Friday, November 30, 2012

Relationships: Cra(z)y Cra(z)y Men, Part 1 by Kyle Phoenix

You've seen him around or maybe you've never seen him before and you "Meet Cute"---a Meet Cute is any chance, casual encounter that happens when you're not looking for it and one or both of you could be played by someone from a romantic comedy.  One of my more memorable Meet Cutes was on 44th Street and 8th Avenue.  I had decided to take in a Tuesday evening flick---Kinsey with Liam Neeson---and was strolling up the block to get a Pepsi to put in my bag (the theater only serves Coke.)  As I was standing at the corner about to cross to the deli someone in my peripheral vision leans out from the line of us standing on the curb and winks at me.  He did it a couple of times because at first I didn't notice but then I realized it was for me and smiled back in a big smile and he smiled and I smiled and he smiled and then I forgot to cross the street then I remembered and we crossed and we started chatting on the other side   I got my Pepsi, we sat at one of the dessert places in Times Square to kill an hour before my movie and he then joined me for the movie.

That was the beginning of 36 hours of cray cray on a stick.  I was distracted by how handsome he was---Black and Dominican mixing for all it was worth, his glob charm and quite frankly, I was high from the Meet Cute.  A really good Meet Cute to anyone can dislodge your good sense for a while and this was 2004.  Within 36 hours he revealed that he was 4 days out of prison, HIV+, somewhere between confused and bisexual, a former Calvin Klein model (yes, he was THAT kind of handsome), a drug addict, hated dated one of Diana Ross' daughters, his mother was dead, his stepmother was evil, he'd done several pornos, his father was mad at him, in jail there's a private space covered by a tent of sheets that's known as the Boom Boom room to go and masturbate, he had but refused to take his HIV medication, he was an on and off again prostitute, he'd been a drug dealer.....oh, and he was a Scorpio.

He was my last official cray cray date.
He stole a broken laptop from me.
He left his HIV meds.
No, we didn't have sex.

What I learned from this when I realized he was nucking futs---about 3 hours after the Meet Cute---was how I was responsible for all the other cray crays I'd met and dated over the years.  I'd let them in.

When you see crazy coming down the street, cross the street.  Don't give him your number.  Don't ask him how you can help.  Don't act as a referral service to anything but the local police station for him.  Don't feel bad about not being the world's social worker.  (Even if you are a social worker, you can take some time off too.)

A man is his character.  Is he generous, caring, considerate, loving, thoughtful, courageous, responsible, keeper of his word.  I've learned to not excuse any of the really good traits for silly superficial traits--masculinity (personality put on), funny (who isn't?), charming (practiced), dysfunctional (drug addicted/neurotic/passive aggressive/narcissistic, not taking care of their health).

If you are sharing your body before you have an understanding of a man's character, you have to take every lump whether that's emotional, physical or STD related.  No one else is responsible for you not being able to control your desires though good character in another would have them extend their responsibility trait.

Reasons Why
Earth, Wind and Fire tore up that song!  But when someone starts telling you the reasons why, it should make sense.  if it doesn't make sense, it ain't true.  I've learned that crazy people are amazingly good at telling you how they are constant, continuous and unwitting victims to reality.  Racism, the police, their parents, drugs, women, men, the prison system, the color blue, oxygen and the dog sitting over there minding their own business.  Life challenges us all.  In fact it should be called Challenge and not something as simple as life.  And yes, we all need loving and understanding and a second chance.  But we also need the truth to be told to us as well as being able to tell it to ourselves.  Powerful people can handle the truth, weak people crumble from criticism.

As a side note, I notice how MSM are the most damned by criticism; they get an immediate case of the can't takes.  You tell an MSM that he didn't do something correctly or he was directly wrong and if there's room he'll dramatically fall out on the floor or throw himself at the window.  Why?  I trace it all the way back to MSM growing up with a hidden sexual preference/identity and the social pressures of manhood and masculinity around them that acts as a form of constant identity criticism.  Therefore when criticized their super tender to criticism---it must be homophobia, it must be racism, it must be misandry!

Nah, sometimes it's you, you did something wrong.  There are things for you to learn that you don't know or have learned incorrectly.

Heterosexuals learn how to separate (the healthy ones) criticism about their actions and criticisms about their identity.  That's a big distinction to learn, to move through, to internally know and it leads to a healthier sense of self-esteem and ability to be intimate and bond in successful relationships.  Are you seeing how the inability to handle criticism can aid in MSM not finding or creating satisfying relationships?

Self Esteem
I learned from my 2004 Meet Cute that I didn't have any feelings for him.  There was a time when he would've been the Bees Knees Life Project for me to take on!  For me to comfort and coddle and save!  Oh, Lordy, I could've saved him!  But by 2004 I'd been in several short and long term relationships, done some year long therapy tune up twice and was at a job that started out as a consulting favor but turned into a career changer.

Confidence and self esteem are not the same things.

Confidence is internal---it's that I feel adequate and capable and balanced enough to act.

Self esteem IS the action occurring and being put forth externally.

For a long time I confused the two, I thought because I felt good about myself that I had good self esteem when in fact I would allow all kinds of foolishness around me.  But by 2004 I'd thrown out friends, families, lovers, fools and even jobs who crossed my confidence.  I'd finally actualized my self to self esteem in action.  I distinct remember sitting and listening to Mr. Meet Cute in 2004 and hearing allllllllll of his cray cray and having no desire to fix it.  The real truth of being involved with cray cray MSM is you, not him.  You think you can change him, fix his nuttiness, deal with his problems (and your own---you're always putting yourself on the back burner to help the nutballs.)  Sitting across form him, I understood that while, yes, I felt sympathetic to his problems, I couldn't fix them. Not simply I'd decided wouldn't but couldn't.  Real power knows it's limits.  He'd made some adult decisions in his life, he was in his thirties that had detemrined a lot of where he was and where he wasn't.  I wouldn't and couldn't repair that.

When I tell my 2004 tale in workshops to example how you have to be conscious of taking care of yourself and maintaining your character people often ask about my sympathy, about how I can be detached, how I can tell them to not pick up the phone, text the dude, answer the door, resist their compulsions.  I point out simply, the object of your desire is not in a room somewhere (or on this blog) talking about you.  Sit with that for a second.  Really sit with that.  Guilt ans shame are two different things.  Guilt is you did something wrong, shame is you are wrong as a person.  Setting boundaries doesn't feel bad.  If it does it means that you have issues with guilt and shame.  MSM who announce proudly their self-worth and that they're men of power who take care of themselves don't understand, power doesn't have to announce itself.  It simply is.  Like a flower or a mighty oak tree.

You simply stand.

