Saturday, April 30, 2011

April 30, 2011 - My week; Kylie; Writing; Cool Photos

Happy Saturday everyone! Today is the first regular post I’ve done in awhile, I’m currently still trying to think of a “P” word for my next A-Z entry, so until then I figured I’d just catch up a bit. The past couple of days have not been good ones. I’m not sure why exactly, but I’ve been finding it difficult to keep up that new attitude I’ve been trying to keep lately.

Splash Friday

I ventured out to Splash last night and it was the usual Friday night fare. The music was better than normal and I had a good time overall, though I can never understand why the bar is not as crowded on Friday nights. I’m going to head back out there tonight for its been a couple of weeks since I last went there on a Saturday. I’ll be looking forward to it all day. I need some dance therapy!

Kylie’s Coming in 3 Days…

One thing I’m really looking forward to is my next concert. This week, Kylie Minogue will be performing three shows at the Hammerstein Ballroom in NYC. I had been planning to go all along, hoping to get my ticket the same way I got the Lady Gaga tickets last week, but just last night I was invited to go by my new friend, Ivan. He’s got seats in the balcony, which gives a much better view of the stage. The last time I saw her there, my friend and I had to stand on the main floor and we spent the whole time on our tippy toes trying to get a view of the show.

As many of you can tell from past posts, I love Kylie! She last came to NY in the fall of 09 and of course I had to see her. It was her first foray into the US in many years and she was promoting an album, “X,” that wasn’t even released in stores here. The show was absolutely awesome and “X” is one of my favorite Kylie albums, with plenty of great mid to up tempo beats, the kind I like most. Check out one of my favorite tracks from “X,” “2 Hearts”:

X - Kylie Minogue

My Week

It always seems that short weeks are just as long, if not longer, than normal ones, and this past week was no exception. It feels like last Monday, my last day off, was forever and a day ago. Earlier this week I pinched a nerve in my upper leg and was hobbling around on it all week, so maybe that had something to do with the drudgery of my work week, but thankfully I’m feeling back to normal once again (or I wouldn’t have been able to go dancing last night or tonight).

For anyone who thinks that school needs to be run all year long, they should try being a teacher at this time of the year. As soon as the weather starts turning nice, the kids are done. Lately it’s been so hard to get them to do anything in class and I can’t wait until summer just to be done with it. Yesterday I lost my temper in the worst way I ever have and I actually startled my students. It worked because they were quiet from then on out, so I’ve got to remember that for the future even though I hate yelling.

As for my poor attitude these past couple of days, well you can see from what I’ve said how it all started, but there’s more that I just can’t point my finger at. Maybe it’s just a combination of things in my life at the moment. My move is stagnant and I don’t have any choice but to wait it out, which is kind of depressing. Going into the city for fun is good, but when you meet people they usually live in the city and when I live an hour away, well… So I guess my love life sucks, too, and that’s getting me down a bit. He still pops in and out of my head often enough and the whole thing just makes me sad. I miss him terribly, and I’ve got to realize he’s probably gone forever and so I need distractions to occupy my mind more. I often wonder if he misses me, too, which I think is probably so, but I guess it doesn’t matter. Hopefully once Memorial Day gets here I’ll be spending more time out here on Fire Island and juicing it up a bit. I don’t know.


Earlier this week I joined a new writing site which I’m kind of excited about. The site is called Gather and they accepted me into their entertainment division with a special emphasis on music. Their pay scale is way better than Y!CN’s and I just may start moving some of my pieces from there, like my monthly “New Music” segment and my weekly “Pop Music News” over to Gather.

I’ve been having bad experiences with Y!CN ever since I got rejected for that Featured Music Writer job last month. My page views have dropped significantly. I’m actually getting more hits to this blog than I am over there, which is not a good thing since this makes me no money.

Last weekend I wrote a piece on new music for May and submitted it for upfront payment. I’d done 12 of these to date, all under the heading of the old Featured Contributor program and was paid $10 for each of them, so I figured it was a safe bet to do it that way. I was wrong! After four days, they finally reviewed it and rejected to offer me any money for it, saying that I used too many italicized words and something I didn’t understand about my links. I looked back at my past pieces and saw that I did this one the same exact way I had done the others, so I am totally confused about the rejection.

I wrote them a complaint about it and as of now I am still waiting for a response. Meanwhile my piece is still unpublished, still in limbo and tomorrow is May 1st. WTF??? I will keep you updated on this one.

