Sunday, March 24, 2013

Like an unstable house of cards...

Those who have gotten to know me have come to realize I'm nothing short of an open book. There's no 'judging by the cover.' There's no ice-breaking. I've nothing to hide, so why put up a front. The more people know, the less they can have against you anyway.

However, before anyone gets the wrong idea, that's not why I'm writing this today. I'm not defending myself against anybody. In fact, I've taken a slightly different approach this time around: this is more about a vlog, and less about the blog.

Not that I'd expect many of you to remember since being a friend on facebook doesn't mean anything more than knowing a list of people you can't expect to give you a ride to and from the airport, but back in late November, I took something of a hiatus from all social interaction, both on and off line. Very few have noticed, and reached out to me to see if everything is alright. And although, I needed to deal with it on my own, I do thank them for being concerned. It helped for the moment.

A few days before Thanksgiving, I had received some harsh news. Some news I... really didn't care to hear about myself. And it sent me to a deep depression. And in that time away from every one and every thing, I made a video blog where I just lay it all out. I had many reasons for making it. But one that I hope people will take away from it is to stop fucking asking because it's really none of your concern when 'it's going to happen.' And don't find this as a way to try and 'be a friend' if you were never one to begin with. I'm not looking for you condolences. I'm not looking for your sympathy. I'm not looking for anything. I made this for me. And even still, I have no problem sharing it.

Do not expect any type of humor to come from this video. This is not intended for me to be in a funny mood. I was not trying to entertain anyone. If that is what you're expecting, then you're very well better off not watching at all and the fact that you read this much has been a complete waste of your time. (Too honest for you? Deal with it.) Editing it was no easy task for me. To have to relive some of the moments over and over was hard and it wound up taking me longer to cut down and remove any dead air from about 4 hours of footage than I thought. But here it is...

YouTube Link: The moment the world crumbled...

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

With enough effort, the weight of the world can fit on the head of a pin...

There are times when the jokester takes a backseat and some deep shit comes flying out my mouth. It's a rare occurrence  I will admit. But the few times it does happen, you better believe that people stop and listen, more often than not, in complete disbelief.

A couple of weeks ago, one of these rare occurrences happened. And what you are about to read is something that I think many people should stop and think about from time to time in their life. A close friend of mine has been going through some personal battles in his life and he found himself in a mood that he needed some... reassurance, so to speak. I mean, it's fair, we all need something like that from time to time. So why not? However, the inquiry always stands 'Who do I turn to?' Usually, the response comes easy, but those wind up the ones that only tell you what you want to hear. It becomes a matter of now broadening out. And then, I enter stage right... the twist in the plot. How could anything I say be taken seriously, right?

His question was a two part. The first question was "How do you define a relationship?" Boom. Plain and simple. How much more loaded can a question be than with those 6 words, right? (Stay tuned.) Granted, I'm probably the last person anyone would want to ask a serious question to, let alone something like this. But given the circumstances, I knew exactly the sort of ordeal he was going through and I felt no need to be the clown I always am. That's not to say I didn't sneak in a joke here or there. ;-)

Before I go onto what my response was, it's best I point out how many may define it. And this is no opinion other than of my own from what I've witnessed and the stories I've heard. I remember a while ago, I was friends with an older woman who told me she never really knew what being in a healthy relationship was because of the childhood she had: her mother would rotate men like a person would change clothes, eventually she wound up marrying someone who was verbally and physically abusive to her mother as well as her. Being the old soul and somewhat romantic that I am and was, this was heavy shit for me to hear at a young age, to know that this type of things went on. Even at that time (I'm gonna estimate and say she was approximately late 30s/early 40s, I was in my late teens, possibly almost 20), she had someone in her life that was nothing but good to her who she had been with for a few years, and even then, she still had a wall up. No one should ever have to live like that.

And then, last week, while surfing one of my many daily-pictorial websites, I came across this photo-documentary by Sara Naomi Lewkowicz titled Shane & Maggie. The cover photo alone was so captivating, I had to cut off all distractions around me and take the time to go through each picture and study it and read the caption. I highly recommend, whether you want to stop reading this now, or if you want to do so after you've reached the end of this page, that you check out the story. Maybe it's the hero in me that is always looking to be the world's savior that felt the anger, and rage, and depression, and sorrow, and guilt, and all those feelings, as I went through each single picture. Seeing that little girl crying her eyes out and then having to be the grown-up and console her mother. It's fucked up. Plain and simple, it's fucked up.

