Sunday, April 16, 2017

Consequential Dormancy

What makes the perfect concoction of life?  Every mix varies based on the person and how you determine the right mix for you is really up to how you choose to life your life.  There's nothing more complicated than human behaviour.  Most people should say what they mean, and back up what they say by what their actions.  That's probably one of the most complicated rules of life anyone attempts to follow, owning up to your truth.  So therefore, we need a mix that contains truth, deception, false hope, joy, honesty, yet sugar coated, or do we need all of those factors?

What are the ingredients that make everything worth while?  How can you reach your best potential?  Who or what outside factors interfere in these ingredients? 

Do you ever find yourself feeling incomplete?  We've all been there at some point. Some ingredients aren't always meant to last forever.  One can interpret these ingredients as anything to do with your life that is an outside influence.  When certain ingredients evaporate out of the mix of life, replace them with something better or increase what you know and can do better.  Life is always changing and we're like a recipe, spicing it up can have negative or positive effects on the taste.  Take notes and learn from these changes.

Remaining dormant throughout certain situations can cause several consequences as well.  I made the poor decision to halt writing for a few years to focus on other aspects of my life, such as a much needed reunion, increased hours at the job, spending more time traveling and seeing what the world has to offer, and dealing with situations out of my control.

The family ingredient caused a forced dormancy on what should be priority one in my life, my health and my well being.  For the past eight months, my focus has shifted from my norm to focusing on defense and support, counteracting those who fail to own their truth.  The family ingredient has changed, that recipe had to have several items removed and increased measurements of others.

The work ingredient went through some changes in those months as well resulting in a shift from my daily normalcy to a world I was loosely familiar with and forced an adaptation that has worked out rather well for me.  This mixture became more positive in the end and is still growing more in that direction.

The friend ingredient has shifted dramatically within the past 3 years of my last post.  Several people needed to be removed from the mix as their toxicity began to take a toll on my well being.  One could view this change like a Star Wars mix.  A few years ago, I surrounded myself with many people, several of which, I haven't seen in years or even been cordial to out in a public setting, what a mistake that was overall, but one can't adapt from being mistake free all the time.  My friends in 2014 could be compared to a setting in the prequel trilogy of Star Wars, a massive selection but you only really remember the key players.  In 2017, it's more like the original trilogy, where just a key handful of people play a role in my life causing a much better concoction of the friend ingredient that contains a strong serving of truth and honesty.  Take note people, this doesn't come so easily.  When you find it, don't fuck it up!

In this evidence, my body suffered immensely from the weight of the pressure around me.  My workouts became a routine of going through the motions just to say I was still working out but wasn't giving 100%.  If I was still showing up and completing them, then I could eat and do whatever I want, right?  Completely wrong, big sign of consequential dormancy.  I let myself relapse into focusing on everything else that was going on so that I would take comfort in eating whatever I wanted and being lazy, less focused on what I needed to do.  Granted, I was still there for those closest to me whenever they needed me, that didn't change, in fact, I focused more on that.

February 17th of this year, I began returning to my form that inspired the beginning of this blog.  Standing on that treadmill that morning weighing 260 humiliating pounds, I set forth on a journey to repeat the result from Winter 2009/Spring 2010 and create some magic again.  If there's something I am good at, it is losing weight when my heart is dedicated to it.  I am on week 9 right now, and in the first 8 weeks, I have worked out at least 6 hours a week, capping out at 8.5 hours within 5 days each week allowing two consecutive days for rest each week.  In those 8 weeks, I have gone from 260 pounds to 220 pounds, a feat I achieved in 2010 as well by losing 20 pounds each month for three consecutive months.  Can I do that again?  I'm not sure a third month is possible but I'm not going to give up and keep on trying.  The difference this time is that I'm 100% healthy on this journey and knowing what I need to do.  I have more muscle all over my body which changes the results somewhat, but hey, it's a big change from when I would spend 2 hours a day in my room running on the WiiFit due to the shyness I felt about working out in public.

So, the past 3 years will be revisited at some point in this blog, albeit not today.  I can safely say though, the ingredients in my current mixture have been changed for the positive in 2017.  2016 was not that kind to me overall but that just makes 2017 a guarantee to be an improvement right?  You'll get someone who doesn't regret those mistakes, but is taking those mistakes, owning up to their impact in life, while putting a stop to their impact, turning their influence into a positive setting.  My main goal is to reach 200 pounds by my birthday, July 5th.  I don't know if that will happen but I guarantee that I will not give up and do all that I can (in a healthy way) to get there.  So far, so good.
 