In the meantime, here are some pieces I’ve published since my last set of links:


Outrageous British Sitcom “Absolutely Fabulous” Set to Return

As I reported here last week, ABFab, one of my all time favorite shows, will be returning sometime soon. This is the whole scoop.

Lady Gaga’s “Monster Ball” at Nassau Coliseum: Great Entertainment and a Whole Lot of Fun

My complete review of last Saturday’s Gaga concert.

Pop Music News Weekly, April 26th

An update on this year’s Lollapalooza lineup, a remembrance of Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes on the 9th anniversary of her death, and an obituary for legendary jazz-pop singer Phoebe Snow, plus the weekly charts.

Memorial Day Events on Long Island

This was an assignment at Y!CN. Fun stuff, too!

I published a couple of pieces on Examiner this week…I’m not sure how much longer I’ll continue there as it hasn’t been doing well ever since Google changed their search algorithm. Anyway, here’s what I posted there:

Cherry’s on the Bay opens for the summer May 6th

Yes, summer’s coming and Fire Island will soon be my summer playground. Getting excited!

Fairs and craft sales on LI this weekend


Here are two of my first pieces on Gather:

Remembering Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes on TLC’s 20th Anniversary

The 2011 Billboard Music Awards is Back in a Big Way

Well I think I’ve gotten it all out, lol. I apologize for such a long post and not to wait so long in between. In the meantime, here’s some visual candy for you, just a couple of cool photos I found around the Internet. As always, thanks for reading!

Fire Island, NY

Image Source:

Fire Island photo DCP Images

Song of the Day - Find Your Love - Drake, featuring Shaggy (Remix 2010)

Today's "Song of the Day" is an awesome remix of Drake's "Find Your Love." The remix features vocals by Shaggy, and thus there's a little bit o' reggae flavor thrown into this originally good song. I'm actually surprised I didn't hear this more than I did when it was made because I like this version better than the original.

Check it out:

Friday, April 29, 2011

O is for "Out"

This afternoon we continue with our A-Z Challenge and today’s letter is “O”…

O is for Out

The word ‘out’ is used in many common English phrases. “Out of this world,” “Outta sight,” and “Get out of here” are all ones that come to mind. As a gay person, though, the phrase I think of when I hear the word “out” is “out of the closet.”
Coming out of the closet, for a gay person, means to let the world know that you’re gay. A common question amongst gay people when they first meet is “are you out?” Of course, with the world being what it is today, more people are “out” than ever before, but there are still many who aren’t, for whatever reason, and that’s a real shame.

Outing oneself is never an easy thing. Because of how the world is, you really never know how people will react, and that’s what makes it hard. I’ve been out to my family since I was 19 years old. I have many friends today that know I’m gay, more now than ever before, but there are still people in my life who don’t know. I made a vow to myself that if anyone ever asked me if I was gay I wouldn’t lie, and I haven’t. In fact, that’s how my family found out…my mother asked me. (You can read all about it here.)

There is still one situation, though, where I would surely break that promise. Once again, my teaching job is a quandary for me. Since I teach ESL to six different grades in a small school district, I am very close with my students. I have the same base of kids year after year and we all get to know each other pretty well. I often find myself playing the fatherly role in addition to my teaching duties, but I haven’t and probably never will come out to them directly. I once wrote a deeply reflective piece on it which you can read here.

Overall, the people who matter in my life all know about me and that’s something I can be satisfied with, for I can remember a time where I lived a double life, terrified at the very prospect of being “outed.” With that said, I can understand, yet still regret the fact that there are so many gay people out there that people don’t know about. Though celebrities come to mind, really anyone who chooses to out themselves helps the cause by breaking down the barriers of prejudice that exist for gay people everywhere.

I often tell my Hispanic students that when they interact with Americans, they are representing all Latinos and the quality of those interactions will work to show some people that their prejudices are unwarranted. The same goes for gay people. The more any homophobic person gets to know an out gay person, the more they will realize that their preconceived notions are not true for every gay person. Gay people are just as varied and diverse as any other group and we don’t all fit the so-called “gay” stereotype.

As for celebrities, of course they have the biggest opportunity to break down the barriers of hate. Many gay outlets choose to try and “out” celebrities on purpose, whether for vindictiveness or for publicity for themselves. This action, known as “outing,” is wrong, plain and simple. People must come out of the closet when they know it’s right for them, and it’s no one else’s business if and when they do. I understand the frustration of those who engage in the practice of outing, because they know what another famous person coming out of the closet would do for the rest of us. But just as it is personal for all of us, it is personal for them, too, and they must do it in their own time.

