Sunday, May 15, 2005

Oh, the newness of it all ...

That's it. I've made a commitment to doing the blog thing in a whole new way and a whole new space. I'll keep these posts here for reference, of course, but from now on, check me out at my new TypePad address:

Update your address books, favorites, and blog rolls. Then hit me up on the new spot and let me know what you think.


Friday, May 13, 2005

RANT ON: Black Gay Pride

I was one of the early organizers of Atlanta's "official" Black Gay Pride celebration about ten years ago. To see what's going on all over the country now is both impressive and disconcerting. I like the fact that there are options for people to interact, but i worry about what KIND of interactions we're having. And the question arises as to whether or not all these celebrations are viable.

The discussion started on the LGBTPoC list and migrated into a couple of blogs like (understandably) Mike on Prime Time and Rod 2.0 beta blog. In the discussion of viability, there's one option i haven't seen mentioned: specialization.

In a Wal-Mart® age, it's hard to conceive of anyone surviving by limiting their offerings, but in my opinion, that's exactly what some of the existing Black Gay Prides are going to have to do in order to survive.

Mike points out a couple of shortcomings in the Prides overall, notably the lack of events for women. But what if one of the Prides became the can't-miss, sista summit, black lesbian event of the year. Or even more specifically, what if these organizations made it a point to host a singular event every year. How about the biggest black gay film festival in the country? What about the hottest pageant or talent show to be found?

Sure, the parties are not going anywhere. As long as there are people living their lives in the closet back home, there will be customers for any number of anonymous, out-of-town meat markets. (Ask me how i know.) That just means the young and horny will keep flocking to major cities every year. But for people who need more of a reason to hit a Pride event, not to mention paying to stay in a hotel room that doesn't have eight other 20-somethings crammed in it, there has to be more.

Signature events. The brightest, the best, the only something for the money. Just stop worrying about trying to be the biggest. Think about it. There's only room for one Wal-Mart®...

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

RANT ON: Time Management

I suck at time management.

Those who know me are probably either rolling their eyes, nodding their heads in agreement, or issuing choruses of "Uh huh" and "No kidding" affirmatives. Here's the thing, though: i guess i don't really care.

I mean, sure there are lots of things i could be doing, and maybe some that i push right down to the wire then knock out at the last minute. So what. I get done what i want to get done and the rest falls by the wayside. Procrastination has actually become a handy way of prioritizing my life.

But there's more to the story.

There's an old saying that goes something like, "You make time for the things you care about." To that, i'd like to add, "You make time for the things you're not afraid of, the things that don't cause you pain, the things that don't bore you or overwhelm you or --

I'm sorry. I lost my train of thought. I just got up and went for a walk outside.

Anyway, the point is that time management (as if one could really manage/control time) is much more complex than simply carrying around a calendar or making up a to do list. At least for me it is. I've recently started having some serious conversations with my partner about what we dream of for ourselves and each other, what we want to do with the rest of our lives, and how my reticence to get on track with seemingly anything in my life is holding me -- us -- back.

Do i make time for the things i care about? Or do simply shy away from the things i don't like? The only way to find out is to get up off my ass and move toward my goals. Right after i get clear about my goals. (Right after i get back to work, which is what i should have been doing instead of writing this.)


RANT :: off

"Try not. Do! Or do not. There is no try."
-- Master Yoda, The Empire Strikes Back

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Missed My Own Birthday

So sick i didn't even really pay attention to it, but March 2 marked another year for me. Thanks to the folks (Mom, Dad, Lauren, Lisa, Neena, Rod, Donald, April, Leo & Kenneth) who remembered and called or sent notes.

Big thanks to Troy for being so wonderful!!!

Happy Birthday to me, happy birthday to me ... ah, whatever. LOL!!!

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Fellatio Haiku Contest

Okay, do NOT ask me how i came across this little gem. Suffice it to say i was suitably intrigued by the contest set up in celebration of Steak & Blow Job Day. (It just gets better and better, doesn't it.) Now i'm assuming this is all farce for the woman (yes, WOMAN) who set up all this fun and joy. Then again, who wouldn't want a nice gift certificate for a special holiday.

If anybody out there decides to celebrate, please feel free to share. As for my celebration, well, we don't eat steak, but i guess i could still give away just one gift certificate to a very special someone ...

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

People are doing a LOT around Valentine's Day

I mean a lot.

I've been catching up on my blogs around the world and everybody, whether they're in a relationship or not, seems to have been caught up in the significance of Valentine's Day. Everybody was either glowing about how special it was, or seething over how much they hated it, or being very careful to respond to it in very academic, thoughtful terms. But everybody was feeling that it was Valentine's Day.

Are you SERIOUS?