Take a dash of good work, pinch of family, extra servings of amazing friends, add those to the ingredient of a happy healthy Tommy, mix, bake at 400 degrees and get an amazing loyal friend named Tommy as a result.  Keep him close and you'll forever be close to him.

*I know this isn't the best of my writing abilities, but remember I'm rusty and working to regain the magic I once had :)*

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Envious

We all have a family that we love and our framily that is just as important in our lives.  To have the complete package can be quite the redeeming factor when you're feeling down or just need companionship, they will be there for you, regardless of your history.

Family is traditionally defined as a basic social unit consisting of parents and their children.  Take note that is says parents, not parent.  My upbringing consisted of being raised by a parent, not parents.  My father had a very minimal role in my life, by his own choosing.  In fact, anyone reading this blog has had more of an impact in my life than the interaction I have had with my own father in my lifetime.

A recent moment of interaction brought me to tears, listening to a friend talk about how her father is always there for her, they can do anything together, talk about anything, and just be herself with him.  The relationship goes both ways, when he views her friends as part of his family as well, even jokingly, he meant every word of it.  To be witness to that kind of fatherly love, literally took me to tears in the middle of a restaurant in a casino. 

That moment took me back to the many times when I attempted the connection with my father that usually ended up in failure, even going out of my way to give contact information, canceling plans to attempt to meet up, to keeping this dream alive that maybe someday somehow we would actually form a connection of a bond.  I mean, I do resemble the man physically but mentally, I am nothing like him at all.

Seeing that special moment, sparked envy, sadness, and relief all at the same time.  I was completely envious of the moment, sad that I have never experienced, yet relieved because I am who I am now partially due to the lack of a father figure in my life so I should not envy something that could have potentially changed who I am today, who I am very proud of.

My framily means just as much to me as my own family.  I know there are certain people I can call / text / drive to and they will be there regardless of the situation whether it's good or bad or against their advice, I still receive their support and love.  Love is not a word I use often when it comes to describing relationships and how I feel about people, if you ever hear me tell you I love you, embrace the moment because it takes so much to earn that the right to hear that four letter word from my lips. 

Envious yet full of a great life.  One wonders what might have been, then living in the free world, I carry on smiling due to who I am and I am satisfied.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Stripped 2.0

Tommy is defined as outgoing, flawless, funny, fabulous, intuitive, intelligent, flexible, loving, trustworthy which are just a few of the adjectives used to describe who I am based on perceptions of various people around me.

There's something to be said for maintaining a variety of descriptive words when it comes to subjecting yourself to human interaction.  Every person you come into contact with will change your way of thinking and acting to an extent, therefore creating a persona of who you morph into around certain people.

I've always loved to be funny and think I'm rather witty where I find myself in situations where I will act a fool, snapchatting various videos / pictures in several different styles or outfits just making myself laugh while entertaining others.

At other times, you'll find me being the entertainer at a party, dancing in the center, owning the night, singing at the top of my lungs, carefree and loving every goofy minute I have at those parties, usually wigs and many selfies are involved.  These are known as my outgoing, fabulous moments.

You can also find me delivering punchline after punchline flawlessly at most social gatherings at the point where you never know what I am going to say or do.  I've had some pretty classy moments in the last year.

While I own the comedic outgoing social media persona, I am one of the most intuitive people you will ever come across in your life.  I may not show it, but I am always observant, noticing what behavior is going on around me.  From facial expressions, to words that cut like a knife, I make myself very aware of my surroundings.

Even though I have been perceived as someone who believes that if there's nothing to show then what's the point?  Intelligence comes in not revealing everything about yourself to just anyone.  If you only knew the social side of me, I'd imagine you'd either be disappointed in person or surprised to find someone stripped back to be this vulnerable yet strong trustworthy individual.

Take the glitz and glam of the outgoing social persona out of my existence and you'll find a loving soul who will show you more compassion and caring than you could ever ask for, if you're worthy of earning it.  The extrovert in me dominates my public view, but the introvert inside comes through with a striking presence like my chocolate eyes that hold a wealth of perceptions just waiting to be told and expressed through the creativity of my delicate fingers.

Confess to me, don't deceive or doubt me, and you'll be rewarded with a strong friendship that will stand the test of time.

So do you know Tommy?  Do you really think you do?  Ask yourself that again and learn from who I am or who you think I am.  You won't be disappointed!