So I am glad I’m out…mostly, lol. My own life has been better since the people in my life have learned this part of me, and I like to think that I’ve broken down some prejudices along the way, too. There’s a tune that was written for the show La Cage Au Follies that says it all. The song was recorded by disco diva Gloria Gaynor and it not only fits the life of a gay person, but everyone who is unique in their own special way. Enjoy ‘I Am What I Am’:

I Am What I Am - Ten Best / The Millennium Versions

Here are the lyrics to the song:

I Am What I Am

I am what I am
I am my own special creation
So come take a look
Give me the hook or the ovation

It's my world that I want to have a little pride in
My world and it's not a place I have to hide in
Life's not worth a dam
Till you can say, hey world, I am what I am

I am what I am
I don't want praise, I don't want pity
I bang my own drum
Some think it's noise, I think it's pretty

And so what if I love each feather and each bangle
Why not try to see things from a different angle
Your life is a sham
Till you can shout out loud, I am what I am

I am what I am
And what I am needs no excuses
I deal my own deck
Sometimes the ace, sometimes the deuces

There's one life and there's no return and no deposit
One life so it's time to open up your closet
Life's not worth a dam
Till you can say, hey world, I am what I am

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Song of the Day - Mesmerized (FreeMasons Remix) - Faith Evans

Have you ever heard about that thing
I mean that real thing

Today's "Song of the Day" is an irresitable dance number by R&B singer Faith Evans. With a neo-disco feel, great beats, and funky vocals, this mix is simply dance music at its best and a makes a great start for the weekend...

Mesmerized (Freemasons Radio Edit) - Mesmerized - Single

N is for the "N-word"

This is the first time I’m ever writing about this subject. It’s a sensitive one, and I’m going to try to tread very carefully upon it. A recent experience in my classroom inspired me to talk about it, and so here goes…

N is for the “N” Word

That’s right, I’m talking about that “N” word. There aren’t a lot of words in the English language that I don’t like, but this is certainly one of them. I want to preface this by saying that I work in a lower to mid upper class school district that’s about 99.9% white. Though the few black students that go to my school don’t seem to experience any significant discrimination or bullying as far as I can tell, I don’t think it helps anyone’s situation to hear that word thrown around as much as it is.

Kids are always listening to music. IPods, iPhones and all sorts of gadgets never leave a child’s person these days and occasionally I allow the students in my study hall to partake in listening to music as they do their homework. It never bothers me too much as long as they’re working. The other day, one of the students in that class was listening to his iPod and a song came on that he wanted to share with me. After a few minutes of him begging me to give the song a try, I finally relented.

Within seconds of putting the song on I heard the “N-word” for the first time. I immediately told him to shut it off, but not before I heard it at least four or five more times…and this was only within the first 30-40 seconds of the song. I only shook my head and asked him why he listened to that stuff. You see, this particular student is half African American, and his answer was, “It’s no big deal. I’m black!”

Well to me it is a big deal. It seems to be okay these days for people within a target group to use the negative words associated with their group. It’s okay to use the word “faggot” when a gay person says it and it’s okay to use the “N-word’ as long as an African American is the one saying it, right? Wrong! I say that these and other hateful words and expressions should never be spoken, and in the case of the “N-word,” Houston, we have a problem, and much of today’s hip-hop is its source.

Hip hop music is as popular today with the younger generation as it ever was, and sometimes it’s hard to find a rap song without that word in it. The rappers who use it in their songs are predominantly black, and since the music is cool and popular, the lyrics within those songs are learned and of course repeated by those who listen to it.

Hip hop, or rap, is popular with kids of all stripes, including whites, and when they enjoy the songs and are singing along, they’re learning that that word is okay to use. It’s even fun. Just knowing that it’s a taboo word makes them want to use it more when their listening, and they figure it’s no big deal because “just singing a song.” They’re not really using the word itself for what it really means. Isn’t that right?

Well, that’s not so. Having that word ingrained into their young minds through music lyrics puts it into their vernacular and voila, it gets used! In a predominantly white school like the one I work in, that word is uttered more times than one could shake a stick at, and where does it come from? It comes from the music they listen to, which is made by the very people who would never want to be called that by a white person ever.

So, if only some of these rappers, like Lil Wayne, Kanye West, P Diddy, Nelly, Jay Z and so many more could see what they are doing by including this hateful word in their songs. If they saw that though they think they’ve made the word cool by changing its spelling to end in an “a,” it’s still a word no one should ever have to hear. Maybe if they’d stop using, so would the children, and in the future we’ll never have to hear it again!