Basically, you're telling me that folks get all worked up over an ancient Roman fertility festival and a few Catholic martyrs? Oh, and don't forget the popular "it's just a conspiracy of the greeting card companies to sell product" theory. Think that's hooey? Well greeting card companies have been mass producing Valentine's cards for more than 150 years now. Sounds like big business to me.

I guess i'm most surprised by my LGBT family, and the way we buy into these crazy notions. Trust me when i say there is nothing in the history of this "holiday" that was meant for us. Yet we go for it as if we were all maidens waiting to be touched by goatskin-clad priests blessing us with baby-making potential. (Lost? Check the earliest origins of mid-February festivals.)

Bottom line, this celebration of love is about as artificial as the celebration of Jesus' birth on December 25. Why we pin so much significance to it -- not to mention personal mental health and self-esteem -- is WAAAAAAAAAAY beyond me. I've been single and i've been coupled and i've never felt anything but put out by Valentine's Day.


ANNOUNCER: "You may now return to your regularly scheduled programming of The Love Hater." (And no, i ain't he.)


Did i miss Valentine's Day?


Sunday, February 13, 2005


Depression is supposed to be the result of some chemical imbalance in the brain, right? (Or is that just a pharmaceutical company sales tactic?) So why is it i get depressed every time i go to the grocery store. More to the point -- and i just realized this yesterday in Publix -- why every time i walk down the frozen food isle? I can be feeling happy and bright and skippy and song-filled (okay, that's a little too mary poppins), then i turn down the frozen food isle and this overwhelming sense of sadness comes over me.

Of course, it's not ONLY when i'm in the frozen foods section.
Depression stalks me. It waits for me to let my guard down, then pounces on me when it catches me all unawares. We don't talk about it, though. I don't say, "The reason i didn't make it in to work yesterday was because the prospect of getting out of bed seemed too horrible to face."

This is something i've struggled with for years. When i worked in a mental hospital, it seemed the worst. Things have been up and down since then. I'm not sure i've ever discussed it publicly before. (Hell, that's not likely though; i've brought up every potentially embarrassing aspect of my life at least once.) I guess i'm wondering what 's the point. So i get depressed. So what. I still gotta live, right? I still have to get things done if i want 'em done.

So what's the answer? How do i -- without drugs -- address this up-and-down, can't-seem-to-do-nothing blue funk i keep finding myself in?

Monday, January 24, 2005

Malik the Pornographer

Hmm ... from consumer to producer. What do y'all think?

I have an offer to shoot some men for a well-known chain of web sites and magazines. It pays pretty well and i am really interested in seeing if i can pull it off. I know what i like in adult images -- well, i know what i don't like, anyway -- but i'm not sure i can create exciting, hardcore images. I'll be doing a test shoot soon with some lucky brotha (he'll be getting paid at least $100 for the shoot), so i guess i'll have a better idea of where i am with the whole thing then.

And there's certainly no shortage of eager young men out there. I put out a few "feelers" over the weekend and got back at least 25-30 responses from guys who were interested in doing the adult nude shoot. Is it a rash of exhibitionism? Or is it the cash that's motivating folks?

In any case, i'm dying to see how this plays out. And i'm especially curious to hear from friends of mine with experience in the business ....

Sunday, January 09, 2005

Brother to Brother

I went to see the film Brother to Brother last night. It was cute. I don't mean "cute" in the way a little girl with ribbons in her hair is cute. I don't mean "cute" in the catty way some of us mean, "It really was nothing special." I mean "cute" as in "worth the effort" or "thought-provoking." (One word can have so many connotations, and without the voice inflection and body language....)

I enjoyed seeing the Director's vision of the Harlem Renaissance brought to life. In fact, i think that was the most valuable aspect of the movie. As told from Richard Bruce Nugent's perspective, the Harlem Renaissance becomes the mirror in which Perry Williams (the central character, played by Anthony Mackie) views his world.

Brother to Brother is about one black gay man's journey to find meaning in his relationships. Whether it is with his straight friend or a white sex partner or his father or himself, Perry is challenged to explore questions of identity, sexuality, and race. But his most meaningful and enlightening relationship, the one that becomes truly transformative for him, is born when he meets Bruce Nugent.

Giving Perry glimpses into his own past with Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston and the like, Bruce (played expertly by Roger Robinson) is the one who holds the historical mirror for Perry to gaze into. Ultimately, Perry must find himself somewhere at the nexus of his relationships with other people, with his past, and with the rich legacy of the Harlem Renaissance that is revealed to him.

If you haven't seen it yet, be sure to watch for an appearance near you. The movie will also be available on DVD in June and an "edited-for-television" version will air on PBS sometime this year.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Monday, January 03, 2005

101 in 1001 (oh lord ... )

The "New Year" is here and already, i'm picking up on a meme. Of sorts. This one might actually have some impact in my life, though. As i see it, the infamous blackgayblogger challenged himself to complete 101 tasks in 1001 days, an idea picked up by the nefarious EJ, and apparently originated by a mad genius Kiwi photophile named Michael Green over a year ago.

