Vamping Vegas

Last week, I was honored to chaperone my daughter and friend to a national dance competition in Las Vegas. The type of high level competition where extreme dance moms hover like vultures, living vicariously through their teenage children’s every move. I don’t fit in to this environment. I look different from them. I don’t levitate, I give the kids space…to be teenagers.

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The vultures encompass me like the Brides of Dracula ~ @titosixtyone

I learned a lot on this trip. I thought I was current, hip and up to date for my age. After living in a hotel room with my daughter and her BFF and the occasional “meet up” in our hotel room, I was quickly brought back to earth, rather… I was downright humbled!  I felt my age for the first time in 10 months. These teenage girls live a digitized life well beyond what I envisioned in my youth while watching, Lost in Space or The Jetsons. Their mastery of selfie’s, editing and social media is beyond OUR ability by light years, trust me! After all, my daughter has over 10,000 followers on Instagram (@yourdancepiration) so there’s much to be learned here! After one day in the same room, I came to the conclusion that they weren’t merely dancers, but Digital Artists who so happened to possess dancing skills.

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Vamping has several meanings to this generation. It could mean pulling an all-nighter (aka Dracula), or a woman who uses her God-given talents, looks or sexuality to get her way  with men (aka suck the life out of you financially, Lol…well, not really Lol). So after learning this little tidbit I decided to go “vamping” after tucking them in one night. Sincity never sleeps.  Armed with my wrist game and my first SLR camera, I took to the streets of Vegas, late, late night:

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Vamping accessories

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Vamping with fresh breath

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Vamping with Britney

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Vamping Hollywood

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Vamping Paris

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The next night after Vamping Vegas, I told my roommates to put on something cute and lets grab dinner and vamp. One thing that is universal to teenage girls and women in general regardless of their generation or the century is the offer to dress cute and a free meal. Its a timeless, universal expectation that puts a real smiley face on a females face.  But the difference with this generation is they wanted a profile picture walking away.

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vamping backwards

 

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The selfie game; single in L.A.

Living in Los Angeles does not help! Well, not this time.  Yeah, I know, it’s L.A….LA LA land, a melting pot of beautiful people, erotic weather, beaches, models, stars, cars, swag, entertainment, the scent of cannabis at every turn, earthquakes…And I should be happy like a room without a roof.  Like, totally, I get it but…ahh…like I dig it and all…but…Do you get the point that I haven’t made as yet?

It goes something like this: Me, being single and living in L.A., after so many years is akin to boarding the Shanghai Maglev train while at its top speed from a standing broad jump position…Chances are I’ll fall flat on my face or go splat against a side panel while the train keeps going without an inkling.  Unless of course I’m Superman, but the last time I checked I didn’t see one of these hanging in my closet:

As time went on and  after feeling at peace with who I am there came this urge to explore jumping the train.  The opportunities  in L.A. appear limitless, but if you were accustomed to a different lifestyle or recently lived in states considered more conservative or like me (all of the above) then this sexy place  will swallow you up.

So what’s next? Where do I go to meet people? What do I wear? What’s my type? What do I like to do?  Will I need a new car? Where should we go?  Just a shit load of double U’s.  I decided to talk to some of my friends for their perspective, take notes and put a  game plan together.  I’ve been a leader and process improvement champion for many years so how difficult will it be to put some bullet points on my whiteboard, prioritize, delegate and wait…delegate?

I still had a perplexed look on my face because after further thought, I had no single friends!  I decided to go straight to the source, why not?  Where else in So Cal can you find a think tank of social rhetoric?  That’s right, The gym!  My plan was to ask single #teamfit people:  where and how do you meet new people in L.A.?  Simple, direct and to the point I thought.