Unlimited Music, Everywhere. Try Rdio for Free.

Song of the Day - 4 Minutes - Madonna

Today's "Song of the Day" is a Madonna song, of course. After my last entry, how could I not? I was trying to think of something different from Madonna to post here, something I've never posted before, so I figured I'd do this one, a collaboration with Justin Timberlake and Timbaland off of Mo's last full studio album, 'Hard Candy.'

'4 Minutes' was the first single off of the 2008 album (Madonna is LONG overdue!!!), and is another great, up tempo song that showed the world that she can still play with the pop stars of today. You go girl! Check out '4 Minutes':

Madonna - 4 Minutes by WBRNewMedia
Hard Candy - Madonna

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

M is for Madonna

The letter “M” is an easy one for me, at least this first time around:

M is for Madonna

I have been a Madonna fan since day one! When she first started getting played on the radio back in 1982-83, I was a young student at Fordham University in the Bronx and I was just beginning to develop my love for dance, R&B, and the then new rap music. The hot New York radio stations back in the day were KTU, Kiss FM, and WBLS, and I’d spend my days and nights getting to know the latest songs to hit the dance floors around the nation and I was loving it.

Then one day this song started being played in heavy rotation all over the place. The song was called ‘Everybody’ by a fresh new artist named Madonna and I couldn’t get enough of it. As soon as it was made available I headed on down to Crazy Eddie’s on Fordham Rd. to pick up the 12-inch single. To my dismay, the cover had not a trace of this curiously intoxicating singer’s face, only a scene of a New York street with lots of cityscape extras. At least I’d had the song all to myself to play over and over again…

Madonna - Everybody by foxysoul

Soon after ‘Everybody’ came another 12-incher: a two-sided one featuring the songs ‘Physical Attraction’ and on the B-side, ‘Burning Up.’ Of course with the release of these new songs, Madonna’s race to the top of the charts was only beginning to pick up steam. This cover featured an Andy Warhol-like paintings of Madonna a dozen times over, yet it was still hard to tell what she looked like. At first, many assumed she was African American, mostly from the vibe of her music, but on this one it was at least clear that she was white and blonde.

Not long after the second single was released, Madonna’s first full album, complete with an up-close facial portrait of the young singer on the cover, was unleashed on the world and the rest is history. Of course, to cover Madonna’s entire career from that first CD all the way to the present day would take pages upon pages of text, not any sort of project for a blog entry. But as I wrote recently on Y!CN, Diana Ross was my first diva, and I used the word “first” because once Madonna came along, it has been all about her ever since.

Check out a review of Madonna’s classic debut album by me on Y!CN right here.

Ever since that time, Madonna’s been with me through all my ups and downs, for almost 30 years now. I can associate periods in her career with the times in my life…

I remember the first time I heard ‘Like a Prayer,’ my all time favorite Madonna song, on the radio when I was working as a bank teller in Massapequa. A couple of radio jocks on Hot 103.5 radio station (now Hot 97), their names were Stevens and Gridnik, locked themselves away in the studio playing their own version of the song before its much anticipated premiere, thereby ruining its authentic debut. They played the song over and over again, and it was a very similar sound to the real one. The two were fired for the stunt.

Madonna - Like A Prayer (Live) by Schutzengerl1205

And then there was the ‘Who’s That Girl’ Tour, the one that followed the terrible movie of the same name and the one where she sported the worst hairdo of her career. It was during this tour that I first saw her in concert, with my ex, Joe (see “Remember Me”).

Joe and I were both big Madonna fans, and her music played backdrop to many memorable times during our twenty-plus years together. I remember like it was yesterday that time in Italy when the skies were dark and the wind was howling over the sea and Madonna’s ‘Sky Fits Heaven’ played in the background. It was something I always think of when I hear that song. (Check out “A Defining Post”)

Madonna even played a role in Joe and my afterlife…well, the afterlife of our breakup. About a year after our relationship ended, Madonna had gone on tour to promote her latest (and last!) CD, ‘Hard Candy.’ He, I and our friend Rich all took a ride to Jersey to see her at the Prudential Center. That proved to be another night I’ll never forget, although for different reasons. The awkwardness of our relationship at that point provided an uncomfortable backdrop to a memorable show.

There’s so much more I can say about Madonna, but that’ll be for another time. For now, take a last look at one of my favorite Madonna videos, ‘Bedtime Story’:

Madonna - Bedtime Story by matsou75

and remember...