I felt sympathy for all the stuff in the guys life in 2004 but you know what?  I didn't make those choices that he had in his life.  And he was actively not working on fixing those things.  That's a big thing.  He wasn't in recovery, he wasn't taking his meds, he wasn't working----he simply wasn't.  When you check out your own guilt look at what is that man doing to rectify these problems.  Desire is bluntly, bullshit.  Actions speak louder than words when people talk about making change.

Never trust a big butt and a smile.  POISON!
All people have trials and troubles, effort is how you tell cray cray from people with problems.  People who are just looking for attention or relief won't put in the work.  You can pay some attention to them, I do.  I pay attention to the cray cray who tell you the laundry lists of what went wrong.  But I listen as instruction on what not to do: whether that be drugs or unsafe sex or emotional drama untended to (yeah, those two therapists I went to for a year each---that's attending to all your drama in the right space.)

Responsibility and Accountability to your internal self confidence matching your external self esteem is how you avoid those how are destructive to themselves or you.

I was able to observe and hear and walk on by that guy in 2004 after 3 hours of observation because my internal (confidence) No and external (self esteem) No, are aligned.

Are yours?

Coming Soon: Part 2, Your Arrogance and Crazy Men

Thank you for reading,
Kyle Phoenix
Thanks and enjoy! You can Like Us on Facebook or Follow Us on Twitter! Don't forget to watch The Kyle Phoenix Show on Channel 56 (Time Warner), 83 (RCN), 34 (Verizon) and the Thursday/Friday 12am/midnight simulcast on

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Race: 10 Things That Make The Ku Klux Klan Ecstatic!!! by Kyle Phoenix

You down with KKK?
I'm down with KKK!
Keepin' it real!
The Klan has a long and distinguished history.  It is literally the physical manifestation of racism in America that every human, and small animals, can point to as the definitive example.  In the late 1800s after the Civil War and the terror that the "darkies" would lose it and help White people lose their head from being attached to their bodies for slavery, the KKK was formed.  They went 19th century Racebook----riding horses from town to town, scrawling letters in the standard 3rd grade education most Southerns (and quite a few Northerners) enjoyed. But gosh darn it, faster than you can get 5000 Friends and go from a Person to a Page, a psychopathic paranoid semi-militia had been formed.  They did things----lynchings, intimidation, gunshots, running darkies off or back on to plantations   It was literally the Racebook virtual reality/Halo Mix-tape. 

But then slowly laws were changed and amended and more immigrants started flooding the welcoming shores of America.  There was the odd barn burning and yearly BBQs over slain Civil Rights leaders but by the 1980s the KKK was dwindling, it was empty, it was so forgotten that people were surprised when they checked back into it.  Like MySpace.  

Sure there was your parades and rallies and shocking political appointees who showed that their hood sheet now came in 100% Egyptian cotton with a clever Hermes tie.  But the blatant, orgasmic in your face-ness of the KKK was narrowing.  Racism, ever the American trendsetter, had gone subtle; it had edged into the underground in-conscious of selected recipients of the Caucasian persuasion.  Racial Berlin Wall cracker Nelson Mandela was free and with it went the Europeanized Aliens-esque brood queen, Apartheid into the gaping maw of Black space (but always up for a sequel.) 

But then from Black Space came the sequel and this time the KKK gaped like John Connors when the horror Sarah had warned him of saved his life and said with the face of the Terminator, "Come with me, if you want to live."  And live the Klan has because it's a multi-pic sequelization and the KKK realize that they thought they'd lost the miscegenation are but they realize that was only the battle and the darkies were chewing on the throats, bones and dreams........of each other.

1. Black and Latinos Not Reading
North America has the unique distinction of having libraries within every ten square blocks (except for desert spots).  You can go into these buildings---heated, lit, quiet and read about anything and anybody.  Hell, you can take the books out of the building, borrowing them so you can even sit at home alone, moving your lips while reading.  Amazingly enough within one generations time Black and Latinos have forgotten that it was illegal for them to read and now we leave mental money on every 10 blocks and they ignore it!  They have the highest dropout rates and lowest literacy scores by race on the planet with the exception of their boon boon cousins who live in true deserts!

2. Black and Latinos Saying They "Hate" Math
Compound interest arises when interest is added to the principal, so that, from that moment on, the interest that has been added also earns interest. This addition of interest to the principal is called compounding. A bank account, for example, may have its interest compounded every year: in this case, an account with $1000 initial principal and 20% interest per year would have a balance of $1200 at the end of the first year, $1440 at the end of the second year, and so on.
The effect of earning 20% annual interest on an
initial $1,000 investment at various compounding frequencies

3. Black and Latino Men Consciously Barebacking/Spreading HIV
MSM call each other brother and understand basic science.  It's been 30 years and even my cat knows how HIV is spread.  But they still are fucking each other to death.  They have parties in Harlem and around the country where condoms are so verboten, if you flash one, much less try to use, you'll be kicked out.  They know they're infected and shrug and fuck each other.  You can't make this shit up.  Black and Latino men, the warriors will fuck each other to death and then some of them who like the pole and hole, will go fuck the women too!  And they know it kills and wrecks the immune system!

4. Black and Latino People Buying Apple IPhones, BMW, Microsoft, Louis Vuitton Products and Paying Rent
Real estate is "Property consisting of land and the buildings on it, along with its natural resources such as crops, minerals, or water; immovable property of this nature; an interest vested in this; (also) an item of real property; (more generally) buildings or housing in general. Also: the business of real estate; the profession of buying, selling, or renting land, buildings or housing.

73% of all wealth on Earth is held in real estate.

30% of people of color in America own real estate but not the other companies.  What does that make all of the purchasers of goods who don't own anything but the products?  Loving devotees.
5. Black and Latino People Spending Inordinate Amounts of Time on Facebook
The Klan considers the 100 million
the bum door opener tip.
(Reasons 1 & 2 apply to
"fixing" the education system.
Does it matter if you
enhance the system for people
who only a percentage will READ and do MATH?
"Here you go."
Announcing they're going to sleep.  Announcing they're awake.  Posting pics of Whitney Houston and Michael Jackson tributes.  Sharing music videos of Whitney Houston and Michael Jackson.  Complaining about sagging pants.  Announcing the Lord's intentions, wishes, blessings, thoughts, feelings, anger and occasionally personal attentions.
Some will point out the 100 million donation to Newark by Mark Zuckerberg.
The Klan considers that no Black or Latino has ever been able to drop out of Harvard to create anything on the internet that has 1 billion users and is worth over 100 billion dollars.  