Thursday, January 3, 2013

Blends

When one seeks out a wine, one usually looks for a specific kind of wine or even sometimes a blend.  Very rarely does someone expect to be able to have every kind of wine you've enjoyed throughout your life in one night.  Saturday night, an unusual blend of my past confronted me all within a 3 hour time frame in one location.

The ingredients of this concoction included my childhood, high-school years, friendships ranging in the decades, mistakes over the years, to flashes of moments I'd soon forget.  This mixture caused quite a reaction within me, and it was just the jump start I needed to get myself back in gear and focus on the most important person I know:  me!

Seeing remnants of my past triggered a response I didn't expect.  Sure, I enjoy seeing people I haven't seen in quite some time and had some great times Saturday night, but some of it was just in vain as I'm good at faking quite the response.  I had a sudden rush of anticipation due to seeing several of these people, it was more like, can anyone else from my past show up at the bar?  Sure enough, that came true.  It was suddenly as if I had reverted to someone I was a few years ago when I thought their opinions of me mattered and I attempted anything within reason possible to earn their respect as far as their opinions.  I truly felt embarrassed mainly for feeling that way again and then realizing why am I standing in this bar 15 pounds heavier than I should be.  Bronchitis did sideline me for three weeks as far as being able to run, but I let that convince me to eat poorly during those three weeks also and while I didn't gain 15 pounds in 3 weeks, I gained it over the course of 6 weeks starting with Thanksgiving and it just kept tumbling upward until this realization sparked a light within me to get back in gear.

I shouldn't have to go to a bar to hang out with friends or even eat as poorly as I did when I see my friends.  They do not order for me, I order for myself and while December was a great month minus the sickness, the resolutions have kicked in.  No fast food till at least February and no Starbucks until February also.  I've also made the goal to return to weighing 190 by April which should be easily attainable as long as I keep my focus.  The discipline within me is quite capable of following this plan which is easier than the plan I set for myself in 2009.  Weighing under 200lbs is no longer my main focus.  It's within my grasp so now comes the stretch of how do I maintain it while improving myself.  You would think that's all I have to focus on in my life, but I also maintain a full time job, part time school, social life and a family life.  I don't know what I'd do without music--my playlists never let me down!

Communicating with people from my past reminds me of who I was and it's not who I am today.  I can pretend to be whatever I want to be, but in the end, I am who I am, I can't blame anyone for my actions except me.  I own up to what I do, how I react and how I am to deal with it going forward.  From the one whose kiss killed me with desire, to the bubbly reactions I get from a friend who has known me since 6th grade, these emotions built up inside of me were released, compiled together and expended from me as pieces of my past that should stay in the past not to be revived by their presence as new memories will be created with these people to add new chapters instead of recreating old ones.

Next time I think about drinking wine, I will enjoy my blends with a sense of the past with a nice smile on my face, a true genuine smile and be glad I am not that person anymore!


Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Music 2012

My top artists for 2012 by airplay:

1.  Madonna
2.  Scissor Sisters
3.  Garbage
4.  Kylie Minogue
5.  Marina & The Diamonds
6.  Girls Aloud
7.  Christina Aguilera
8.  Cheryl Cole
9.  Goldfrapp
10.  No Doubt
11.  Kelly Clarkson
12. Britney Spears
13.  Carrie Underwood
14.  Janet Jackson
15.  P!nk
16.  Spice Girls
17.  Gloria Estefan
18.  Little Boots
19.  Aqua
20.  The Killers
21.  Maroon 5
22.  Sophie-Ellis Bextor
23.  Bjork
24.  Nicki Minaj
25.  Whitney Houston
26.  Ke$ha
27.  Jennifer Lopez
28.  Cyndi Lauper
29.  Gwen Stefani
30.  Tori Amos