M is for Madonna, my inspiration and my comfort...

Song of the Day - Waterfalls - TLC

Yesterday, in my weekly series, Pop Music News Weekly, I noted the nine-year anniversary of the death of Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes of the group TLC. It's hard to believe that it's been that long since she passed...another life taken away from us far too soon!

Anyway, I wanted to post of song of theirs as a tribute to Lopes. There are quite a few to choose from, but I think this one is the most lyrically genuine. I posted the video on Facebook earlier, but I think it deserves another showing here, as "Song of the Day," so take a look and a listen:

Waterfalls - null

A lonely mother gazing out of her window
Staring at a son that she just can't touch
If at any time he's in a jam
She'll be by his side
But he doesn't realize he hurts her so much
But all the praying just ain't helping
At all 'cause he can't seem to keep
His self out of trouble
So he goes out and he makes his money
The best way he knows how
Another body laying cold in the gutter
Listen to me

Don't go chasing waterfalls
Please stick to the rivers and lakes that
You're used to
I know that you're gonna have it your way
Or nothing at all
But I think you're moving too fast

Little precious has a natural obsession
For temptation but he just can't see
She gives him loving that his body can't handle
But all he can say is baby it's good to me
One day he goes and takes a glimpse
In the mirror
But he doesn't recognize his own face
His health is fading and he doesn't know why
3 letters took him to his final resting place
Y'all don't hear me


I seen a rainbow yesterday
But too many storms have come and gone
Leavin' a trace of not one God-given ray
Is it because my life is ten shades of gray
I pray all ten fade away
Seldom praise Him for the sunny days

And like His promise is true
Only my faith can undo
The many chances I blew
To bring my life to anew
Clear blue and unconditional skies
Have dried the tears from my eyes
No more lonely cries
My only bleedin' hope
Is for the folk who can't cope
Wit such an endurin' pain
That it keeps 'em in the pourin' rain
Who's to blame
For tootin' caine in your own vein
What a shame
You shoot and aim for someone else's brain
You claim the insane
And name this day in time
For fallin' prey to crime
I say the system got you victim to your own mind

Dreams are hopeless aspirations
In hopes of comin' true
Believe in yourself
The rest is up to me and you

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

April 26, 2011 - Shiny Happy Me

Today is one of those Tuesdays that feels like Monday. That’s because in addition to having the whole week off last week, my school gave us an extra day, which is okay because we work more days than any other district on Long Island. So not only is Monday gone, but Tuesday as well and we’re only three days from the weekend. Hoorah!

Success and Gratitude

Once again, I am astonished at how well this blog is doing. Clearly my “Songs of the Day” posts are popular, and I’m happy for that since music is such an integral part of my life. As a deejay, I always had a knack for playing the right songs at the places I worked, because I was told so often enough, and hopefully you, my readers, are enjoying my selections. I have such a wide variety of tastes that it’s sometimes hard to choose a song for the day, but usually it just comes to me.

Some of my other posts get a lot of attention, too. There are several non-musical posts that are doing exceptionally well these days. ‘Remember Me’ is one I’m very proud of and I’m glad it gets read a lot, as is ‘Express Yourself.’ Having a mix of both my musical likings and my own writings is something I enjoy doing and I’m forever grateful to those who follow the blog for one or the other, or maybe even both!

A Nice Vacation

This spring break was all that I hoped it would be. After having a literally miserable Christmas break and then an equally dismal winter break, I definitely needed a nice vacation, and I got it. From the very first day when I got to meet a really great guy to Atlantic City, wine tasting, nice dinners, Lady Gaga, and a great Easter, the entire week was just what the doctor ordered. At the moment I’m contemplating not working during the summer so I can do more writing, relaxing and of course have fun not working! We’ll see…

Shiny Happy People

After posting the B-52’s as “Song of the Day” this morning, I was thinking of how great the two ladies in the group, Kate Pierson and Cindy Wilson, sounded together. Their voices flowed in perfect harmony every time. Then I remembered a little collaboration that Kate did with the group REM and I wanted to post it here. Rather than post it as “Song of the Day,” I figured I’d just add it here for you to enjoy in advance of tomorrow’s song, which I already have planned. The song is as shiny and happy as its title, and so is the video. Enjoy!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Song of the Day - B-52's Private Idaho

I'm very excited about today's "Song of the Day." You see, I was a late bloomer when it came to the B-52's. Even though their smash 'Rock Lobster' was a big one off of their debut album, I didn't discover them until their second one, 'Wild Planet,' which contained this song. I never knew until just now that there was any video footage of them singing it, and you can say I hit the proverbial jackpot with this.