My first and last conversation went something like this:

suave single Latin dude: ok, so you need to meet people, new friends, start fresh…I. Got. You.

me: yep, where should I go? what’s happening in L.A.?

suave single Latin dude: go?

suave single Latin dude: dude how’s your selfie game?

me: game?

suave single Latin dude: give me your phone

suave single Latin  dude: < double tap-tap tap double tap-tap double tap-tap tap…>

suave single Latin dude: ok, you have a profile

me: huh?

suave single Latin dude: take a selfie, wear sunglasses that’s always Cali chic.  As a matter of fact, take a bunch of selfies.

me: ok

suave single Latin dude: take them now

me: <blank stare>

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@Armani Exchange sunglasses

suave single Latin dude: wow, you don’t look a day over 40…kinda cute actually

me: yeah, no!

suave single Latin dude:  This is how it works: if someone likes your selfie and you like their selfie the app creates a match and then you can chat and maybe hook-up, blah blah blah

me: hook-up?

suave single Latin dude: and if you’re traveling it will locate hoes in what ever city you’re in and you can match and hook-up that way (he really said this)

me: hoes, really?

suave single Latin dude: what gender do you prefer?

me: huh?

Ok, so I embellished it a hell of a lot tad, but you get my drift?  Without giving it  much further thought I decided to play the selfie match game.

Fast forward…

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Reloading ego…

A couple of days later I was peering at several  random selfie matches wondering what to do next?  I mean, after all, they picked my selfie didn’t they?  There must have been something that caught my eye when I saw their selfies, right? And I didn’t even need a new outfit, or require  Clive Christian “C” for Men.  So, why didn’t I reach out to connect and build friendships?

Heck, I matched while sitting on the toilet, multitasking.  I wonder how many filters they used on their pic?  Hmm, is the pic even of them? Photoshop? which one was sitting on the potty when they liked my selfie?

I continued to read a bio…

Hmm, interesting, she likes the NBA, NFL, fitness, popping bottles, traveling, outdoor activities, social media, reading the Wall Street Journal, twerking and quiet evenings rolling in the sand…um, ok….

Days later I looked  at the selfie matches again.  I still did not “chat or hook-up” because somehow this felt completely and utterly awkward to me.  Is this the new game in town…mobile hook-up apps?  Is this where conversation, cologne and Cali chic ends? A couple selfies, a roll of toilet paper and Boom! 26 hot chicks…I think?

Here’s what I learned.  It can be difficult or impossible in most cases to jump on a train while its going full speed.  At times you have to slow down, buy a ticket for a specific travel date, exercise patience and prepare yourself for the trip of your life.

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me: up up and away…!!

 

So, tell me dude, how’s your selfie game ?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ecstasy

Someone at work anonymously left a slice ‘o Key Lime pie on my desk last week. To date I do not know who it was, but the culprit is obviously an enemy and is disturbingly still on the loose.   I have a vision of him or her peering around the corner,  snickering and hoping I eat the entire sugar injected utter deliciousness thereby regaining the 45lbs I lost in the last six months…all in one sitting. There is a mole in my circle!  Or, could the saboteur  simply be a temptress or an harlot of some sort… quid pro quo?

They must know me very, very well. They must know that THIS pie is on my short list of all-time favorite desserts right behind 1a.) German Chocolate cake, and 1aa.) Tres Leche cake. I find the three equally irresistible and tantalizing.   “Taste my tartness, my silky smooth exterior, devour me!”, she whispered in my ear.  I quickly jumped in my car and brought my new sweetie pie home with me, unscathed. But I was in a trance as she stared at me with that gaze, you know the one. The one with that come hither look, all succulent and crumby and stuff. “Taste my tartness, my silky smooth exterior, devour me!”,  she said again.

 

She stayed over that night in the cool place  she loves so much. There was just enough coolness to create a firm perkiness of desire, yet warm enough to melt on the tip of my tongue. She trembled in my firm grip as I stole a brief but substantial nibble and it was at that very moment I knew there would be no turning back.   I was enamored with the sheer thought of meeting once again but alas, I acquiesce…

Gulp.

Belch.

Belch again.

Ecstasy.

Yep, all that over one slice ‘o Key Lime pie you ask?  It was orgasmic !

So… tell me about the dessert that you find enticingly irresistible or do you prefer multiple…desserts?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

change is sexy

God, I’ve missed writing.  I have sinned.

I’ve missed the interaction with my followers. I’ve missed reading your well thought out and inspiring posts and comments. I’ve missed your knowledge and ability to share your experiences in a succinct and photographic manner. I’m enamored when I read posts that use words so precise and vivid I get the impression I’m watching the movie Catching Fire instead of reading a blog. Your thoughts come to life when I read as if I’m trapped in an endless dream, only to end when I choose. I’ve missed you.  I’ve missed your intelligence; your beauty and  your mental orgasm.

