I AM...

I am whatever YOU think I am until YOU get to KNOW me. This is true for everyone else too, of course.. so don't make assumptions about anyone or pass judgment; ask questions. You might just make a new friend.


Monday, September 26, 2011


Last Christmas I visited Hong Kong. This was my first trip to Asia and the cliché "sea of humanity" was never far from my mind (at times it was so much in my consciousness, it crowded out other clichés like, "never kiss a prostitute on the mouth.") Anyway, there are a lot of people there. And one day, while walking through a crowded marketplace, I found myself thinking that every one of these people has a story. Each individual in this endless, teeming throng has experienced joy, heartache, success, failure, fury, and despair. They've all struggled with love, money, work, family, friends, illness and death. Just like the actual sea contains an endless array of living organisms, this "sea of humanity" contains an infinite number of unique, poignant, hilarious and tragic stories. Which is when I realized that my purpose in life, my true calling, is to be a fisher of stories. And all I need for bait is simple curiosity. Armed with this insight, I walked up to an old, prune-faced woman at a seafood stand and asked her if she enjoyed her work. She looked at me with a toothy grin and said, "American?" I said, "Yes." She said, "How you be so stupid to elect George Bush twice?" I shrugged and said I did what I could. She laughed and said, "You try my octopus balls, very tasty, good for real balls." And so I did. Before long we were sharing tales of our childhood, her marriage, my marriages, our children and our jobs. Afterwards I realized that I'd learned a powerful lesson. In order to successfully fish for stories, you need more than curiosity, you need octopus balls.
CLP - Vanity Card #278


You know you're getting old when... You throw your back out on the toilet. You shave your ears. Your second wife calls your first wife “ma’am.” You're genuinely excited when your prescriptions arrive in the mail. You read the obits in the newspaper to check the ages of the dead people. You read a newspaper. You're bummed out that the smokin’ hot chick from Body Heat now looks like William Shatner in drag. You say “bummed out.” Women your age have real breasts and artificial hips. Masturbation leaves you winded. You try to amuse the kid hooking up your Blu-ray player by telling him about Betamax. You pee in morse code -- dots and dashes -- and have to look down to see when you’re done. Your car radio is set to “classic rock” so you have something to switch to during NPR pledge drives. Your doctor says things like, “that’s normal for a man your age” and “consider yourself lucky.” Beneath your chin is what appears to be a neck skin hammock. Beneath your penis is what appears to be two ping pong balls hanging from a flesh-colored bolo tie. You choose your new car because it offers great lumbar support and convenient cup holders. Watching “The Who” perform at the Superbowl made you inconsolably sad. You wonder if the orgasm you're about to have will actually end your life. Your doctor tells you a new medication will reduce the amount of semen in your body and your only response is, “so what.” Your car radio is set to “classic rock” so you have something to... oh, wait, I already did that one.
CLP - Vanity Card #280


The barbershop,
the smells of masculine tonics saturating a space filled with leather
chairs, displaying the latest edition of KING MAGAZINE; a place
where little boys become men, a place of STURDY moral character. A few weeks ago, I had the
pleasure of being inside the walls of a local barbershop along with a toddler
that was waiting for his first haircut. I sat and watched as the little boy was
taken to the chair. As soon as he was placed in the chair, the tears came. @
This point I was marveled that the barber was looking @ his crying in that he
must be a sissy or something manner. Rightly so, since the male species no
matter his age, is not supposed to whimper during his time in the barber chair.
As I sat there, watching everyone involved try to get the little boy to stop
crying, I couldn’t help but wonder, why
is a little boy being taught such a hard lesson about life @ such a tender age?

How is a little boy supposed
to sit passively and have no feelings about something he knows
 NOTHING about? Amazing how something simple
like this forces boys to become men that are violent, LOVE hating their enemies and treat women like objects. How can we accept this ‘take it like a man
mentality’ and think it is a must for a little boy if he ought to grow into a
This made me wonder if the barber and his mother learned as
children that being a man means you can’t be an innocent little boy. How could they inflict this event on a
child, ignore his cries and not question the way we go about this activity? When
do we as people examine our choices as investments of energy with predictable
risks and returns?
 When we act in an inhumane manner, I believe we
merely affirm what already is. This is like using a paddle when the stream is
already moving in the same direction. The dishonesty we create about ‘manhood’ in
the barbershops redirects a portion of a boy’s energy against the flow and
create an alternate reality that requires SO much macho energetic input to be maintained.

I get that life
is not always clearly defined, so we may find it useful to follow our choices
to their logical conclusions. And though we may feel that a little trip to the
barbershop is harmless, it can be that small crack that weakens an overall
structure of a boy as he turns into a man. I hope that one day, when a
mother/father brings their son to the barber; they would not try SO hard for that CERTIFICATION OF MANHOOD. I know
this subject matter is so simple and common place to many of us, but can you imagine what this means for a
two-year old whose impending manhood is dictated to him in this manner? 


Born This Way" is a song by
American recording artist Lady Gaga, from her second studio album, Born This Way.
Written and produced by Gaga,Fernando GaribayJeppe Laursen and
DJ White Shadow, "Born This Way" was developed while Gaga was on the
road with The Monster Ball Tour. Inspired by the 1990s
empowering music for women and the gay community,
Gaga explained that "Born This Way" was her freedom song. Previously,
she had sung part of the chorus at the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards in 2010.
The song was announced as the lead single from
the album, and was released on February 11, 2011—two days prior to its
scheduled date—along side the release of the full set of lyrics and the single



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