I used to hear 'Private Idaho' in a straight club I used to go to on Friday nights every single week. I remember not having any idea whatsoever what they were saying in the song, but I absolutely loved the music. I tried to seek it out for the longest time, but since I didn't know any of the lyrics it was difficult at best.

I've since become a long time card-carrying member of the B-52's fan club (not really, but I've loved them long time!) and I absolutely love their stuff. I've been thinking about doing a top ten on them so look out for that. In the meantime, enjoy the fast and funky 'Private Idaho':

Wild Planet - The B-52's

L is for Love...

Okay, so I’m finally getting an opportunity to post two A-Z Challenge posts in the same day. I missed yesterday anyway, so what’s the difference really? I’m determined to get all the way through to the letter “Z” and that’s all that really matters. I think the challenge has given me nice topics to write about and so if that’s all I get out of it, that’s fine. Now what letter am I up to? Well, the last entry was “K is for Karma” so I guess I’m on to “L.” Now what word starts with “L”??? I know…

L is for Love

Love is a tricky word, isn’t it? We all love lots of things…and lots of people, too, don’t we? Yes, we love our favorite television programs and our favorite music, hobbies, foods and more. We love our friends and our families, too, but that’s not the kind of love I want to talk about here. No I want to talk about “LOVE.”

Now, I’ve always been a big believer in the two “love” terms: when you love someone, as in a partner, and when you’re “in love” with someone. They definitely both exist and they’re definitely different from one another.

So what is “loving” someone?

When you love someone, there’s a deep, genuine care for the other person. Whether or not there’s any romanticism involved, the love is something that evolves over time as two people learn and grow together through all sorts of times, good, bad and in between. I think that love is what most long-term relationships are made of. The comfort of knowing your partner intimately and the familiarity of having survived trials and tribulations together, as well as happy times, makes you develop the kind of bond that is love. Unfortunately, sometimes that’s not enough for some people, people who dare to dream of being “in love” for forever and a day.

Being “in love”

Being in love with someone is sort of like an intense infatuation. When you’re in love with another person, you think about them constantly, your smile brightens up a room with any thought of that person, and you’d do just about anything to make them happy. It hurts to be separated from them. I believe that many relationships start out with the two partners being “in love,” but unfortunately that love fades in time with many of them. In the better of these times, the deeper, shared love develops and true happiness can endure, but other times the lost love may lead the relationship to fall apart.

It’s even worse when being “in love” is not reciprocated. These situations can only lead to a lot of hurt, and that’s never a good thing. One thing is for sure, and that love is an enigma. There’s no one way to determine who you’re going to love or who will love you back. It’s one of those frustrating mysteries of life that will probably never be uncovered. Love is one of the most magnificent, scary, precarious, and puzzling things about life and yet without ever experiencing it at least once, you’re surely missing out!

Now here's a song about being in love....

All the lovers, that have gone before
They don't you!

All the Lovers - EP - Kylie Minogue

American Greetings Birthday Cards

K is for Karma

K is for Karma

Do you believe in karma? Karma is a notion rooted in the Eastern religions of Hinduism and Buddhism and the idea basically follows the tenet that your actions in life will cause the very same actions to be brought back on to you. If you look at it generally, you can see similar ideas in the Judeo-Christian theology, in which your actions in life determine your place in the afterlife. Either way, I believe in karma, or at least I hope it exists because people should always get what they deserve, good or bad.

I always try to live my life in the best way I know. My dear old Aunt Vi used to say that I was the kindest person she knew, and she’s probably right. I’m kind to a fault and it seems to always work to my own detriment, and that makes me sad. Time and again I defer to others out of kindness and in the end I always feel like I get the short end of the stick. I could name at least a dozen times in my life when I received bad fortune after putting trust in others and allowing them the benefit of the doubt, all the while they seemed to be rewarded for taking advantage of the situation. Many would say I’m unwise to behave in such a way, but I can’t help it. It’s part of my nature.

And so I cling to the hopes that karma does exist. I like to believe that eventually my actions in life will reward me somehow, in what form I have no idea. The same should happen to those who purposefully take advantage of others, especially by breaking rules. There seem to be so many who do that nowadays in this “me-first” generation. I may not be around to see it, but it’ll be sweet no matter how it happens…


Song of the Day - Empire State of Mind - Jay-Z , featuring Alicia Keys

Today's "Song of the Day" is the latest of many tribute songs to my favorite city. Until the New York Yankees won the World Series in 2009, another song, 'New York, New York,' had been the theme song for the city that never sleeps. But that year, during the Series, this one started to gain steam and today it is the modern version that speaks for NYC.

