Same Love, Macklemore featuring Mary Lambert

When I was in the 3rd grade
I thought that I was gay
Cause I could draw, my uncle was
And I kept my room straight
I told my mom, tears rushing down my face
She’s like, “Ben you’ve loved girls since before pre-K”
Trippin’, yeah, I guess she had a point, didn’t she
A bunch of stereotypes all in my head
I remember doing the math like
“Yeah, I’m good a little league”
A pre-conceived idea of what it all meant
For those who like the same sex had the characteristics
The right-wing conservatives think its a decision
And you can be cured with some treatment and religion
Man-made, rewiring of a pre-disposition
Playing God
Ahh nah, here we go
America the brave
Still fears, what, we don’t know
And God loves all His children
Is somehow forgotten
But we paraphrase a book written
35 hundred years ago
I don’t know

And I can’t change
Even if I tried
Even if I wanted to
And I can’t change
Even if I tried
Even if I wanted to
My love, my love, my love
She keeps me warm

If I was gay
I would think hip-hop hates me
Have you read the YouTube comments lately
“Man that’s gay”
Gets dropped on the daily
We’ve become so numb to what we’re sayin’
Our culture founded from oppression
Yeah, we don’t have acceptance for ’em
Call each other faggots
Behind the keys of a message board
A word routed in hate
Yet our genre still ignores it
Gay is synonymous with the lesser
It’s the same hate that’s caused wars from religion
Gender and skin color
Complexion of your pigment
The same fight that lead people to walk-outs and sit-ins
It’s human rights for everybody
There is no difference
Live on! And be yourself!
When I was in church
They taught me something else
If you preach hate at the service
Those words aren’t anointed
And that Holy Water
That you soak in
Is then poisoned
When everyone else
Is more comfortable
Remaining voiceless
Rather than fighting for humans
That have had their rights stolen
I might not be the same
But that’s not important
No freedom ’til we’re equal
Damn right I support it
I don’t know

And I can’t change
Even if I tried
Even if I wanted to
And I can’t change
Even if I tried
Even if I wanted to
My love, my love, my love
She keeps me warm

We press play
Don’t press pause
Progress, march on!
With a veil over our eyes
We turn our back on the cause
‘Till the day
That my uncles can be united by law
Kids are walkin’ around the hallway
Plagued by pain in their heart
A world so hateful
Someone would rather die
Than be who they are
And a certificate on paper
Isn’t gonna solve it all
But it’s a damn good place to start
No law’s gonna change us
We have to change us
Whatever god you believe in
We come from the same one
Strip away the fear
Underneath it’s all the same love
About time that we raised up

And I can’t change
Even if I tried
Even if I wanted to
And I can’t change
Even if I tried
Even if I wanted to
My love, my love, my love
She keeps me warm

Love is patient, love is kind
Love is patient (not cryin’ on Sundays)
Love is kind (not crying on Sundays)

Like Rama Lama Lama Ke Ding a de Dinga a Dong

It’s Halloween and it’s the first time I stepped out of my house since Monday. That’s my street in Elmhurst. Doesn’t look bad, eh? You wouldn’t believe that just a block away from here, is this:

I walked around the fallen tree to see a better view.

I think this was the extent of damage in my neighborhood. I live far from the waters, and we don’t have many tall trees in my area. Even my local park look unscathed.

I’m glad that I am relatively safe after this storm – but after we got the cable and internet back up and running, it was rather depressing. Every borough in New York had their own problem going on. Manhattan was basically cut off from the rest of city, no tunnels, no subways, no bridges. So it’s basically a Nolan Batman movie. The city lost power and water, and the low-lying areas are flooded. I was going through Buzzfeed pictures and saw a transformer exploding on 14th Street.

Alphabet City was pretty bad as well:

Queens should have been relatively okay, but the area had its own worries: a fire broke out in Breezy Point and I’ve heard 50, 80, and 100 homes. Doesn’t really matter what the count is, it’s just horrible to have this kind of disaster any other time, but during a hurricane?

The Gowanus Canal overflowed.
The Bronx, being part of mainland New York State, wasn’t spared either.
Staten Island was basically flooded. Waters brought in sailboats and ships in the island.

Just visit these links to find more pictures by everyday people being passed around via social media like FaceBook, Twitter, Tumblr and Instagram:
NY Times.

As horrible as it may be, and as crippling as it is – NYers are not known as quitters. There’s always hope.