Top singles by airplay

1.  Girl Gone Wild--Madonna
2.  Turn Up The Radio--Madonna
3.  Give Me All Your Luvin'--Madonna featuring M.I.A. and Nicki Minaj
4.   Timebomb--Kylie Minogue
5.  Call My Name--Cheryl Cole
6.  Let's Have a Kiki--Scissor Sisters
7.  Shady Love--Scissor Sisters featuring Azealia Banks
8.  Power & Control--Marina & The Diamonds
9.  Blood for Poppies--Garbage
10.  Only The Horses--Scissor Sisters
11.  Hotel Nacional--Gloria Estefan
12.  Blown Away--Carrie Underwood
13.  Baby Come Home--Scissor Sisters
14.  Primadonna--Marina & The Diamonds
15.  Something New--Girls Aloud
16.  The Night Out--Martin Solveig
17.  Battle In Me--Garbage
18.  How To Be A Heartbreaker--Marina & The Diamonds
19.  I Love It--Icona Pop
20.  Electric Sky--Milla Jovovich
21.  Dark Side--Kelly Clarkson
22.  Starships--Nicki Minaj
23.  Runaways--The Killers
24.  Headphones--Little Boots
25.  Good Girl--Carrie Underwood
26.  Settle Down--No Doubt
27.  Yellow Halo--Goldfrapp
28.  Your Body--Christina Aguilera
29.  Under The Sun--Cheryl Cole
30.  Payphone--Maroon 5 featuring Wiz Khalifa
31.  Fuck With You--Sophie Ellis-Bextor with Bob Sinclar
32.  Dance Again--Jennifer Lopez featuring Pitbull
33.  Part of Me--Katy Perry
34.  Pound The Alarm--Nicki Minaj
35.  Where Have You Been--Rihanna
36.  One More Night--Maroon 5
37.  Rumour Has It--Adele
38.  Every Single Night--Fiona Apple
39.  Looking Hot--No Doubt
40.  Glamazon--RuPaul
41.  Brokenhearted--Karmin
42.  Die Young--Ke$ha
43.  Melancholy Sky--Goldfrapp
44.  Wide Awake--Katy Perry
45.  I Heart You--Toni Braxton
46.  Wildest Moments--Jessie Ware
47.  Try--P!nk
48.  Screw You--Cheryl Cole
49.  Flower--Kylie Minogue
50.  Blow Me (One Last Kiss)--P!nk

Top album tracks

1.  I'm Addicted--Madonna
2.  Love Spent--Madonna
3.  I Don't Give A--Madonna featuring Nicki Minaj
4.  Automatic Systematic Habit--Garbage
5.  The State of Dreaming--Marina & The Diamonds
6.  Keep Your Shoes On--Scissor Sisters
7.  Dirty Little Pop Song--Aqua
8.  Somewhere--Scissor Sisters
9.  Control--Garbage
10.  Lies--Marina & The Diamonds
11.  Inevitable--Scissor Sisters
12.  Homewrecker--Marina & The Diamonds
13.  Sexy Den A Mutha--Cheryl Cole
14.  Man on a Wire--Garbage
15.  On The Metro--Girls Aloud

Some of my favorite albums of 2012:

MDNA--Madonna
Magic Hour--Scissor Sisters
Electra Heart--Marina & The Diamonds
The Idler Wheel--Fiona Apple
Oceania--The Smashing Pumpkins
Not Your Kind of People--Garbage
Warrior--Ke$ha
Devotion--Jessie Ware


Sunday, November 25, 2012

Love Spent

Love:  quite the powerful word and quite often misused in language.  This word has seem to become a joke to some people just like word relationship.  Love is defined in so many ways from partner love, sexual love, animal love, object love, pop culture love, forbidden love, and the list goes on and on.  This blog post may sound jaded, or that I'm frustrated, angered by the fact that I do not have "partner" love, but I do not need it to function and live my life.  There is an ending to this blog that is truly satisfying, trust  me!

I know many couples, partners that have been in love and express that greatly without the overbearing need to spend all of their time together and close off their world simply because of the infatuation of having someone in their life.   I couldn't tell you how many people I have come across in my lifetime who have met "the one" and basically cut off all ties with their friends unless they are on facebook promoting how much they are in love.  It seems to me though that the more people have to state they are in love with someone, it appears to be a desperate act to try and cover something up or feel the need the prove their love to everyone.  Who you love is none of my business, but this demonstrative love can sometimes be quite overpowering.  The other funny thing about this instance is when they break up with "the one," they suddenly expect you to jump back into their lives as if nothing changed.   Again, it all depends on the situation, and we have all been there.  I've cut off people before when in a relationship, and it's honestly one of my few regrets in my life.  I learned my lesson the hard way in this aspect, but I wouldn't change a thing about my life. My biggest problem with partner love is when you ask your friend what's been keeping them busy and their answer is usually work or school.  They were involved with work and school when you were friends before, own up to who you've been spending time with, especially since you cover your facebook with it. Granted, most of us have done this, but I always owned up to it, if I was with someone, I'd admit it, why lie when you're promoting it anyway? Partner love is sought after by almost everyone, but this feeling that you can't live your life without partner love is absurd.  I love who I am, and appreciate everyone that loves me for me, but that doesn't mean I have to rush out there to "complete" my life with a partner.  I've never understood why people are not considered "complete" unless they have a partner in their lives.  I am successful, furthering my education, improving my lifestyle choices. I've gotta be me and do what's best for me as selfish as that sounds, but I see me everyday and every moment.  I am priority one and I have much to improve in my life, an ever-working process.