6. Black and Latino People With Cell Phones
Blackberry's cost $500 plus a 1 or 2 yearly contract which is about $100 a month. So when they give you a near free Blackberry, you've paid over $2000 for it.  IPhones cost $300 to $800 plus a 1 or 2 yearly contract which is about $100 a month. So when they don't give you a near free IPhone, you've paid over $4000 for it.

Curiously enough Motorola, Verizon, Apple, Blackberry nor their subsidiaries donate to education, social care, for the near 70% of Blacks and Latinos who are paying so much.  However the good news is that this is where Reasons overlap.  See if they didn't Hate Math they'd figure out the massive profit upswing.  Of course that would then integrate into Reason # 1 but the real irony is----all of these pieces of technology can look up the answers and they never use it!!!!!!!!

7. The Maury Povich Show
You could understand young people with children wanting the male parent to assume responsibility   That's not racial, that's universal.  But check this---the audience is full of Black and Latino people looking at Black and Latino people humiliate themselves for a trip to Connecticut and a paternity test.  No, no, wait for it---sometimes there are multiple children and the Black or Latino man is adamant  proud and joyous when he finds out he's not a father to some girl he's been doing the horizontal bounce with.  She dashes off in torrential shame but she'l be back because like a good mother to the children who will one day review this on YouTube---she's got a list of other possible men it could be.  Name by name, literally counting the seats on the train she's pulled---to an average 2-3 million viewers a day.  No, no, no----wait for itttttttttttttt----while a White man sits next to this foolery grinning in sweats! because he doesn't even dress up for the approximate 10 million a year (as a partial owner of the show) he gets for being the ringmaster to Dr. King's legacy.  The respect for Black and Latino women and the integrity of their men is a ratings boom! 

8. Big Beautiful Black Women Who Are Too Proud Of It
Heart disease.
High blood pressure.
Shorter Lifespans
Amputated limbs
Look at the damn picture.
Enough said.*
*The Klan though can rightfully defend that when they could own the broodmares, they were much thinner and healthier.  They can actually statistically and historically prove that chattel slavery was better for some because some have trouble regulating how to do a basic human function.  A function that humans have been doing for 2 million years.  2 million years.
**Yes, yes, The Klan is aware that all races, mainly in America are obese but they have been thinking about how diabetes is more likely to effect the brown folk.....and the brown folk rail against a mayor who says that a 96 ounce, 1500+ calorie is a bit too much to be so readily available.  Because, hell.......look at her. Somehow we're all paying extra taxes on the front end health care or the back end exit strategy of her. 

9. Black and Latino People Harassing Their Own
94% of Black and Latino murders are committed by Blacks and Latinos.  4% of the murder rate are White people.  The Klan is positive that even if a decent feeling for a race war could be mustered, Black and Latino people would shoot, beat, injure, betray, maim, decapitate each other in the planning phase.

10. Blacks and Latinos Treating Each Other With Discrimination
The really brown people came from the purple lines.  There were some brown people just sitting around minding their own business on the left side of the map.  Luckily we were able to exterminate most of the indigenous people (there's some pissed Native American blogging about this but Racebook is confined to reservations for them.)

Check this: the current brown people are so subdivided---by the racial categorizing system created by their oppressors they think they're different. 

You can't make this shit up.
The birth of a (brown) nation is televised and remote controlled through a brown President that nearly all of them ran to vote for.  Yes, the revolution is being's called BET.  

The problem is whom you think the revolution is against.  

Thank you for reading,
Kyle Phoenix
Thanks and enjoy! You can Like Us on Facebook or Follow Us on Twitter! Don't forget to watch The Kyle Phoenix Show on Channel 56 (Time Warner), 83 (RCN), 34 (Verizon) and the Thursday/Friday 12am/midnight simulcast on

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Culture: What Is Happiness For You? by Kyle Phoenix

Its been a challenging couple of years.  Not the worst ever that I've experienced but these past few years have really changed some of the concepts I had of myself and where I was going and what I was doing.  I often think about happiness, my own, and family and friends' and I imagine what could I do to make them happy.  Then sometimes i sit back and really look at my own sadness---ill parents, the instability of teaching from the place you work at to the outcome of the students---I'm never sure if I've gotten it right, if I've made a substantial difference, if a good program is in process or if this is merely the iteration of an idea that needs to be hashed out some more.  

Then I have this other project of The Kyle Phoenix Show and the associated blogs, websites, podcasts, development designs and trying to think about how to develop this whole thing into something useful and helpful.  It makes me pleased some times and frustrated other times because I'm not exactly media obsessed but it demands that I learn about how to create, distribute and control media.  It's not something I've normally had to think about: my public image.  That's even weird for me to see in a detached way to myself now.  I'm reading two books on narcissism and media---I go on tears, this one actually came from developing workshops, shows and blogs around passive aggressiveness and dealing with many narcissists in my work---and I was struck by how unrelated to my own happiness attention is to me.  

I've been trying to discern what makes me happy, what kinds of things I want to do, where to go, what to study, how to enter the next third of life more intentionally.  There are things I'm not satisfied with, but who doesn't have some of those?  But now an element of my life is about being in front of a room or a camera or presentations where I'm trying to convey some nugget of information and emotionally I'm generally expected to be reasonably upbeat and happy.  I have to be emotionally present in certain ways that demand that I'm reasonably okay with myself.  I even get lots of push and pull from people who are wrestling with the value of whatever it is I'm sharing.  There have been only two negative incidents in the past three years of intensive school/teaching where I've been doing more than 40 hours of both a week, trying to integrate new knowledge from university in the design of schools and how to focus adult learning to the implementation of those skills, sometimes in the same week---the ride is exciting most times but I never notice it within the ride.

Again I return to happiness and am I happy?  I suppose that for us all it's a decision of which side of the yes or no you fall onto but there's a gap of gray space so sometimes I'm more happy and others times I'm less happy, but I am happy.  I am pleased with the things I've gathered so far in life.  I do think about death, it's been a decade of death in my family, so I often pick up the phone from relatives and it's the report of who's passed away or close to it.  I guess I meander through this blog, the personal ones are always the less concise to my ear and eye   but I do know that somehow I keep re-birthing myself.  

All this happiness questioning came from working on my Vitae, an academic resume/record of what I've done, produced, written/published, taught, etc. over the course of time.  I'm often stunned by how much I do, the product, the output because I never think it's enough, not from measuring myself against others but because I'm not sure if it creates happiness.  It represents a form of happiness, most of the stuff on my Vitae I liked doing in some form or another, I liked the creation of it whether I cared for the total outcome.  One of the things I've learned over these past few intensive years is that in education it never quite meets outcome vision.  I've spent a lot of the past few months really doing intensive writing about my work, it's presentation time; time to articulate what I observed and learned from my vantage points in the classroom.  