Written and performed by rapper/producer Jay Z, the lyrics attest to the pride that many New Yorkers feel about their city and any New Yorker can find something in the song to identify with. The beat is awesome, Alicia Key's vocals on the chorus are inspiring, and the song is just great! Enjoy 'Empire State of Mind':

Empire State of Mind (feat. Alicia Keys) - null

Sunday, April 24, 2011

April 24, 2011 - Monster Ball at Nassau Coliseum; Gation Saturdays; Happy Easter

Today is Easter Sunday and I have a hangover! I haven’t had a hangover for as far back as I can remember, but at least I remember last night, which is a good thing. I just took a couple of aspirin and I’m hoping that by the time I finish this, the pounding will stop. Ah, the price you pay for a good time!

Monster Ball

Last night a friend and I went to see Lady Gaga perform her Monster’s Ball show at the Nassau Coliseum. It was the first time I ever got tickets to a concert on the same day as the show, and it was tense almost all day long as we watched Stub Hub throughout the day hoping that the right tickets would come available at the right price and in the best spot. We got lucky! Instead of ending up in the rafters, which we expected, we got primo seats in just the first section up, Row A, directly opposite the stage. We couldn’t have asked for better, except….well, more on that later!

I love going to concerts! I’ve been to many of them in my life and I still get as excited as a kid in a candy store whenever I’m going to one, and yesterday was no exception. As soon as we booked the tickets, my mood immediately elevated. I grabbed my iPod and went straight to my Gaga folder. I remember when I first heard Fame Monster; I liked almost all of the songs the very first time. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again here that Gaga wouldn’t be as popular as she is without good, quality music, and her music IS quality!

Check out Goo Goo Over Gaga

After an awesome dinner at Bertucci’s, my friend and I headed off to the Coliseum. Surprisingly, there wasn’t a lot of traffic and we were there in no time. Not since the last KISS concert I went to have I seen so many people in costume. Gaga’s were everywhere, and in all stripes. There were bubbles and lace, sequins and heels, construction stripping and soda can hair rollers. I loved it! At one point a rather large bald man in fish net stockings, high heels and full makeup walked out on to the floor of the Coliseum to the frenzy of fans. He entertained them all by getting down to Michael Jackson. The party had just begun.

Next came a deejay and then the opening act, a punk/dance band called Semi-Precious Weapons. Not my kind of music, but during their set they had said that they’d been touring with Gaga since the beginning. She came to one of their shows in the city and liked what she saw, and so she’s a fan.

After the band had finished their set, it would be a long wait til Gaga. The set had finished at 9PM and Gaga didn’t come on until a little after 10. It was a frustratingly long hour, but once she came on all was forgotten.

Now I’m going to save the total review for a Y!CN article, but what I will say here is that she was great. The show was completely entertaining and she sounded just like her records. She played all of the hits, with the curious exception of her latest, ‘Judas.’ I was stuck in a section of farts who made me wonder why they had even come to the show in the first place. They sat for ‘Love Game,’ ‘Just Dance,’ and even ‘Telephone.’ I’m not the type of person to just get up and block views, so I just sat there dancing in my seat, but by the time she played ‘Poker Face’ I couldn’t control myself any longer.

The show was fast-moving, with nothing but up tempo stuff, except for a piano rendition of ‘Born This Way’ and a new song called ‘You and I.’ The rest was good, danceable joy, with ‘Paparazzi’ being one of my personal favorites!

Gaga spoke a lot!

“LONG ISLAND,” she screamed more than a dozen times to the frenzied response of the audience. She spoke of being bullied as a teenager and how her story should inspire others. As in the song, ‘Born This Way,’ she preached on the fact that everyone is special, no matter what their story, and I think that’s one of the things that empowers herself so much with her fans. It was the song she finished with, and when it was over, everyone walked away smiling. Stay tuned for more…

Gation Saturdays

After the concert, my friend and I headed out to Industry Nightclub, home of Gation Saturdays, one of the hottest gay nights on Long Island. All cylinders were a go last night as the club was simply a ten-minute drive from the Coliseum, and I wasn’t the one driving (thus the hangover!).