More recently Kevin Harris opted to follow suit, but with 51 in 501. I suck at long-range planning, so i was going to go with boison and do the half-time thing. Then i got to reading (Green's site) and his explanation of why 1001 days is a workable, realistic time frame and i started realizing i was being a chickenshit about the whole commitment thing and so ... here they are:

Malik's 101 Things to do in 1001 Days

The Mission: Complete 101 preset tasks in a period of 1001 days.

The Criteria: Tasks must be specific (i.e., no ambiguity in the wording) with a result that is either measurable or clearly defined. Tasks must also be realistic, and stretching (i.e., represent some amount of work on my part).

The Timeline: This list was completed 03 January 2005, so 1001 days from now will be 01 October 2007.

The List:
  1. Incorporate/register my company.
  2. Earn a 100% profit on BrothaLove Images over a 12-month period.
  3. Establish Flawless Men as a viable enterprise.
  4. Create comp cards for five of my models.
  5. Buy new light kits for my photography studio.
  6. Find a reliable way to get high-quality prints from my digital images.
  7. Present my photography at an APG Open Critique.
  8. Compile a portfolio of my 11 x 14 prints.
  9. Have images listed with a stock photography house.
  10. Submit my photographs to ten competitions or exhibitions.
  11. Photograph a celebrity.
  12. Sell 25 prints of my photographic work.
  13. Take one trip that is paid for entirely by my photography.
  14. Set specific goals for the year at my day job.
  15. Set a definite end date for my day job.
  16. Learn to cook ten new dishes.
  17. Finish editing Little Man -- give it a better title -- and submit it to five publishers.
  18. Successfully complete NaNoWriMo again.
  19. Submit my writing to ten competitions.
  20. Submit my writing to 25 paying markets.
  21. Write a non-fiction book.
  22. Finish a degree (or at least be enrolled and near completion).
  23. Have dinner at Imperial Fez.
  24. Get a real blog (i.e., MT-enabled and not a pre-set template).
  25. See ten "classic" movies i've never seen.
  26. Master PhotoShop and DreamWeaver.
  27. Unpack all my books.
  28. Read all the bell hooks volumes in my library.
  29. Read all the Ursula K. Le Guin books in print.
  30. Read five books recommended by five friends (one each), without objection.
  31. Walk barefoot on a sandy beach.
  32. Walk barefoot in the snow.
  33. Find a charity and donate to it monthly for 12 consecutive months.
  34. Make a list of my 50 favorite actors.
  35. Make a list of my 50 favorite singers.
  36. Make a list of my 50 favorite writers.
  37. Make a list of my 50 favorite models.
  38. Make a list of my 50 favorite photographers.
  39. Photograph 50 different men.
  40. Stop drinking coffee for a week.
  41. Stop cursing for a week.
  42. Learn enough Spanish to watch Como Agua para Chocolate without subtitles. (Stolen directly from Jason's #13.)
  43. Learn enough Maori to mail a letter and have it delivered accurately in New Zealand.
  44. Go nude in public.
  45. Get the cat neutered.
  46. Memorize the meaning of every card in the tarot deck.
  47. Give away all clothes i haven't worn in a year or more.
  48. Create five new jobs for other people.
  49. Get a full physical, including a prostate exam.
  50. Get an adjustment from a chiropractor.
  51. Redecorate the living room.
  52. Throw a party at the house.
  53. Talk to five friends whom i haven't spoken with in over a year.
  54. Tell one person i don't like -- honestly -- what i don't like about them.
  55. Write and mail 25 letters to family and/or friends.
  56. Do the Master Cleanse lemonade fast for 21 days.
  57. Bench press 150 pounds for eight reps.
  58. Develop visible six-pack abs.
  59. Go sky diving.
  60. Go bunjee jumping.
  61. Go ice skating.
  62. Get eight hours of sleep each night for a week.
  63. Write (and mail) letters to my three favorite authors.
  64. Re-view the entire Stargate SG-1 series on DVD.
  65. Send birthday cards to all my family members (as far removed as my second cousins).
  66. Apologize to Patricia.
  67. See all my cousins' children.
  68. Go 72 hours without using a computer.
  69. Go 72 hours without watching television.
  70. Complete one photographic project that does not include any people.
  71. Complete my Body Art project.
  72. Complete my Couples project.
  73. Complete my Tarot project.
  74. Complete my Calendar project.
  75. Walk from home to work or from work to home.
  76. Write one poem in every form i know of, including Blank Verse, Villanelle, Sonnet, Sestina, Clerihew, Limerick, Haiku, Sijo, Ghazal, and Eintou.
  77. Write Lifegiver.
  78. Write Swear to God.
  79. Complete my solo spoken-word CD project.
  80. Enroll in a photography/graphic arts education program.
  81. Have a session with a counselor/therapist/shrink to address my social anxiety.
  82. Buy 25 things from independent business people.
  83. Delete all the unnecessary files on my computer.
  84. Backup the files on my computer to CD-RWs once a month.
  85. Treat myself to a full spa treatment.
  86. Spend one night in each of five states. (Georgia and Michigan don't count.)
  87. Spend one night outdoors (tent acceptable).
  88. Play blackjack in a Las Vegas casino.
  89. Visit the Mormon Tabernacle in Salt Lake City, Utah.
  90. Visit Pueblo, Colorado.
  91. Visit Toronto, Ontario.
  92. Have sex in a foreign country.
  93. Get married.
  94. Buy a house.
  95. Recreate a scene from a porn movie in my own life.
  96. Experiment with BDSM.
  97. Get another tattoo.
  98. Get my nipples pierced.
  99. Fly a kite.
  100. Learn a math theory from Troy and apply it correctly.
  101. Anonymously do something for someone that will have a significant positive impact on her/his life.