And then you turn on shit like Maury, and Steve Famous-For-No-Reason-Other-Than-Being-Tough-And-Bald Wilkos, and you see these degenerates who do nothing but cheat, and fuck, and lie, and all this patheticness just to make themselves feel good... and then wonder why women put down men. Fuck you; sign up for regular conjugal visits at your local male prison and stop fucking it up for the rest of us who mean well you disgusting waste of space.

No... these things don't define a relationship. A relationship means so much more in so many different ways to so many different people. So what was my answer about how I define a relationship? Easy: No work. That's it. Just no work. Now before you start attacking me, "Oh, all relationships require work, blah blah blah..." This is true, they do. But it shouldn't be hard. I thought about my past relationships. About how they went wrong. About what went wrong. About how they progressed. And then I thought about the woman I'm married to now. And how not once did it ever cross my mind to wander off. And the difference? This just came easy. Sure, we had our troubles in the beginning. Just some baggage that needed to be lost at the terminal. But it didn't matter. And sure, we have our bumps and swerves on the road here and there. But they get fixed. And it's just easy. A relationship shouldn't have to be another job you go to after you leave your other job. It shouldn't have to be a chore. For me, when I'm with her, everything else just... doesn't matter. I find I forget so much of my issues after just seeing those eyes looking at me because I know everything's gonna be fucking awesome. I have enough shit to deal with out in the world... at home, it's safe. It's easy. It's no work required. That's how I define a relationship.

At this point, I had blown the minds off the two people I was chatting with. I mean come on, Manny Blu is laying down some pretty heavy duty testimony. Who is this guy?! Right? ;-)

Pleased with what I had to say, and feeling a little better, he threw his follow up question at me: "How do I define love?" *sigh* Come on, man... it's eleven o'clock at night... why are you putting this weight on me? LoL

At the moment, I saw no difference between how I defined a relationship versus how I defined love. They seemed be one and the same. And then he brought up how there's different types of love. There's love for your significant other. There's love for your family. There's love for your friends. Well, at that point, it became all clear to me. Other than my wife, I hate everyone anyway, so no wonder they were one and the same. ;-)

Ah, there's the Manny we all know! But I will admit, at the time, I didn't have an answer for him. I really had to think about this and I did not want to just leave it hanging. So the question brewed in my head a few days. Although true that I hate-- hmm... strong word... yeah, we'll go with it... although true that I hate the majority of people, there are a few that I keep near and dear to my hear. The ones I... dare I say it... love. And I started thinking about Anissa... and I started thinking about my mother (as annoying as she is)... and my sister (as equally annoying as her mother)... and I started thinking about my best friend... and I started thinking about my other close friends (regardless how far out of state they are)... and I started thinking about Cheetara (my car... although, she's a close second to Anissa, she does come before family and friends lol) and what did they all have in common. What was it about this short list of people that made them stand out from the rest?

And then I realized exactly what it was: I would do anything for them. Anything. Despite the consequences. Despite the request. Despite the outcome. Despite everything... I define love by exactly how much I'm willing to do for a person. And how far I'm willing to go for them. And how much I'm willing to risk. And for those people, the sky is the limit.

And yet again, after presenting him with my answer, albeit a few days later, I left him speechless that such a profound response came from me.

It's true, these aren't the easiest questions to answer. It's not like "Oh, what do feel like wearing today?" or "Hmm... should I ban large sodas or raise the fares across the city? Fuck it, do 'em both." (You're an asshole, Bloomberg... cannot stress this enough. I will always find a way to point this out until you leave office.) But when you're involved in it, then the answers aren't all that difficult after all. So now ask yourself... how do you define a relationship? And how do you define love?

And by all means, feel free to comment your response below, no matter how long or short.
But also, be sure to check out that pictorial documentary I linked above if you haven't already.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

"Somewhere along the path, I lost sight of it all..."

I have a vague recollection of myself. Once upon a time, I wanted to write, and act, and perform, and on that track, I picked up magic. And then, it started to diminish. It started to slip out of my fingers and out of my grasp. Not because I no longer cared for it. On the contrary: I could want nothing more. But somewhere along the path, I lost sight of it all.
It's funny, before I even started writing tonight, I basically sat here and stared at a blank monitor for a good fifteen or twenty minutes before I even began to know where I wanted to start. And it's been a long time coming for me to want to write... well, anything at all, let alone something like this. Although, you wouldn't have known it if you've interacted with me in any way, but the past few months have been quite a dark episode, and I'm only now starting to feel... ok? I guess... with it.