My point?  How do you measure your own happiness?  Is it an ongoing process or something that you've found is elusive?  Do you feel like an essentially happy person, honestly or are you at war with it?  I consider this because of how much unhappiness I often hear (or is emailed to me) from workshops/groups.  So many men in particular are unhappy with their race, their work, their sexuality, their loneliness.  Sometimes when I'm sitting with people with my best professional face on, sometimes even with friends, I'm saddened by the lost, sad people I'm seeing who do small and huge destructive things.  I watch them thinking that an unhealthy relationship or drugs or drinking or lying or narcissism or adulation or magic or stuff will bring them a sense of peace, of happiness.  
I was looking at one of the bookcases near my bed, it's barely the tip of my book iceberg, so I was imagining all of my books in bookcases along a long wall, and the DVDs  and the CDs and the magazines and that was making me happy to think of that perfect picture.  Ironically I was reading a book about death of parents and examining for happiness and contentment and liberation but somehow I got kind of happy thinking about all of these things, light and dark and the happiness that we take and miss in ourselves.

Thank you for reading,
Kyle Phoenix
Thanks and enjoy! You can Like Us on Facebook or Follow Us on Twitter! Don't forget to watch The Kyle Phoenix Show on Channel 56 (Time Warner), 83 (RCN), 34 (Verizon) and the Thursday/Friday 12am/midnight simulcast on

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

GMAD Video

Education: Sociopaths and Psychopaths by Kyle Phoenix

 I've had the privilege of teaching for almost two decades now, since I was a teenager.  I term it a privilege because most people, particularly men of color that I meet in my travels are often frustrated with their work.  Not the concept of working but the kind of work they do.  Interestingly enough people who are satisfied, deeply invested in, consider their work a vocation and not a task tend to live longer (Frank McCourt, etc.).  The other high correlate to overall life satisfaction within relationships is a couple earning the equivalent of over $50,000 a year a piece (or the breadwinner making $100,000).  It really helps if both are synonymous.  Teaching when done at a high level can satisfy both but in the vocation of teaching, one generally moves around a lot career wise  learning one's trade.  In my teaching breadth I've consulted, worked for non-profits, the government, charter schools, public schools, universities, the prison system, rehabs, churches and even 12 Step programs.  In that time I've met some wonderful diamonds of intellect.

I've also met monsters.

They've been staff, student and client alike.  Pedophiles, rapists, murderers, abusers, self-destructive, narcissists, users, professional victims, scammers, crackheads, whores, malcontents and even once or twice, people who were comfortably evil.  (One even called himself Satan.)

What I teach, I'm still learning to quantify.  One of my foci is the acceleration of learning for adults.  That means I spend a lot of time studying how and what people learn and at what speed.  This also means that I will probably at some point have to get a direct Masters in Psychology because I spend so much of my time understanding people or seeking to understand them.  I also spend a lot fo my time translate this understanding to students and administrators of all ages.  That means I spend a lot of my time getting into people's heads real fast, sorting around, poking and peeping, asking strategic questions and listening on several deep levels. I'm also attentive to body language, micro-expressions, micro-aggression's, language usage, syntactical expression, identity exposure because I generally have to justify something or explain something or when I'm really having fun, unpack racialized entitlement and privilege.

I know that I'm reasonably good at it.  I don't think I'm great.  In fact seeking to become less intuitively good and more learnedly better is why I'm pursuing another 6 year Masters.Doctoral stint at university.  I'm often struck by, as I learn how to identify different kinds of people, how many of them are gummy bears (my slang term for a casual inspection of someone who's off their rocker.)  The funniest thing about those who are gummy bears is that a psychological team I was working with sat me down in meetings where I had to present evaluations of adults and insisted that I learn all the proper terms.  Instinct while good at spotting the odd is useless in the helping of it.

A sociopath is defined as "...a pervasive pattern of disregard for, and violation of, the rights of others that begins in childhood or early adolescence and continues into adulthood." A psychopath is defined as someone is a personality disorder that has been variously described as characterized by shallow emotions (in particular reduced fear), stress tolerance, lacking empathy, cold-heartedness, egocentricity, superficial charm, manipulativeness, irresponsibility, impulsivity, criminality, antisocial behaviors such as lacking guilt and living a parasitic lifestyle.
  • I had one student who was infected with every know STD (HIV, herpes, gonorrhea  chlamydia  etc.) on the planet and made it his life's mission to infect as many of other Black and Latino men as possible. 
  • Another group that I was facilitating for eventually came to the conclusion that they were being run like a cult by a megalomaniac.
  • This one young man regularly beats young women while hooking with men.
  • Another, in fact several  have had long term, from their toddler years to mid-twenties sexual relationships with their mothers and fathers.  Sometimes I've even met the parents before and after learning about the abuse.
  • A brilliant young man, a true intellectual genius once divulged me while holding a knife how he'd perhaps killed before.
  • Several students have been ex-convicts (and currently imprisoned) and told me of gangland warfare, melees, mayhem and violence that stagger the mind when confronted with the seemingly good student in front of me.
  • Another student told me about his involvement in a murder several years ago.  The wild part was it was a famous murder here in New York and he was telling me because he needed my help to write a letter to the State's Attorney.  At least he was writing, right?
  • A young man, who was a porn star, once explained to me how he was involved in a double homicide and I had to stop him and explain to him the Law & Order Rule: only tell your lawyer and priest, because they have legal and hopefully ethical confidentiality.
  • I've had enough Black and Latino students who've done pornography to not only fill several hours in movie but cater to at least three different sexualities and four gender identifications.

There have the minor offenders who are just garden of the mill self-destructive narcissists; the self-purported perfect husband who cheats so much on his husband that there's a website about it; the non-profit manager who sister died of AIDS so he now practices destructive homophobia within the teenage group he manages; the young man whose mother has him operating as a pimp....for his sister; the mother who turned into a prostitute because her father was her mother's pimp---and likes it; the administrators and non-profit managers who steal money, one even from a man who was having his first child and needed the job---which the manager cancelled as revenge against another manager; the racial champions publicly who denigrate and destroy other men of color privately.

I am an optimistic person though.  Yes, my work often involves people who are bluntly sinners.  However I adhere to the original definition of sin.  It's an archery term, that means missing the mark.  Most of them are trying to do better.  Or at the very least are honest about their transgressions.  I'm then confronted with my own morality about what to support the measurement of the greater good, the decision of the lesser of two evils, the reticence to give advanced lessons to people I know will only use it for harm.  The hardest part of being a teacher I've discovered over the past handful of years is maintaining the idealism that existed two decades ago, when I was blind and happy and thrilled to be trusted as an intellectual guide.