And just for kicks, here’s Sandy singing:

Trapped in Utah; or, The President Made Me Miss My Great Grandmother’s Funeral

My dad’s mom’s mom, Granma Rosie, passed away Good Friday. I was in Barcade in Williamsburg, Andy and I were just leaving his best friend’s birthday party, when I got the phone call from my dad. I let it ring and go to voice mail; I didn’t want to pick a phone call about bad news in the street. I waited to get home so I can be in my room. I knew he was calling to let me know Granma Rosie passed away, my dad would never call me past nine o’clock on any evening unless it’s an emergency or news that cannot wait until the following day.

Funeral arrangements were made and I decided to go. Pueblo is a small city and does not have an airport, the nearest airport is in Colorado Springs, and that airport is not big enough to have any direct flights from New York City. Twelve gates, one terminal – it’s tiny. My itinerary is to fly over Colorado to Salt Lake City, then catch a connecting flight to Colorado Springs. But on that particular Thursday, a coworker told me that the President is flying in. Not really an issue until I found out that when the President flies in, they clear out the airstrip and no one can fly out or fly in. So I stayed in the plane knowing I’m going to miss my connecting flight. Sure enough, when I got to Salt Lake City, the last plane going to Colorado Springs has left five minutes before I landed.

I like Obama, and I’ve always thought he’s my golden boy – he can’t do anything wrong in my eyes. Until he made me miss the great grandmother’s funeral.

I was given a new itinerary – I fly in the morning to Denver, and then fly from Denver to Colorado Springs. Not even a direct flight was available. On top of this, no one can pick me up. All my family members will be attending the service in Pueblo, and then driving down sixty or so miles to Gardner for the burial.

I was ready to accept the fact that I’ll miss out on seeing everyone when cousin Jen told me that her husband was picking me up. That calmed me down real fast and spent the night in a hotel provided by Delta, eating food they also provided. All was well despite the fact I would be spending the rest of the night surrounded by Mormons.

The next two days, the President quickly made amends by killing Osama bin Laden. Golden boy and I are cool once again.

So I Crashed a Birthday Party Slash Parade

Last Sunday, I made plans to meet up with my best bud Ryan late in the afternoon to watch Red Riding Hood. I was basically free the whole afternoon, so when my friend Kathy asked if I can keep her company in her husband KC‘s friend’s birthday party, I said yes.

It wasn’t your typical birthday party. Even before I got there, KC has been talking about creating a Puerto Rican float to bring to a pub crawl. I found it odd but very interesting at the same time – like John Boehner’s skin tone or Rebecca Black’s song “Friday”. It turned out the birthday party was a parade AND a public crawl ending with a bbq house party.

Apparently, they were having a parade for the birthday girl. It was called the Eternal Youth Parade, and you can follow them on twitter at @eyparade. It was an interesting bunch of friends and everyone had either a costume on or “wearing” a float. It’s funny, because it’s like a parade of parade – the Puerto Rican parade was present, so are Macy’s Thanksgiving parade, Gay Pride parade and the Mermaid parade. Also present were a leprechaun, a lobster, Uncle Sam (worn by someone of Libyan decent – how current and political!) and Santa Claus.

Below are some pics I got (just click for a larger view):

See! It's Santa and an Arabic Uncle Sam! on Twitpic Santa and Uncle Sam getting ready for the parade.

It's a gay AND a straight rainbow at the  @eyparade on Twitpic Walking along Metropolitan Avenue towards the first bar stop.

It's the birthday gitl @eyparade #eternalyouth on Twitpic The birthday Rachel wearing an Easter float. She was hurling eggs with candies inside at people, but many of them were just perplexed with what’s going on.

Everyone, follow @eyparade! on Twitpic

The following day, they were some blog posts about the event. You can read them here and here.

I Still Believe in US Legislation

I’ve been called a cynic way too many times when I’d like to think than I’m more pragmatic, that things are just the way they are. And with how things go in Congress and in the Senate, it’s really hard not to be cynical and think of these politicians as selfish bastards. In fact, many do not hide it anymore – with them cutting deals back and forth asking for one thing for another. But events like yesterday, when The President signed the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Repeal Act, give Ken a happy. This has to be the un-lamest lame-duck session ever experienced by this country for the past 111 legislative meetings.

I am not politics-smart, but I do try to understand process. And the DADT Repeal Act endured a long and hard one. I really thought it would never happen but it did – this is how I like to be proven wrong.