"''re so funny, man, you should be a comedian, God damn!'
Unfortunately, I am, I just hide behind the tears of a clown..." ~>'Beautiful' by Eminem

I was never one to seek out the pity and empathy of others. The last thing I've ever wanted was someone to feel sorry for me. It was something of an homage to Margot Kidder's Lois Lane in 1978's Superman: "You've got me... who's got you?" For no other reason other than to be the hero, I made myself out to be everyone's savior. And with that, I always forgot to look out for myself. Even so, as I said, I was never one to see out the pity and empathy of others. But in that same sense, it would scream volumes to know that there actually are people who are concerned. Just a little message or comment to say 'Hey... everything alright?' I would have told you yes, but those two little words... it really could have helped. And aside from my beautiful and amazing and 'doesn't-have-to-deal-with-my-shit-but-does' wife, Anissa, I can probably count on one hand how many of you have done that, and still be able to use the remote for my TV. So to those of you that did, thank you. I really do appreciate it.
Now this is where it's going to get interesting. Because now, the masses are going to bombard me with messages out of guilt and remorse and be "Oh my god, is everything ok? If you need to talk, I'm here. Anything you need, let me know." I'll save you the trouble because that's exactly what I'm writing about. So, how about that?: you're off the hook.
To start, the exact reason I've had such a negative standpoint the past few months, that's something I'm saving for a different post. I know, I know, now the majority of you are disappointed cause you can't pretend like you're going to be able to help me feel better. No worries, because there wouldn't really have been anything you can do.
What else? Well, I come from virtually a broken family. My sister lives in Florida and I try to live it like she's still a bus ride away. My mother is clearly unhappy here in New York and I'm trying my best to help her find contentment. My father... heh... can't tell you the last time I spoke to my father. Maybe the spring of 2011. And you really do not want me to get into aunts, uncles, and cousins. Because a good portion of them can all go to hell.
Oh, how can I forget! I've clearly made absolutely no progress in my career. I've really no one to blame but myself. Actually, it was just last week when I decided to try and take hold of the reigns on this horse ride once again. I started going through some of my writings, some of my staged productions, some ideas I had jotted down, and really tried to figured out where exactly I lost track of this. Will I be able to hold on or fall flat on my face once again is a whole 'nother story.
Then there's just the stupidity I have to deal with day in and day out. It's almost comical how incredibly idiotic people have become over the years. I mean, remember when common sense and logical thinking were a way of life? You might as well put them on the side of a milk carton. And then this stupid mayor of this retarded city. I often joke, they assassinate JFK, but Bloomberg gets away with slowly breaking down this city for twelve years? Is it really because of his money? Or is it because everyone's just become to lazy to listen to someone new? And in the about 4 years I've lived on Staten Island, the toll has gone up five freaking dollars. That's more than a dollar a year, which would be ridiculous to begin with. I can't do Staten Island anymore. And then there's just the consistent lack of prioritizing about what our goals and purposes should be... yes, Pix11 Morning News, there may be heavy traffic on the expressway and maybe the weather may mess up my commute, but tell me more about how Linda Church is in the fucking Poconos tubing and sledding every other segment because I don't think your facebook fan of the day quite got it yet!

But I digress.
Maybe I shouldn't be entirely too negative. There have been some ups that have occurred. I mean, I've got an incredible wife by my side who is my best friend, my rock, and my life's foundation. And who can complain about that? Regardless of all the negativity I face and put out there, somehow, she's able to just make it all go away with just a smile. She's the reason I wake up every morning and be who I am and do what I can. I can honestly say that if it wasn't for her saving me from basically myself, I don't think I'd have the desire to even care anymore. I gotta say, it's amazing how someone can have that impact on your life. But she is just that, and I cannot show her enough how eternally grateful I am for that.
I had also set out a challenge back in October to eat clean and healthy for 180 days (exactly 6 months to my birthday). It went all good and well for a couple months and then-- well, we'll get to that another day. But it did go well for about 2 months. I wasn't exactly trying, but I managed to lose 25 pounds, bringing me to my goal weight and I really hope it was fat that I lost. And I did hit a brick wall, but I didn't gain it back, so I've decided to pick up the challenge again and what the hell, we'll start it today, March 3rd. Let's see what 180 days can do of clean eating and working out can do.
We've got a cruise coming up which will be amazing because nothing beats being somewhat disconnected from the goddamn world for a good week. Blu.SB has been having an good turnout as more and more people decide they wanna bedazzle their flash drives. Oh, and I guess I should put something about my friends here, right? Cause they're all amazing.
...I hate about 80% of you. The majority of the ones that I don't all live out of state. That puts very little of you within range of hanging out. Honesty's a bitch, but you deal with it when you get it because it's a weakening quality very few have. And that's a positive thing, right? Being honest. ;-)

That's really all I have to write for now. And wow, it did feel good to write again. I should do this more often. In the meanwhile... time to get back on track...