Webster also defines love as a sexual act, but doesn't elaborate on the meaning of this sexual act.  I am guilty of this kind of love in the bad way and the good ways.  Sure, some people love that five minutes of pleasure you can receive out of a hookup. But is it really worth the defeat and heartbreaking moment when you realize that after those five minutes that this person just shared a sexual experience with you and could potentially move on to the next hookup without a sense of regret or thought about you.  They got what they came for and moved on.  There are also the type of sexual love that can be achieved through a relationship, expressing one's love for one another through various acts in the bedroom can be quite the erotic moments.  For me, those moments have more of an impact than the typical hookup scenario even though it could be the same amount of time, but the soda pop empty feelings do not linger around.  I think one problem I have with the word love is I now associate it with such sites as Grindr, Manhunt, Adam4Adam because I will see people there who are in monogamous relationships frolicking these sites looking to have their desires serviced that their partner can't fulfill, but yet their partner doesn't need to be made aware of it because they are perfectly happy.

Animal love is the one type of love I know so well.  From day one, I've always had a pet around me whether it be a cocker spaniel, cat, bird, to even neighbor's animals until recently.  When I left Maryville, 5 years ago, that was the first time I moved without taking my animals with me, as they are having a better life living in Maryville where they are free and would not be caged in an apartment.  To this day, it breaks my heart to be without my pets daily, but it also makes me quite happy that they are well taken care of and I see them quite often.  They remember me and cling to me as if I never left.  That's the one form of love I will always embrace more so than any other kind.

Object love is another type that we are all very familiar with.  We love certain things in our life that make our lives easier.  For example, I love the internet, blogging, heating, air conditioner, my Kia Soul named Cherry Darling, etc... The list goes on.  There are so many things that I am very thankful for and use to their best of abilities daily.  I embrace the ease of shaving these days without having to take too much time out of my day to make sure it's clean and precise.  I'm also very pleased with the ease of the internet to enable communication throughout the world to expand my horizons of knowledge and meet people whom I would have never interacted with before due to distance and technology.  I'm also quite thankful for my iPhone 5, smart phones have completely changed the world opening people up to being quite lazy however I am doing my best to maintain being active.  I'm also very much in love with the gym, pasta, water, and so much more.   A recent form of object love in my life has become tattoos.  I have now had 3 tattoos done in less than a six month period.  Each one has a special meaning to me and someday I will have a few more.  This object love is the most common with humans as we all have this in our lives in some form.

Some of us also love the thrill of a bargain at Black Friday.  Even though many companies admit that their best sales are not on Black Friday, it's still the day people forget about being thankful for spending time with their families and flock to the nearest store carrying a deal they simply can't go without.  I participated in Black Friday for years due to my family not really giving me a choice when I was growing up.  As I have matured, I have spent less time doing Black Friday shopping.  Working in retail will change your mind from going out at night to embrace the thrill of the chance of a deal.  I always got controversy from stating that when I have gone out for BF shopping that I thank anyone I encounter working because they chose to sacrifice their time with their families just to provide their own gifts for their family to give them the happiness they feel they deserve.  People would tell me it's tradition and that I'm overstepping my bounds for saying that people should spend time with their families.  Think about the people who have to leave their families to work those days.  When you've actually had to do that, then you can come back to me with a fair argument.  Everyone deserves a great Christmas and I can tell you most gifts I have purchased over the past 10 years have not come from Black Friday and have been better deals.


