrity to the It Gets Better Campaign, but at what cost? To sell albums? Give me a break! And the industry wonders why 90% of music listeners under the age of 30 download music for free instead of feeding the machine. Make authentic music, you fan base will follow.

November 23, 2010

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Its started. They're pumping the Christmas music in through the vents at my job, stores are staying open later and opening earlier, and all the TV commercials are holiday themed. Its that time of year. Strangely, I'm not annoyed or bothered by any of the blatant materialism of the season because I actually love this time of year, not the weather, but those six weeks of harmonious holiday bliss that end every year on a cheerful note.
For me this time of year represents all the best in humanity. It gives me hope that we're not all out for self and really care about each other. Growing up, this would be the time of year where I would go caroling for the elderly with my Salvation Army youth group, help with canned food drives, and share a meal and a laugh with those less fortunate (giving back has always been a central theme in my life). I'm reminded of a time where I was surrounded by family, love, warmth, and took pleasure in the simplest of things. The snow blanketing the ground and canceling school, the family stories, and those holiday CDs that we still play to THIS day (if you don't own It's A Go-Go Christmas, then you're not a true Washingtonian).
As an adult I find myself struggling to re-create the traditions of old while creating new traditions at the same time. This year's goal is to have peace of minding knowing that no matter who I'm with the spirit of the holiday will be felt.

November 20, 2010

Queens Stroll for a cause

Last night I had the pleasure of attending the 6th Annual Gamma Stroll Show. I've attended each show since its inception, and performed the first three years on behalf of Chi Upsilon Sigma National Latin Sorority, Inc. Every year the brothers of Gamma Phi Sigma Hermanos Unidos Fraternity, Inc plan a great show that runs smoothly and starts "on time", which is a feat if you've ever been to a Greek event.

This year's show wasn't about fierce competition, but about raising awarness and celebrating a young life that was taken far too soon. Ramon 'Guatu' Baez passed away this summer from a rare form of cancer. His brothers dedicated the show to him, and raised funds for the American Cancer Society. Ramon loved to dance and stroll, he always performed with pride and determination, and always with a smile. His presence was felt with Chi Iota Pi exhibited a stroll in his honor, adding elements of Ramon's favorite dance; salsa.

Chi Upsilon Sigma won the show, thanks in part to theme creativity an tight execution. $500 will be donated to the I Have A Dream Foundation (our national philanthropy), and we retain bragging rights for another year.

November 16, 2010

When I grow up

Why do I want to be a writer?   How does one really answer that question? I don’t think Michael Jordan ever asked, “why do I want to be a basketball player?” It was something he enjoyed and had fun doing. So I guess the real question isn’t why do I want to be a writer, but how am I going to become one?
Sure, I blog and write articles here and there, but I want a consistent outlet for my ramblings; a central theme on which to base my experiences, reactions and suggestions.
Music has been an integral part of my life since birth. I realize how lame that statement may sound but it’s true. You can name any song within the past twenty-seven years and I can recall the exact moment in my life when I heard that song.  Don’t believe me? “Passing Me By” by the Pharcyde opened up a whole new world of Hip Hop for me.  The year was 1994 and I was sitting in my usual spot on the living room floor, watching the opening scene to New York Undercover (one of the only “adult” shows my mom let me watch, only because it wasn’t too far off from my daily real world exposure), being seduced by the in-the-pocket rhyming and soulful horns. After that I consumed as much mid-90s Hip Hop as I could, learning how to sharpen words that would later become the lyrical swords I’d used to slay the bullies on the playground with.  The first time I heard the Supremes, was on a hot summer’s day licking ice cream cones at a picnic with my grandmother. I want to be the person that writes about life’s soundtrack, attaching it to memories or events that you carry with you throughout your lifetime. Sure there’s much more to writing about music than capturing the moment, it’s also about giving life into the artist, letting the “average Joe” into their world even if it is for only 500 words. It’s not necessarily about the notoriety, but more about being able to capture the moment and making you feel it.
I want to make people feel what I write, prompting them to turn the page in anticipation of what’s to come. Being able to tell a story is a critical part of the craft that I will continually build on as I get more proficient with my style and how I pitch, but I feel ready to take that shot and score big.

November 12, 2010

Paint the town Pink

This Thanksgiving Eve I'll be taking the crawl...the Pink Pub Crawl that is! The night before Thanksgiving is considered one of the biggest club/bar nights of the year. Philly's own Nightlife Gay has put together a nifty itinerary that includes entrance into two of the hottest clubs, drinks, and a chance to win a free airline tickets, all for $25 (as long as you're wearing a pink article of clothing)! From 8:45pm-3:30am you can traverse the Gayborhood, sip on your favorite vodka drink (this year's sponsor is Absolut), party and people watch. The annual event is one of Philly's hottest gay events and brings out a diverse crowd. What a great way to start the holiday season!

November 7, 2010

Music Sundays--Good Music Edition

Here are a couple bands you should be listening to right now:

Grace Potter & The Nocturnals- REAL rock band from Vermont. Crazy guitar riffs, outstanding vocals and real lyrics.

Phoenix- You've heard their songs in commercials and on TV shows....did you know they're from France?!

November 6, 2010

Staying Grounded

We're all looking for a way to grounded; true to our roots. However, as you get older you realize how much your tastes and actions change. 2010 has been an excellent year of exploration and transformation for me, even though I still struggle with the mid-20s crisis (that age where you're well out of adolescence and you resist like hell all the trappings that traditional adulthood can bring). It seems that I stay grounded when... I'm not on the ground at all. I've gone sky diving, tried my hand at a flying trapeze and flown on a plane more times this year than in recent memory. Every one of these trips seems to bring me some sort of mental clarity, so it was no surprise when I found myself e-mailing a rock climbing facility outside the Northern Liberties section of Philadelphia. I've always had an interest in climbing things since childhood, why not act on that? I look forward to trying my hand at another adventure to remain grounded.

November 2, 2010


We all get in those moods where we feel that things just aren't right. Even if that may not be the case, we feel that something is missing or off. Suddenly our mind wanders down the path of decisions past and wonders "what happened?" or "where did I go so wrong to feel this way?" I really abhor those thoughts and having those little crises that make you forget about all the good and fortunate things you have in this life. Luckily, I had my mom bring me back down to Earth. Good old mom, she's always there when I need her, and even when I don't call:

"All things come in time"