I am now comfortable with the sill of being able to see who won't make it. Who will fail.  Who I can mitigate to some reasonable level of productivity; who I can help through the basics of an Associates degree but who, due to psychological gummy bear stuff, won't go too much further.  I am saddened that just by the nature of the populations I've worked with so far so many are Black and Latino men.  I have a list, it's a request form for books from the Department of Correction integrated library system.  It is ASTOUNDING!  For several years I was the Teacher's Asst. at a university teaching several classes a semester in Black Literature, my parents were both in the Black Panthers and deeply college educated during the Civil Rights era so I personally have read, taught, have a pretty impressive litany of literature  particularly racial literature.  This list though---it's the equivalent of two doctorates and the student who gave it to me had it for 7 years while in prison.  He'd tried to read several of the books but lack of foundational education made it more of a pipe-dream than reality.  But he kept the list and shared it with me when he got out.

I mention the above because he also shared with me a startling truth: certain books are banned from the prison system.  They're considered too dangerous for prisoners to have a hold of.  Sun Tzu, Clausewitz, Greene.  Essentially anything that teaches mental offensive and defensive stratagem.  Marcuse, Davis, Fanon, Gramscii.  Anything that teaches critical interpretation of self, reality, systems.  You might say to me, one, what does this have to do with sociopaths and psychopaths that you've come across and two, why this clever prison diddy?

One, yes, even I can understand the editing towards a population though I think it's censorship.  I can understand it because for all the sociopaths and narcissists and psychopaths I've met and taught, I have to sometimes weave through the true power in texts or I have to omit a book because I realize in the fertile mind of someone who's gummy bears they would wreck even more havoc.  I've spent many a day and night thinking about students and what opportunities to ultimately give them because I can see what a predator they are.  It weighs heavy to thrill at knowledge sharing and then be dampened by the maturity to see that some would be far too dangerous f I were to teach them the full applications of an intellectual tool.

Two, education is dangerous.  Radically I try to impress this upon people, particularly people of color.  One student, in her forties, from West Africa once literally blew my mind in a classroom.  She had about a 3rd grade education and suddenly out of nowhere in a discussion said: "What education is is similar to the invasion of Iraq.  You're trying to invade my mind and reshape it with a form of mental warfare,"  I was young them teaching a GED class and suddenly I realized that she was right.  Taken further though I now understood why education is denied to people overtly historically and now covertly with the overwhelming availability but lack of access of information from the internet that I watch people use.  I see why only 25% of Americans are college educated and why a recession can knock so many people on their financial asses.  I see why a housing boon and bust occurs with mortgage scams, because people can't read critically nor do long term analysis with math.

But here's why this should matter to you.  If we suspect that we're being used by banks  politicians, the media---it's mainly because they're more educated and therefore control the resources to do the manipulation.  The inversion of keeping certain thought forms away from certain populations, whether that be criminal, racial or the willing (the sleeping masses) doesn't mean that those self same manipulators aren't absorbing the materials and stratagems that Angry Birds and American Idol have distracted you form being aware of.  In fact it means that a lot of your past times and lack of intellectual engagement tools are to distract from the people who may've been my students, someone else's or simply taken the thrill of knowledge to the self edification level.  Edify they have.  Next time you complain at a someone on television in power, ask yourself what do they know (schooling, math, critical thinking, etc.) that you don't?

I've learned over the years that a lot of sociopaths and psychopaths love education and there's only so long teachers like me can do workarounds on them.

Thank you for reading,
Kyle Phoenix
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Sunday, November 25, 2012

Relationships: Dating for MSM, Part 3: Getting Boomtastic! Sex, Sex, Sex by Kyle Phoenix

Dating for MSM, Part 3: Getting Boomtastic!  Sex, Sex, Sex

There is debate about how long one should wait to indulge in sex.  MSM tend to have sex faster due to testosterone and the freedom from the risk of pregnancy (though I would offer that HIV is God's way of acknowledging/projecting all sexualities under the Sun need to be responsible).  It also acts as a false marker for intimacy.  It's far easier to be physically naked than it is to be emotionally naked.  MSM therefore having grown up without the support and embrace of society: their families, their friends, schoolmates, teachers, deli counter cooks, don't always have rules for sexuality.  Some of the positive stuff that society can give us is the wisdom for how to measure when to do something, when not to and how to listen to our core selves and not our rubber parts.  However when you haven't been grounded in your sexuality being valuable and of quality, it's something, as of 18 years old, you're now responsible for.

When to have sex?

I wish I could give you an easy answer but the volume of your neediness for intimacy is playing louder in your head then anything I can say to you.  I've learned this in workshops.  I've learned this in workshops despite the room being full of fifty men and half of them being HIV+ and sharing how immediate sexual gratification got some of them caught up in the permanent jackpot.

Here's what I throw out: 3 months.

A large percentage of the men in groups LOSE THEIR DAMN MINDS trying to conceive of this time frame.  ow here's the interesting part, they're often the ones whose relationship strategies aren't working; who aren't dating' who aren't even being sexual.  It's akin to someone ill coming into the Emergency Room and refusing medical care and then sitting in the waiting room complaining about the pain they're in.  The shock and upset come from fear.  Fear of losing a man's attention because MSM at the core of their sexual identity have acquired shame/inadequacy/.lack of value from society's projections.  But rather than deal with that fearful feeling they fight hard against the cure.  Why? Because abused child fight social workers to go back to their abusive parents.  The lack of value encultured within, creates insane behavior on the outside.

If you are afraid that a man won't value you enough to leave you if you aren't sexual with him that suggests a lot about him and your relationship.  You're saying that he finds you disposable and maybe you secretly think of him as disposable too.  What I often find surprising is how many men sit together in groups and acknowledge and nod about the pandemic of HIV and then rush into sex.  Logically, healthy men would have deeper boundaries around their sexual activity unless there was a neurosis/mental upset at work unconsciously that they weren't considering.  The attempt to alleviate that feeling of lack of worth, a reflection of society saying you're sexuality isn't good enough for love, consideration, marriage.  Yet you're still forced to work, support, pay taxes, be nice to grandma---an emotional rape victim having to make nice-nice for the social perpetrator.

Woah, heavy thoughts, huh?

Ok, back to Sexual Standards.