Pop Culture Love is probably the most diverse type of love.  Guilty pleasures in the pop culture world can consume our minds overthrowing our ability to maintain composure.  Take for example, November 17th, 2012.  I had won Golden Triangle tickets for the second time to see Madonna.  It was truly an amazing evening considering it was my 10th show, and I had already seen the MDNA tour once from the Golden Triangle.  If you'd like to see videos from my experiences in Vegas and Atlanta this year on the MDNA tour, go here:  Inquisitivestyle's youtube page

I have followed Madonna's career before I even began my career in school.  I own all her albums, singles, dvds, videos, etc... I have spent my life collecting Madonna related items regardless of what it was, but always maintaining my budget.  I have collected promo posters, books, t-shirts, buttons, cards, photos, bracelets, you name it, I probably own something like it.  Favorites include song:  Into The Groove, Album:  Confessions on a Dance Floor, Tour:  The Confessions Tour, Movie:  Desperately Seeking Susan/A League of Their Own, Video:  Bedtime Story, Rain, Hung Up, What It Feels Like For A Girl, Deeper and Deeper.

So, needless to say, I was overjoyed with thrill to see her up close and personal again.  I have seen every tour of hers since Drowned World Tour 2001 which has been 4 tours since that one.  The thrill of a live show has always been my favorite pop culture love and with the exception of seeing Blondie, I have enjoyed every single concert I have been to.  I have seen so many artists from Madonna-10 times now, Kylie Minogue, Sheryl Crow, Marilyn Manson, Celine Dion, Celtic Woman, Dolly Parton, Green Day, Scissor Sisters, Garbage, Smashing Pumpkins, Toni Braxton, Paula Abdul, New Kids on the Block, Janet Jackson, Tori Amos, Fiona Apple, Stevie Nicks, I mean the list goes on and on.

Music is the greatest love I have ever had and I share it mostly for Madonna.  She is powerful, knows what she wants, fought adversity to get it, she is a bitch, but being a bitch has earned her a fantastic career.  She's not the best writer, singer, dancer, but she possesses the best combination of all three of those attributes.  She also puts on the best live show I have ever seen.  I could go on and on about my pop culture love for Madonna, but I won't because we all know how much I adore her career.  Two of my three tattoos are Madonna related.  The first one is the Confessions Tour logo because it was my favorite show I  had seen and still is at this point in my life.  That show made me dance, scream, cry, think about my life, it just encompassed all of my emotions into a 2 hour time frame at that time in my life. And it was dance music with a meaning, something most dance music does not have unfortunately but I still love it.  My second tattoo is the K from the Kylie Minogue X Tour.  It was the first tour I saw Kylie Minogue in and it was called the For You, For Me Tour here in the US.  Same logo was in that tour and she has always been a favorite in my life since I first listened to her so many years ago.  Tattoo #3 came just this past two weeks ago when I got the MDNA Tour logo on my left leg on my calf.  Tattoos were the reason that I got into the MDNA Tour in Vegas in the Golden Triangle so I wanted one of this tour because it was just fantastic and the journey from darkness into the light is something I am relating to quite well these days.




The last topic of love in this blog will be Forbidden Love.  Forbidden love can be sleeping with someone who is married, of the same sex, race, etc. depending on how you were brought up or your views on life.  In many states, the kind of love I seek is forbidden legally.  Does it bother me?  Somewhat, but when you're in some sort of minority, you get used to not having everything you want.  Sometimes the taboo of a forbidden love is like telling someone not to touch something, we're going to do it especially if we are told not to.  The Catholic church had some influence on my younger life.  I even got sent to confession for saying fuck in second grade.  I heard my mother say it, so why not.  I can't tell you how many times I've seen people come in and out of relationships on facebook or other social media places as if it's just a joke to see how many relationships they can go through in one year.  It's rather sad to find so many people in my community hopping from one person to the next just because of the fear of being alone.  Being alone is not the end of the world and in fact, I think we all need to go through it for a prolonged period of time just to see how we do with ourselves.  Can you love yourself while being in a relationship?  Does it happen when you find someone?  Do you have to be comfortable with yourself before you dive into a relationship?  All relevant questions that I still find myself asking even after all of this time.  I have been in relationships where we kept it secret mainly because we didn't want certain people to find out due to the backlash that could happen.  Sure we made it public that we were friends and would hang out all the time and get many gifts for each other.  I'm convinced my family was aware of it just didn't want to provoke controversy by saying anything.  Just the fact that there was a chance we could be caught because back then it was so looked down upon was a great thrill of a forbidden love.  I've lived it, loved it, would be great if it happened again, but I am doing just fine without it.   I can't tell you how many times I've seen people come in and out of relationships on facebook or other social media places as if it's just a joke to see how many relationships they can go through in one year.