And there you have it. I could not have imagined that it would be so difficult to come up with this list. It's taken me the better part of three days to do it. And the last ten or so i thought up (though not necessarily the last ten on the list) were damn near impossible. Some of them are frivolous, some quite engaging, but all have to potential to impact me in some great or small way.

They're set now; i won't change the numbering once it's published, though i may add links and other notes. I shuffled a couple of things around so they would be easier for me to keep track of, but they're really in no particular order. I'm counting on somebody out there to help keep me on task for the next couple of years or so. If nothing else, it should provide me a lot to blog about. In fact, i think i'll set up another blog just to keep track of this project. YEAH! Keep your eyes open for that update.

***UPDATE AS OF JANUARY 4, 2005***
I went ahead and did it! Click Here to check out my secondary blog, "Malik's 101 Things to do in 1001 Days." It should be a blast! (Nuclear, that is.)

Sunday, January 02, 2005


According to ABC News, it's US, folks. They've named bloggers their People of the Year for 2004.

Y'all are so hot!

For those who are averse to external links, here's the full text of the article:

Dec. 30, 2004 — A blog — short for "web log" — is an online personal journal that covers topics ranging from daily life to technology to culture to the arts. Blogs have made such an impact this year that Merriam-Webster named it the word of the year.

"There's a blog for every niche. There's a blog for every interest," said technology writer Xeni Jardin, who co-edits the blog

Dylan Verdi, an 11-year-old known as the world's youngest videoblogger, says she covers "things that I've seen that I like or that I've heard of, or just anything that happened to me that day that I'm thinking."

There are millions of blogs on the Internet — a new one is created every seven-and-a-half seconds. More than 10,000 new additions are added to the "blogosphere" each day.

Firsthand Reporting on Asian Tsunami Catastrophes

This week, their influence has become readily apparent. Dozens of bloggers have been filing firsthand reports from the areas devastated by southern Asia's deadly tsunamis.

"There is kind of an immediacy that people can relate to — can't help but relate to that in a very intimate way," said Jardin.

"Day three," one blogger writes from the scene, "this may be an unexpected challenge and responsibility, and it hurts to see people in pain. But it's also a remarkable experience to be on hand to do something modest, but useful, in the aftermath of a disaster."

Bloggers around the world have made themselves useful, encouraging donations to relief groups, posting the names of the missing and expressing sympathy for the victims.

Expanding Political Coverage

As a driving force in politics this year, bloggers covered the 2004 presidential campaigns and election. Political candidates also used them as valuable campaign tools.

"The Internet taught us, rather than the other way around," said former Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean.

This year, for the first time, bloggers were permitted to cover the national political conventions firsthand.

Bloggers have taken the lead over traditional media on a number of stories, including racist remarks made by then-Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, R-Miss., at former Sen. Strom Thurmond's birthday party.

"Suddenly the mainstream media, the nightly news, on all three networks and on cable, picked up the story and the papers picked up the story and the next thing you know, Trent Lott's resigning and gone," said Democratic strategist Joe Trippi, who masterminded Dean's groundbreaking online campaign efforts.

Some of the most compelling images of 2004 found their way to blogs first, from the Florida hurricanes to the war in Iraq. It was a blogger who got the first photographs of coffins carrying U.S. soldiers arriving in the United States from Iraq.

But for Verdi, it is the simple pleasure of knowing that someone is listening that makes blogging worthwhile.

"On my blog it allows people to post comments, and I have gotten comment upon comment upon comment," she said. "It makes me feel really good that somebody else cares about what I have to say."

ABC News' Elizabeth Vargas filed this report for "World News Tonight."