You and he can negotiate sex.  Not simply positioning but also comfortability.  A friend recently told me about an online hook up where both he and the other guy were so nervous that they HAD to talk before sex.  It turned into not satisfying sex for both of them.  I suggested to him that both of them didn't have complete comfortability with what they were doing.  He defended that no, they had sex.  I reinforced that I wasn't taking about their ability to commit a penetrative act but they weren't comfortable with each other.  When he had to stop and think past his sexuality and desire to whether he felt good about it, he had to admit that he didn't and hadn't.  I suggested he not become celibate, the other end of the spectrum but instead that he explore sexuality and have fun without so much pressure to it being great or love or perfect.
Can you meet someone and have good sex?  Sure, but generally that happens with MSM who are comfortable with themselves so they show up as great lovers because they see their sexuality as good, valuable and an integral part of the universe. Sharing that self-love and lack of shame is what creates great sex.  (understandably the more out a man is the better they report their sex life as.  Living in authentically makes better lovers.)

Again you're wondering okay, what does all this mean?  Imagine now having these discussions with yourself or others before having body contact.  Not just what do you like but why do you like it?  Why do you want to be sexual?  Ask the other person why they want to be sexual with you?  Ask what they find sexually attractive about you?

Now I want to be clear here that when I suggest waiting a few dates, or a dozen, or more, that doesn't mean there can't be kissing, petting, sleeping together, flirtation, just no penetrative or Bill Clinton sex.  Not only are you trying to get to know someone else but you also don't want to become chemically bonded to a man that you later discover is a louse.

Points to Consider: 
  • Have you ever had repeated sex with someone you don't like?
  • If you agree to casual sex you're saying my body and your body like each other so sure and maybe, hopefully, one day this could turn into a committed relationship or marriage, maybe.
  • If 85% of MSM are Betas (more estrogen based) then they have a greater susceptibility to oxytocins, "the love hormone".  There's scads of studies on how this hormone causes not simply women but high production of estrogen males, to bond emotionally through sex to the smell, taste, touch of men (who have higher testosterone---Alphas--who don't feel as emotionally connected.)
  • Betas commit through sex; Alphas commit through giving/loyalty/commitment=love.
  • Betas often foolish try to use sex thinking sex is bonding.
  • Alphas don't bond through sex.  They enjoy it like a Wendy's hamburger.  Then bounce.

Now wait for it, wait for it-----consider how this effects HIV rates.  A bunch of MSM having sex, feeling chemically bonded and sexing more and more and more, in spite of ambivalent feelings for their partner or physical risk.  If MSM are willing to risk themselves physically for sex, they would probably do so emotionally as well, huh?

MSM are challenged with having to negotiate their identity and sexuality without any social training, this definitely means that impulsivity and attraction have to be considered.  I'm no prude, nor do I advocate every sexual congress has to be a four bell wedding/honeymoon.  What I am suggesting is if you put up some boundaries around sex you'll discover that there are Good Men out there who want to hear from you your standards not your easiness.  If you're this easy with Bob on a date, Bob now knows for sure, whether he ever admits it to himself, how easy you are, period.  Curiously MSM spend so much time with women but don't learn from successfully partnered women---don't give it up, make him earn it.  If all it takes is attraction for you to be sexual when you report to wanting someone good and honest and loyal and trustworthy and stable---all of those characteristics can't be discovered during sex.  Character can only be observed over time.  So if you put getting to know someone's character over getting to know their rubber parts you probably won't spend as much time talking to friends about how you've been cheated on, or more drastically, sitting on a hard plastic chair somewhere wondering will the medical attendant tell you, from the test, something negative or positive.

Thank you!
Kyle Phoenix
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1 Minute Tip: What's Your Drink? by Kyle Phoenix

Find your Drink
I didn't drink liquor until I was 25.  Never really had a huge desire for it and my family is ripe with bad drinking issues so I took my time and really learned how to manage alcohol.  When I got back from undergraduate college I started going out with friends and co-workers and I didn't have a drink.  I tried Long Island Iced Teas, Cosmopolitans, Electric Lemonades (which I promptly threw up in a movie theater in Forest Hills), Tequila Sunrises, straight Rum, Hennessy, Courvoisier  and finally I saw a Manhattan in a movie and settled on that or a Bacardi 151 and coke.  You have to test a few to see if you like sharp tastes, sweet tastes, no tastes, beers,wines, etc..  Take your time and experiment.

Know Your Limit
Once I settled on a drink a coworker said we had to find my limit.  He was right and we discovered that upon Manhattan number 13, reality and I parted ways.  I generally don't go beyond 3 now of any drink.  One time at dinner at the Four Seasons I had a Gibson Martini.  It was the most amazing singular drink I've ever had.  They were nice enough to top off dinner with a bottle of champagne so I was really happy.  (Etiquette Rule: I sent a thank you note to the Captain and to his boss for such amazing service and I have a standing reservation for the same table that Martha Stewart uses there!  I saw Ted Kennedy there before he died---amazingly enough I recognized his wife before I did him, he'd lost a lot of weight.)

Drinking Company
Never ever ever drink with coworkers --I never have and I never will.  I occasionally go to parties with friends or night clubs and that's when I partake.  And I stick to my limit and I've always gotten home safely, never lost money or a wallet or a phone.  What do you drink when out with coworkers?  Get a ginger ale and ask for a stick of fruit in it and a straw---alcoholic drinks tend to have red straws in them so no one will know.  Or you can get some kind of juice and throw in a straw.  Remember even if it's a sip, we all change with alcohol and even if it's a sip, someone will blame alcohol on your actions if you're drinking.

Alcohol can be fun and you can have fun with it but you have to responsible, know your limits and simply be conscious of the company you drink with.

Thank you for reading,
Kyle Phoenix
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Education: Children Become Their Parents by Kyle Phoenix

There's a push and a ranting and a visceral push now in the world around education.  Primarily this is driven by the internet.  The availability of so much information/knowledge from so many of the people of Earth, throughout disciplines and sciences and innovation means that individuals have a different level of expectation on them than ever before.  This then traces back through all of our lives to how much education we have and how to improve it.

I spend a lot of my professional time teaching and developing intensive programs particularly for Black and Latino students to advance.  I've been working on a range of students from elementary school all the way up to adult/college level learners with the concern of how to infuse knowledge and ability and assess where students are at.  Truthfully, not everyone from all of those ranges 5 to 50 are going to make it, are going to advance in education.  Some of the students have dropped out of high school, some haven't completed college, some need job training and I'm always struck by how some students latch on and move through.  The benefit of my unique positions is that I can ask questions of the home life of children/adults and get a deeper sense of the history of education within a family.