Love like trust must be earned, it's not easily attained.  Regardless of what kind of love you seek or obtain, cherish it, in the blink of an eye, it could end easily and you'll be left with prolonged memories that could fade over time.  You have to have power and control over love.  Don't let anything or anyone divert your thoughts.

Love spent is just a phase I'm going through.  I know I'm loved and appreciate it greatly. :)

Power is being told you are not loved and not being destroyed by it.


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

I'm a sinner and I like it that way!

3 years 11 months and 11 days....

That's the amount of time I had to wait before I had the opportunity to see Madonna again.  I will just say that experience over the last 5 days has been quite unbelievable and far beyond any expectations I had regarding seeing her again and we will get to those 5 days shortly.

In the words of Julie Chen on Big Brother, but first, let's take a look at why after 30 years I still love Madonna like I do.

I have been a Madonna fan since the beginning of her career and my life.  I would dance around as a toddler to MTV with videos from Madonna, Cyndi Lauper, Culture Club, Michael Jackson, Wham, Tina Turner, Prince and so much more!  My mother bought me Madonna's albums even though I was too young to fully comprehend some of the lyrics obviously.

I still have a picture on my 5th birthday holding up a True Blue cassette as the album was released just a few weeks before.  I can't remember a time when I didn't like Madonna or anything that she did.  Sure, she crossed the line with various controversial moments in her career, but it never stopped me from supporting her.

It didn't matter what she would do, burn a cross, get naked for a coffee table book, have videos banned from tv that I stayed up till after midnight to watch their premieres, I was in awe the whole time.  I still have that feeling towards her.  I have yet to come across another singer, dancer, performer, etc..who can keep my attention as long as she has.  Kylie Minogue comes quite close, but she doesn't leave me feeling powerful like M does.

Growing up listening to Madonna and constantly keeping up with her--I was an ICON fan club member way back in 1994--I was constantly made fun of through school after the Erotica era because she was no longer considered relevant to people my age.  I didn't care, I still collected all of the singles, videos, movies, books related to her.

I became obsessed with her track Bedtime Story which led to my love for Bjork.  I even had my AOL screen name as BedtimeStoryBoy for years.... I deemed the age of 21 the time to retire from being a "boy" online, although Madonna would cause me to revive that term in my 30s but more on that later.

High school came around for me during the Evita/Ray of Light era of her career.  Suddenly with Frozen and Ray of Light, Madonna was deemed "cool" again in my age group.  That was a nice era for me as I was coming into my own world and attempting to better myself for the first time.

Music era will always be a favorite of mine as it provided me a chance to see my favorite for the first time.  Drowned World Tour 2001 was an amazing spectacle of lights, video screens, creativity that most artists today still don't get.  It was 2 hours of a journey from darkness into light and proved that a major artist doesn't have to rely on their catalog of hits to sell out venues.

3 years passed by before I got the chance to see a new show from her, Re-Invention World Tour was a nice blend of old with new and completely different from DWT.  I enjoyed it, but preferred DWT over this tour, although it contained my favorite Madonna song Into The Groove which was fantastic as always!!

2 years later came my favorite tour to date:  The Confessions Tour.  I saw it in Chicago.  I was in awe the entire 2 hours over everything that tour was composed of.  Brilliant, provocative, scandalous, sensual, and entertaining all at the same time.  It also didn't hurt that I was obsessed with the Confessions on a Dance Floor album and still wear it out to this day.

Hard Candy followed up the Confessions album which was quite hard to top in my opinion, but I enjoyed most of the HC album.  I was not a big fan of 4 Minutes unlike most of America, but I can listen to it and dance to it every now and then.  The album supported by the Sticky and Sweet tour became my least favorite of all her tours that I have seen live.  I enjoyed most of it, but I didn't need to have all of those artists guesting on tracks when we want to hear Madonna not Pharell, Kanye, Justin, Timbaland..etc.  I wasn't going to a Missy Elliott concert--(although I would love that)--I came to see the Queen of Pop. 

Madonna took a few years off from music to focus on her movie, Malawi, children, divorce...etc... I was extremely happy when I found out she would be performing again in 2012.  She announced the Super Bowl performance then her first single from what would be called MDNA leaked to the internet.  The Super Bowl performance got me pumped again just like The Confessions Tour did.

Many of my friends were not pleased with the single Give Me All Your Luvin' while I enjoyed it.  It was fun, catchy, danceable and produced by Martin Solveig not by someone who produces most of America. The tour dates and presales were announced immediately following the Super Bowl so I jumped on the chance to get tickets for Atlanta.  I got a presale code from MGM Grand in Las Vegas for her Vegas show, so I took the chance and got a ticket for that show too.  Most people know I call Vegas my second home as I've grown to love it more and more with each visit there.