Gation was packed with people of all kinds, and thanks to my good buddy who recognized me a couple of weeks ago I was put on the guest list for a discount. Bingo! It was a blast from the get-go as my friend and I danced all night long, getting down and having fun with our fellow club goers. The music was awesome and a Britney Spears lookalike (uncanny!) performed some of that singer’s best, much to the delight of dancers all over the club.

I'm in there somewhere!


At one point, there were these three Latino guys dancing near us and suddenly one of them grabbed my friend from behind, whispering sweet nothings into his ear, I think. I laughed my ass off until his two friends sandwiched me during ‘Till the World Ends.’ As it turned out, the first guy, who sidled up to me after awhile, was Colombian, and he told me in very broken English that he was looking for a boyfriend. I just smiled and kept dancing, pretending that I didn’t understand him. My friend and I shared a chuckle about it afterwards and went on with our night.

I got home around 4AM, the same time I usually get home from Splash. It was a nice change of pace for me and I think I may go there again on a Saturday when I don’t feel like venturing into the city for some fun. Thanks to my friends from Long Island Hottspots for bringing some fun back into Long Island gay clubs. Check out their Facebook page here. (and thanks to them for some of the photos posted here!)

Happy Easter!

I never was a religious person, being born and raised in a non-practicing Catholic family, so I’m not ashamed to admit that to me Easter is simply one of those religious holidays where I just have to spend time with my family. This will be my only form of writing today because I have to head out to mom’s for dinner at 3.

Not that I don’t believe in God. I do! I just don’t necessarily ascribe to any of the organized religions’ teachings specifically. I wrote a piece on it once; you can check it out here if you like:

Thoughts on God

Anyway, I do like Easter. It comes at a time of the year when the weather is turning nice, and I always liked coloring eggs, even though as a child I was deathly afraid of the Easter Bunny! So, to those who celebrate the holiday, I say Happy Easter to you all!

Well, it’s late already and I need to shower for Easter dinner. I hope to see my new friend later on tonight, at least for a bit, so I probably won’t be back on here until tomorrow. In the meantime I’ll leave you with another Gaga video, of course, to enjoy. Next up, Kylie!!!! Have a Happy Day!

Concert Tickets

Song of the Day - Alejandro - Lady Gaga

Happy Easter everyone! Today's "Song of the Day" is one my favorite Lady Gaga songs (though I have many!) and I'm posting Lady Gaga this morning because I saw her last night at Nassau Coliseum and she absolutely rocked! The show was pretty outrageous, as I expected, though not as good as the Queen. What's amazing to me about Lady Gaga and her music is that for only having done two albums so far (yes, a third will be coming real soon!), she's got a lot of great hit songs already, including this one! Enjoy!

Alejandro - null

Stay tuned for more on Lady Gaga's Monster's Ball at Nassau Coliseum.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Song of the Day - I Like Love (I Love Love) - Solitaire

I feel real good this evening
And I'd like to say I feel good for one reason
That we're all here together
Why don't you give yourselvesw
a great big round of applause
You're beautiful!

Ah yes, that's how I like to feel! Today's "Song of the Day" is one of my favorite club tunes. It's the only hit for this group called Solitaire and one of the reasons I love it is because it reminds me a lot of Diana Ross. The singer's voice is eerily similar to the diva's and the verses to the song are spoken, a la 'Ain't No Mountain High Enough.' Not only that, but the beat is simply groovalicious! So please take a listen and enjoy 'I Like Love':

I Like Love (I Love Love) - I Like Love (I Love Love)

Friday, April 22, 2011

Ab Fab Returns

They’re coming back! Earlier this week it was reported that the British TV sitcom ‘Absolutely Fabulous’ will be filming an all new season this summer. For those of you who are not familiar with the show, AbFab is a hysterical show about the misadventures of two friends, Edina and Patsy, who are not your ordinary middle aged women. Still stuck in their drug-taking days in the 60’s, Eddy and Patsy get into the kind of outrageous situations that could only be shown on British television.

With a supporting cast of characters, including Eddy’s level-headed daughter (who's more like her mother!) Saffy, her dim-witted mom, and her absolutely idiotic secretary Bubble, AbFab is one of the most popular comedies in BBC history. I first caught them about ten years ago in repeats on BBC America and have been in love with the show ever since. The humor is British, so it doesn’t all translate to American audiences, but for many of us, it’s well worth watching!

"You can never have enough hats, gloves and shoes." - Patsy Stone

Take a look at some outtakes from the show (and don’t mind the subtitles, lol):

For more on this week's announcement see this post in the Advocate online.