Here's what I've bluntly learned: the education level of your parents determines your education level.  If books were used in your house for holding up furniture and starting the fire in the stove, the product of those homes has less of a an interest and drive towards learning in a formalized education way.  Now you might bring up exceptions to this concept,maybe even you have a college education and your parents didn't.  I'll throw back at you there are two exceptionalizing forces:  
  • One's maternal grandfather's education level influences your own.  Why so?  A man who is educated will want his children to be educated, even his daughters (your mother); your mother having a higher education will make education a priority to her and your grandfather spending time with you will allow him to transfer higher linguistic skills faster to children.  (Women tend to educate their children as a matter of course while men tend to be out of the house working so don't have as strong an influence to immediate education.  This is why the education of women is so vital around the world.)
  • Secondly, mentors/teachers.  If your parents were not as highly educated as you then look for the relative/mentor who replaced them intellectually/educationally in your life.

 What I often find in my students is they're raised in single parent households by women who are trying to occupy the role of parent and breadwinner.  This negates a woman's ability to enforce education.  Or worse yet Welfare is the crippling force that the women are dependent upon for education.  Welfare creates entitlement but not empowerment.  It teaches, multiple generations, the disqualification of masculine/manhood responsibility and also erodes the work ethic of adults who on it too long.  How does Welfare effect students when they get to my classrooms?  They don't have an ingrained work ethic to do the work and if you don't come from education, you don't know what the value of education is.  Education has no value in Welfare, nor vice versa and when there is no value, it negates the other.

We can expand the concept of Welfare to Poverty.  Poor people stay poor because of the ways to get out of poverty are generally out of range to them:

  1. Windfall: winning the lottery; Powerball was 1 in 175,000,000 to win this week.
  2. Inheritance: if you're poor, there's probably no inheritance
  3. Marriage: to marry rich is really, really, really a stretch.  Pretty Woman is such a fantasy and transfer that to people of color who aren't celebrities or sports stars.
  4. Education: is the sole way that all social classes can shift to the next level by becoming say a doctor, lawyer, scientist, entrepreneur.
I am often shaking my head in frustration at students who won't read a book, write a page, do some math, make an effort, well into their 20s and 30s and higher but I have to roll back my understanding to this precept: there is no educational history in their family.  I know that what I'm trying to get them to do, doesn't make sense to them.  Literally lack of education shifts how people see time, they can't see what education might mean to their lifetime or even how their education could break the cycle of parent-child outcome.

How do we change this?

There's a mass of us that are educated, approximately 35% of Blacks and 30% of Latinos have graduated high school and gone on to and through college.  That mass must turn around and assist at least 1 other person to get through high school and then at least 4 years of college.  By 2014 the minimum requirement for earning $15 an hour will be a 2 year Associates degree.  Imagine if the Educated could get tax breaks or some of their student loans paid off for volunteer mentoring/educational services?  You can volunteer with a GED program and make it a goal to get several of those students in a year to graduation/degree.  Then make it a further goal to get them into college.

I'm lucky in some ways that I'm able to mentor students into college and through it.  One of my efforts has been to create a chain of individuals from GED to 2 year college to Ivy League university at Columbia, helping all each other get through with tutoring in each individuals weakest subject.  I think of it as the application of an Educational Railroad similar to the Underground railroad, someone is a step ahead of you, a year ahead of you so they can help you through that year.  There's then another student ahead of them to help pull them to the next level.  I've been able to design programs/schools for adults to further educate them to college level and then teach them how to tutor their children.

It in no way helps a child to send them to school and you can't do multiplication or geometry or calculus when they get home.  Do they see you reading books or watching Atlanta Housewives?  For birthdays and Christmas are you giving the latest electronics or books and making the reading of the books and writing reports how they get a $20.  It seems weird to pay children to read/grow but the logic of wanting children to do for free what they might not understand the long term value of yet, is worth a few dollars.

I wrote before about education for children and adults and I was asked what's the right amount of reading/math that should be done to improve a child or an adult's skill level.  One book a week but the books have to be of increasing difficulty.  Reading Stephen King is easy which is one of the reasons why he's so popular, challenge to the next level of an Edgar Allen Poe.  Smart is natural, intelligence is developed through increasing complexity.  Zane might be sexy and fun but Toni Morrison will make you work for the book.  Hand out books to strangers, make it mandatory for your relationships with younger people.  Read a book yourself every week---you're an example and role model to someone.  You might even consider that is you're looking for a man or woman, especially one of color, maybe you can't find what you want or feel that you deserve in terms of education or money or work ethic, because we who are educated are not going back.  But Good Men and Women do go back.  And while you're helping, you might suddenly be cute to the other volunteer teacher who cares about their community, other people and the future.  Taht says a lot about character.  Suddenly, you've just been casually told where the Good Men and Women are, huh?  I'm just saying........

The most hopeful thing I've seen this year was on the 3 train coming from an adult educational institute I started a few months back.  It was about 10pm and there was a young Black girl, about 17 years old with a baby in a stroller.  But she was reading a book.  I'm always bobbing and trying to peep what people are reading and I was gratified to see that it was a novel of some merit.  I said I've got to break the wall of propriety and tell her how wonderful she is, let her know that someone sees her trying to improve herself.  As she was about to get off I stopped her and handed her a book from my bag that my students were reading (Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison) and I told her I was a teacher (so she wouldn't freak out), that I was proud of her and had an extra book for her.  She was thankful and happy and then she did what every teachers wishes to see, she looked at the book with a naked greed for what it might contain, ravenous for her new intellectual meal.

I don't know what she will become but I do know she will become.

Thank you,
Kyle Phoenix
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Relationships: Man Trap # 1: Can You Cook? by Kyle Phoenix

Why am I sharing all of this food insanity?

People don't understand when they're hunting MSM that most people have someone in their childhood who can cook.  Their mom, their dad, their grandmother and nothing brings home-love like a home where a man knows the kitchen is part of the constant seduction.  Cooking together, shopping together, the togetherness and sensuality of feeding a lover is wonderful.  In fact it can also be a tour through each others cultures.  I can cook French food, Greek food, Spanish food, Soul Food, American, Italian, Turkish, Caribbean, etc. and every kind of meat and shellfish (my shrimp scampi is buttery love) and fish (though I'm not a big fish fan I can hook up salmon!).  I watch Ina Garten, The Barefoot Countessa, and her husband Geoffrey? That man LOVES her!  Why?  Have you seen her throw down in the kitchen and get dinner ready for him as that little man is speeding up Hampton, Long Island roads with a bottle of wine?  MSM don't understand that sex, cute, and a dollar extra, have all been replaced in every man's head by a good, loving meal.  All of my parents (mother, grandmother, godparents, father, stepfathers) have told me that if you can cook you can always get some love and you know what?

I can cook!  

I will HURT you in the kitchen.  I will go gangsta Julia Child meets Chopped by way of Top Chef through Martha Stewart on you!