I have not written in 10 months, but I’ve been on a journey. It would be easy to say I’ve been sitting on my ass doing nothing for 10 months other than career and family, but that’s the last thing I’ve been doing.   My ass is firmer to the pinch. Even family has undergone a major face-lift.   Transformation.  You do not fully understand the essence of transformation until you look at yourself with your own eyes. And just think, when I posted that statement on Facebook, some thought I was referring to selfies. Life man. I want to tell you about it so badly in one post, but unless you have a couple of weeks reading time, I’ll share it in snippets. Life is about a series of sound bites, isn’t it? Here are some shots of my physical transformation.

During this time period I went from this to this:

@titosixtyone transformation

@titosixtyone transformation

And from that to that:

@titosixtyone

@titosixtyone

From a jolly red guy, to a leaner black guy:

@titosixtyone

@titosixtyone

I eat differently now.  I wear emperors clothes.  I think differently now.  I look different.  I’ve embraced change and am now embroiled in a steamy love affair with her.  Change is sexy.  Yes, I’ve become a selfie-taking gay fashion model too at a ripe old age.

How I got here is a sordid and seedy tale of hospitals, drugs, sex, murder, fashion, passion, hate, love, lust, fast cars, fast women and God. I’m looking forward to sharing the sound bites with you.

What do you think of my transformation so far?

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Where have you been?

Well, I guess the appropriate question should be, where have I been?   I haven’t posted to my blog in quite sometime and I’m not sure whether my creative juices have completely dried up or I’ve been so busy that I haven’t had time to write, or a combination of both coupled with some major life changes.  Speaking of life…Life is moving at the speed of sound right now and apparently I woke up in a new Bugatti:

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But, alas, I haven’t been blessed with a new Bugatti as yet, but give it time and in the meantime I’ll go to bed hoping at some time I wake up speeding down the German autobahn. But until then, I’ll keep dreaming.

There may not be a new Bugatti, but I definitely graduated my son from high school.  To those of you that have adult children, why didn’t you warn me of the “cost” of a high school graduation?  Between invitations, announcements, a class ring,  prom,  grad night expenses, “missing books” fees, college visitations, college fees, parties, AP and SAT testing fees I came this close to being the homeless parent of a high school grad.  Now he will be a Pac 12 freshman.   Little did he know:

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Graduation!

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class ring

And that stunning young lady standing next to the Happy graduate is the little sister, the dancer/ musician.  She has 3 years remaining which means I have 3 years remaining to save up a small mint (squared) given her propensity to say “daddy” and watch me melt as I fork over the cash.  And we’re not even in college as yet.   Life is grand

coffee-break

a Mormon, a wedding reception, and Me

Now that the presidential race has taken a back seat to just about everything else, I started to reflect on, what if’s.  What if the Republican nominee won the election?  Was America ready for a Mormon president?  There were so many preconceived  beliefs about him and his religion and quite honestly, I think his religious beliefs hurt his chances of election.  As you may recall, there was graphic banter as to whether or not his faith was cultish.  Well as fate would have it, after the elections I was invited to a mormon wedding reception by one of my co-workers.  She is Asian; Chinese and Vietnamese to be exact.  I am black, no duh!  So that eliminates one myth about the religion as far as I’m concerned…actually it dispels two myths in one shot.  It is not apparently a religion exclusively for Caucasians and they don’t mind hanging out with people of other ethnicities and beliefs as I once thought.  I’m Christian.  A nondenominational Christian to be exact.   How we became work-buds, I really don’t know.  We actually make each other laugh quite a bit.  We both lend an open ear to each others concerns, thoughts and problems.  And we both produce exceptionally on the job if I do say so myself.  It was easy.

Let me be honest, when I received the invitation I was a bit apprehensive about attending the reception.  I knew I would eventually attend the reception, after all, I’ve lived the last few months through the drudgery of every single detail being shoved down my ear by my “friend”.  Advice in this area is not exactly my forte, but hey, I’ve been through it once and I’m kind of cool, collected man with a great deal of common-sense if I do say so myself.  But I was apprehensive nonetheless.  I overlooked the great conversations and projects we shared and became somewhat selfish and prejudice because the last thing I wanted to do was stand out like a sore thumb at this reception and subject myself to their constant gaze for three torturous hours.  You know, well maybe you don’t, but I did not want to be the token friend all alone at an isolated table in the middle of the reception hall, pretending to be captivated with my meal to avoid any and all eye contact as their stares burned the fat from the back of my neck.