I also decided earlier this year to finally get a tattoo and obviously the first tattoo I would get would be a Madonna related one.  So I had the Confessions Tour logo tattooed on my left arm.  Little did I know at that point that it would get me the experience I've waited 30 years to have.

So the summer went by, MDNA was released in the Spring, and I loved it upon first listen.  Madonna was back in the dancing mood and not trying to be with the current US trends like she did with Hard Candy.  MDNA is hit or miss with the fans, although I tend to know more fans who love it than hate it.  So we bought our tour tickets without even hearing the album just the first single which became a top 10 charting song.

I had to wait 7 months to get my chance to see her after buying my tickets.  I have seen many top artists in Vegas already, so I couldn't pass up a chance to see Madonna there.  ICON started doing contests during the tour to give people passes to the Golden Triangle which is the pit section of the MDNA tour.  I was excited about this because having a tattoo gave me an advantage as half of the winners would be picked based on tattoos.

I submitted a picture of my tattoo into the contest.  The winners would be contacted via email the day before the show.  I happened to be traveling to Vegas that day.  I got up a bit early before time to catch my flight to check my email.  Sure enough, I received an email from ICON confirming I had been chosen as a winner which made my day, week, year, decade.  I was so excited I shed tears because I couldn't believe it.  I was going to be so close to Madonna.  I have never been as close to her at a tour as I was for the Golden Triangle.

So a bunch of ICONers were going to meet up before the show so we could chat and get to know each other in person after conversing online for months preparing for the shows we would be attending.  I had forgotten how nice it was to interact with people who appreciated Madonna as much if not more than I do and that is something I don't get in Tennessee.  Most people here if they like her are just casual listeners and not as into her as I am.

I got to meet up with several different fan club members from ICON and we partied at Krave that Friday night before the show.  We enjoyed preshow cocktails at the West Wing Bar in MGM with $3 vodka drinks which were quite appreciated.

I picked up my Golden Triangle ticket and wristband then proceeded into the arena which completely overwhelmed me how close I was to the stage.  I could've easily jumped onto the stage except for the few security guards standing in my way.  I met up with some other friends I had talked to online including one guy who had the same tattoo as I did.

I was so nervous when I met Nicki Richards--one of her background singers--whom I recognized from her work with Madonna and Dolly Parton.  We got a few pictures together and then I saw Madonna's manager Guy Oseary out in the Golden Triangle taking pictures.  I went up to him and had my picture taken with him, then he got Robert and I together to take photos of our matching Confessions Tour tattoos.  Little did I know at the time that the photo would end up on Madonna's facebook page and Guy's instagram/twitter.  It was a nice surprise to wake up the day after the concert.

Martin Solveig opened the show with a nice dj set and sang a few of his songs as well.  It was a nice distraction, but didn't really work as I kept trying to look behind the curtain to see who was back there and saw some of the dancers out in the Golden Triangle talking to people.

I got to the arena at 7:30 or so.   Madonna didn't go on stage until 10:30 but I didn't care, I was so excited and in the moment.  The minute she came out on stage, I cheered, roared, jumped up and down and danced for the majority of the next two hours.  There were times she'd come close to where I was and look down.  She looked at me during Like a Prayer although she touched my friends' hands...mine were too far away to make contact.

The show was presented as such a spectacle, visually stunning and the choreography was fresh for each song she performed.  Another reason why I enjoy her shows so much more than others is that she doesn't repeat choreography if she chooses to repeat the song from tour to tour.  The music changes too for those songs that make setlists more than once in her career.  The show was quite religious, dark, cheerful, sexual, sensual, serious and ending with a nice block party.  The show was an amazing experience that I will never forget at least not anytime soon.

I left this show thinking I had just experienced a once in a lifetime chance to be so close to Madonna as I was.  I loved every minute of it.  I waited 30 years for a chance to be that close to her and it finally paid off and was definitely well worth the wait as she did not disappoint. 

I have another chance to be in the Golden Triangle in Atlanta so my fingers are crossed for that one.  I also gave my ticket away for my original seat in Vegas without charging for it, so that should help my chances maybe??

So thanks to Johann--(ICON manager), Guy Oseary and Madonna for helping to make my lifelong dream of seeing Madonna up close come true.