I once made Osso Buco with beef and lamb shanks for  a boyfriend once a week for 6 months until I'd perfected that recipe.  The secret?  After the initial making and braising of the shanks, I do a light baking on 200 degrees,  overnight and then in the morning put them into a slow cooker with a bottle of wine and go away for 12 hours. You come home and the house is warm and smells like love!

I've been cooking for over 20 years, since I was about 7.  I was both a latchkey kid and an only child so I was responsible for myself for a few hours after school at an early age.  After a few horrible experiments to cook and my disdain with my parents either doing lots of take-out or constantly taking me to restaurants for dinner, I rebelled and demanded to learn how to cook.  The deal was simple---I could only cook what I'd been taught how to make and couldn't experiment otherwise.  DEAL!

Patti LaBelle released a cookbook in the 1990's and I got it  and went to town.  I had to cut her Peach Cobbler recipe at so many cups of sugar and sticks of butter---because I didn't want folk to die but she lead me into my 8 Cheese Baked Mac and Cheese.  She does 7.  I do 8!  I don't make it often, maybe once every year, because it's death in a pan.  But once a year, I just give up for that week.  I try to make it for donation dinners so I get a wedge but not the whole thing as leftovers.

For about a year or two as a child chef, I had two major confusions: fried chicken and rice.  I kept trying to fry chicken and it was only after my grandmother showed me how, that I understood: you need flour to coat chicken to make it fried.  And rice---I once got into an all out argument with a man I was living with because I couldn't explain to him how you made rice.  I'd been cooking rice by instinct for decades and simply couldn't explain how much water you put in or how I figured out how much rice to pour in or how I could cook it to perfection so that it fell from the fork in individual grains.

Chili!  Fun, fun, fun!  But a chili-fest becomes a possible gumbo or a jambalaya or a stew or a soup!  I like to use multiple meats in all of them and different kinds of beans.  I have a potato, cannelloni, celery and bacon sliver soup recipe!  Oooh, oooh and my Curry Tang Mein soup with shrimp, leeks and a variety of mushrooms!

In high school my mother surprised me at home with the announcement that she'd promised to do the food for a Chamber of Commerce group---100 people, collected the cash and now I had four days to pull together the menu.  She offered me $50 for my work and I got busy.  4 kinds of chicken, greens, rice, veggies and several kinds of pies.  During the serving line my mother promptly took credit for all the cooking because no one would probably have believed that I'd done it at 16.

For a year I practiced making omelettes.  I was about 10.  I spent hours after school learning how to mix in veggies and meat and cheese and how to do the perfect flip over.

Later in college I politely explained to the Financial Aid office that I was an orthodox Muslim and could only eat Hallah meat (killed by an Imam) and my whole food financial aid budget was released to me.   $1200 a semester.  I would stroll by my schoolmates, they had been routinely fed at 6pm and were sitting chewing on chips and cookies.  I would turn out the floor kitchen and stroll by at 8pm with a steak and lobster dinner.  You'd be surprised how far $1200 can go when you have it for one person!  I later set up burners, a toaster oven, a microwave and two small fridges in my private room and one time had not only 7 RA's but three Public Safety Officers sitting around eating some curry chicken I'd pulled together.  (Cooking was illegal by dormitory rules in one's room.  You have never seen people lick their fingers so hard sitting under not one, but two smoke detectors that I had covered with plastic bags.)

Then I got obsessed with multi-layer cakes.  My insanest was a 10 layer cake but each layer I used food coloring to vary them and then covered with white butter cream.  When you sliced it, it was a rainbow.  I was 16, my aunt thought I was crazy.

For a handful of years I was a coordinator for a men's group three times a week and had a small budget that I would supplement.  Generally there were about 20 to 40 men present and I enjoyed the challenge of chipping in a few bucks of my own to round out a full meal.  I also felt that spiritually it was a way of deeply giving to people.  People never understand how there's a deep peace to cooking and then watching others enjoy it.  To all of the domestic arts of making a home feel loving, there is a peace that can be shared.

I stole a recipe/stunt from my aunt.  Sometimes to make fried chicken special I open up the skin and stuff it with peppers and onions then seal and fry, keeps the meat juicy and adds a delightful taste to biting into chicken.  My roast chickens are stuffed and brined or marinated in all kinds of creative madness!

For about a decade I used to host dinner parties (the largest all 50 people invited showed up!) and I would cook from scratch.  Eventually I got it down to 4 people or a nice 12---and they would come from Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Buffalo, New Jersey to my spot in Flushing for my cooking.  That's when I got serious with entertaining.  I started buying some catered platters from a great restaurant so I could have more time with the entree.

I lost my mind a few years ago with developing all the different things I could use jerk spice with.  Chicken, pork chunks, beef, steaks, pork roasts!  Love!  It's great for dirty rice and then when you curry a meat or even goat.  Neck bones and ham hocks!  Wait, wait, wait---you don't know collard greens until you've had mine.  I mix kale, collard and mustard greens but first I make a golden roux then stew the meat bones ,drain them and then cook the greens down in that with onions, peppers and a few cabbage slices for color.

I've stolen attention, and once or twice, affection because I can feed a man.  There's a Thanksgiving story, an absent roommate and a beautiful poet that I shan't repeat.  Suffice to say, there was a lot of snacking going on while that turkey roasted.

Baking!  Cheese biscuits with melted cheddar/pepperjack cheese and salsa---from scratch!  Pies--apple, peach, pumpkin, sweet potato, meat!  Quiches!  Croissants! ( I have to admit my mother taught me how to make these from scratch.  My mother can cook, she just doesn't care to.)  I went through a baking phase and became consumed with pie crusts.

As you can see I become obsessed with things 'til I achieve a level of mastery around it.  My parents by the time I was 12 had put me in charge of the weekly shopping and part of how I made my allowance was having dinner ready when they got home. The wonderful skill this gave me, that I would later actually use when I briefly was the Sunday chef as a bistro outside of Philly, was how to cook well for myself and others.  To share my joy and see the palpable joy in the faces of friends, family, adults and children....and yes, lovers.

You feed a man right and he'll know that you can love him inside and outside.

I've taken a bit of a rest from large scale cooking, particularly since going back to school because I just didn't want the distraction and the absorption that it can turn into being to have dinner parties and even experiment.  Its been nice to go more to my favorite old and new restaurants and to buy prepared meals from supermarkets like Westside Market here in NYC.  But I'm gearing up and maybe once or twice a month I go into the kitchen, and I make a little sweet love in the kitchen, with the kitchen.

We're not even going to go near how Fresh Direct is like manna from Heaven to me.......

Thank you,
Kyle Phoenix
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