But I was excited to attend because I’m the type of guy that doesn’t mind throwing a hand-grenade in the middle of  a discussion or conference then sit back while counting the casualties.  In this case I was going to be the strap-on bomb.  I decided to get creative knowing that  her Chinese culture was the most influential, I purchased a hóngbāo Red Envelope from Chinatown in order to insert my monetary gift.  I knew that would score points with that side of the family.

Contemporary red envelopes

Contemporary red envelopes (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As I handed the lady  the red envelope sitting at the gift table, she nodded then smiled.  She then proceeded to place my envelope on top of the stack of red envelopes already given to the newlyweds.  Score!! I was starting to feel as if I “fit in” already.  The bride and groom were standing at the front-door greeting everyone and I immediately felt at home as I was introduced to the groom.

the bride

the bride

The Food! oh the food was a never-ending feast of multi-cultural bliss.  If you’ve ever been to a black wedding, you know what I’m talking about.  I’m now feeling at home.  A couple familiar faces at the wedding locate me and we all sit down together enjoying the feast that is now at mammoth proportions.  We enjoy the typical wedding stuff: cake, cut the cake, put some on her nose,  bouquet, toast…blah blah blah and then the unthinkable happens.  As the DJ dims the lights and the strobe lights are now in full-effect,  something totally uncharacteristic of my prototypical mormon celebration happens and takes me to a place void of misconceptions, prejudices and ignorance.  The bass starts to pop and they all rush to the dance-floor as, Soulja Boys’ rap hit, “Teach me how to Dougie” resonates from wall to wall at the wedding reception.  And they can actually do it!

As I drove home, I thought how we have misconceptions based on ignorance and unwillingness to try something new.  When we jump to conclusions based on hearsay or another persons opinion we damage ourselves as well as other people.  The moral of the story, if there is such a thing, is sometimes you have to be creative, get out of your comfort-zone and experience life as you see it in order to truly understand.  I had a great time hanging out with my work BFF.

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Hear Ye Hear Ye; Happy 80th birthday mom!

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My mom celebrated 80 years this weekend.  She was presented her gift with this monologue  by her grandson in town crier fashion. Of course, he was garbed in clothing from the era because that’s how we do it.  His acting skills were Oscar’ eske… his accent, however, left alot to be desired:

Hear ye, hear ye, hear ye! A proclamation regarding our dear Lady Millie formerly of Puerto Limon, Costa Rica and now of San Fernando Valley, California.
All persons having any business before the Honorable Justices of the Los Angeles District Court, draw near.  Give your attendance and you shall be heard. All ye gentlefolk; lords and ladies, fair elves, tireless dwarfs, diligent hobbits, gentle mistresses and most distinguished gentlemen.  Whereas a bellowing bell-ringer in a tricorn hat, britches, jabot and waistcoat almost always gets the party started right, or at least with Colonial swagger.

A message to you:

The magnificent and tedious title of Grandmum, and mum, auntie, sis, seamstress, stylist, singer, poet, and now 80 years old has doth been bestowed upon our own fair Lady Millie formerly of Limon and now of San Fernando Valley, California, intimately known for her superior success in delivering many a killing blow by the belt to many a children buttocks area. Let us rejoice in her glory and feast in celebration!

However! We must also be wary for the fair lady Millie formerly from Limon now of San Fernando Valley California has been summoned by the Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Phillip the Duke of Edinburgh.

“Maaaan, What you talkin’ bout !?”, one might say.

Whereas Lady Millie formerly of Limon and now of San Fernando Valley California herewith has been bequeathed an all-expense paid trip to London, England! in honor of obtaining the 80 year-old milestone!

God Save the Queen, the Prince of Edinburgh, the British Armed forces, the Ministry of Defense, the Secretary of State for War, The First Lord of the Admiralty, the Secretary of State for Air, members of the Royal Navy, Royal Army and Royal Air Force, for they shall be in the presence of true royalty.